HMS Ringdove (1806)

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Career (United Kingdom) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Ringdove
Ordered: 27 January 1806
Builder: Warren, Brightlingsea
Laid down: April 1806
Launched: 16 October 1806
Honours and

Naval General Service Medal

  • "ANSE LA BARQUE 18 DECR. 1809"
Fate: Sold on 11 June 1829
General characteristics
Class and type: Cruizer-class brig-sloop
Tons burthen: 385 bm
Length: 100 ft (30 m) (overall)
77 ft 3.5 in (23.559 m) (keel)
Beam: 30 ft 6 in (9.30 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Brig-sloop
Complement: 121

HMS Ringdove was a Royal Navy 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop built by Matthew Warren at Brightlingsea and launched in 1806.[1] She took some prizes and participated in three actions or campaigns that qualified her crew for clasps to the Naval General Service Medal. The Admiralty sold her in 1829 to Samuel Cunard, who would go on to found the Cunard Line.

Napoleonic Wars

Ringdove was commissioned in 1806 under Cmdr. George Andrews for the Baltic and the North Sea.[1] On 16 January 1808 she was in the company of Ariadne when she captured the French letter of marque lugger Trente et Quarante. The lugger was three months old and 16 days out of Dunkirk without having taken any prizes. She was under the command of M. Fanqueux, carried 16 guns (6 and 9-pounders), of which 14 were mounted, and she had a crew of 65.[2]

Later in 1808 she came under the temporary command of Lieutenant George Peak and was deployed to the Shetland Islands. Within a few weeks, Peak had captured the Danish privateer Tordenskjold off Bergen, Norway on 30 March. She was only four hours out of port. Initially Tordenskjold would not surrender but after a few shots from Ringdove had killed one man and wounded two others she struck. Because of bad weather it was only on the next day that Peak was able to make prisoners of her crew of 62 men.

The privateer was pierced for 14 guns but only had four mounted. She had already captured five prizes in voyages over the previous four months. Peak was commended for his capture and the crew received prize money for the hull, stores and head money at Leith the following October.

On 14 December 1808 Ringdove sailed for the Leeward Islands. She was at the invasion of Martinique in February 1809. In 1847 the Admiralty authorized the issuance to all remaining survivors of the campaign of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "MARTINIQUE".

Command passed to George Andrews and then William Dowers (1809). Dowers took Ringdove to the Leeward Islands. There Ringdove took part in the Action of 17 December 1809 in which a British squadron, first under Captain Volant Vashon Ballard and then under Captain Samuel James Ballard, destroyed two French frigates. During the operations, French batteries opened fire on the British force, one striking Ringdove, then off Pointe Lizard. Captain William Dowers of Ringdove then landed a shore party from his ship and stormed the battery, capturing it in 15 minutes. He demolished the position and withdrew to his ship, rejoining Volant Ballard off Anse la Barque at Basse Terre Island.

Subsequently, Ringdove was also at the Invasion of Guadeloupe and the invasion of Sint Maarten. These actions led to the award in 1847 of the clasps "ANSE LA BARQUE 18 DECR. 1809" and "GUADALOUPE" to the Naval General Service Medal. Ringdove remained in the Leeward Islands through 1812.[1]

On 2 June 1813 she sailed for the North America station.[1] There, on 28 July, she retook the brig Stamper, bound from Liverpool to Halifax. Ringdove returned to the Jamaica station in 1814.


Ringdove remained in the West Indies until the end of 1815 when she returned to Portsmouth and was paid off there.[1] There she underwent a major repair from January to July 1818. In August 1821 her forecastle and head were housed over. She was then fitted for sea between December 1822 and February 1823.[1] Cmdr. George Rich recommissioned her in November 1822 for the West Indies. His brother, Cmdr. Edwin rich, succeeded him in July 1823.

In August 1826 she was under Cmdr. Edward Thornbrough at Halifax, Nova Scotia.[1] In April 1827 command transferred to Cmdr. Charles English.[1]


The Admiralty sold Ringdove to Samuel Cunard & Co. at Halifax for ₤505 on 11 June 1829.[1] Cunard was a Nova Scotian who built up a fleet of 40 sailing vessels before founding the Cunard Line in 1840.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Winfield (2008), pp.296-7.
  2. Robinson & Robinson (1808), p.19.
  • Ships of the Old Navy
  • Robinson, G.G. & J. (1808) The New annual register, or General repository of history, politics, and literature, for the year .... (G. Robinson: Paternoster Row, London, England).
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1861762461.