Tradition has it that she was built at Bermuda of cedar in or before 1799 under the name STING, but there is not any hard fact of archival evidence that it is true. The local shipping records at Bermuda do not record a vessel under the name STING at that time in these islands.
Shortly after she was built she was in the West Indies, and bought in Curaçao in December 1800 by Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour, Commander-in-Chief, Jamaica, and to use her as patrol and dispatch vessel, when he secured Curaçao against an invasion of French troops. She was bought for £2.500 from her Jamaica merchant owners.
19 February 1801 used as a tender to the ship-of-the-line SANS PARIEL
She was before already used as a hired vessel by the Admiralty.
Tonnage 126 ton (bm) dim. 73 x 20.7 x 9.6ft., length on the waterline 56.3ft.
Armed with 6 carronades either 18 or 12 pounders.
January 1802 renamed in HMS PICKLE, and was she under command of Lieutenant Thomas Thrush, she was then ordered to proceed to the U.K., with the body of Lord Seymour who had died of a fever.
At Plymouth, she was re-rigged to a schooner, and re-coppered and re-caulked. Armament changed to 10 guns. Crew increased to 42 men.
May 1802 Lieutenant John Richards Lapenotiere was appointed to command her, and she was based at Portsmouth.
Operated with the Channel Fleet in the blockading of Brest through 1803-1804.
October 1803 a plot was discovered to seize the PICKLE, and the boatswain mate was accused of mutiny. He received 100 lashes for insolence, desertion, and disobedience.
May 1804 a new mutiny was discovered to sail her to the French, at that time she was part of Admiral Cornwallis blockading fleet off Brest, she was regularly used for inshore scouting, and looking for French coastal shipping, and to seize these ships when possible.
25 March 1804 the PICKLE rescued some crew from the ship-of-the-line HMS MAGNIFICENT when she struck upon the uncharted Boufaloe Rocks-off Brest and quickly sank, other ships of the squadron saved all crew.
Mid-January 1805 she sailed from Europe bound for the Caribbean, 10 March 1905 she sailed from Jamaica with a convoy to the Bahamas, and got orders to proceed to Bermuda for repair, and to disembark two men, she sailed then again across the Atlantic to Europe.
July 1805 on a passage from England to Gibraltar, the PICKLE when she was in the Strait of Gibraltar was becalmed and on the 19 July in the afternoon, she was attacked by two well-manned Spanish gunboats that kept her under heavy fire. Luckily the wind sprang up and the PICKLE could reply with a broadside and in turn, began to chase the two Spanish vessels towards Tarifa. Then the wind fell again and seven other Spanish gunboats reinforced the two Spaniards.
The Spaniards under oar did attack again, and were much quicker and came within gun range; the stern guns of the PICKLE were keeping up a continuous fire. The PICKLE dropped anchor under the fort of Tangier, and one of the gunboats anchored nearby while the others kept moving outside the bay.
Rigging on the PICKLE was damaged and she got one man slightly wounded by splinters, after the wind sprang up again the PICKLE could easily outsail her enemy and rejoin the British fleet.
The PICKLE was back in Plymouth on 03 September 1805 and sailed out on 20 September with seaman for various ships of Nelson’s fleet off Cadiz.
Off Cadiz she intercepted a Portuguese vessel that tried to smuggle a load of bullocks in from Tangier.
During the Battle of Trafalgar, she did not take part in the battle and she was stationed to windward of the weather column.
She rescued about 100 men and two women from the French ACHILLE, which was on fire and later exploded. Most of the rescued were later transferred to the ORION, and Captain Robert Moorson of the ORION gave the most reliable account of the rescue of one of the women, who was called Jeannette.
I must tell you an anecdote of a French woman the PICKLE schooner sent to me about fifty people saved from the ACHILLE which was burned and blew up amongst them was a young French woman about five and twenty and the wife of one of the Main Topmen when the ACHILLE was burning she got out of the gun room port and sat on the rudder chains till some melted lead ran down upon her, and forced her to strip and leap off; she swam to a spar where several men were, but one of them bit and kicked her till she was obliged to quit and get to another, which supported her till she was taken up by the PICKLE and sent on board the REVENGE amongst the men she was lucky enough to find her husband – We were not wanting in civility to the lady; I ordered her two Pussers shirts to make a petticoat and most of the officers found something to clothe her; in a few hours Jeanette was perfectly happy and hard at work making her petticoats.
Admiral Collingwood after the death of Nelson the highest in command wrote his report of the battle on board the EURYALUS, and on the morning of the 27 October, the rapport was handed over to Lapenotiere with the orders to deliver it so soon as possible to the Admiralty at London.
At 12.00 that day the PICKLE sailed from the fleet bound for England, where she arrived and hove to at Falmouth on 4 November at 09.45 am.
Lapenotiere landed at Falmouth with his dispatches and made the trip to London in just under 37 hours, and arrived at the Admiralty at 01 am. on the 6th November. (Normally the trip took one week)
25 November he was back on board the PICKLE. In 1806 he was appointed to the 16-gun brig ORESTES, and he was relieved by Lieutenant Daniel Callaway.
January 1807 the PICKLE captured a French privateer cutter LA FAVORITE (14 guns) with a crew twice the size of the PICKLE. Callaway was promoted in April 1807.
Under command of Lieutenant Moses Cannadey and while carrying dispatches, because of an unaccountable error of reckoning she wrecked on the Chipona Shoal and sank off Cadiz on 27 July 1808. Her crew was saved.
Bermuda 2005 35c 70 and 85c sg 957,958 and 959, scott?
Great Britain 2005 42p sg 2577 ( the ship-of-the-line is not identified, the PICKLE is in the background.)
Source: Mostly copied from http://www.ageofnelson.org/pdf/Lapenotiere.pdf Ships of the Royal Navy by J.J. Colledge.
The lost ships of the Royal Navy 1793-1900 by W.P.Gosset. The Royal Gazette, on line of 31 October 2005. http://www.treeforall.org.uk/TrafalgarW ... ods/Pickle
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