Thursday, February 28

Images of Life at Sea 19

The purser's work space on board the Acasta. Image submitted by Acasta Purser, Brian Cushing.

Wednesday, February 27

Images of Life at Sea 18

... 10am light breezes NEbyN. Spoke a barcalonga out of Marsala - no news of the French, but purchased a quantity of fresh oranges...
Images of Port and Oranges submitted by Captain C. Bertani of HMS Cornwall (74) North Sea station.

Tuesday, February 26

Images of Life at Sea 17

'Rolette' under oars, with Gen. Sir Isaac Brock aboard.
Dale Kidd is a member of Provincial Marine Amherstburg, interpreting the role of the Provincial Marine squadron based at the King's Navy Yard at the mouth of the Detroit River in the War of 1812. Mr. Kidd portrays the Master at Arms of His Majesty's Brig General Hunter.
The Master-at-Arms' desktop.

Monday, February 18

A Return to Bermuda

Bermuda, 18th Feb 1813

The Acasta has return'd to the Navy Dockyard after a fruitless search for the American frigate that chased HMS Dotterel at the first of this month. The Acasta, as well as the other ships of the search party, the Ramillies and Dotterel, found no evidence of the mystery frigate after our extended hunt.

Whoever she might have been, she must have been fast and well ahead of us.

The Acasta is scheduled to return to the blockade in the North American Station after taking on fresh water and provisions. I need to go ashore and procure some medicinals to refresh some of my depleted stores. I will plan my trip ashore in such a way as to be of a sufficient length that I might get a decent meal while in town.

Thursday, February 14

St. Valentine's Day 1813

While out upon the blockade, especially upon this St. Valentine's Day, I often wonder what my Miss Waterman is up to at home. Visiting friends, socializing, card playing or about her piano forte. 

Wednesday, February 13

Taking Tea

The assembled Acastas from L to R: Mr. Raley, Doctor Roberts, Lt Ramsey & Ship's Purser Mr. Cushing.

Our complete assembled aprty.

Thursday, February 7

The Butcher's Bill aboard HMS Amelia

Lieutenant Pascoe reported back on 3 February that he had sighted a force consisting of three ships. Two were the French frigates Aréthuse and Rubis. The third ship was a Portuguese prize, La Serra, which they were unloading before sailing to intercept British merchant vessels, a convoy from England being expected daily. 

The master and the rest of the crew from Daring arrived in a cartel, having given their parole, and confirmed Lieutenant Pascoe's report. Standing in towards Tamara on 6 February, Captain Irby met the government schooner Princess Charlote and learned that the two frigates were anchored a considerable distance apart. Although he was not aware of it, Rubis, the southernmost one, had struck a rock, which had disabled her. The Aréthuse weighed and stood out to sea followed by Amelia, Captain Irby having hopes of enticing her into action. 

For nearly four hours they exchanged fire, throughout which Aréthuse used the usual French practice of firing high. Having cut Amelia's sails and running and standing rigging to pieces, the French ship bore up. Twice during the action the enemy had attempted to board but the marines, under the command of Lieutenant Simpson of the Royal Marines, drove them back.
John Christian Schetky, "HMS Amelia Chasing the French Frigate Aréthuse 1813"

Herewith I transmit a list of the killed and wounded, and I have the honour to be, &c.
John Wilson Cocker, Esq.
&c. &c. &c.

List of Killed and Wounded on board His Majesty's Ship Amelia, Commodore the Honourable Frederick Paul Irby, on the 7th day of February 1813.


John James Bates, lieutenant. 

John Pope, ditto. 

George Wills, ditto. 

William R. Pascoe, ditto, late commander of the Daring gun-vessel. 

John Bogue, late purser of the Thais. 

Charles Kennicott, midshipman. 

James Meddal, quarter-master.

George Cooper, able seaman.

John Wilson (1), ditto. 

John Brown (3), ordinary seaman. 

Samuel M'Kenza, ordinary seaman.

John Welch, ditto. 

Roger Vivian, able seaman.

James Greig, caulker. 

Saul Therre, ordinary seaman. 

Michael Laughlin, ditto. 

Thomas Gardner, ditto. 

Charles Squires, quarter gunner. 

Peter Blair, ditto. 

Robert Shearer, able seaman.

James Laughton, ditto. 

James White, ditto. 

George Edwards, carpenter's crew, 

William Matthews, landman. 

