Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1800
Location: Liverpool, Queens, Nova Scotiamap
Surnames/tags: Barss Collins Godfrey
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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 magazine The Naval Chronicle and Godfrey was offered a Royal Navy commission, which he declined. Later cruises proved less 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.[1]

Letter of Marque, Rover: 13 August 1804. Four pages. Issued to John Poor, commander of the ship Rover.[2]

Rover was a privateer brig out of Liverpool, Nova Scotia known for several bold battles in the Napoleonic Wars.

She was built in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia (then known as Herring Cove) over the winter of 1799-1800. Rover was owned by a group of merchants from Liverpool, Nova Scotia led by Simeon Perkins and Snow Parker. Rover's captain was Alexander Godfrey, and she sailed under a letter of marque. Her crew were mainly fishermen.

After 1804, she was sold to Halifax owners who employed her as a merchant vessel. She later capsized and sank in the West Indies.[3]

"Up wi' The Red Jack! Down Helm!"[4]
"Drifting Down, Stern Foremost, Upon the Spaniard"[5]
Letter of Marque, Rover[6]
The Ballad of the Rover a song by Archibald MacMechan celebrating her famous victory.[7]

Crew: 60
Rig: Brig
Tonnage: 100
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 Benjamin Collins
Prizes Taken: 8
Owners: Simeon Perkins, Snow Parker, William Lawson

Crew List:

Allen, Issac A. - Rover prizemaster 1812
Arnold, Benjamin - prizemaster Rover 1800
Barss, Joseph (Snr?) - part owner Rover 1803
Barss, Joseph Jr. - captain Rover 1801
Beele, William - Lieut Rover 1804
Brown - cook Rover 1804
Brown, John - part owner Rover 1804
Cathcart-Wilkie, Walter - part owner Rover 1804
Cochran, William - part owner Rover 1801
Cole, Siphorus - prizemaster Rover, KIA Jan. 16, 1815
Collins, Benjamin - captain Rover 1803
Collins, George - agent for crew Rover 1803
Dick, James - Rover 1801
Dolliver, James - prizemaster Rover 1801
Freeman, John - prizemaster Rover 1800
Gibbs, Tom - carpenter Rover 1803
Godfrey, Alexander - captain Rover 1800
Godfrey, Alexander - captain Rover 1801
Godfrey, Henry - boy Rover 1800
Harlow, James - Lt & prizemaster Rover 1800
Harrington, Ebenezer - gunner Rover 1800
Harrington, Lodowick - Lt & prizemaster Rover 1800
Harrington, Lodowick - 1rst Officer Rover 1801
Kelly, John - Rover 1801
Kitchen, Henry - Botswain & Gunner Rover 1804
Lamont, Frederick - part owner Rover 1804
Lawson, William - part owner Rover 1800
Moulton, Robert - part owner Rover 1804
Murray, Mathew - prizemaster Rover 1801
Parker, Snow - part owner Rover 1801
Parker, Snow - part owner Rover 1803
Perkins, Simeon - part owner Rover 1803
Perkins, Zeb - Rover 1803
Power, John - captain Rover 1804
Rice, Stephen - prizemaster Rover 1803
Rogers, James agent for crew Rover 1803
Snow, Stephen prizemaster Rover 1803
Stevenson, William Rover 1801
Williams, John seaman Rover 1800


  1. Dan Colin [1]
  2. Nova Scotia Archives MG 100 Vol. 175 #18 [2]
  3. Wikipedia Rover
  4. Archives 50
  5. Archives 51
  6. Archives 52
  7. Video

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