Privateer Brig Rover - 1800 to 1804
She was the most famous privateer from Nova Scotia in the Napoleonic Wars.
Under Alex Godfrey she fought two remarkable battles against strong odds.
In one case, Rover single
handedly attacked a French convoy of seven ships dispersing them and
capturing three. In another, she beat three
Spanish warships in a gunnery duel and boarding off the coast of
Venezuela. These battles won praise in Britain from the distinquished
The Naval Chronicle and Godfrey was offered a
Royal Navy commission, which he declined. Later cruises
rewarding. A subsequent captain, Benjamin
Collins lost his commission and landed Rover's owners in trouble for
several illegal captures. After French shipping vanished and prizes
disappeared, she was converted to an armed merchant
ship under Halifax owners.
The Ballad of the Rover a song by Archibald
MacMechan celebrating her famous victory.
Armament: 16 guns (four pounders)
Built: Liverpool, NS April, 1800. Builder: Snow Parker
Homeport: Liverpool, Nova Scotia
Letter of Marque Issued: May 20. 1800
Captain: 1800-1801 Alex Godfrey, 1801 Joseph Barss Jnr., 1803
Prizes Taken: 8
Owners: Simeon Perkins, Snow Parker, William Lawson
Sources:: "A Private War in the Caribbean" by Dan Conlin, also
Simeon Perkins Diary, Vol. IV.