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Thread: Fourth Rate 50 gun ships of the Royal Navy.

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    Default Fourth Rate 50 gun ships of the Royal Navy.

    HMS Preston (1757)

    HMS Preston was a Joseph Allin designed 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line, built by M/shipwright Thomas Fellowes to the March of 1753 when he died, then Thomas Slade to the August of 1755, and completed by Adam Hayes at Deptford Dockyard. Ordered on the 25th of April 1751 and laid down in the June of that year she was launched on the 7th of February, 1757, and completed on the 15th of May in that same year at a total cost of £23,703.14.4d. which included fitting.

    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Preston
    Ordered: 25th April 1751
    Builder: Deptford Dockyard
    Launched: 7 February 1757
    Fate: Broken up, 1815
    Notes:
    • Participated in:
    • Battle of the Dogger Bank

    General characteristics
    Class and type: 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1052 (bm)
    Length: 143 ft 3in (45.7 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 41 ft 3in (13.0 m)
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 3in (5.6 m)

    9ft 10 x 15ft 6in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 22 × 24 pdr guns
    • Upper gundeck: 22 × 12 pdr guns
    • QD: 4 × 6 pdr guns
    • Fc: 2 × 6 pdr guns

    Service.

    HMS Preston was commissioned under Captain John Evans in the January of 1757 for service in the Levant, off Dunkirk and then in the Med once again. On returning to England she was paid off in 1763.

    Between the June of 1764 and the April of 1765 she underwent a small repair at Portsmouth for £4,987.14.5d. Preston was recommissioned under Captain Alan Gardner in the May of 1766 for service in Jamaica and from 1767 to 1769 served as Flagship to Rear Admiral William Parry until on return to England she was paid off once more in the September of 1769. She now underwent a middling to large repair at Portsmouth which took from the January of 1772 until the July of 1773 and cost £20,124.13.7d. plus a further £3,724.1.6d. for fitting which was completed in the April of 1774, having already been recommissioned in the January of that year under Captain John Robinson, and on the 6th of May 1776 she sailed for service in North America now under Captain Samuel Uppleby. In the December of that year she was at Rhode Island in time for its occupation. During the remainder of her time on the American station Preston served from 1776 to 1780 under Commodore William Hotham. Leaving Sandy Hook on the13th of August 1778 and cut off from her squadron by a storm, she encountered the French 74 gun Marseillois, which she fought indecisively. On the 4th of November in that year she sailed to the Leeward Islands and on the 14th of December she was involved in the Battle of St. Lucia.

    Having returned to England on the 23rd of October 1780 she was paid off. She then went into Chatham for a small repair and coppering for the sum of £11,282.0.4d. which was completed by the May of 1781.On the 5th of August now commanded by Captain Alexander Grahame Preston took part in the Battle of the Dogger Bank where she was disabled, with her commander, Captain Graeme losing an arm.

    Both the British and Dutch claimed a victory, although it was actually a tactical draw given that no ships were lost on either side with the exception of the Holland. Nevertheless, strategically the battle was a British victory as the Dutch fleet retreated to Texel and did not leave harbour again during the war. Preston was then sailed back to the Thames by Lieutenant Saumarez for repairs.


    Battle of Dogger Bank

    On the 8th of June, 1782 Preston sailed for Jamaica under Captain Patrick Leslie and did not return until the 3rd of April, 1784 when she was again paid off.

    Fate.

    Between the April 1785 and the October of that year her copper was replaced by wooden sheeting and she was fitted as a sheer hulk at Woolwich, where she was broken up in the January of 1815.
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    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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    HMS Chatham (1758)


    His Majesty's Ship Chatham of 50 guns in the 1770s. Watercolour by Robert Raymond.

    HMS Chatham was a Joseph Allin designed 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line, built by M/s Peirson Lock until the December of 1755 when he died and completed by Edward Allin at Portsmouth Dockyard. Ordered on the 20th of October 1752, and laid down on the 14th of December in that same year, she was launched on the 25th of April, 1758 and completed on the 23rd of May in that year.

