13 HMS Fame
The thirteenth “FAME” is a twin-screw torpedo-boat
destroyer, launched at Thorneycroft’s Yard in 1896. She is of 340 tons, 5700
horse-power, and 30-knots speed. Her
length, beam, and draught are 211 ft., 20ft., and 7 ft.
In 1990 the “Fame,” commanded by Lieutenant
Roger J.B. Keyes, was employed in the third China War or Boxer riots.
On June 17th the “Fame” with the
“Whiting” in company, proceeded up the Peiho River at 2.A.M. to attack and
capture four Chinese torpedo-boat destroyers lying between Taku and Tongku. Each
of the British vessels towed a whaler with a boarding party of twelve men under
a lieutenant. When abreast the
Chinese destroyers the “Fame” and “Whiting” sheered in, and each
selected an opponent, leaving the other two to be attacked by the two whalers.
After a slight resistance and the exchange of a few shots, the enemy were driven
overboard or below hatches. Chinese lost several killed and wounded.
There were no British casualties, though the British destroyers received
some shots from a mud battery, and from some snipers in the dockyard. Of the prizes, one was given to the Russians, one to the
Germans, and one to the French. The one retained by the British was renamed “Taku.”
On June 25th the “Fame” proceeded up
the river to destroy all munitions of war in Hsing Cheng fort. Lieutenant Keyes
landed with 32 men, entered the fort without opposition, blew up the magazine,
and disabled six 5.9 inch Krupp breech-loaders, by putting a 2 1\4 lb. Charge of
gun-cotton, under the trunnions of each piece, thus shattering and bending the
carriage but not permanently injuring the gun itself.
In August the “Fame” contributed to a naval
brigade which advanced to the final and satisfactory relief of peking, with
20,100 troops under Lieutenant-General Sir Alfred Gaselee.
OF THE EARLIER HMS FAME's
The first “FAME,” known as the “FAME” of Watford, was a small
vessel which joined or was taken by the Royalist Fleet under Prince Rupert in
the spring of 1649. She was
captured by the Parliamentarians in April or May 1649.
2 HMS Fame
The second “FAME” was a fifth-rate , taken from the French in 1653/4.
She was of 208 tons and her length, beam, and draught were 68ft., 24ft.,
and 12ft. She was fitted as a
fireship in 1665 and burnt in service against the Dutch in June 1665.
3 HMS Fame
The third “FAME” was a small prize taken during one of the
Commonwealth fights with the Dutch in 1665.
She was of 90 tons and mounted 10 guns.
4 HMS Fame
The fourth “FAME,” known as the “Fame Prize,” was a small vessel
taken from the French in 1709. She
was of 316 tons and her length, beam, and draught were 106ft., 26ft., and 11ft.
While serving in the Mediterranean in 1710 she was commanded by
Captain Streynsham Master, and was considered one of the best sailers in Vice-Adimral
Baker’s division of ships.
On May 3rd, 1710, the “Fame Prize” captured a small vessel
from the French.
On September 21st, 1710, the “Fame Prize” was captured off
5 HMS Fame
The fifth “FAME” was purchased by Captain Warren at Antigua in 1744
as a small 14-gun sloop.
She foundered in the Atlantic in July 1745.
6 HMS Fame
The sixth “FAME” was a 74-gun ship, launched at Deptford in1759.
She was of 1565 tons, and carried a crew of 600 men.
Her length, beam, and draught were 165ft., 47ft., and 19ft.
In 1762, while in company with the “Lion,” the “Fame” captured
the French 10-gun ship “Ecureuil.”
In 1778 the “Fame” commanded by Captain Stephen Colby, procceded th
the North American station in a fleet of 14 ships commanded by Vice-Admiral the
Hon. John Byron with his flag in
In 1779 the “Fame,” commanded by Captain John Butchart, with a crew
of 600 men, took part on July 6th in the action against the French
known as the battle of Grenada. The French fleet, under Admiral D’Estaing,
consisted of 25 ships of the line and several frigates.
The English fleet, under Vice-Admiral John Byron, had 21 ships of the
line and 1 frigate. The French were
anchored off Georgetown on the south-west of the island, and the English
approached during the night. D’Estaing
weighed at 4 A.M. and Byron chased. The British ships attacked in utter disorder
and confusion. The “Fame” and
three other ships got separated from the main body, and were very badly mauled.
