Sketch above is of HMS Clio which is a similar Navel ship from the same period as HMS Primrose. Painted by Cmdr. William Farrington, the original resides in the Peabody Essex Museum.
HMS Primrose (1807) was a Royal Navy Cruizer-class brig-sloop built by Thomas Nickells, at Fowey and launched in 1807. She was commissioned in November 1807 under Commander James Mein, who sailed her to the coast of Spain on 3 February 1808. She was 384 Tons with a length of 100 ft and beam of 30ft. She had an armament of eighteen guns.
In January 1809 Primrose sailed for Spain with a convoy. During a snowstorm she ran aground at 5am on 22 January on Mistrel Rock, The Manacles, a mile off the Cornish coast, and was wrecked. The sole survivor was a drummer boy. Lieut. J. Withers of the Manacles Signal Post lead the rescue with six other men. The Admiralty paid them 10 guineas each for their part in the rescue.
The other crew of one hundred and thirty officers and men lost their lives and were buried in a mass grave in the St. Keverne churchyard on the Lizard peninsular. This is shown in the image above.
In the 70’s the team raised four of the Primrose’s 28pdr carronades, one of which can be seen on the wall in St Keverne churchyard. The rest of her guns are very concreted into the rocks. A small bronze signal gun, which may have come from her, though it was dated 1809, was raised in the early 60s by the late Reg Dunton of Bromley BSAC.
Today the remains of the wreck are very scattered and encrusted in the rocks in position 50°02.819′ N 005°03.007′ W
The cannon shown below is now at St Keverne Church