    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Chatham
    Ordered: 20th October 1752
    Builder: Allin Portsmouth Dockyard
    Launched: 25 April 1758
    Fate: Broken up, 1814
    General characteristics
    Class and type: 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1067 (bm)
    Length: 147 ft (44.8 m) (gundeck)
    Beam: 40 ft 3 in (12.3 m)
    Depth of hold: 17 ft 8 in (5.4 m)
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 22 × 24-pounder guns
    • Upper gundeck: 22 × 12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 × 6-pounder guns
    • FC: 2 × 6-pounder guns


    Service.

    HMS Chatham, was commissioned in the January of 1758 and served through the Seven Years’ War until paid off in 1764. She underwent a small repair and was refitted at Portsmouth for £10,240 between the January and June of 1766. Between that date and 1775 she served mainly in the Leeward Islands before returning to England to undergo a Middling repair between the March of 1770 and the June of 1772 at a cost of £17,739.9.9d. On completion she returned to the Leeward Islands until 1775 when she removed to the North American station. On the 25th of June, 1776 HMS Chatham formed part of the British flotilla anchored off Staten Island, in the opening phases of the Battle of Long Island.



    The British fleet in the lower bay
    (Harpers Magazine, 1876) depicts the British fleet amassing off the shores of Staten Island in the summer of 1776



    The British fleet in New York Harbour just after the battle.

    After her return to England in the September of 1778, Chatham patrolled in Home waters until the end of that year, and then went into Sheerness for refitting and coppering at a cost of £5,828.4.0d.This work was completed by the April of 1780 and the ship was recommissioned in the July of that year for further service in North America.


    On the 2nd of September 1781, Chatham now under Captain Andrew Snape was cruising off Cape Ann near Boston when she observed a French frigate the 36 gun Magicienne, commanded by Captain Janvre de la Bouchetiere, escorting a merchantman.

    Douglas ordered Chatham to action stations, and after a pursuit of several she overhauled the Frenchman and opened fire. Following an action of about two hours Magicienne was forced to finally strike after her rudder and bowsprit had both been shot away and she was rendered un-steerable. The Chatham had one man killed and one wounded while losses on the Magicienne were heavy suffering 32 killed and 54 wounded including Captain de la Bouchetière, The crew having been secured below battened down hatches, Magicienne was conducted to Halifax Nova Scotia and recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Magicienne. The merchantman that Magicienne was escorting had meanwhile managed to escape and eventually docked in a French held harbour.

    Fate.

    On her return to Plymouth in the November of 1783, she was fitted for Ordinary, and in the March of 1793 was refitted as a convalescent ship under Lieutenant Lionel Hill. In the January of 1797 she was fitted for deployment to Falmouth in the role of a receiving ship under Lieutenant James Manderson, between 1800 and the March of 1802, when she was paid off.

    In the December of 1805 she was fitted at Chatham as a floating magazine for Plymouth. Renamed Tilbury on the 29th of June 1801, she was eventually broken up at Chatham in the May of 1814
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    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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    HMS Warwick (1770)

    HMS Warwick was a William Batley designed 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line approved in modified form on the 29th of August 1759. She was built by M/shipwright Thomas Bucknell at Portsmouth Dockyard. Ordered on the 31st of December 1758, and laid down in the August of 1762, she was launched on the 28th of February 1767, and completed between the November of 1770 and the March of 1771.

    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Warwick
    Ordered: 31 December 1758
    Builder: Bucknell Portsmouth
    Launched: 28 February 1767
    Fate: Sold 24 March 1802
    General characteristics
    Class and type: 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1073 (bm)
    Length: 151 ft 0in (gundeck)
    Beam: 40ft 3in
    Depth of hold:
    18ft 3in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 22 × 24-pounder guns
    • Upper gundeck: 22 × 12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 × 6-pounder guns
    • FC: 2 × 6-pounder guns

    Service.

    HMS Warwick was commissioned in the December of 1770 for the Falkland Islands dispute. From 1771 to 1775 she served in the East Indies. On her return to England she underwent a small repair and refit at Portsmouth at a cost of £13,964.7.11d.
    In the March of 1777 she was recommissioned for service in Home Waters. Between the June and September of 1780 she was coppered and refitted at Chatham for £7,711.2.11d. and recommissioned for service in North America.

