Sir John Sherbrooke (Halifax) - Origins


She was originally the American privateer brig Thorn, Asa Hooper master, and was armed with eighteen long 9-pounder guns. Thorn was from Marblehead, Massachusetts, and she was on her first cruise when the British captured her. At the time of her capture she had already taken as prizes the brig Freedom, loaded with salt, and the American vessel Hiram, with a cargo of flour and bread on a voyage to Lisbon and traveling with a British license (safe conduct pass) that asked all British naval vessels and privateers to let her pass, provided that she was on a bona fide passage to Spain or Portugal with flour. This capture, on 15 October, gave rise to a US Supreme Court court case in which the court ruled that Hiram, although an American vessel, was a legitimate prize. The British naval vessels Tenedos, Shannon, Nymphe and Curlew captured Thorn on 31 October 1812. Thorn was sold at Halifax as a prize and renamed after the former colonial administrator Sir John Coape Sherbrooke.

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