Latitude 50° 21.01 N
Longitude 004° 07.60 W
Depth 5m
Accuracy Unknown, not found
Location Description Jennycliff Bay
Reference NMR 877148
Craft type 5th Rate
Date built 1793
Year of loss 1798
Manner of loss Wrecked
Outcome Broken up
Construction Wood
Propulsion Sail
Nationality United Kingdom
Departure port Plymouth
Destination port Plymouth
Hull length 41.1m
Hull beam 11m
Hull displacement 776 tons
Armament UD 26 x 18pdr, QD 4 x 6pdr, 4 x 32pdr carron., FC 2 x 6pdr + 2 x 32pdr carron.
Crew 254
Built Woolwich Dockyard
Master Captain Hon. Henry Curzon
Owners Royal Navy

HMS Pallas

HMS Pallas was one of three 32 gun 18 pounder frigates to a John Henslow's first frigate design. Her keel was laid at the Woolwich Dockyard in 1792, and she was launched on 19th December 1793. Pallas was 135 ft long with a 36ft beam and a draft of 12.5 ft, 776 tons and a crew of 254.

On 16th June 1795, Pallas was one of the ships involved in Cornwallis’s Retreat. Over the next two years, she saw service in the Mediterranean, capturing the 16 gun privateer Santa Jose y Nuestra Senora de Begoyna on 16th July 1795.

Commanded by Captain Hon. Henry Curzon, she arrived in Plymouth Sound on Tuesday 3rd April 1798 after a cruise off the coast of France. The weather was squally with fresh south-westerly gales when they anchored in the Sound. On the evening of 3rd April, the Master and William Holland, the first lieutenant, observed that the best bower anchor cable appeared to be slack, at which point the Master advised that it be heaved in at daylight. Overnight, the wind dropped and it appeared calm enough for the third lieutenant to send the watch to bed, however by 5am the winds were strengthening. 

The morning after, a gale from the south-west parted one of her anchors and drove her nearer to the shore, before her other anchors stopped her with just 4 fathoms of water beneath her keel. Yards and topmasts were struck (brought down) to reduce the pull of the wind and guns were fired as a signal of distress. Even with three anchors on the seabed she again stated to drive ashore so crew cut down her masts, even so she still drove backwards until the stern of the ship struck the rocks in Jennycliff Bay. Pallas remained with her bows to the waves until 3:15pm when the anchor cables parted under the strain of the heaving ship and she went broadside to and struck heavily on shore.

Many people had gathered on shore to help rescue the trapped sailors. The Pallas' last remaining boat was put over the side with Lieut. Bissel and five seamen who managed to get a line ashore but destroyed the ship's boat in the process. A hawser was secured to the shore and was used to rescue the crew, marines, women, children and the sick. A solitary seaman called Peter Charlock perished, carried overboard when the mainmast fell.

Being shallower forward than aft she was eventually forced round so her stern faced the oncoming waves. The ship was made to heel towards the shore and the hull itself provided some protection for the crew from the waves crashing over the hull. By 11pm she was out of danger but firmly stuck on the rocks.

The ship was aground at low water so parties from other Navy ships and a guard of marines recovered the larger part of her stores. Dockyard workers stripped off all the copper sheathing that could be reached from the hull below the waterline. The ship could not be refloated and was broken up where she lay.

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