    Fate.

    Paid off in the February of 1783, from the May to September of that year she underwent fitting as a receiving ship at Chatham for £2,051.6.7d.
    On the 24th of March, 1802, she was sold out of the Service for £1,205.
    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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    HMS Romney (1762)



    HMS Romney by Robert Cleveley.


    HMS Romney built to a unique design by Sir Thomas Slade, was a 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line,based on William Bately's plans for HMS Warwick, but altered to shorter the length, built by M/shipwright Israel Pownoll at Woolwich Dockyard. Ordered on the 20th of July, 1759,and laid down on the 1st of October in that year, she was launched on the 8th of July 1762, and completed by Joseph Harris by the 4th of September in that year at a cost of £26,492.17.2d.

    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: Romney
    Ordered: 20 July 1759
    Builder: Pownoll Woolwich Dockyard
    Laid down: 1 October 1759
    Launched: 8 July 1762
    Completed: By 4 September 1762
    Honours and
    awards:
    Naval General Service Medal with clasps:

    • "Romney 17 June 1794"
    • "Egypt"
    Fate: Lost on 19 November 1804


    General characteristics
    Class and type: 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1,046​ 6194 (bm)
    Length:
    • 146 ft 0in (44.5 m) (overall)
    • 120 ft 8½ in (36.8 m) (keel)
    Beam: 40 ft 4½ in (12.2 m)
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 2 in (5.2 m)

    10ft 9 in x 15ft 5 in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Upper deck: 22 x 12 pdr guns
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24 pdr guns

    QD: 4 x 6 pdr guns
    Fc: 2 x 6 pdr guns

    Service.

    HMS Romney was commissioned under Captain Robert Walsingham in the June of 1763.

    She was recommissioned under the command of Captain James Ferguson in the February of 1767 and sailed for North America on the 20th of May in that year as the Flagship of the commander of the North American station, Rear Admiral Lord Coleville. She served in this capacity for the next three years.

    Whilst undergoing a brief refit at Portsmouth, between the March and April of 1767, at a cost of £3,799.2.2d. Romney had been recommissioned during the March under Captain John Corner, as part of a squadron being sent to North America under Admiral Samuel Hood. While serving on the North American station, Romney achieved a degree of publicity after being sent to Boston to support the commissioners, who had asked Hood for help in enforcing the Townshend Acts. She arrived on 17th of May, 1768, but being short of men, Captain Corner began to impress seamen from the harbour. This was unpopular with the locals, who took to attacking the press gangs. Events escalated when the commissioners in the town ordered the seizure of the merchant vessel Liberty, which belonged to John Hancock. When sailors and marines from Romney attempted to seize the vessel, mobs attacked them and then turned on the commissioners. Many of the officials took refuge aboard Romney, before transferring to Castle William. These incidents heightened tensions that would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre in 1770.

    The American Revoloution.

    In 1770 Romney was briefly under Captain Hyde Parker, followed by Captain Robert Linzee in the October of that year. She returned to England and was paid off in the March of 1771 before being repaired and refitted at Deptford from the May of 1773 to the May of, 1775, costing £ 19,614.18.7d. Romney was recommissoned under Captain George Elphinstone in the March of 1776 as the flagship of the commander of the Newfoundland station, Rear-Admiral Robert Duff, who was succeeded by Vice Admiral John Montagu in the following year. Montagu retained Romney, by now under the command of Captain Elliott Salter, as his Flag Captain. Salter, in his turn, was replaced by Captain George Montagu, the son of the Vice-Admiral, in the February of 1777, and he remained in command of the ship for the following two years. At the beginning of 1779 she came under the command of Captain George Johnstone.

