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Thread: Third Rate 60 and 64 gun ships of the Royal Navy.

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    Default Third Rate 60 and 64 gun ships of the Royal Navy.

    HMS Africa (1781)

    HMS Africa was a John Williams designed Inflexible Class, 64 gun third rate ship of the line, built by Adams and Barnard at Deptford Dockyard. Ordered on the11th of February, 1778, she was laid down in the following month, and launched on the 11th of April, 1781. She was completed in the July of 178i at Deptford and Woolwich Dockyards.

    HMS Africa

    Great Britain
    Name: HMS Africa
    Ordered: 11 February 1778
    Builder: Barnard, Deptford
    Laid down: 2 March 1778
    Launched: 11 April 1781
    Fate: Broken up, May 1814
    General characteristics
    Class and type: Inflexible Class 64 gun third rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1,385​8394 (bm)
    Length: 160 ft 10 in (48 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 44 ft 9 in (13.52 m)
    Depth of hold: 18 ft 11 in (5.74 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    • 64 guns:
    • LD: 26 × 24-pounder guns
    • UD: 26 × 18-pounder guns
    • QD: 10 × 4-pounder guns
    • Fc: 2 × 9-pounder guns


    HMS Africa was commissioned in the March of 1871.

    During the American War of Independence, she sailed for India in early 1782 as part of a squadron of five ships under Commodore Sir Richard Bickerton, arriving too late for the battles of that year. Africa never actually served in the American theatre and remained in India for the duration of hostilities, taking part in the last battle of that war, at Cuddalore in 1783. She returned to England once news of the peace treaty arrived, and she was paid off in the March of 1784, and fitted for ordinary at Plymouth in the following month. She underwent a small repair there for £10,727.3.4d between the December of that year and the July of 1785. She was next fitted for sea in the September of 1793, and commissioned in the following month under Captain Roddam Home, who commanded her until 1796. On the 18th of May 1794 she sailed for Nova Scotia and was involved in the attack on Leogane on the Jamaica station on the 21st of March, 1796. Rear-Admiral William Parker commanded and the Navy co-operated in an attack, made by troops under Major-General Forbes from Port au Prince, San Domingo, upon Leogane, in the same island. The forces were landed, under the fire of the Ceres, 32, Captain James Newman Newman, Lark, 16, Commander William Ogilvy, Iphigenia, 32, Captain Francis Farrington Gardner, Cormorant, 18, Commander Francis Collingwood, and Sirene, 16, Commander Daniel Guerin; and the town and works were simultaneously cannonaded by the Leviathan, 74, Captain John Thomas Duckworth, Africa, under Captain Home, and Swiftsure, 74, Captain Robert Parker. The place proved stronger than had been anticipated, and, the Leviathan and Africa having been considerably damaged aloft by the guns on shore, the attempt was abandoned.

    On her return to England, in the October of that year she was paid off, and then fitted as a Hospital ship at Chatham in the September of 1798. She was commissioned under Liuetenant John Bryant, and then from 1800 under Lieutenant John Dixon.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    She was refitted as a 64 by Pitcher of Northfleet fo £32,208 between the September of !804 and the July of 1805 when she came under Captain Henry Digby just in time for him to command her in the Weather column under lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar on the 21st of October.Having been separated from the main British fleet before the battle, Africa arrived from a different direction without knowing the battle plan that Admiral had devised. As the rest of the fleet engaged the combined Franco-Spanish fleet in a pell-mell battle, Digby sailed Africa down the line of enemy ships in a parallel fashion, exchanging broadsides. During the action Africa suffered 18 killed and 44 wounded.

    From the January of1806, Africa was under Captain James R Farquharson for a month and then under Captain I Wooley before Captain James Ross in the Channel. By 1807 her Captain was Henry Bayntum and she was at the Cape of Good Hope in the July of that year. In the February of 1808 CaptainJohn Barrett took command.

    Gunboat War.

    During the Gunboat War, Africa remained under the command of Captain Barrett, and on the 15th of October in that year Africa was escorting a convoy of 137 merchant ships in the Baltic, with the assistance of the Bomb vessel HMS Thunder and two Gun Brigs. They left Karlskrona. that day and on the 20th of October they anchored in the Oresund, off Malmo. At noon a flotilla of Danish Gunboats were seen to be moving towards the convoy and Africa sailed to intercept them. The flotilla consisted of 25 gunboats and seven armed launches, mounting some 70 heavy cannons with an overall total of some 1600 men aboard. It was under the command of Commodore Johan Cornelius Krieger.

    At 1:30 the wind died and Africa was immobilized. By 2:50pm the gunboats had stationed themselves off Africa's quarters, where few of her guns could fire, and opened fire. The battle continued until 6:45pm when with night closing in all firing ceased. Had daylight lasted another hour the Danes might have captured Africa, however, nightfall meant both forces left the battlefield without victory for either side. As it was, Africa had lost 9 men killed and 51 wounded, including Captain Barrett. She was so badly mauled that she had to return to Karlskrona for repairs. The convoy, however, managed to reach Britain.

    Danish gunboats attack HMS Africa, 1808

    After her refit, in the February of 1809, Africa was recommissioned under Captain Loftus bland and left once more for the Baltic in the October of that year now under the command of Captain Thomas Dundas who was superseded in the May of 1810 by Captain George Reeves who succeeded in bringing home a large convoy, notwithstanding the severity of the weather and the violence of the gales. By the October of 1810 command had devolved onto Captain Thomas Baker under whom John Houlton Marshall was promoted to Commander on the ship at a ceremony held on the 21st of that month to commemorate the Anniversary of Battle of Trafalgar.
    In 1811 Captain John Surman Carden assumed command and sailed for North America on the 28th of January in that year. By the November Africa was under Captain John Bastard, as the Flagship of Vice Admiral Herbert Sawyer.

    War of 1812.

    Still under the command of Captain Bastard, Africa became part of Sir Philip Broke's squadron in 1812, and was present at the capture of the American 14 gun Nautilus on the 16th of July of that year. In the following month she was not so lucky when Broke pursued, but ultimately failed to catch USS Constitution on the 14th of August. However she did manage to take the schooner Lewis.

    Constitution's escape from the British squadron after a chase of sixty hours.


    On her return home Africa was broken up at Portsmouth in the May of 1814.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 09-02-2020 at 12:39.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.


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