John Dirks, ordinary seaman.
John Corlett, landman.
Alexander Finesson, ordinary seaman.
Hugh Williams, ditto.
John Hayes, landman.
Thomas Crispin, ditto.
Abraham Tebball, able seaman.
William Hammond, supernumerary boy (3rd class).
William Hall, ditto.
George Brown, deserter from the Fisgard.
William Scott, captain of the forecastle, late of the Daring.
John Lawless, ladman, ditto.
Hugh Norton, ditto, ditto.
Anthony Newstub, supernumerary boy (3rd class), ditto.
R. G. Grainger, second lietenant of the marines.
Thomas Smith, serjeant of marines.
Thomas Shefton, private marine.
John Barber, ditto.
William Sneyd, ditto.
Louis Jones, ditto.
Richard Lang, ditto.
William Marshall, ditto, late of the Daring.

Total Killed ------ 46 

Since dead.

David Wells, landman.
Anthony Francisco, ordinary seaman.
Simon Carter, private marine.
Peter Bartlett, ditto, late of the Daring.
Robert Francis, serjeant of marines.

Total killed, and since dead -------51
"HMS Amelia in action with the French Frigate Aréthuse, 1813"


John Parkinson, boatswain. 

Edward Robinson, master's mate, 

George Albert Rix, midshipman. 

John Newbury, able seaman. 

Joseph Gowcr, ditto. 

Patrick M'Evoy, landman. 

Jeremiah Edwards, ordinary seaman. 

Edward Cole, captain of the after guard. 

Robert Dunning, able seaman. 

Thomas Smith (1), landman. 

John Hill (2), able seaman. 

David Wells, landman. 

William Francis, Serjeant of marines. 

Daniel Goodall, private. 

Simon Carter, private. 

Thomas Coleman, ditto. 

Total 16. 


Captain Irby of the Amelia
Honourable F. P. Irby, captain.

John Otto, quarter gunner. 

John Watson, ship's corporal. 

Robert Creer, landman. 

Thomas Pearce, landman.

John Cooley, ordinary seaman. 

Richard Poole, eaptain of the forecastle.

Thomas Hood, landman. 

Robert Craid, ditto. 

Benjamin Daniel Smith, able seaman.

John Brookman, landman. 

John Bombay, able seaman. 

Peter le Page, ditto. 

William Rouse, landman. 

Man. Faibo, ordinary seaman. 

Adam Watson, able seaman. 

Joseph Saunders, ditto. 

Antonio Francisco, ordinary seaman.
Jeptha Leech, quarter master.
William Welch, landman.
John McManus, ordinary seaman.
James Cribbs, supernumerary boy (2nd class).
John McLeary, gunner's-mate, late of the Daring.
Samuel Hardy, landman, ditto.
Edward Roberts, able seaman, ditto.
Richard Smith, private marine.
William Smith, ditto.
Thomas Bobbett, ditto.
James Webb, ditto.
Edward Ward, ditto.
John McDonald, ditto.
William Rambridge, corporal of marines, late of the Daring.
William Higgetts, private marine, ditto.
William Jones, ditto, ditto.
Peter Bartlett, ditto, ditto.

Total 35


William Reeve, lieutenant, late of the Kangaroo.
Anthony De Mayne, master.
John Collman, purser.
Thomas D. Buckle, midshipman.
George T. Gooch, ditto.
Arthur Beever, (1st class).
John Soames, able seaman.
Stephen Fyfe, ordinary seaman.
Thomas Thomas, ditto.
John William Bennett, landman.
Mig. Pinto, ditto.
Samuel McGregory, ordinary seaman.
Edward Thompson, able seaman.
William Newby, quarter-master.
John Brown (5), sail-maker's mate.
John Redhead, quarter-gunner.
Samuel Ely, landman.
Erasmus Anderson, quarter-master's-mate.
Michael Ayres, landman. 

Wilmot Carr, quarter-gunner.

John Brown (2), ordinary seaman.

John Narrington, able seaman. 

Joseph Hazlegrove, ordinary seaman.

James Mills, ordinary seaman.

James Perry, landman. 

Daniel M'Manus, (3d class).
Henry Piper, ordinary seaman, late of the Daring.
William Higgins, ditto, 3d class, ditto. 

John Simpson, first lieutenant of marines, 

John Skinner, private ditto. 

