fought at the battle of Trafalgar
Thomas Cobley aged 44 born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England.
Ship: HMS Leviathan
Rank/Rating: Ordinary Seaman
Comments: From: Pardoned convicts for Cyclops
Ship's pay book number: (SB 1484)
9 February 1804 to 11 August 1804
12 August 1804
Catalogue reference: ADM 36/15837
HMS Leviathan was built at Chatham dockyard and launched in 1790, being one of a class of six modelled on the lines of a captured French 74, the Courageux.
She had a very active life in the French Revolutionary Wars taking part in the action at Toulon, the battle of the Glorious First of June and numerous other engagements in the West Indies and Mediterranean.
At Trafalgar she was fourth in the column led by HMS Victory abreast of HMS Conqueror and astern of HMS Neptune, and cleared for action to give the guns freedom to fire. The partitions of the officers‚ cabins were torn down and went overboard, to be followed by tables, stools, a small desk and other gear. Animals were often kept on board ships at this time to provide fresh eggs and meet, and a sheep given to the ship by Nelson in the West Indies was kept, survived the battle and was taken home by Captain Bayntun to join his family farm.
Leviathan entered the enemy line astern of HMS Neptune and followed Conqueror, all three discharging full broadsides into the Bucentaure (50 guns), the flagship of the French Admiral Villeneuve. Passing on, Leviathan engaged the Spanish Santissima Trinidad (136 guns) and attempted to come up to the French Neptune (84 guns), but the latter stood away and Leviathan
instead fired into the Spanish San Augustin (74 guns). Close action followed until at 3.30 Leviathan ran her on board and the San Augustin surrendered. While the San Augustin lay alongside her portside after being boarded, Leviathan was hotly engaged on her opposite side by the French Intrepide (74 guns), but as the Orion, Africa and other British ships moved in the Intrepide pulled away. The San Augustin was later burnt after the crew had been removed as being so badly damaged as to be useless for future service.
Leviathan was laid up as a prison ship at Portsmouth in 1816, later used as a target and broken up in 1846.
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