    On her return to England Romney was paid off and refitted and coppered at Plymouth between the April and May of 1779 at a cost of £4,650.19.9d. for service in the Channel. On Johnstone's advancement to commodore in the April that year, and Romney came under Captain Robert Nicholas, destined for service in the Channel, though she remained part of Johnstone's squadron and flew his broad pendant. she returned to sea as Sir john Ross’s flagship, with Johnstone back as captain. She was involved in the operations in the Channel during the attempted Franco-Spanish invasion, after which she sailed for Lisbon. On the 11th of November in that same year accompanied by HMS Tartar she captured the 34 gun Spanish frigate Santa Margarita, which was subsequently taken into the navy with the prefix of HMS.. With Johnstone's return to the post of commodore in December, command passed to Captain Roddam Home, though Johnstone remained aboard. On the 1st of May, 1780, Romney was involved in the incident with the French cartel ship Sartine. In July, whilst cruising off Cape Finisterre, Romney captured two French ships the 38 gun Artois on the 1st, and the 18 gun Perle five days later on the 6th of July.

    In the March of 1781 Romney sailed for the East Indies with a convoy, and on the 16th of April was involved in action at Porto Praya. This battle was inconclusive, but on the 21st of July, she was with Johnstone's squadron when it captured several Dutch Indiamen in Saldanha Bay.

    Romney returned to England in the November of that same year, at which point Captain Robert McDougall took command. In the March of 1783 she was in the Western Approaches, now under Captain John Wickey, flying the broad pendant of Captain John Elliot. In the July of the following year she came under Captain Thomas Lewes and on the 17th of October off Ushant she took the 12 gun Privateer Comte de Bois-Goslin,. Romney's next commander was Captain Samuel Osborn, between the January and April of 1783, after which she was paid off. After a period spent in ordinary, she underwent a Great repair and refit at Woolwich between the April of 1790 and the May of 1792 costing £31,375. Recommissioning during her refit in the March of that year under Captain William Domett, she became the flagship of Rear-Admiral Samuel Goodall for service in the Med wence she sailed on the 18th of June in that year.

    The French Revolutionary Wars.

    She served in the Mediterranean until the outbreak of the French revolutionary Wars, recommissioning under Captain William Paget in the March of 1793, and returning to the Med on the 18th of June to aid in the British occupation of Toulon.

    On the17th of June, 1794, whilst cruising off Mykonos Paget observed a French 44 gun Frigate Sibyle, at anchor in the harbour along with three merchantmen. Paget closed with the enemy ships and demanded that the French surrender. The French Frigate captain demurred, whereupon Paget approached even closer and delivered a broadside to which the French gave reply. After exchanging broadsides for over an hour the French ship struck her colours, having suffered casualties of 46 dead and 112 wounded of which 9 proved to be mortal. In contrast Romney had suffered 8 dead and 30 wounded, of which two were mortal.

    In 1847 this action earned for the survivors the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Romney 17 June 1794".



    The battle between Romney and Sibylle, depicted by Nicholas Pocock.

    From the December of 1794 command of Romney passed to Captain Charles Hamilton, although Commander Henry Inman took command for her return to Britain in the March of 1795. From the June of that year she came under Captain Frank Sotheron when Romney became the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir James Wallace, and she then returned to Newfoundland on the 18th of the month. Romney spent the next few years sailing to and from Newfoundland, under the command of Captain Percy Fraser from the June of 1797, and then Captain John Bligh from July of 1797 as the Flagship of Vice Admiral William Waldegrave who had taken over command of the Halifax station.

    Captain John Lawford took command during the March of 1798, and on her return to home waters she was involved in the Swedish convoy incident in the summer of that year when British men-of-war compelled two Swedish convoys destined for south European ports to put into a British harbour. The decision of the Admiralty Court was pronounced a year later and led to the confiscation of both vessels and their cargoes. The dominant sea power thus denied the right of a neutral to prevent a search by them. The decision aroused great attention at the time and has become a precedent in respect of the rights of neutrals in naval warfare. The convoy affair of 1798 is of special interest from another point of view, however, in that the reaction of the Swedish government has been regarded as characteristic of Gustaf IV Adolf's personal foreign policy. The seizure of the first convoy called forth a particularly violent reaction on the part of the King, and he stubbornly insisted on the release of the convoys and the payment of full compensation and for several years, relations between Sweden and Britain became tainted by this dispute.

