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Royal Naval Biography/Whinyates, Thomas


THOMAS WHINYATES, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1812.]

Was made Lieutenant Sept. 7, 1799; and Commander May 16, 1805. In Mar. 1807, we find him removing from the Zebra, bomb, to the Frolic, a new brig, of 384 tons, fitting at Plymouth, for the West India station.

On the 12th Sept. 1812, Captain Whinyates sailed from the bay of Honduras, with the homeward bound trade under his protection; and on the 18th of the following month, he was captured by the United States’ sloop of war Wasp, Captain Jacob Jones, after an action of 50 minutes, in which 15 of his crew were slain, and himself, all his officers, and 43 men wounded.

The Wasp was a ship of 434 tons, mounting sixteen 32-pounder carronades and 2 long twelves, with 138 persons on board at the commencement of the battle; the whole, with only one exception, young, healthy, and able-bodied men. The Frolic mounted 16 carronades of the same calibre as the Wasp’s, and 2 long sixes; but she mustered no more than 91 officers and men, 18 boys, and 1 passenger (an invalided soldier). The American had been five days only from the river Delaware, and was in perfect order; whereas. Captain Whinyates commenced action under every disadvantage, his crew being greatly debilitated, both his top-masts badly sprung, and his main-yard carried away; which latter damage he was in the act of repairing when the enemy approached him, just after a most violent storm.

In the course of the same day the Wasp was captured, and the Frolic retaken, by the Poictiers 74, Captain John P. Beresford, to whom Captain Whinyates’ conduct appeared “to have been so decidedly gallant,” that he continued him in the command of his brig, until her arrival at Bermuda. A court-martial afterwards declared, that he had done all that could be done in defence of his vessel, and he was, as a matter of course, most honorably acquitted.

Captain Whinyates’ post commission bears date Aug. 12, 1812, but he does not appear to have been made acquainted with his promotion until he returned to England. Since then we find no official mention of him.

Agents.– Messrs. Stilwell.