L'Etoile (French 44-gun frigate) Little Catherine (British 10-gun brig)
The Little Catherine was a 185-ton brig built of cedar wood in Bermuda and launched in 1801. In 1813 she was owned by Blewett & Co. and commanded by Captain Jeffrey. On 24 November 1813, while bound to Falmouth England from Spain, she was captured by the French frigates L'Etoile, built in 1812, and La Sultane, built in 1813, which had sailed from Nantes on 23 November. The French took off her crew and cargo and attempted to scuttle her. But two days later she was found drifting and full of water by the Hotspur (British) which towed her to Penzance Bay which they reached on 30 November.
There the water was pumped from her hold and repairs made. She was then taken to Falmouth on 24 December where she was placed back into service.
In 1814 Little Catherine was captured by an American privateer off Portugal and recaptured by the Herald (British). Her owners refused to pay the recapture award, and she was given to the Post Office which renamed her the Blucher. She served as a mail packet until 1823 when she was sold. She was broken up in 1848.
L'Etoile was captured on 27 March 1814 by the Hebrus (British) and added to the Royal Navy as the Topaze where she served until broken up in 1851. La Sultane was captured on 26 March 1814 by the Hannibal (British) and taken into the Royal Navy.
The stamp artist, Terry Hadler, in his original design, has shown the Little Catherine on the left being chased by L'Etoile in the right background.
Log Book September 1987
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