    In the August of the following year Romney was assigned to Vice-Admiral Andrew Mitchell’s squadron at Den Helder during the Vlieter incident. on the 30th of August 1799, when a squadron of the Batavian Navy, commanded by Rear Admiral Samuel Story, surrendered to the British navy. The incident occurred when the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland was underway, the Dutch squadron being trapped in the tidal trench between the Texel and the mainland which was known as De Vlieter, close to Wieringen.

    Captain Sir Home Popham tookk command in the August of 1800 and Romney sailed for the Red Sea to support the British forces in the expulsion of the French Army from Egypt. Because Romney served in the navy's Egyptian campaign from the 8th of March to the 2nd of September 1801, her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal, which was awarded by the Admiralty in 1847 to all surviving claimants.

    In 1802 Romney was in the Red Sea, supporting General Baird’s expedition to assist General Abercromby in mopping up the remaining pockets of the French still remaining there. On the 14th of June the transport Calcutta transporting 331 men of the 80th Foot and 79 native Indian followers was wrecked on the Egyptian coast in the Red Sea. Romney arrived on the following day along with two transports, but Only Romney was able deploy her boats. Despite this, they were able to rescue and ferry ashore all but 7 of the men who had died in an earlier attempt to rescue them.
    In the May of 1803 Romney returned to Chatham. After a refit costing £ 7,847. Captain William Brown recommissioned her for operations on the African coast during 1804, and then in the West Indies. In the October of that year Captain John Colville replaced Brown as captain.

    Fate.

    On the18th of November in that year Romney sailed from Yarmouth to join the force under Rear-Admiral Russell blockading the Texel. She ran aground when her pilots lost their way in thick fog while sailing off the Haak bank on the following day. Attempts to float her off failed. Realising that his ship was doomed, Colvill attempted to save his men and sent out two boats to seek help from nearby merchant vessels. One boat overturned while returning to Romney, drowning the boat's crew. The other made for shore, hoping to summon assistance from the Dutch authorities. The following morning, and with Romney fast breaking up, Colvill supervised the construction and launching of a number of rafts. As the final raft was being launched, seven boats approached from shore. On reaching Romney, the Dutch commander of the boats called on Colvill to surrender, promising that he would endeavour to save the British sailors. Colvill agreed and the Dutch rescued the remaining members of the crew. The total loss of life in the wreck was between nine and eleven men.



    The Loss of the Romney Man of War, by Richard Corbould

    The Dutch conveyed the British to shore, where Dutch Admiral Kirkhurt treated them well. He then sent Colvill and eight of his officers back to join Russell.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    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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    HMS Salisbury (1769)




    HMS Salisbury was a Thomas Slade designed 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line approved on the 2nd of April 1766. She was built by M/shipwright Joseph Harris at Chatham Dockyard. Ordered on the 18th of January 1766, and laid down on the 19th of August in that year, she was launched on the 2nd of October 1769 and completed between that date and the 5th of July, 1770 at a total cost of £22,567.13.3d.




    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Salisbury
    Ordered: 18 Jan 1766
    Builder: Harris Chatham
    Launched: 2 Oct 1769
    Fate: Wrecked 13 May 1796
    General characteristics
    Class and type: 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1051(bm)
    Length: 146 ft 0in (gundeck)
    Beam: 40ft 6¼ in
    Depth of hold: 17 ft 4in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 22 × 24-pounder guns
    • Upper gundeck: 22 × 12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 × 6-pounder guns
    • FC: 2 × 6-pounder guns

    Service.

    HMS Salisbury was commissioned under Captain Andrew Barkley in the May of 1770 for service in North America. On return to England she was paid off in the March of 1772 and underwent a small repair and refit at Chatham for £6,524.12.9d. between the June and October of 1773.

    Recommissioned under the command of Sir E Hughes in the September of that year she departed for service in the East Indies until 1777.

    After returning to England she was not recommissioned until the August of the following year for service in the West Indies under Captain Charles Inglis. This cruise lasted until 1780 when she returned to Plymouth for a large refit and coppering. This took from the September of 1780 until the December of 1782 and cost £23,736.14.5d. which was more than her original build cost. She was recommissioned in the April of 1783 under Captain James Campbell for service on the Newfoundland station. At some period whilst there her captain was James Bradby.

