HMS Pike (1804)

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Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Pike
Ordered: 23 June 1803
Builder: Goodrich & Co. (prime contractor), Bermuda
Laid down: 1803
Launched: 1804

18 March 1807 by French privateer Marat

Recaptured September 1808
Fate: Foundered August 1809
General characteristics
Type: Ballahoo-class schooner
Tonnage: 70 41/94 bm
Length: 55 ft 2 in (16.81 m) (overall)
40 ft 10.5 in (12.5 m) (keel)
Beam: 18 ft 0 in (5.49 m)
Depth of hold: 9 ft 0 in (2.74 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Schooner
Complement: 20
Armament: 4 x 12-pounder carronades

HMS Pike (1804) was a Royal Navy Ballahoo-class schooner of 4 12-pounder carronades and a crew of 20. The prime contractor for the vessel was Goodrich & Co., in Bermuda, and she was launched in 1804.[1] She captured one 10-gun enemy vessel before being herself captured, and recaptured. Pike foundered in 1809.


Pike was commissioned in Jamaica in June 1804 under Lieut. John Nichols. Lieut. Duncan Macdonald replaced him in October. In 1806 Lieut. C. Spence took command, and then Lieut. John Otley replaced him in August.[1]

On 25 August Rear-Ad Dacres ordered a small squadron consisting of the 18-gun Stork, the 14-gun Superieure, the 10 or 12-gun schooner Flying Fish, and Pike to bring out or destroy privateers based at Batabano in the in Cuba. The squadron was under the command of Captain George Le Geyt of Stork.

As they approached the Isle of Pines on 30 August the squadron sighted a Spanish schooner anchored there. Le Geyt reinforced Pike with a lieutenant and eight seamen and sent her to engage the Spanish vessel. After a short chase and two broadsides from Pike's two 12-pounder carronades, the Spaniard surrendered. She turned out to be a guarda costa of 10 guns, with a crew of 45 men. Pike took possession of her and took her back to the squadron.[2]

Le Geyt then discovered that Stork drew too much water to permit her to enter the Gulf of Batabanó so he reinforced the other three vessels with his boats and men and sent in a cutting-out expedition under Captain Edward Rushworth of Superieure.[3]

The landing party consisted of 63 officers and men; none of the men were from Pike, and the 10 men from Flying Fish remained to guard the party's boats. The party landed on 2 September and crossed some two miles of marshy ground to storm a fort at Batabano. On their way they broke through an ambush of enemy soldiers and militia, killing two, to capture six 18-pounder long guns, which they spiked. The party then proceeded to take possession of the vessels in the bay. There is some disagreement as to how many vessels they captured and took as prizes, with the total rising as high as 12. At the least, the prizes included a felucca, pierced for 14 guns and mounting one 18-pounder, a schooner pierced for 12 guns, a French 4-gun privateer, and three Spanish privateers of 1 gun each. The party also burnt at least six smaller, coasting vessels after having removed their cargoes.[4] Total British casualties amounted to one man badly wounded.

On 2 September Flying Fish, Stork, Superieuse, and Pike destroyed two privateers, names unknown, on the Jamaica station. One was a felucca of five guns.[5]

Capture and recapture

On 18 March 1807, Pike was sailing from Jamaica to Curaçao when she encountered the French 16-gun privateer Marat off Altavella (the eastern point of the island of Santo Domingo).[6] Pike, still under the command of Otley, surrendered after losing one man killed and five wounded out of her crew of about 20.[1][7]

In September 1808 the Cruizer-class brig-sloop Moselle, under Cmdr. Alexander Gordon, recaptured Pike.[6] On 6 July 1809 she was one of the vessels that made up the blockade of the city of Santo Domingo and was present at its surrender.[8]


Pike foundered in August 1809.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Winfield (2008), p.359.
  2. James 1837), Vol. 4, 258-60.
  3. [1] Michael Phillips' Ships of the Old Navy - Superieure (1803)
  4. [2] Michael Phillips' Ships of the Old Navy - Stork (1796)
  5. Norie (1842), p.501.
  6. 6.0 6.1 James (1837), Vol. 5, p.46.
  7. Gossett (1986), p.59.
  8. Marshall (1823-1835), pp.970-1.
  • Gossett, William Patrick (1986) The lost ships of the Royal Navy, 1793-1900. (London:Mansell).ISBN 0-7201-1816-6
  • James, William (1837). The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Declaration of War by France in 1793, to the Accession of George IV.. 4 & 5. R. Bentley. 
  • Marshall, John (1823-35) Royal naval biography: or, Memoirs of the services of all the flag-officers, superannuated rear-admirals, retired-captains, post-captains, and commanders, whose names appeared on the Admiralty list of sea officers at the commencement of the present year, or who have since been promoted, illustrated by a series of historical and explanatory notes ... with copious addenda.(London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown).
  • Norie, J.W. (1842) The naval gazetteer, biographer and chronologist; containing a history of the late wars from ... 1793 to ... 1801; and from ... 1803 to 1815, and continued, as to the biographical part to the present time. (London: C. Wilson).
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1861762461.