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Nonsuch

 

A former name retained. Nonsuch, a small ship built at Wivenhoe on Essex in England in 1650, helped to establish the Hudson’s Bay Company.

 

(Sch.: t. 148; lbp. 86’; b. 21’; dph. 9’; cpl. 61; a. 14 guns)

 

Nonsuch, an armed schooner, was built in 1812 in Baltimore, Md. Her owner, George Stiles and Company, requested a commission for Nonsuch as a letter of marque 29 June 1812. The schooner soon commenced privateering along the East Coast of the United States and in the West Indies seeking British shipping. Under Captain Henry Levely, she attacked two British armed vessels, a ship and a schooner off Martinique 28 September. Nonsuch fought these two ships for three hours in an extremely furious battle, causing great confusion and killing or wounding a considerable number of the enemy. Unfortunately damage to her own rigging prevented Nonsuch from pursuing the British ships as they fled to Martinique.

 

Purchased by the Navy and placed in service at Charleston, S.C. in December 1812, the schooner, under the command of Lt. James Mork, sailed in January 1813 to carry supplies to the Army at Fort Johnson. She then resumed cruising in search of English merchantmen. The schooner captured British schooner Sancho Panza in early April 1813 and took privateer Caledonia, 8 guns, following a bloody seven minute fight on the 9th. The schooner continued her patrols out of Charleston into 1814. In June, off Charleston Bar, she was chased by an enemy ship of superior force and speed and was forced to throw 11 of her guns overboard in order to escape.

 

Following the war, with her armament reduced to 5 12-pounder carronades and 1 long 12-pounder, Nonsuch anti-pirate cruised in the West Indies. In 1819, she, with frigates John Adams and Constellation, sailed in a squadron under Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of Lake Erie, for the Orinoco River, Venezuela, arriving 15 July to discourage piracy while still maintaining friendly relations with Venezuela and the Republic of Buenos Aires. Shifting his flag to Nonsuch, Commodore Perry sailed upriver to negotiate an antipiracy agreement with President Simon Bolivar. A favorable treaty was signed 11 August, but when the schooner started downriver, many of her crew including Perry had been stricken with yellow fever. The great naval hero died upon his arrival at Trinidad 23 August. He was buried at Trinidad with great honors while Nonsuch’s crew acted as honor guard.

 

Returning to the United States, Nonsuch operated off the East Coast and in the Caribbean against piracy and made a short deployment to the Mediterranean. She was placed in ordinary at Boston in December 1825, sold in 1826, and broken up the same year.