    Salisbury was paid off in the December of 1785, but further commissions followed under Captain J Elliot from 1786 to 1788, and then Captain Mark Milbanke from 1789 to 1791. She then paid off and went into Ordinary until fitted at Portsmouth between the May and August of 1795 at a cost of £10,377. During her refit she was commissioned under Captain William Mitchell, and under him sailed for West Africa and thence to Jamaica in the November of that year.

    Fate.

    On the 13th of May in that year she was wrecked on the Ile de Vache near to San Domingo.


    One of Salisbury's cannon found at the wreck site.
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    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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    HMS Centurion (1774)





    HMS Centurion was a Sir Thomas Slade designed, Salisbury Class, 50 gun fourth rate ship, built by John Barnard and John Turner at Harwich. Ordered on the 25th of December, 1770, and laid down in the May of 1771, she was launched on the 22nd of May, 1774, and completed between the 22nd of June in that year and the 9th of September.1775, at Chatham. The cost was £15023.9.11d.to the builder, plus £1,237.6.11d. for masts provided by the Navy. With rigging for her the overall bill came to ££20,537.17.9d and then there was a further £4,205.16.10d for fitting out.


    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Centurion
    Ordered: 25 December 1770
    Builder: Barnard & Turner, Harwich
    Laid down: May 1771
    Launched: 22 May 1774
    Completed: By 9 September 1775
    Fate:
    • Sank at moorings on 21 February 1824
    • Raised and broken up in 1825


    General characteristics
    Class and type: Salisbury Class 50 gun fourth rate.
    Tons burthen: 1,044 ​1194 (bm)
    Length:
    • 146 ft 0in (44.5 m) (overall)
    • 120 ft 2in (36.6 m) (keel)
    Beam: 40 ft 5in (12.3 m)
    Depth of hold: 17 ft 3 12 in (5.27 m)
    Draught:
    Propulsion:
    10ft 8in x 15ft 7in
    Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Upper deck: 22 x 12 pdr guns
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24 pdr guns

    QD: 4 x 6 pdr guns
    Fc: 2 x 6 pdr guns

    Service.

    HMS Centurion was commissioned in the July of 1775 under her first commander, Captain Richard Braithwaite, and sailed for North America on the 25th of October in that year.

    The American Revolution.

    She was present at the occupation of Rhode Island in December of the following year. Centurion was part of Richard Howe’s fleet at Its encounter with the Comte d’Estang on the 11th of August, 1778, after which she briefly became Howe's Flagship between the 14th and 15th of August. By November, she was in the West Indies with William Hotham’s forces, where she supported the St Lucia landings on the 14th and 15th of December. Remaining in the Leeward Islands throughout 1779, Centurion took part in the Battle of Martinique on the 17th of April, 1780, followed by periods of action in the indecisive clashes that took place on 15th and 19th of May. She returned to Britain and was paid off in September of 1780. The ship then underwent a Middling repair and was coppered at Portsmouth for £11,178.19.10d between the September of that year and the June of 1781. Recommissioned, she sailed back to North America on the 5th of July in that year, under the command of Captain Samuel Clayton. On the 22nd of January, 1783, she chanced upon a battle between the frigate HMS Hussar and the 36 gun French frigate Sybille off the Chesapeake, prompting Sybille's surrender. At the end of the American Revolution Centurion returned home to pay off. She was then fitted for Ordinary at Sheerness and between the December of the following year and the December of 1787 underwent a Great repair at Woolwich for £23,424.12.0d.
    Recommissioned in the February of 1789 under Captain William Ottway, she became the Flagship of Rear Admiral Phillip Affleck, and sailed for Jamaica on the 20th of June in that year. Centurion returned home and was paid off in the August of 1792.

    The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

    Between the August of 1792 and the January of 1793 Centurion was refitted at Chatham, and recommissioned under Captain Samuel Osborn, and immediately sailing for the Leeward Islands on the 26th of February. By the November of that same year she was on her way to the East Indies and in early 1794, Centurion, in company with the Orpheus and Resistance, arrived on the East India station.
    On the 5th of May she was instrumental in the capture of the French 34 gun ship Duguay-Trouin, late Princess-Royal, Indiaman off the Isle de France.

