Hibernia (1810 ship)
Hibernia, of 435 tons, was launched at Cowes in 1810. She operated as a letter of marque West Indiaman and in 1814 engaged in a note-worthy single-ship action with the American privateer Comet during which she repelled her more heavily-armed attacker. In 1819 she transported convicts to Van Diemen's Land. She was last listed in 1840.
|Fate:||Last listed in Lloyd's Register in 1840|
|Tonnage:||430, or 432, or 435 (bm)|
Hibernia entered Lloyd's Register (LR) in 1810 with J. "Lennen" master. He was also her owner. Her trade was Cowes-West Indies.
On 26 January 1811 Westmoreland, of Liverpool, ran foul of Hibernia off Scilly, causing Hibernia to lose her bowsprit, head, and cutwater. Hibernia, which had sailing from London to St Thomas's, put back into Portsmouth on 1 March.
In 1812 orders were issued that no vessels should leave St Thomas's without convoy, on account of the American privateers. Hibernia and three other merchantmen, whose aggregate cargoes were valued at half a million sterling, had long been waiting. Unwilling to detain them further, Governor Maclean had agreed to their sailing without convoy, on condition that Lennon hoist his pennant as commodore. Lennon had to post a bond of £500 that he would execute the duties of commodore; the other three captains had to post bonds of £250 each that they would follow signals and obey orders. Although Rossie, Commodore Joshua Barney, an American privateer of superior force, harassed the British vessels, Lennon brought them safe into the English Channel on 18 October 1812. He also repatriated the mate and crew of the packet Princess Amelia, which Rossie had earlier captured.
In late 1812 or early 1813, Hibernia captured a Swedish schooner carrying 900 barrels of flour. The American privateer Orders in Council captured the schooner from Hibernia's prize crew. HMS Scorpion in turn captured the schooner from the Americans and sent her into Antigua.
On 24 November, Hibernia ran onshore at Margate as she was sailing from London to St Thomas's. She was got off little or now damage and the next day sailed from The Downs for Portsmoutyh.
On 4 December Hibernia was "all well" at 45°23′N 10°53′W.
Action with a privateer
On 11 January 1814, Hibernia, of 22 men and six guns, Lennon, master, encountered the American privateer Comet, of 14 guns and 125 men, Thomas Boyle, master. Two days before Comet had encountered the British merchantman Wasp west of Saba, but had sailed away when Wasp gave chase, fearing that Wasp was a warship. This time, an engagement ensued.
After an intense 9-hour single-ship action that left one man killed on Hibernia, and 11 wounded (who were expected to recover), Hibernia succeeded in driving Comet off. Comet had three men killed and eight men wounded. One first-hand American account reported that Comet had six dead and 16 wounded, and that Hibernia had sailed off first. Comet retired to Puerto Rico to refit. Hibernia arrived at St Thomas's that same day.
Two lawsuits with the underwriters of Hibernia's cargo followed. Lennon and his owners were liable for £8,000 in damages, or more than double the loss that would have been incurred if Lennon had surrendered.
Hibernia departed Portsmouth on 20 November 1818. Adverse winds in the Channel and again off the coast of Australia delayed her voyage with the result that she arrived in Hobart on 11 May 1819 after a transit of 172 days. She had embarked 160 male prisoners, of whom three died on the way. Hibernia continued on to Sydney in June with cabin passengers. Hibernia departed Sydney bound for Calcutta via Batavia.
Two incidents had marred the voyage to Australia. On 8 January 1819, two seamen behaved in a mutinous manner. The rest of the crew objected to the men being put in irons, but eventually all but two others returned to their duties. When Hibernia reached Rio de Janeiro, Lennon asked Captain Robert Wauchope, of HMS Eurydice for assistance. Eventually 12 men from Hibernia joined Eurydice's crew; Wauchope sent only three men in return. The resulting crew shortage on Hibernia delayed her sailing.
On her voyage to Hobart Hibernia's surgeon was Charles Carter, who had a deep-seated antipathy towards clergymen. Unfortunately for Carter, Hibernia carried Rev. Richard Hill. Hill complained that Carter had prohibited Hill from visiting prisoners in the hospital quarters, and had ridiculed Hill's efforts at moral instruction. Carter countered that visits from clergymen depressed the sick. Eventually, Carter's inability to exercise tact when dealing with the clergy led to his dismissal from the convict service.
On 5 April 1825 Hibernia, Captain Robert Gillies, arrived at Sydney from England. She was carrying stores for the government. She left Plymouth on 8 November 1823 and came out via the Cape of Good Hope, which she left on 1 February 1824. She also stopped at Hobart Town, leaving there for Sydney on 24 February.
In May 1825 Hibenia got on shore on the Hooghly River and had to put back to port to be docked.
The table below is from Lloyd's Register (LR). The data in the Register was only as accurate as owners chose to keep it updated.
Notes, citations and references
- Bateson (1959), pp. 306-7.
- LR (1835), Seq. №495.
- LR (1810), Supplement, Seq. Seq.№H54.
- Letter of Marque,"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) - accessed 14 May 2011.
- Lloyd's List (LL) №4542.
- Lloyd's List (LL) №4748.
- LL №4825.
- LL №4832.
- Naval Chronicle, Vol. 31, p.192.
- Otis (1898), p. 168.
- LL №4852.
- Bateson (1959), p. 328.
- Text of a deposition by Lennon and his officers to the British Consul General at Rio.
- Bateson (1959), pp. 208-9.
- "Ship News", Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (8 April 1824), p.2.
- LR (1820), Seq. №H556.
- LR (1822), Seq. №H557.
- LR (1823), Seq. №H583.
- LR (1824), Seq. №H581.
- LR (1828), Seq. №H644.
- LR (1830), Seq. №H651.
- LR (1831), Seq. №H658.
- LR (1832), Seq. №H654.
- LR (1838), Seq. №H421.
- Bateson, Charles (1959). The Convict Ships. Brown, Son & Ferguson. OCLC 3778075.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chichester, H. M. (1893). "Lennon, John". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 33. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 46, 47. The article cites the following: Nav. and Mil. Gazettes, 24 July, 7 Aug., 21 Aug., and 18 Sept. 1841, by David Burn. See Burn's Chivalry of the Merchant Marine, London, 1841, and Brenton's Naval History, Vol. 2.
- Otis, James, 1848-1912 (1898). The cruise of the Comet: the story of a privateer of 1812, sailing from Baltimore as set down by Stephen Burton. Boston: Estes and Lauriat.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)