Last British Warships in the Bay: March 1815

Of the one hundred and thirty-eight known royal naval vessels to have served in the Chesapeake during the war, the last known ship fell upon Captain John Clavell (1776-1846), commanding H.M. frigate Orlando. Clavell had entered the navy in 1781 and later served as first lieutenant onboard HM ship-of-the-line Royal Sovereign at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and promoted to captain the following year.

During the war in the Chesapeake, on December 13, 1814, Rear-Admiral Cockburn issued orders before his departure for the Carolina-Georgia coast, to establish a rigid blockade of the Chesapeake with five vessels (Havannah, Dauntless, Pandora, Sarcacen, and Dotterell) under his command for the winter. They would depart the following February.

On March 10,1815 Captain Clavell received the last known order issued to an officer in the Chesapeake. Admiral Cockburn informed him that the Treaty of Ghent had been ratified on February 17 and that he was to remove all royal property on Tangier and St. George’s Islands and leave the Chesapeake. Soon thereafter H.M. ship Orlando cleared the Virginia Capes. The last known British warships of the War of 1812 left the Chesapeake.

Source: The Gentleman’s Magazine, (London, 1846), 643; Admiral Cockburn to Captain Clavell, Cumberland Island, Ga., March 10, 1814; The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History (Washington: Naval Historical Center, 2002) vol. 3, 349. Ships under Clavell’s command at time of departure: Dauntless and Dotteral.

Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on Last British Warships in the Bay: March 1815  
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