HMS Elk (1804)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Elk
Ordered: 22 May 1805
Builder: (Mrs) Frances Barnard, Sons & Co., Deptford
Laid down: June 1804
Launched: 22 August 1804
Fate: Broken up in 1812
General characteristics
Type: Cruizer- class brig-sloop
Tonnage: 382 90/94 bm
Length: 100 ft 1 in (30.51 m) (overall)
77 ft 4.75 in (23.6 m) (keel)
Beam: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Sail plan: Brig
Complement: 121

16 x 32-pounder carronades

2 x 6-pounder bow guns

HMS Elk was a Cruizer-class brig-sloop launched in 1804 and broken up in 1812. She served on the Jamaica station where she captured a number of privateers.


Elk was commissioned in September 1804 under Commander William Woolridge. Then in November Commander Randall McDonnell took over command and sailed her for Jamaica on 20 January 1805.[1]

In October Commander James Dacres assumed command until he was made post-captain in Bachante on 14 January 1806. His replacement was his cousin, Commander William Furlong Wise in January 1806.[1] On 5 May Elk captured a privateer rowboat. The privateer was out of Santiago and had taken two doggers. Elk caught up the privateer off Cabo Cruz, Cuba, and captured her and retook one or both of the doggers. The privateer was the Cubana, armed with one swivel gun and muskets. She had been out of Santiago for five days and only five of her 14 man crew were on board, the rest being in the prizes. Wise was promoted to post-captain and appointed to Mediator on 14 May and his replacement was Commander John Langdale Smith.[1]

In August 1806 Commander George Morris took command. At noon on 1 October Elephant signalled Elk to investigate a schooner to the north-northwest. After a run of nine hours, during which he carried away his main-top gallant-mast, Commander Morris came up with the schooner and boarded her. In doing so he caused so much damage that the schooner sank as soon as her crew had been removed. The schooner had been the French privateer Alliance with one long 12-pounder, two sixes and two 12-pounder carronades. Her 75 men were under the command of M. Alexander St. Helme and she had been out from Guadeloupe for three months, taking the English brig Neptune, from Jamaica to Exuma, and two American schooners. In November Elk captured the Spanish 4-gun privateer Coccila, and her crew of 20 men.[1] Commander William Summer Hall succeeded Morris, and was himself succeeded in August 1807 by Commander Jeremiah Coghlan.[1] Coghlan commanded Elk for nearly four years and during this time was also senior officer of a light squadron that protected the Bahamas.

On 19 October he captured, after a long chase,the Spanish schooner letter of marque Posta de Caracas, which was sailing from Campeche in Yucatan, Mexico, to Havana with a cargo of leather and rope and twenty-four thousand dollars in specie that she was carrying as freight. She had been armed with a single gun that she had thrown overboard during the chase.

Elk was in the Caicos Passage between North Caicos and Mayaguana Island on 12 February 1808 when she captured the French schooner privateer Harlequin, under the command of Petre Andia. She was armed with two carriage guns and small arms and carried a crew of 54 men. After leaving Baracoa in Cuba 10 days before, Harlequin had captured an American ship sailing under Swedish colours from Cape Francois in San Domingo to Philadelphia with a cargo of coffee and sugar. Coghlan was promoted to post-captain on 27 November 1810 but he remained in Elk for a further five months.


Elk returned to England on 27 September 1811 in company with Sparrow after escorting a convoy of merchantmen from Negril Bay. She was broken up at Chatham in October 1812.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Winfield (2008), p.204.
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1861762461.