    Off Mauritius, accompanied by the 44 gun HMS Diomede, on the 22nd of October, 1794, Centurion came into action with a French squadron under Captain Jean-Marie Renaud, comprising the 44 gun La Prudente, and la Cybele, plus the 20 gun Le Jean Bart and 14 gun Le Courier.
    Centurion placed herself abreast of the two frigates, with the greater part of her broadside bearing on the Prudente. Diomede took a similar position between Cybèle and Jean Bart, but focused her attention primarily on Cybèle. Meanwhile, the French avisos attempted to rake the British from the rear. After one hour, Renaud started to withdraw, signalling to Cybèle to follow, but the wind had fallen and she had sustained such damage to her rigging that she could not do so. Cybèle therefore found herself under sustained fire from both Centurion and Diomede, but enjoyed aggressive support from Coureur. At 17:00, Centurion lost her topmasts. Around the same time, the wind came up again, enabling Cybèle to retreat and Prudente to return to the fight. Cybèle then lost her mainmast; by then, she had three feet of water in her hull. Diomede attempted to close in, but had sustained damage and was unable to intervene. Prudente was able to put a tow on Cybèle and the two then retreated to Isle de France.
    Centurion had lost three seamen killed or mortally wounded, and 24 men wounded. Diomede did not sustain any loss. Prudente lost 15 men killed, including her First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant, and 20 wounded, including Renaud. Cybèle lost her first lieutenant and 21 men killed, and 62 wounded, 37 of them dangerously. Coureur apparently suffered no casualties. With her topmasts shot off and her foremast lost, Centurion had to retreat for repairs, so the British squadron abandoned the blockade.


    Cybèle and Prudente fighting HMs Centurion and HMS Diomede, by Durand Brager

    Centurion was also involved in the capture of Ceylon in the July and August of following year, and also that of Amboyna and Banda in the February of 1796.

    From the April of 1797 she came under the command of Captain John Sprat Rainier, still cruising in the East Indies, the Red sea and then back to Batavia in the August of 1800. On 23rd of that month, Centurion, with Sybille, Daedalus, and Braave captured or destroyed several Dutch vessels at Batavia Roads. The Royal Navy took a Dutch Brig into service as the Admiral Rainier.

    In 1804 Centurion came under the Temporary command of Captain James Lind and it was during this period that her most important action came at the Battle of Vizagapatam, in which she fought against the French squadron of Contre-Admiral Charles-Alexandre Durand Lenois which was raiding British shipping. The French squadron, comprising the 74 gun Marengo and the frigates Semillante and Atalantea encountered the small frigate HMS Wilhelmina accompanying the Centurion escorting a convoy of two East Indiamen, the Barnaby and the Princess Charlotte. The convoy was anchored at Vizagapatam, early on the 15th of September, when Linois's squadron approached the harbour. Captain Lind was ashore, leaving Lieutenant James Robert Phillips in command. Phillips sighted the approaching ships and, suspecting them to be French, opened fire. Linois continued to approach, causing one of the East Indiamen to run ashore, where she was wrecked, while Lind hurried to return to his ship.
    The three main French ships, continued to approach under fire from Centurion and the shore batteries protecting the harbour. When the French frigates came within 200 yards, Phillips opened fire on Atalante as Sémillante attempted to reach the other side of the British ship and surround her. Linois did not want to risk the Marengo when there might be uncharted shoals about, and so he fired from a longer range. After several hours of fighting, Centurion had suffered severe damage. She had been severely holed, with her rigging wrecked and her anchor cable shot through, which caused her to slowly drift away from the shore, out of control. The French took the opportunity to capture the remaining East Indiaman and withdraw from the harbour. The Centurion lost one man killed and nine wounded. The French suffered slightly heavier losses, Marengo losing two men killed and an officer wounded and Atalante three killed and five wounded. Sémillante, which had not been closely engaged in the battle, suffered no casualties. Damage to the French ships was severe, and Linois was forced to abandon further operations.
    Both nations claimed the encounter as a victory, the French for the capture of the East Indiaman and the British for the survival of Centurion in the face of overwhelming French numerical superiority.


