|Builder:||Almon Hill & Sons, Limehouse[Note 1]|
|Launched:||20 October 1798|
|Fate:||Purchased by the Royal Navy in 1801|
|Acquired:||28 February 1801|
|Fate:||Sold in 1816|
|Name:||Duke of Wellington|
|Owner:||Short & Co.|
|Launched:||1816 by purchase|
|Fate:||Wrecked at Batavia 1820|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||14-gun sloop|
|Tons burthen:||366 or 368 bm|
|Length:||102 ft 10 in (31.3 m) (overall); 80 ft 8 in (24.6 m) (keel)|
|Beam:||29 ft in (8.9 m)|
Diadem was a sloop launched in 1798. The Admiralty renamed her HMS Falcon after purchasing her in 1801 to avoid confusion with the pre-existing third rate Diadem. Falcon served in the north Atlantic and the Channel, and then in Danish waters during the Gunboat War. She was sold in 1816. Her new owner renamed her Duke of Wellington and sailed her to the Indies under a license from the British East India Company. She was wrecked in 1820 at Batavia.
Commander George Sanders took over command in Newfoundland February 1804. Early in 1804 Falcon was refitting in Plymouth, before going on to serve in the Channel, where she engaged shore batteries at Le Havre. Falcon was also awarded prize money for the recapture, on 3 November, of the sloop John and Thomas.
Falcon then operated in the North Sea. On 10 June 1805, Falcon, with Chiffone, Clinker, and Frances chased a French convoy for nine hours until the convoy took shelter under the guns of Fécamp. The convoy consisted of two corvettes (Foudre under capitaine de vaisseau Jacques-Felix-Emmanuel Hemelin, and Audacieuse, under Lieutenant Dominique Roquebert), four large gunvessels and eight others, and 14 transports. The British suffered some casualties from gunfire from shore batteries, with Falcon suffering four men wounded and some damage to her rigging. In company with Chiffone, Steady, and the hired armed cutter Frances, Falcon was involved in the capture of Zeeluft on 20 June 1805, and also shared in prize money from the cargoes of another two vessels captured that year.
At the ultimately unsuccessful British defence of Danzig in April 1807, Falcon was involved in bringing reinforcements and the Russian General Nikolay Kamensky to the area. Volunteers from Falcon went on board the hired armed ship Sally, which then entered the relatively shallow waters at the mouth of the Vistula to take the battle to the French.
On 7 September, Falcon was one of the 126 ships officially listed as being at the surrender at Copenhagen. She later shared in the prize money allotted for the capture of the Danish fleet.[Note 2]
Commander George A. Creyke took command in 1808. On 22 March 1808 Falcon was among the smaller British warships at the battle of Zealand Point. She watched from a safe distance and recorded the course of the battle in her logbook.
In late April, under orders from Captain Donald Campbell of the third rate Dictator, Lieutenant John Price, acting captain of Falcon, took her northward to the west of Samsø to search for enemy boats capable of carrying troops from mainland Jutland to Zealand or Skåne. Falcon destroyed eight "pretty large boats .. with troops nearby" on the island of Endelave, six boats on Tunø on 29 April, and 13 others in the waters between Samsø and Aarhus, all before 15 May.[Note 3]
The Danes were fortifying the harbour complex to the east of Samsø, with its outlying islands of Kyholm and Lindholm. During the night of 7 May, Falcon sent in a cutting-out party in her boats. The British captured two boats each loaded with thirteen-inch mortars and associated equipment, including 400 mortar shells. Lieutenant Price recorded that one of these boats ran aground and had to be burned; he destroyed the other boat after removing the mortar.
In 1810 Falcon was at Sheerness, where she was fitted as a military depot and hospital ship. From 1812 on Falcon was in ordinary. On 14 May 1816 the Navy Office invited tenders for the purchase of numerous ships, including "lying at Sheerness,... Falcon sloop, of 368 tons". She was sold there, for £800, on 31 July.
Short & Co. purchased Diadem in 1816 and renamed her Duke of Wellington. She appears in Lloyd's Register (LR)) at London with Woodcock, master, and Short, owner. Her place of launch is "River", i.e., the Thames, and her year of launch is 1798. She appears in Lloyd's Register of 1818 among the vessels that the British East India Company had licensed to trade with the Indies. The list shows her with Howard, master, and having sailed for Bombay on 17 November 1817. Both Lloyd's Register and the Register of Shipping (RS) show her master as J. Howard, but LR shows her trade as London--Rio de Janeiro, while the Register shows it as London--Botany Bay. This discrepancy continues in the 1819, 1820, and 1821 volumes of both publications. Duke of Wellington is no longer listed in the 1822 volume of Lloyd's; she does not leave the Register until the 1824 volume.
Lloyd's List reported on 11 August 1820 that Duke of Wellington, formerly Stout, master, had been driven ashore at Batavia by a gale in early February 1820, and that accounts from 31 March were that she was to be sold there. On 2 June 1820 Duke of Wellington was sold at a public auction for 8,000 rupees for breaking up. The proceeds of the auction were for the account of the European Orphan Chamber.
This article includes data released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported UK: England & Wales Licence, by the National Maritime Museum, as part of the Warship Histories project.