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Massachusetts Privateer Boat Wasp




Wasp

Commander Thomas Thompson

Patrol Craft

26 January 1782-

Massachusetts Privateer Boat


Commissioned/First Date:

26 January 1782

Out of Service/Cause:


Owners:

(1) John Lucas & Co. of Boston, Massachusetts; (2) Israel Mead et al of Boston, Massachusetts


Tonnage:


Battery:

Date Reported: 26 January 1782

Number/Caliber  Weight        Broadside

 

Total:

Broadside:

Swivels: [small arms only]


Date Reported: 29 June 1782

Number/Caliber  Weight        Broadside

1/

Total: 1 cannon/

Broadside: 1 cannon/

Swivels:


Crew:

(1) 26 January 1782: 10 [total]
(2) 29 June 1782: 19 [total]


Description:


Officers:


Cruises:


Prizes:

(1) Schooner Peggy (John Crosby), [June] 1782, with Massachusetts Privateer Boat Fly

(2) Snow [unknown], [October] 1782

(3) Ship [unknown], November 1782

(4) Shallop Lively (Isaac ), [November] 1782, with Massachusetts Privateer Boat Fly

(5) Schooner [unknown], [November] 1782, with Massachusetts Privateer Boat Fly


Actions:

(1) Action with packet vessel, October 1782


Comments:

Massachusetts Privateer Boat Wasp was commissioned on 26 January 1782 under Commander Thomas Thompson of Boston. She was reported with a crew of nine men, armed with small arms. Wasp was bonded for $5,000 by Thompson, Lucas, and Benjamin Cobb of Boston.1


Thompson libeled the 30-ton schooner Peggy (John Crosby) in the Massachusetts Maritime Court of the Middle District on 17 June 1782, along with the Massachusetts Privateer Boat Fly (Commander Joshua Weatherly). Libeled at the same time were some beef, rum, and an ox, stated to be illegal goods seized on the high seas. Trial was held on 25 June.2


Apparently ownership of the Wasp changed, for she was re-commissioned under Thompson on 29 June 1782. Wasp was now listed as having one gun and a crew of eighteen men. The new owners were Israel Mead et al, of Boston. Wasp was bonded for $20,000 by Thompson and Joshua Witherle and Joshua Farrington.3


In October 1782, one “S.” Thompson led a small party of men in a rowboat in an attack on a British packet ship. After skirmishing two hours the Americans were beaten off with three killed and ten wounded. Soon after Thompson captured a snow with a cargo of oats. In November 1782 he captured a ship with a cargo of fish.4


Wasp, in conjunction with the Fly (now commanded by John Perry), captured the 10-ton shallop Lively (Isaac —) and an un-named 15-ton schooner about early November 1782. These were libeled in the Maritime Court on 18 November 1782, and tried on 3 December 1782.5



1 NRAR, 490; Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 325

2 The Boston Gazette and the Country Journal, Monday, June 17, 1782

3 NRAR, 490; Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 325

4 Maclay, History of American Privateers, 216: Emmons, 168, assigns these actions to the boat Wasp, commanded by Thomas Thompson. It is possible that Maclay has mis-dated these evenrs.

5 The Boston Gazette and the Country Journal, Monday, November 18, 1782


Posted 21 September 2014 © awiatsea.com