Captain Sir Thomas Staines– 13 July 1830) was an officer in the Royal Navy.(1776
Staines joined Peterel on 3 July 1796 on his promotion to Lieutenant. Commander Philip Wodehouse had taken command of Peterel by December 1796, when Peterel landed a small party under Lieutenant Thomas Staines on the coast of Corsica. The landing party attacked a Martello tower, which they captured, and threw its gun, a long 32-pounder, over the cliff.
Peterel's next captain was Commander William Proby, Lord Proby, who took over in March 1797. In June 1797, Wodehouse authorised Staines to take 20 men in two of the ship's boats to cut out a French privateer that had been preying on merchant vessels off the coast of Tuscany. After a skirmish in which the British had five men wounded and the French lost several dead and wounded, the British took the privateer, which had a crew of 45 men and was armed with two long guns and several swivels.
In September 1798, Commander Henry Digby sailed Peterel from Gibraltar to Faro, Portugal, to deliver despatches from Earl St. Vincent for the Lisbon packet. Staines took the six men in Peterel's jolly boat to deliver the despatches to the packet when the jolly boat overturned in heavy seas. Four men drowned, and Staines and the sixth man were only rescued after four hours.
Peterel participated in the Capture of Menorca (1798) by the British expedition under Commodore John Duckworth.On 12 November 1798 the Spanish 40-gun frigate Flora, in company with the 40-gun Proserpina and the 34-gun ships Pomona and Casilda, captured Peterel whilst she was operating off Menorca. One of the Spanish ships fired a broadside after she surrendered. After removing the prisoners from the ship, the Spanish plundered their clothes and possessions, murdering a seaman who attempted to defend his property. Duckworth detached Argo to pursue the sloop and on 13 November she retook Peterel and her 72-man Spanish prize crew, which was under the command of Don Antonio Franco Gandrada, Second Captain of Flora. Captain James Bowen of Argo put his own prize crew of 46 officers seamen and marines aboard Peterel. Duckworth later appointed his first lieutenant, George Jones, to command Peterel. Most of the clothes belonging to Captain Long and his officers, including Staines, were subsequently recovered. This charge of ill-usage was officially contradicted in the Madrid Gazette of 12 April, but was, nevertheless, essentially true.
The Spanish squadron, already being chased the next day by several British ships, completely outsailed their pursuers and returned to Cartagena with the prisoners.After a detention of 14 days at Cartagena, Lieutenant Staines and his fellow prisoners were embarked in a merchant brig bound to Málaga; but they did not arrive there until 24 December, a westerly wind having obliged the vessel to anchor off Almeria, where she was detained upwards of three weeks, and her passengers confined on shore during that period. From Málaga, the British were marched to Gibraltar, under a strong escort of soldiers, who treated both officers and men with great brutality, but particularly Lieutenant Staines, who had received a sabre wound in the wrist whilst parrying a blow which one of those soldiers had aimed at his head. On their arrival at the rock, a court-martial was assembled to investigate the circumstances attending their capture by the Spanish squadron; and as no blame could be attached to any individual, the whole of them were sent back to the Peterel immediately after their acquittal.
Captain George Long fell at Elba and on 3 February 1799 Francis Austen, the brother of author Jane Austen and future admiral of the fleet, took command of Peterel.Peterel and Austen shared in the proceeds of the capture on 18 June 1799 of the French frigates Courageuse, Alceste, and Junon, and the brigs Alerte and Salamine. Thereafter, Peterel captured or cut out from ports an armed galley, a transport brig carrying cannons and ammunition, and some twenty merchant vessels. Staines frequently commanded the cutting out expeditions.
In May 1802 Staines assumed command of HMS Cameleon in the Mediterranean. He sailed her back to Britain where she was paid off in September 1805.
From March 1807 through November 1809, Staines was captain of HMS Cyane. It was his service on Cyane, particularly at Naples between 25 and 27 June 1809, which cost him his arm, that led to his knighthood and the Order of Saint Ferdinand.
On 17 September 1814 HMS Briton under his command, along with HMS Tagus, were the first British ships to visit the Pitcairn Islands after the Bounty and discover the fate of the mutineers – this was six and half years after the American ship Topaz rediscovered Pitcairn. However, Staines was unaware of that discovery.
Staines was knighted in three orders: as a Knight Commander of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Sicilian Order of St. Ferdinand and Merit, and a Knight of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent.
Sir John Thomas Duckworth, 1st Baronet, GCB was an officer of the Royal Navy, serving during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, as the Governor of Newfoundland during the War of 1812, and a member of the British House of Commons during his semi-retirement. Duckworth, a vicar's son, achieved much in a naval career that began at the age of 11.
