CAPTAIN THOMAS BOYLE OF THE CHASSEUR WAS A BAD-ASS

 

PAINTING OF THE CHASSEUR

Comm. by John Jay Singleton

 

 

Chasseur was a Baltimore Clipper commanded by Captain Thomas Boyle, an American privateer. She sailed from Fells Point in Baltimore, where she had been launched from Thomas Kemp‘s shipyard in 1812.[1] On his first voyage as master of Chasseur in 1814, Boyle unexpectedly sailed east, directly to the British Isles, where he harassed the British merchant fleet.

Boyle sent a notice to King George III by way of a captured merchant vessel that he had released for the purpose. The notice, he commanded, was to be posted on the door of Lloyd’s of London, the shipping underwriters. In it he declared that the entire British Isles were under naval blockade by Chasseur alone. This affront sent the shipping community into panic and caused the Admiralty to call vessels home from the American war to guard merchant ships which had to sail in convoys. In all, Chasseur captured or sank 17 vessels before returning home.

On February 26, 1815, just off HavanaChasseur took HMS St LawrenceChasseur carried 14 guns and 102 men, while St Lawrence carried 13 guns and 76 men. The intense action lasted only about 15 minutes, during which St Lawrence suffered six men killed and 17 wounded, several of them mortally. (According to American accounts, the English had 15 killed and 25 wounded.) Chasseur had five killed and eight wounded, including her captain. Both vessels were badly damaged. Captain Boyle, of Chasseur, made a cartel of St Lawrence and sent her and her crew into Havana as his prize.

LM. Schr. 356 T. 115.6, 26.8, 12.9, B: Balto. 1812, 52 M. 2 long 12s, 8-12pd car. C: Pearl Durkee, L: John Ross, 0: John Hollins, John Smith Hollins & William Hollins, & Michael McBlair. Com. 2/23/13. Mutiny prevented voyage. P. 148 M. 6 long 12s, 8—12pd car. C: Wm. Wade, L: Chris. Bartling, 0: George J. Brown, John Clem, John Craig, Jesse Eichelberger, John Franciscus, Lyde Goodwin, John Smith Hollins, Ferdinand Hurxthal, Thos. Kemp, C. Newhouse, Wm. Penniman, C. Raborg, Nicholas Stansbury, Jeremiah Sullivan, Christian Keller, Francis Foreman, Thos. Shepherd. Com. 12/24/13, P. 150 M. 16 long 12s, C: Thos. Boyle, L: John Dieter, 0: Some of the same, plus Boyle. Com. 6/19/14 ( New York)
PRIZES
(Wade)—11 (Boyle) —25
Ann Maria, schr, burnt (Lic) Adventure, ship, retaken
Britannia, brig, Beaufort Alert, brig, burnt
Galatea, ship, New Bern Amicus, brig, sent in
Harriet Elizabeth, schr, sent in Antelope, brig, retaken
Joanna, polacre, burnt Atlantic , brig, retaken
Lark, schr, retaken Carlbury, ship, retaken
London Packet, ship, Hyannis Christiana, sloop, cartel
Martha, sloop, cartel Commerce, brig, Charleston
Melpomene, brig, Newport Corruna, ship, Wilmington
Miranda, schr, burnt Eclipse, brig, New York
William, schr, burnt (Lic) Elizabeth , schr, burnt
Favourite, sloop, burnt
Fox, schr, sent in
Harmony, brig, cartel
James, ship, sent in
Marquis of Cornwallis, brig, cartel
Martin, ketch, burnt
Mary, schr, sunk
Mary & Susan, ship, Savanah
Prudence, brig, burnt
Reindeer, brig, sent in
Speculator, brig, cartel
St. Lawrence, schr, HBM, sent in (US)
Theodore, ship, retaken

 

 

 

 

 

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