The French lost no ships and eventually hauled off.
The British lost 183 killed and 346 wounded.
The “Fame” lost 4 killed and 9 wounded.
The French lost 190 killed and 759 wounded.
This action reflected no credit on either side.
In 1782 the “Fame,” commanded by Captain Robert Barbor , was one of a
fleet of 36 ships of the line under Admiral Sir George Rodney, who flew his bag
in the “Formidable.” They met
in the west Indies between Dominica and Guadeloupe a French fleet of 39 ships of
the line commanded by Vice-Admiral Comte de Grasse with his flag in the “Ville
de Paris.” The fighting was
spread over several days, and the French were defeated. The fleets first me on
April the 9th, and De Grasse at once detached his convoy into
Guadeloupe. Two actions took place
this day, one lasting an hour, and the other lasting an hour and a half. The English received some injuries and lay till that night
for repairs. The French fled and the English pursued during the three following
days. The fleets met again on April
12th, and the French fired the first shot at 8.A.M.
By 9.A.M. the action was general, and the English fleet broke the French
line in three places. The action
was brought to a conclusion at 6.P.M. by the surrender of the French flagship
“Ville de Paris.” Sir George
Rodney’s conduct in not following up the victory by a pursuit was much
criticised. Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel
Hood said that the 20 French ships would have been captured had the
commander-in-Chief chased. The
British lost 243 killed and 816 wounded, and 2 captains out of 36 were killed. The French loss in killed and wounded has never been stated,
but must have been considerably higher than that of the English ; of captains
alone, 6 were killed out of 30. The
English lost no ships. The French
lost five captured, and three crippled ships were dispatched to seek safety in
friendly harbours. On the 17th
Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood was sent in pursuit of the enemy.
He captured four French ships, two of which were crippled and in need of
a secure harbour. Sir George Rodney
was created a peer with £2000 a year settled on the title in perpetuity for
About 1798-1800 this “Fame” was renamed “Guilford” and fitted as
a prison ship. She was eventually sold out of the service in 1814.
7 HMS Fame
The seventh “FAME” was a 34-gun frigate, captured from the Spaniards
(Fama). She was taken on October
the 5th, 1804, off Cadiz by the “Medea” and “Lively.”
She was of 575 tons, and carried a crew of 284 me.
Her length, beam, and draught were 145ft., 39ft., and 11ft.
In 1812 this vessel was sol
8 HMS Fame The
eighth “FAME” was a 74-gun ship, launched at Deptford in 1805. She was of
1745 tons, and carried a crew of 590 men. Her length, beam, and draught were 175
ft., 48 ft., and 18 ft.
In October 1808 the “Fame,” commanded by
Captain Richard Henry Alexander Bennett, assisted in the defence of fort
Trinidad, a work to the east of Rosas, and held it against all attacks until she
was relieved by Captain Lord Cochrane in the “Imperieuse.”
In 1817 the “Fame” was broken up at Chatmam.
9 HMS Fame The ninth “FAME” was a
16-gun East India Company’s ship, dating from 1804.
Strictly speaking, it might be considered that this
vessel should not be included in this record as she is not one of his
Majesty’s ships, but she is put in on account of her gallant action.
On September 24th, 1806, off the Malabar coast, while
commanded by Captain James Jameson, she was captured by the French 36-gun
frigate “Piemontaise” after a most courageous resistance which cost the
French 6 killed and 11 wounded. The
“Fame” 1 killed and 6 wounded.
10 HMS Fame The tenth “FAME” (FAMA)
was a 18-gun brig taken from the Danes.
She was captured on August 9th, 1808,
while defending Nyborg, by the boats of the “Edgar.”
On December 23rd, 1808, the “Fame,”
while commanded by Lieutenant Charles Tappin, was wrecked and lost in the
11 HMS Fame The eleventh “FAME” was
an 1815-ton ship which had been launched on the Thames in 1798 as the
“Dragon.” Having had her name changed to “Fame,” this vessel acted as
barrack ship at Pembroke.
In 1850 the “Fame” was broken up.
12 HMS Fame
The twelfth “FAME” was a 9-gun screw sloop of 669 tons, laid down at
Deptford in 1861.
When she was partially built the Admiralty ordered
work to cease.