Impérieuse and her Crew

Impérieuse was originally the Medea, captured from Spain in 1804. She was the fastest ship of her class in the Navy. The Muster Book for her first cruise under Thomas’s command reveals that she carried a crew of 284 men and 35 marines.

Sam Brown was the First Lieutenant on Impérieuse when Thomas gained command. Other members of her crew undoubtedly responded to Thomas’ billboard recruitment technique: Wanted: Stout, able-bodied men who can run a mile without stopping, with a sackful of Spanish Dollars on their backs.

Impérieuse mounted 40 to 44 guns depending on their configuration. While carronades were often heavier guns than the cannons, they were only accurate at short ranges and were mostly used when the enemy was alongside. Thus the heaviest cannons which could be brought to bear on an enemy approaching Impérieuse were her 18 pounders.

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