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HMS Talbot (1807)

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Name  HMS Talbot
Laid down  March 1806
Launched  22 July 1807
Ordered  4 October 1805
Construction started  March 1806
Builder  James Heath & Sons, East Teignmouth
Fate  Sold 1815 into mercantile service
Class and type  Cormorant class ship-sloop; reclassed 1811 as Post ship

HMS Talbot was a British Royal Navy 18-gun sloop-of-war built by James Heath & Sons, of East Teignmouth and launched in 1807. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment was the reversal of the liberation of Iceland that the colorful, erratic, former Royal Navy seaman and privateer Jørgen Jørgensen had carried out. Talbot was sold in 1815 for mercantile service.


Talbot Class

Talbot was the name ship for a class of two sloops; her sister ship was Coquette. Both were enlarged versions of the Cormorant-class ship-sloop. In 1811 the Admiralty re-rated Talbot and Coquette as 20-gun post ships.


The Admiralty commissioned Talbot in September 1807 under Commander the Honourable Alexander Jones, who about a year later sailed her to Portugal.

In 1808 Jones and Talbot took three prizes: Lykens Proven (14 April), Union (17 May), and Bon Jesus e Almar (9 May).

In 1809 Talbot was in the North Sea where she captured several prizes: Twee Gebroederss (26 April), Bagatellen (29 April), Neskelaen (30 April), Emanuel (2 May), Providentia (10 May), Gestina and Nautilus (18 May), and Sara Catharina (19 May). The most notable, but still minor, capture occurred on 13 June when Talbot captured the Danish privateer Loven, off the Naze of Norway. Loven had two long guns, which she had dismounted during the chase, and a crew of 11. She had left Norway that morning and had made no captures.

More interestingly, Talbot entered the harbour at Reykjavík on 14 August. After some investigation Jones took Jørgen Jørgensen into custody. Jørgensen had arrested the Danish governor and proclaimed himself "His Excellency, the Protector of Iceland, Commander in Chief by Land and Sea". With Talbot's arrival, the Danish government was restored and Jørgensen was taken to England, where he ended up in prison for more than a year, but for breaking parole after his earlier capture by Sappho, not for his adventures in Iceland.

On 14 November, three Danish sloops arrived at Leith, prizes to Talbot, the sloop Charles, and the cutter Hero.

In 1811, Captain Spelman Swaine commanded Talbot on the Irish station. On 30 November she was in company with the frigate Saldanha as they sailed from Lough Swilly, Donegal, where they were based. Four days later a gale caught them in the Lough. Saldanha foundered with the loss of her entire crew; Talbot got out to sea and survived.

Later Talbot protected merchants sailing to and from Newfoundland and the West Indies. On 5 August 1812, Talbot captured the American ship Rhoda and Betsey.

Swaine transferred to Statira on 28 April 1814 after Lieutenant Thomas Walbeoff Cecil of Argo killed Captain Hassard Stackpole, of Statira, in a duel. (Cecil was promoted into Electra but died of yellow fever in 1814.) Swaine's successor, in April 1814, was Captain Henry Haynes.


In September 1814 Captain William Dowers took command of Talbot. Captain Archibald Tisdall succeeded him in July 1815. She was paid off in August or September 1815 before the Admiralty sold her on 23 November for ₤1,610 for mercantile use. Talbot entered mercantile service as the George.


Early in 1815 Talbot captured the John, an American merchant vessel. However, it turned out that the US and Great Britain had signed a peace treaty on Christmas Eve 1814, so she was not a prize. Furthermore, the John was lost to "the perils of the sea" while in custody, leading to a suit by her owners against Talbot's captain. That suit was dismissed, but the United States claimed on behalf of the owners against the British government, and the court judged that the government did owe compensation. The settlement took place after 1853.


HMS Talbot (1807) Wikipedia

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