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HMS Mosambique (1804)
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Mosambique
Launched: 1798
Acquired: By capture 13 March 1804
Honours and
Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Martinique"[1]
Fate: Sold 1810
General characteristics [2]
Type: schooner
Tonnage: 112½ bm (by calculation)
Length: 67 ft 6 in (20.57 m) (overall)
52 ft 0 in (15.8 m) (keel)
Beam: 20 ft 2 in (6.15 m)
Depth of hold: 8 ft 3 in (2.51 m)
Sail plan: Schooner
Complement: 50
Armament: 10 x 12-pounder carronades

HMS Mosambique was the French privateer schooner Mosambique, built in 1798,[2] which the British captured in 1804. She served in the West Indies, engaging in several indecisive single-ship actions before she captured one French privateer. She was sold there in 1810.


On the morning of 13 March 1804, Fort Diamond, the tender to Diamond Rock, was under the command of Emerald's first lieutenant, Thomas Forest. Fort Diamond weathered the Pearl Rock to bear down on a French privateer schooner, Mosambique, which had anchored close to the shore under a battery at Ceron, outside the port of Saint-Pierre, Martinique. In cooperation with Emerald and Pandour, which sent two boats each to create a diversion, Fort Diamond ran alongside the schooner, running into her at a rate of about nine knots an hour. At her approach, the schooner's crew fired a broadside and discharged some small arms before all 50 or 60 crewmen jumped overboard and swam ashore. The impact of Fort Diamond's strike broke the chain that anchored the Mosambique to shore, and the boarding party cut two cables to free her. Fort Diamond's casualties amounted to two men wounded. Mosambique turned out to be armed with ten 18-pounder carronades, though she was pierced for 14 guns. She was from Guadeloupe and under the command of Citizen Vallentes.[3] In April 1827 head-money was distributed for the capture.[Note 1]

The Royal Navy took her into service as HMS Mosambique.

British service[]

The Admiralty registered Mosambique on 13 March 1804.[2]

In January 1805, Mosambique recaptured the English sloop Experiment, which was carrying a cargo of wood.[5] She was commissioned in 1806 under the command of Lieutenant John Campbell. That year she was returning from having escorted several vessels to Tortola to join a convoy when she encountered the French privateer Grande Decidé, of 30 guns and 250 men. The privateer tried twice to capture Mosambique, but was driven off both times. Grande Decidé eventually left after Mosambique attacked with a view to boarding, a plan that Grande Decidé's anti-boarding nets frustrated.[6][Note 2]

In 1807 Mosambique was under the command of Lieutenant John Jackson.[2] Around April she recaptured the Harriet, which she sent into Grenada.[7]

In 1807 Mosambique fought an indecisive action with the French privateer General Ernouf off Guadeloupe. General Ernouf had a crew of 110 men against Mosambique's 45, and 14 cannon to Mosambique's ten. Still, in the engagement General Ernouf lost some 40 men killed and wounded and was forced to break off the action, taking refuge in port, while Mosambique lost only two men.[8]

On 29 March 1808, Cerberus, in company with Lily, Pelican, Express, Swinger and Mosambique, sailed from Marie-Galante to attack the island of La Désirade. They arrived on 30 March and landed seamen and marines under the command of Captain Sherriff. As the squadron approached they exchanged fire with a battery of 9-pounders covering the entrance to the harbour. The ships' guns silenced the battery and the French surrendered.

On 21 April Mosambique captured the French letter of marque brig Jean Jacques. Jean Jacques was pierced for 18 guns but carried only six long 9-pounders. She was 36 days out of Bordeaux and sailing for Guadeloupe. Captain W.H. Sherriff, of Lily, the commander of the squadron to which Mosambique belonged, reported that he was particularly pleased at the capture as the Jean Jacques had been sent out for "the express Purpose of cruising in these Seas, and, from her superior Sailing, would have proved a great Annoyance to the Trade." While Mosambique was capturing the Jean Jacques, the squadron saw a brig on fire. The squadron's boats went to the brig's assistance, extinguished the flames, and discovered that she was the Brothers of Liverpool, a prize to Jean Jacques. In the entire affair, the British had no casualties and the French suffered only one man wounded.[9]

In 1809 Lieutenant James Atkins took command of Mosambique. Under Atkins she was at the capture of Martinique. In 1847 the Admiralty authorized the issuance of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Martinique" to all surviving claimants from the action. Later, Lieutenant Burton took command.[2]


Mosambique was sold in 1810.[2]


  1. A first-class share was worth £83 14s 2¼d; a fifth-class share, that of an able seaman, was worth 4s 8¾d.[4]
  2. About two years earlier, on 5 February 1804, Grande Decidé had had a similar unsuccessful encounter with the schooner Eclair.
  1. "No. 20939". 26 January 1849. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Winfield (2008), p.364.
  3. "No. 15697". 28 April 1804. 
  4. "No. 18354". 20 April 1827. 
  5. "No. 15794". 2 April 1805. 
  6. Duncan (1806), p.160.
  7. Essequebo and Demerary Gazette, 1807 April 25.[1] accessed 19 February 2011.
  8. Naval Chronicle, Volume 18, July–December 1807, p.175.
  9. "No. 16156". 21 June 1808. 


  • Duncan, Archibald (1806) The British trident, or, Register of naval actions: including authentic accounts of all the most remarkable engagements of sea in which the British flag has been distinguished from the ... defeat of the Spanish Armada to the present time ... (J. Cundee).
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1. 

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