James Healey, ditto. 

John Sidebottom, ditto. 

David Hughes, ditto. 

Richard Dauncey, ditto. 

Patrick Clarke, ditto. 

Mark M'Donald, ditto.

Nathaniel Warwick, ditto. 

James Farrell, ditto. 

William Tankard, carpenter's crew. 

Robert Dickens, private marine. 

William Griffiths, late of the Daring, ditto, 

Steward Sutherland, supernumerary. 

David Fulton, ditto. 

Edward Garnish, ditto. 

Total 44. 

Total wounded. 
Dangerously 16 

Severely 35 

Slightly 44 
Total 95 

(Signed) FRED. PAUL IRBY, Captain. 
 taken from "Bulletins of the campaign [compiled from the London gazette]." pgs. 148-149.

Wednesday, February 6

Don't let the Press Gang catch you...

Detail from the painting "The Press Gang" by Johnston.
The Acasta is looking for quality reenactors
to portray English sailors circa 1800-1812
Our organization seeks to educate via a series of first person activities designed to demonstrate the real lives of sailors as they go about their business etc. Landing Parties, Surveying Crews, Recruitment Drives, Press Gangs, Shore Leave... these are but a few of the activities that our crew will undertake whilst encamped at an event. 

First, be sure to read the Clothing guidelines for Acasta Sailors

Then check out our Philosophy

If these sound like a good fit for you, then you may have what it takes to be an Acasta!

We might just be able to help you out in that respect... Email Albert Roberts today to find out more about joining the crew at:
Want some cheater's hints at how to get in good with the officers? 

Here's what we're looking for in new members. Someone who is motivated to learn and share their knowledge, someone who knows about the position that they're portraying, someone who can act in the manner befitting the station that they portray. First-person and acting skills (no 'Monty Python' accents need apply). And don't forget to salute!

Monday, February 4

February Business

HMS Acasta website report for February. 

The Acasta site got a big overhaul for the new year and the new look has been met with lots of compliments. Near the end of January, the site had over 23,500 hits with the top 4 countries to view the site being the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Germany. 

If you enjoy reading the adventures of the HMS Acasta, be certain to become an honorary member of the crew. This is a easy way to show us that you're out there and paying attention. It is a simple matter really, there is a blue button... NOW at the very bottom of this very page that will allow you to join. 

And Second, I would ask that you comment from time to time on the posts that interest you the most. This is an excellent way to let the crew of the Acasta know what you, the reader, is the most interested in seeing. It is always most gratifying to know what the readers like. For those of you that have commented in the past, we thank you for you support and interest!

If you find a post that you are particularly fond of... be sure to share a link with your friends, over Facebook, Tumblr, Google Plus, etc. so they can enjoy it too!

Don't be content to LURK... participate!

HOW can you participate you ask? Great question... read on!

If you're a historical reenactor with an interest in the Royal Navy circa 1800-1812, you might be just the person we're looking for! Find out more about joining the Acasta HERE.

OR, if you like to write, you can participate in our MAIL PACKET project, wherein you write a period style letter to one of the crew and it gets published AND potentially answered here on the Acasta site. Be sure to click on the link for more details and EXAMPLES of some of the letters we've gotten thus far.

The Acasta log is generally updated every weekday at 8am CST, visit back often, and tell your History/Royal Navy friends to visit us.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 1

At Bermuda

Royal Navy Dockyard, Bermuda.
Sir Thomas Hardy.
Bermuda, 1 Feb 1813 

The Acasta is in company with the Martin, Nymphe and Ramillies, under the command of Sir Thomas Hardy who took command in August of last year. This morning arrived HMS Dotterel, blazing in from New Providence. 

It caused quite a stir at the Royal Navy Dockyard. The story got 'round with haste that the Captain of the Dotterel claimed that they had been chased the previous night by an unidentified American frigate. As a result, the Ramillies, Acasta, and Dotterel have been sent out in search of the enemy.

Ramillies, 1785
Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy in command.
Type: 3rd rate ; Armament 74
Launched : 1785
BM: 1677 tons
Complement: 594

Martin, 1808
Type: Sloop ; Armament 18
Launched : 1808

Dotterel, 1808
Type: Brig-sloop ; Armament 18
Launched : 1808

Nymphe, 1812
Type: 5th rate ; Armament 38
 Launched : 12 Apr 1812
 BM: 1087 tons