HMS Forester (1806)

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Name: HMS Forester
Namesake: Forester
Builder: John King, Dover
Launched: 1806
Commissioned: 1806
Decommissioned: 1817
Honors and
Fate: Sold 1819
General characteristics [3]
Class and type: Cruizer-class brig-sloop
Tons burthen: 3842694 (bm)
  • 100 ft 0 in (30.5 m) (gundeck);
  • 77 ft 2 78 in (23.5 m) (keel)
Beam: 30 ft 7 in (9.3 m)
  • 6 ft 0 in (1.8 m) (unladen);
  • 10 ft 00 in (3.0 m) (laden)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Sail plan: Brig
Complement: 121
Armament: 16 × 32-pounder carronades + 2 × 6-pounder bow guns

HMS Forester was a Royal Navy 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop built by John King and launched in 1806 at Dover.[3] She had a relatively uneventful career before the Navy sold her in 1819.


Forester entered service in 1806 under Captain John Richards and was sent to act as a convoy escort for ships sailing to the Baltic.[3] During this service Forester also recaptured a British merchant vessel.[4] Off the Netherlands she captured the smuggler Hiram.[4] In 1808 Forester was caught in a gale in which several vessels were wrecked;[4] Forester was also tasked with burning the frigate Flora, one of the vessels that had been wrecked. Soon afterward Forester escorted a convoy to Gorée and was then refitted at Spithead, subsequently sailing to Corunna.[4]

Forester sailed for the West Indies on 29 August 1808.[5] Operating off Barbados, Forester participated in the invasion of Martinique in January 1809. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded all surviving claimants from the campaign the NGSM with clasp "Martinique".

On 31 May 1809 Richards sent boats from his small squadron under the command of Lieutenant Robert Carr of the gun-brig Attentive to capture a French letter of marque and a schooner from under the protection of four long-guns and 300 soldiers at the Port du Molas. Carr captured the vessels and then landed, spiked the guns, and blew up the French magazine.[4]

Command passed to John E. Watt later in 1809, and under his command Forester also participated in the capture of Guadeloupe in January and February 1810.[Note 1] In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Guadaloupe" to all surviving participants of the campaign.[Note 2]

In 1812 Commander Alexander Kennedy replaced Watt.[3] On 23 March 1813 Forester sailed to Jamaica to replace Brazen, which had recently returned to Spithead.[5] Forester's orders were to accompany Sceptre as escort to a convoy and there to place herself under the orders of Admiral Charles Stirling.[7]

On 5 May Sapphire and Forester captured the American privateer Mary Ann off San Domingo. She was armed with a long 9-pounder gun and a 4-pounder. Mary Ann was under the command of Peter Charriol and had a crew of 30, one of whom was found dead. She was 20 days out of Charleston and had made no captures. From the number of small arms on board, Kennedy suspected that Charriol had planned to gather more men.[8]

On 15 May Circe and Forrester captured the 5-gun Lovely Lass off Jamaica. The capture followed a chase of 19 hours, during which the Lovely Lass threw four of her guns overboard. Her commander was Mr. John Smith of the American Navy, and she had a crew of 60 men. Smith reported that he had been out 44 days and had made no captures.[8] A later report gave her tonnage as 80 tons and her crew as 73 men. She was from Wilmington and Circe sent her to Kingston.[9] On 5 July, Forrester captured the ship Granger.[10]

On 27 November 1813 Forester captured an American schooner of unknown name.[Note 3]

In April 1814, the Navy dismissed Kennedy from Forester and suspended him from his rank for two years for disobeying orders from Rear-Admiral William Brown.[12][13] Command then passed to William Hendry.[3] Later that year Commander Alexander Karley replaced Hendry,[14] and then Commander J.M'Dougall replaced Karley.[15]


In 1817, following the end of the wars, Forester was paid off at Portsmouth. She was sold there on 8 March 1819 to G. Young for £1,130.[3]

Notes, citations, and references[edit]


  1. ^ A first-class share of the prize money for Guadaloupe was worth £113 3sd; a sixth-class share, that of an ordinary seaman, was worth £1 9s 1¼d.[6]
  2. ^ The notice in the London Gazette incorrectly lists his name as "Wall".[2]
  3. ^ A first-class share of the head money was worth £32 15s 7¾d; a sixth-class share was worth 9s 3d.[11]


  1. ^ "No. 20939". The London Gazette. 26 January 1849. p. 242. 
  2. ^ a b "No. 20393". The London Gazette. 26 January 1849. p. 243. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Winfield (2008), pp. 294-5.
  4. ^ a b c d e Marshall (1828), Supplement, Part 2, p.16-17.
  5. ^ a b "NMM, vessel ID 367010" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol i. National Maritime Museum. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "No. 16938". The London Gazette. 24 September 1814. pp. 1923–1924. 
  7. ^ Dudley & Crawford (1992), Vol. 3, p.19.
  8. ^ a b "No. 16762". The London Gazette. 10 August 1813. p. 1576. 
  9. ^ "No. 16771". The London Gazette. 7 September 1813. p. 1767. 
  10. ^ "No. 17041". The London Gazette. 18 July 1815. p. 1462. 
  11. ^ "No. 17775". The London Gazette. 22 December 1821. p. 2456. 
  12. ^ Naval Chronicle, Vol. 32, Jul-Dec 1814, p.152.
  13. ^ Marshall (1832), Vol. 3, Part 3, p.385.
  14. ^ Navy Chronicle, Vol. 32, (July-December 1814), p.175.
  15. ^ Navy Chronicle, Vol. 32, (July-December 1814), p.261.


  • Dudley, William S., and Michael J. Crawford (1992) Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History. (Government Printing Office).
  • Marshall, John (1823–1835) Royal Naval Biography; Or, Memoirs of the Services of All the Flag-officers ... (London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown).
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1. 

External links[edit]

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