Warley (East Indiaman)

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File:East Indiaman Warley (adjusted).jpg
The 1475-ton East Indiaman 'Warley', by Robert Salmon

The Warley was a 1475-ton East Indiaman and one of the East India Company's larger and more famous vessels. She made nine voyages to the East between 1796 and 1816, most direct to China. In 1816, the company sold her for breaking up.

She was the second East Indiaman under that name that John Perry built at his yard in Blackwall Yard. Perry built her predecessor in 1788; in 1795 the East India Company sold the first of Perry's Warleys to the Royal Navy, which renamed her HMS Calcutta.

Warley's captain for her first five voyages was Henry Wilson, who had also been captain of the first Warley for her two voyages.[1] Wilson was the second Warley's captain on her fourth voyage when she had her greatest moment of glory.

File:Defeat of Admiral Linois.jpg
Defeat of Adml. Linois by Commodore Dance, Feby. 15th. 1804, by William Daniel

This occurred in early 1804. Wilson, in Warley, was second in command to Nathaniel Dance, who commanded a convoy of East Indiamen at the Battle of Pulo Aura. In the Straits of Malacca, Dance's convoy encountered a French squadron under Rear-Admiral the Comte de Linois, who hoped to seize their cargo. Dance ordered his fleet to form a line of battle, while creating a bluff that four of his Indiamen were a squadron of ships of the line escorting the convoy. A skirmish ensued with the result that Linois, somewhat inexplicably, withdrew.[2] Warley played a significant part and Dance was subsequently knighted.

Notable passengers

The marine painter Clarkson Stanfield joined the merchant service under the name "Patrick Bland" as a seaman on board the Warley and sailed for China in 1815. He made numerous sketches on the voyage, which gave him material for his subsequent career.

The first academic director of the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, when it commenced operations in 1808, was Professor James Inman who returned to Britain from Port Jackson on the Warley . He was on board during the Battle of Pulo Auro and commanded a party of Lascar pikemen.[3]


  1. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/A2A/records.aspx?cat=059-iorlmar_5&cid=-1&Gsm=2008-06-18#-1
  2. Charles Hardy. 1811. A register of ships, employed in the service of the Honorable the United East India Company, from the year 1760 to 1810 with an appendix, containing a variety of particulars, and useful information interesting to those concerned with East India commerce. (London : Black, Parry, and Kingsbury), pp. 120-2
  3. Harry W. Dickins. 2007. Educating the Royal Navy: 18th and 19th Century Education for Officers. (London: Routledge), p.47.
  • Miller, Russell (1988 [1980]). The East Indiamen. Amsterdam: Time-Life Books. ISBN 0-70540-635-0.