Sir John Sherbrooke (Saint John)

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Career (Nova Scotia) Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Port of registry: Saint John, New Brunswick
Commissioned: 27 November 1812
Fate: Taken 30 October 1813
General characteristics
Type: Letter of Marque Brig
Tons burthen: 187 tons bm
Sail plan: brig
Crew: 20
Armament: 10 cannons

The Sir John Sherbooke of Saint John, New Brunswick was a letter of marque brig named after Sir John Coape Sherbrooke, Governor of Nova Scotia. Though technically a privateer, she was actually an armed merchantman. She was commissioned on 27 November 1812 and carried ten guns and a crew of 30 men. The smallness of her crew relative to the number of her guns, as well as the small amount of the amount of ammunition that she carried are consistent with her being an armed trader rather than a prize-taker.

Sir John Sherbrooke made several successful trading voyages to the West Indies until October 1813. She left Richibucto, New Brunswick on 11 October under Captain Thomas Robson with a reduced crew of 20. On 30 October she encountered an American privateer while sailing between Cuba and Haiti. The Sir John Sherbrooke was able to hold her off for some five hours until Robson suffered a severe wound that almost killed him. The two vessels then accidentally ran into each other, and the Americans boarded the Canadian ship, capturing her.

Sir John Sherbrooke had lost one man killed and seven wounded, including Robson. Two died later. The American schooner, which turned out to be the Saucy Jack, under Capt. Chasel, out of Baltimore, had suffered 15 men wounded. The Americans took Sir John Sherbrooke into Cuba as a prize.


  • Snider, C.H.J. (1928) Under the Red Jack; Privateers of the Maritime Provinces of Canada in the War of 1812. (London: Martin Hopkinson & Co.).