Voyage of the Athenienne to China in 1804/1805
My ancestor, Joseph ASHMORE, was a midshipman on H.M.S. Athenienne. On 9th June 1804, H.M.S. Athenienne, a 64 gun warship under the command of Captain Francis Fayerman, left St. Helens, Isle of Wight, with nine ships of the East India Company bound for China. The ships were the Perseverance, Neptune, Taunton Castle, Ceres, Royal Charlotte, Alnwick Castle, True Briton, Arniston and Cuffnells. The task of the Athenienne was to provide protection for these ships from attack by French or other enemy ships.
This was an historic voyage. After passing the Cape of Good Hope, instead of taking the usual route via the northern Indian Ocean, the fleet was directed to sail to Australia, passing south of Western Australia and through the newly discovered Bass Strait. This was because of reports of French ships in the Indian Ocean. The ships then sailed to Norfolk Island where panic set in when the authorities there thought that the unexpected fleet of ships arriving off the coast could have been French. The fleet sailed on to China and then back to England via the conventional route through the Straits of Malacca.
I have written an article about this voyage. If you would like a copy please contact me including details of your interest in this voyage.
For a list of people on this voyage, check my index of people named in the Captain's Log
The route taken by the ships is shown on this map.