HMS Leopard saw service during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and was active in Europe, East Indies and Egypt. In 1807, a group of British sailors some of American birth deserted and joined the crew of USS Chesapeake. Captain Humphreys, commanding Leopard, requested permission to search for the deserters. Humphreys took back four deserters and hanged the Britishborn ones. This incident was one of several episodes that increased the tension between the British Empire and the United States, finally exploding in the War of 1812.