HMS Algerine (1829)
HMS Algerine (1829)

Royal NavyVessels

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NameAlgerine (1829)Explanation
Launched1 August 1829
Builders measure231 tons
Displacement297 tons
Ships book
Snippets concerning this vessels career
30 June 1829
- 27 November 1830
Commanded (from commissioning) by Commander Charles Talbot, South America
14 May 1831
- 3 December 1833
Commanded by Commander John Frederick Fitzgerald De Roos, South America
6 June 1834
- August 1835
Commanded by Lieutenant George Charles Stovin, East Indies. Upon returning to England, Stovin was court martialed for allowing the mate, Charles Cardew, to place him under arrest on 4 November 1834 on the charge of being repeatedly drunk; he was placed on the bottom of the Navy List and the Court decided that he would never again be employed. Cardew, and Michael Heath, the Master, were then court-martialed for mutinous conduct and sentenced to be dismissed the service and imprisoned in the Marshalsea for three months.
26 March 1839
- 16 October 1841
Commanded by Lieutenantting) Thomas Henry Mason, East Indies (including the first Anglo-Chinese war)
16 October 1841Commanded by Lieutenant William Heriot Maitland, East Indies (including the first Anglo-Chinese war)
20 September 1842
- 2 December 1843
Commanded by Lieutenant Samuel Brooking Dolling, East Indies
Extracts from the Times newspaper
Ma 6 July 1835The Imogene, 28, Captain Blackwood, arrived at the Cape on the 10th of May, on her way to England. She brings home Lieutenant Stovin, and all the officers and crew of his Majesty's brig Algerine, to be tried by courts-martial, upon different charges, there not being the means of doing so in India; the Alligator, 28, Captain Lambert, would follow shortly. This case, we find, is of a most extraordinary character; it is no less than that of the mate, the third in command, finding himself necessitated to take upon himself the command of the Algerine, putting the commander (Lieutenant Stovin) under arrest, the master having previously placed himself in voluntary arrest, and in this dilemma taking the vessel into the Cope of Good Hope, where of course he threw himself on the Admirals protection.
Ma 20 July 1835

(From the Hampshire Telegraph.)

Lieut. G.C. Stovin, late in the command of the Algerine brig, will be tried by court martial on Tuesday next, on board the Victory in this harbour, on a charge of repeated acts of drunkenness. It will be recollected that Lieutenant Stovin, on his passage to the Cape of Good Hope, was displaced in the command of his brig, and put under arrest by Mr. Cardew, the mate, and third in seniority in the vessel; who, having assumed the command, carried her into the Cape of Good Hope. This novel proceeding in the British navy created so much difficulty in the East Indies, that Sir John Gore took every person out of her, and brought them to England; nor did even a court martial take place which had been ordered at Bombay on Lieutenant Stovin, on the same charges which he is now to be tried for. The proceedings cannot but be interesting.
Ma 27 July 1835The court-martial ordered on Lieutenant Stovin, late of His Majesty's brig Algerine, on charges of repeated drunkenness and unofficerlike conduct, promoted by the mate and master of the vessel, commenced on Tuesday last on board His Majesty's ship Victory in Portsmouth harbour, Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick Maitland, K.C.B., President. The evidence for the prosecution occupied Tuesday and Wednesday last, the principal points of which were, that the commander had been repeatedly drunk, and at one time charged the master (Mr. Heath) with an unnatural offence, and threatened to shoot him. In consequence of which the master declared himself under an arrest, and the mate, Mr. Garden, took upon himself the command of the vessel, and ordered the Lieutenant into arrest. The defence commenced on Friday morning, and the evidence has occupied till Saturday evening, and is not now concluded. The prisoner's witnesses deny the charges in toto, inserting that the commander was never tipsy, and that any appearance of it was the result of ill health. The contrariety of evidence is most extraordinary; on one occasion in particular, when the Governor of Tenerife and the British Consul came on board and lunched with Lieutenant Stovin, the prosecuting witnesses declare that he fell dead drunk on the table, before the Consul and Governor rose from lunch, while the prisoner's own witnesses swear as positively that he accompanied his guests to the quarter-deck, and shook hands with them on their going over the side. It is supposed that no sentence will be given until the Consul has been inquired of as to those matters. Whatever may be the result of the present trial, it is expected that the mate and master will both be tried for depriving their superior officer of his command. The trial has excited considerable interest in the naval world on account of the novelty of the circumstances. - Portsmouth Herald.
Ma 3 August 1835COURT-MARTIAL ON LIEUTENANT STOVIN. - FRIDAY, July 31. - On the opening of the court this morning the Judge Advocate read from the minutes "that the Court, having received the opinion of the law officers of the Crown on the case stated, have determined to deliberate on the evidence already before them, with a view of framing their sentence accordingly." The court was then closed for three hours, when it was re-opened, and the following sentence delivered: - "The Court having heard and examined the evidence in support of the prosecution, and having heard what the said Lieutenant George Charles Stovin had to allege in his defence, and having heard the evidence adduced by him in support thereof, and having carefully and deliberately weighed and considered the whole, the Court is of opinion that the said charges have been proved in part, particularly the most unjustifiable conduct of the sail Lieutenant G.C. Stovin in allowing the command of His Majesty's brig Algerine to be taken from him by an inferior officer on the 4th November last, and which command the said Lieutenant Stovin, notwithstanding his then ill state of health, ought to have exerted himself to the utmost to retain, and to have commanded the officers and crew of the said brig to support him in so doing to the last extremity; but in consequence of the ill state of health in which the said Lieutenant G.C. Stovin was stated to be at the time of the said proceeding, and in consequence of the former active and intrepid services tendered by the said Lieutenant G.C. Stovin, and of his general good character prior to his joining His Majesty's ship Algerine, the Court doth only order and adjudge that the name of the said Lieutenant G.C. Stovin shall be placed at the bottom of the list of lieutenants of the royal navy, and shall not be raised therefrom; and that he the said Lieutenant Stovin shall not be again employed in active service, and he the said Lieutenant G.C. Stovin is hereby so sentenced accordingly." The evidence on this prosecution, Mr. Cardew, Mr. Heath, John Maynard, and Alexander Robertson, are ordered to be kept on board the Victory, as prisoners at large. - Hampshire Telegraph.
Ma 10 August 1835

