HMS Crash (1797)

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HMS Crash was launched in 1797 as an Acute class 12-gun brig. She was built by (Mrs.) Frances Barnard & Co., at Deptford, to a design by John Henslow. Originally ordered as Gunboat No. 15, like the others she received a name when reclassified as a gun-brig. The Crash had a crew of 60 men and was armed with 12 18-pounder carronades and two 24-pounder bow (chase) guns1.[1]


Crash was commissioned in April 1797 under Lieut. James Anderson.

Under Lieut. Bulkeley Mackworth Praed, Crash participated in operations under Sir Home Popham against the locks and sluice gates of the Bruges canal in May 1798. On 26 August she grounded at Vlieland, enabling the Dutch to captured her.[Note 1] They salvaged and recommissioned her.[1]

Almost a year later, on 11 August 1799, the 16-gun sloop HMS Pylades under Captain Adam Mackenzie, the 16-gun brig-sloop HMS Espiegle and the 12-gun hired cutter Courier, sent their boats to attack Crash, which was moored between the island of Schiermonnikoog and Groningen.[1] At the time of attack, Crash was armed with eight 18-pounders, two 24-pounders and two 32-pounders, all carronades, and had a crew of 60.

The boats recaptured the Crash and then attacked the six gun Dutch schooner Vengence and a battery on Schiermonnikoog. The British were able to burn the schooner and spike the guns of the battery. In the attack, Pylades lost one man killed and two wounded. This exploit would earn those seamen who survived until 1847 the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "SCHIERMONNIKOOG 12 AUGT. 1799". Dutch accounts report that Lieut. van Maaren burnt his ship rather than surrendering it. They further report that the British moved towards the village but that Lieut. Broers, with 26 men, put up such a defense that after two hours the British withdrew.[2]

Crash was recommissioned under Lieut. James Slade, who was promoted to Commander for his part in the attack. Her hull was coppered in June 1801 and she was recommissioned in August under Lieut. David Hamline.[1]


She was sold in September 1802.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Winfield (2008), pp.331-2.
  2. "The living Age" (1844), Vol. 201, p. 367.


  • "The Living age". (1844). (Boston, Mass.: E. Littell & Co.), Vol. 201.
  • Winfield, Rif (2007). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1861762461. 

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