H.M.S. Proserpine, a 32-gun frigate measured at 922 tons, was built by Steemson at Paull, on the Humber, and launched on 6 August 1807. Replacing two previous Proserpines, both of which had been lost during the wars with France which began in 1793, this third vessel also had a remarkably short career in the Royal Navy and was captured after little more than a year in service.
The new Proserpine was assigned to the blockading fleet off Toulon and, in the early morning of 28 February 1809, was patrolling off Cape Sicié when she sighted two darkened ships approaching from the land. Although she stood off out to sea immediately, she was soon overtaken by two large 40-gun French frigates, Pénélope and Pauline. Unprepared for a night action, especially one on such unequal terms, Proserpine put up a gallant resistance but, in less than an hour, was forced to surrender when severe damage to her masts and rigging rendered her unmanageable. Taken into Toulon as a prize, she remained in the service of the French Navy until 1840 when she became a 'corvette de charge'.