PORTSMOUTH, Saturday, Aug. 8.
(From the Hampshire Telegraph.)

A court-martial will be held on Monday next on board the Victory, in Portsmouth harbour, to try Mr. Charles Cardew, mate, and Mr. Michael Heath, master, both lately belonging to the Algerine brig, for charges of a serious nature, arising out of the circumstance of Mr. Cardew having found himself compelled to take upon himself the command of that vessel, on her passage from England to the Cape of Good Hope, first putting his superior and commanding officer under arrest, and depriving him of the power and authority to command and conduct his vessel. Mr. R.W. Missing, barrister, and Mr. W. Minchin, are retained as the legal advisers of Mr. Cardew, and Mr. G.L. Greetham will similarly assist Mr. Heath. The words of the charge on these two officers are as follow: - 'The said Charles Cardew, for having on or about the 4th day of November, 1834, he being then mate of His Majesty's brig Algerine, of which Lieutenant George Charles Stovin was Commander, been guilty of mutinous conduct on board the said brig, in forcibly placing and confining the said Lieutenant, his superior officer and commander, under arrest, and unlawfully depriving him of the command of the said brig; and the said Michael Heath for having connived at and aided and abetted the said Charles Cardew in the commission of the said crime."

Ma 17 August 1835

(From the Portsmouth Herald.)

The court-martial on Mr. Cardew, late mate of the Algerine, for mutiny in depriving Lieutenant Stovin of the command, and Mr. Heath, the master, for aiding him therein, commenced last Monday. Lieutenant Stovin was the first witness examined, and he stated, that when put under arrest Mr. Cardew placed his hand on his (Lieutenant Stovin's) shoulder, and the corporal laid hold of his arm, and that when he attempted to address the ship's company a hand was thrust over his mouth, but it was too dark to see whose it was. He further stated, that before Mr. Cardew took away his pistols, and when he gave them to the corporal to load, he said he intended to try and recover the command of the ship, and hoped the marines would stand by him. These were the most important points in the evidence for the prosecution, which closed on Tuesday at noon, and the Court agreed to allow the prisoners till Friday morning for the preparation of their defence. On the opening of the Court on that day, the prisoners put in their defences, Mr. Cardew's being read by his counsel, Mr. R. Missing, and Mr. Heath's by his solicitor, Mr. George L. Greetham. Both defences were very able documents, pointing out the cases in which the evidence for the prosecution had been at variance with itself, as well as those cases where it would be contradicted by the witnesses on the defence, and more particularly dwelling on the discrepancies in the evidence of Lieutenant Stovin himself. The hinging point of Mr. Cardew's defence was the uncertainty of Mr. Stovin's actions, it being impossible, on account of his repeated inebriety, to place any reliance on his conduct, especially as he had once chased a vessel which he believed to be a slaver without serving out any arms to the crew. (This fact was afterwards stated in evidence by Mr. Roberts.) Under these circumstances. Mr. Cardew declared that a desire to promote the interests of the service had alone induced him to pursue the course he had, which, as his mind was free from any mutinous intent, he hoped would be considered by the Court a mere error in judgment. Mr. Heath's defence ably urged his want of motive to concur in the arrest, as no end which he could have in view could be promoted by it, and his previous high certificates removed the suspicion of his being actuated by a spirit of insubordination. The only evidence of importance adduced for the defence was that of Commander Booth, late of the Trinculo, and who, as the superior officer at the Cape, had inquired into the circumstances of Lieutenant Stovin's arrest, when the Algerine arrived there. Commander Booth stated distinctly, that when he asked Lieutenant Stovin if he had made any resistance to the arrest, he answered in the negative, nor did he say anything about his statement to the corporal, that he hoped the marines would stand by him. The case for the defence was then speedily closed, and the court cleared, and after two hours' deliberation the court reopened, and the Judge Advocate read the sentence: - that the charge had been proved, but in consideration of the prisoners' previous good character they were only sentenced to be dismissed the service, and to be imprisoned for three calendar months in the Marshalsea. A vast deal of interest had been excited by this trial, it being doubted by naval men whether the Court would consider the mitigating circumstances, or award the full penalty attached to the crime. The general opinion is, that the sentence is extremely lenient.
Ma 24 August 1835

PORTSMOUTH, Saturday, Aug. 22.
(From the Hampshire Telegraph.)

A Court Martial will assemble on Tuesday,on board the Victory, to try Dr. M'Diarmid, late surgeon of the Algerine, for haying been guilty of acts of drunkenness and other unofficerlike conduct, on board His Majesty's brig Algerine, at various times between the 6th of September, 1834, and the 30th of November following, and particularly for having been drunk on the 4th of November, 1834; and secondly, for having, on the 4th of November 1834, administered liquor to and made drunk Alexander Robinson, the steward of Lieutenant George Charles Stovin, on board the said brig.

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