HMS Crescent and I

In the summer of 2010 I visted the island of Guernsey - home of the Crescent's most famous captain, Lord Saumarez.

Many local people - and tourists - have connected HMS Crescent with its anchor, which for many years stood in front of the west gable of the church of Mårup near Lønstrup in North Jutland. I also did until I got on the trail of the ship's history - almost by accident. Much is written and documented about the wreckage of the frigate off Rubjerg Knude (Robbeknut in Englishs maps) in December 1808. Years ago, I set piece of the ship's history together from its building in 1784 and till it ended up as a wreck. This website is divided by periods when it was on duty in various fleets. Originally, the content of the text meant as the manuscript of a book. I have now decided to convert it to this website - with the hope that I may find and bring new information about the ship.

It was strictly speaking a "missed shot" which brought me closer to the ship and its history. In preparation for a trip to The Gambia in West Africa in 2001, I read the unique travelogue from the Scottish explorer Mungo Park, who traveled in West Africa on two occasions around 1800 to find what the time suspected to be source of The Black Nile. Mungo Park's African base was The Gambia River, hence my interest in the Scotsman. When Mungo Park made ready to travel up river Gambia on his second trip, he wrote April 27, 1805: "At ten o'clock in the morning we took off from Kayee." Crescent "," Washington "and Mr. Ainsley ship honored us with a salute ". I sat down then to find out if this Crescent was equal to the frigate which wrecked off North Jutland in 1808. Studies in Lloyd's archives showed that there was a private Liverpool-ship of the same name. Here was my curiosity about the frigate's history, however, aroused. Initial visit to Vendsyssel History Archive in Hjørring provided a first overview - materials here focused mainly on the events leading up to, during and after the wreckage. I decided to document the history of the ship from the keel was laid in southern England and to the beginning of 1809, when the ship and the crew's fate was known in the UK. At first, the investigation focused on the fleets ship had been stationed at. Here was the captain 'logbooks the main sources. This led to two visits to the British State archives Public Record Office in Kew Gardens - and one visit to the Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Furthermore, I visited some of the sites where Crescent had stayed - here was the main Portsmouth (where HMS Victory can be visited), Guernsey, St Malo in Brittany, Cape Province in South Africa and recently Great Yarmouth, from where Crescent departed on her last trip. Literature search has helped to put the ship quests and tasks into the historical context. In recent years, digitization of many primary sources, especially on the Royal Navy's fleet station in Cape Town, has given me many interesting details - and closed many gaps.

Thanks to:
Librarian Bjarne Filholm who kept me up to the mark.

Hugo Kristensen, Peter Østrin and Dorte, my wife, for critical reading of various manuscripts - and constructive ideas and input.
Susanne Fibiger, chairman of the committee writing in Local History Society of Hirtshals, for the invitation to write an article for its yearbook for 2011.

I was in charge of the translations of the English main sources and errors in these therefore are mine - like other errors will be hanging on my shoulders.