HMS Speedy was a 14-gun Speedy-class brig of the British Royal Navy. Built during the last years of the American War of Independence, she served with distinction during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Admiral of the Fleet Sir Francis William Austen, was a Royal Navy officer. As commanding officer of the sloop HMS Peterel, he captured some 40 ships, was present at the capture of a French squadron, and led an operation when the French brig Ligurienne was captured and two others were driven ashore off Marseille during the French Revolutionary Wars.
HMS Hercule was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was previously Hercule, a Téméraire class ship of the line of the French Navy, but was captured on her maiden voyage in 1798, and spent the rest of her career as a British ship. She was broken up in 1810.
William Allen Proby, Lord Proby was a British Royal Navy officer and Whig politician.
HMS Venerable was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 12 April 1808 at Northfleet.
HMS Cyane was a Royal Navy Banterer-class sixth-rate post ship of nominally 22 guns, built in 1806 at Topsham, near Exeter, England. She was ordered in January 1805 as HMS Columbine but renamed Cyane on 6 December of that year. Cyane had a distinguished career in British service that included the award in 1847 of a clasp to the Naval General Service Medal to any still surviving crew members of either of two actions. On 20 February 1815, she and HMS Levant engaged USS Constitution; outgunned, both had to surrender. She then served as USS Cyane, including a stint on anti-slavery duties, until she was broken up in 1836.
Rear Admiral Charles John Austen CB was an officer in the Royal Navy. He served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and beyond, eventually rising to the rank of rear-admiral.
HMS Argo was a 44-gun fifth-rate Roebuck-class ship of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1781 from Howdon Dock. The French captured her in 1783, but 36 hours later the British recaptured her. She then distinguished herself in the French Revolutionary Wars by capturing several prizes, though she did not participate in any major actions. She also served in the Napoleonic Wars. She was sold in 1816.
HMS Hornet was a 16-gun ship-rigged sloop of the Cormorant class in the Royal Navy, ordered 18 February 1793, built by Marmaduke Stalkart and launched 3 February 1794 at Rotherhithe. Hornet saw most of her active duty during the French Revolutionary Wars. During the Napoleonic Wars she served for about six years as a hospital ship before being laid up in 1811 and sold in 1817.
Captain John Perkins, nicknamed Jack Punch, was a British Royal Navy officer. Perkins was perhaps the first mulatto commissioned officer in the Royal Navy. He rose from obscurity to be one of the most successful ship captains of the Georgian navy. He captained a 10-gun schooner during the American War of Independence and in a two-year period captured at least 315 enemy ships.
L'Espoir was a French brig-sloop that served for 9½ years in the French Navy before HMS Thalia captured her in September 1797. In her subsequent short career within in British service as HMS Espoir she captured three prizes, with the capture in 1798 of the more heavily armed Genoese pirate Liguria earning her crew a clasp to the Naval General Service Medal. Espoir was laid up in 1799 and sold in 1804.
HMS Peterel was a 16-gun Pylades-class ship-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1794 and was in active service until 1811. Her most famous action was the capture of the French brig Ligurienne when shortly after Peterel captured two merchant ships and sent them off with prize crews, three French ships attacked her. She drove two on shore and captured the largest, the 14-gun Ligurienne. The Navy converted Peterel to a receiving ship at Plymouth in 1811 and sold her in 1827.
The French frigate Alcmène was an Armide-class frigate of a nominal 44 guns, launched in 1811. The British captured her on 1814. The Royal Navy named her HMS Dunira, and then renamed her HMS Immortalite but never commissioned her nor fitted her for sea. In March 1822 she became a receiving ship at Portsmouth. She was sold in January 1837.
Sir Samuel Warren KCB, KCH was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence, and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Dashwood KCB was a distinguished British officer, who served in the Royal Navy during the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. He had a long and prestigious naval career, gaining his own command by the last stages of the French Revolutionary Wars. He took part in a number of famous naval battles during his career, such as the Battle of the Saintes, the Glorious First of June and the Battle of Tory Island, where he received the sword of the French commodore, Jean Bompart. His record also includes extensive operations in the West Indies and the Baltic Sea, followed by the expedition to New Orleans in 1815.
Ligurienne was a 16-gun sectional brig of the French Navy that was launched in 1798. The British captured her in 1800, but did not take her into service.
HMS Cameleon was a Royal Navy Diligence-class brig-sloop, launched in 1795. She was built of fir, which allowed for rapid construction, but at the expense of durability. She captured some small vessels and a privateer, and served in the Mediterranean before being laid up in 1805, and broken up in 1811.
HMS Pert was the French privateer Bonaparte that HMS Cyane captured in November 1804. The Royal Navy took Bonaparte into service as HMS Pert. Pert was wrecked off the coast of what is now Venezuela in October 1807.
HMS Garland was a schooner that the Royal Navy purchased in the West Indies in 1798 to act as a tender to Prince of Wales, the flagship of the Commander-in-Chief on the Leeward Islands station. Garland captured a privateer of greater force than herself, as well as two small prizes. She was sold in March 1803, during the Peace of Amiens.