HMS Dryad (1795)
HMS Dryad was a fifth-rate sailing frigate of the Royal Navy that served for 64 years, at first during the Napoleonic Wars and in the suppression of slavery. She fought in a notable single-ship action in 1805 when she captured the French frigate Proserpine, an action that would earn her crew the Naval General Service Medal. Dryad was broken up at Portsmouth in 1860. Launched on 4 June 1795, Dryad was commissioned under Captain the Hon. Robert Allaster Cam Forbes, the captain of Southampton at the Glorious First of June; the brand new frigate may have been a reward for his services. Forbes' successor, Captain Lord Amelius Beauclerk, 3rd son of the Duke of St Albans, took command in December 1795. Dryad was stationed off the coast of Ireland. On 2 May 1796, while Dryad was under acting Commander John Pullin, she captured the 14-gun cutter Abeille some 16 or 17 leagues off The Lizard. Abeille had not taken anything; the Royal Navy took her into service under her existing name. Earlier, Dryad had taken a large smuggling cutter, carrying a cargo of spirits, sent her to Plymouth.
Diana, Seahorse and the hired armed cutter Fox shared in the capture. On 13 June Dryad captured the French frigate Proserpine after a 45-minute action 12 leagues off Cape Clear Island. William James wrote in his Naval History of Great Britain: Proserpine suffered 30 were killed and 45 wounded out of her complement of 348 men, while Dryad lost two killed and seven wounded; the Royal Navy had a Proserpine, so the Admiralty renamed Proserpine Amelia in bringing her into the service. In 1847 the Admiralty issued the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Dryad 13 June 1796" to the five surviving claimants from her crew who had participated in the action. Dryad and Beauclerk followed this with the destruction of five more French privateers. On 16 October she captured the French privateer Vantour after a six-hour chase. Vautour was armed with two 12-pounder carronades, she was of 130 tons burthen, with a crew of 78 men. She had sailed from Morlaiz on 13 October and not taken anything; the next year, on 19 August 1797, Dryad captured the French privateer Éclair.
Éclair was armed with four 8-pounder guns. She had a crew of 108 men and had sailed from L'Orient on 11 August, had not taken anything. On 9 September Dryad sank the 12-gun French privateer Cornélie; the brig caught fire but because of the state of the seas, Dryad was only able to save some 17 men of her crew of 90 or so men. Cornelie had only captured one ship, a Dane. On 10 October Doris and Dryad captured the French privateer ship Brune after a chase of 40 leagues, she had a crew of 180 men. Brune was out of Bordeaux and had taken two British ships: on 17 September the brig Industry, sailing from Newfoundland to Lisbon, on 9 October the brig Commerce, sailing in ballast from Greenock to Oporto. Lastly, on 4 February 1798 Dryad captured. Mars was pierced for 20 guns but carried twelve 12-pounders, two 18-pounders, two 12-pounder carronades, she had a crew of 222 men. She had not captured anything. In December 1798 Captain Charles John Moore Mansfield was appointed in command. According to the memoirs of one of his midshipmen, Mansfield's wife and two unruly children were living onboard Dryad at Portsmouth, his wife dressing in her own version of a naval officer's uniform.
She was well liked, despite her eccentric dress, since she did not interfere with the ship's business. On 7 July 1799, Dryad was in company with the 44-gun frigate Révolutionnaire and Diamond when Revolutionaire captured the French privateer Determiné; the same three British ships captured the French brig Hyppolite. Dryad sailed for Cork. Several of the vessels picked up convicts and political prisoners at Cork for transport to Australia. Dryad escorted Friendship and Minerva well into the Atlantic, but left them on 14 September. On 19 September 1799, she and Revolutionnaire captured the Cères, a French letter of marque en route from Bordeaux to the Caribbean. At some point Dryad recaptured the British ship Albion. Albion had been sailing from Jamaica with a cargo of rum and sugar when the French privateer Brieve captured her; the Times reported on 6 January 1800 that Dryad was based at Cork for several months during 1800, in Admiral Lord Gardner's fleet. At the beginning of April 1800, Dryad spent several days assisting Revolutionnaire, which had lost her rudder in a hurricane in the Atlantic.
Dryad had lost her fore-yard and the two ships assisted each other towards Cork when an off-shore gale forced them to head for Plymouth. However, another change in the wind meant that they could neither weather the Scilly Isles nor return to Cork and they drifted up the St George's Channel. On 16 April Dryad tried to tow Revolutionnaire off the Waterford rocks. Another change of wind enabled Revolutionnaire to avoid the rocks and both ships arrived at Milford Haven on 19 April in a "most distressed state". West of Ireland on 5 March 1801 Dryad captured the French privateer Premier Consul of St Malo after a 3-hour chase. Premier Consul was armed with fourteen 9-pounders, she had a crew of 150 men. She was 21 days out of Saint Malo and had captured a
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an