John Maitland (Royal Navy Officer) - Command - Channel Duties

Channel Duties

Maitland sailed the San Nicolas to Britain, where she was paid off at Plymouth on her arrival, and Maitland went ashore. He married Elizabeth Ogilvy on 22 April 1799, and by 1800 had returned to active service aboard the 36-gun HMS Glenmore in the English Channel. He moved to the 38-gun HMS Boadicea in 1803, and on 24 July 1803 he spotted the French 74-gun third-rate Duguay-Trouin and the 38-gun frigate Guerrière sailing off Ferrol, Spain. Maitland decided to test whether the French ships were armed en flûte and were being used as troopships, and closing to within range, opened fire. The French returned fire, revealing they were fully armed and manned, and Maitland broke off. The French pursued, but were unable to catch him. Maitland continued on in the Channel, but while sailing off Brest the Boadicea struck the Bas de Lis rock and was badly holed. She returned to Portsmouth and was back on station eight days later, having spent just three days in dock. He went on to have a successful cruise, capturing the 12-gun French Vanteur, and several merchants. Maitland and the Boadicea spent 1804 enforcing the blockade of Rochefort, followed by a period in the North Sea and off the Irish coast.

On 2 November he came across a squadron of four French ships of the line under Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley, that had escaped from the Battle of Trafalgar two weeks previously. Maitland fired rockets to attract a nearby British squadron under Captain Sir Richard Strachan, but subsequently lost the French in fog. Strachan was able to make contact with the French thanks to Maitland, and after engaging them in the battle of Battle of Cape Ortegal, captured all of the French ships. A few days later Maitland spotted and gave chase to a French frigate, eventually breaking off after two days pursuit due to the nearness of the coast. He later learnt that the French frigate had run onto the island of Groix. In the autumn of 1806 Boadicea was employed protecting the whale fishery in the Davis Strait. He escorted a convoy to Britain from Oporto, and followed this with service on the Irish station in 1807, blockading Le Havre. During this time the 14-gun French privateer General Concleux was captured, and Maitland left the Boadicea in 1808. He was appointed to the 98-gun HMS Barfleur in late 1813, spending the rest of the war aboard her in the Mediterranean.

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