    Defence of the Centurion in Vizagapatam Road, Sept. 15th 1804, after a painting by Sir James Lind.

    Retirement from active service.

    Centurion did not remain much longer in the East Indies, being sent home in November as needing an extensive repairs, due at least in part to the damage inflicted by an infestation of white ants. The letter sent back with her from the commanding officer of her station declared that he was sending her home as she "will require an expensive repair if detained any longer in this Country; in her present state she may be converted by the Navy Board to some useful inferior establishment, as I know of no other mean of effectively getting rid of the White Ants onboard her, who have at times discovered themselves by serious depredations aloft".

    In the August of 1807 Centurion was duly fitted at Chatham for service as a Hospital ship, and after recommissioning under Lieutenant Edward Webb sailed to Halifax Nova Scotia under his command in 1808. She became a receiving ship and stores depot there under Captain George Monke, in the November of that year, followed by a return to being a hospital ship in 1809. She was back in use as a receiving ship under Captain William Skipsey in the June of 1813, during which time she served as flagship of Rear Admiral Edward Griffith Colpoys. Captain Justice Finley took over command in the June of 1814, followed by Captain David Scott from the October of that year.

    Fate.

    Centurion was finally hulked in 1817, in which state she spent the next seven years. She sank at her moorings on the 21st of February, 1824, was raised and broken up in the following year.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    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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    HMS Portland (1770)




    HMS Portland was a John Williams designed Portland Class 50 gun fourth rate ship approved in modified form on the 2nd of April 1766. She was built by M/shipwright William Grey until the July of 1767 and completed by Edward Hunt at Sheerness Dockyard. Ordered on the 18th of January, 1766, and laid down in the January of 1767, she was launched on the 11th of April, 1770, and completed between that date and the 10th of November in that same year.



    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Portland
    Ordered: 18 Jan 1766
    Builder: Williams Sheerness
    Launched: 11 April 1770
    Fate: Sold 19 May 1817
    General characteristics
    Class and type: 50 gun fourth rate ship of the line
    Tons burthen: 1044 (bm)
    Length: 146 ft 0in (gundeck)
    Beam: 40ft 6in
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 6in
    10ft 6in x 15ft 7in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Gundeck: 22 × 24 pdr guns
    • Upper gundeck: 22 × 12 pdr guns
    • QD: 4 × 6 pdr guns
    • FC: 2 × 6 pdr guns


    Service.

    HMS Portland was commissioned in the September of 1770, and recommissioned in 1775 for wartime service.
    Between the February and March of 1779 she was coppered at Woolwich for £6,754.16.10d. Her next recommissioning was under Lieutenant John Manderson as a prison ship at Portsmouth from which service she was paid off in 1800. Between the October of that year and the August of 1801 she served in this capacity at Portsmouth, where in the January of 1802 she was fitted as a convict ship for Langstone harbour.

    Fate.

    On the 19th of May, 1817 she was sold to Daniel List for £800.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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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    HMS Bristol (1775)



    Model of the Thomson Collection of Ship Models on display at the Art Gallery Ontario.

    HMS Bristol was a John Williams designed Portland Class 50 gun forth rate ship, built by M/shipwright Edward Hunt to the October of 1772, then Nicholas Phillips until the March of 1773 and completed by George White at Sheerness Dockyard. Ordered on the 12th of October, 1768, the ship, however, was not laid down until the May of 1771 and launched on the 25th of October, 1775. Completed on the 13th of December in that same year, she had cost £23,440.11.10d to build and a further £3,574. to complete.







    Bow plan for the Bristol

    History
    Great Britain
    Name: Bristol
    Ordered: 12 October 1768
    Builder: Sheerness dockyard
    Laid down: May 1771
    Launched: 25 October 1775
    Commissioned: October 1775
    Out of service: 1786
    Fate: Scrapped, June 1810
    General characteristics
    Class and type: Portland Class 50 gun 4th rate ship
    Tons burthen: 1,049 ​994 (bm)
    Length: 146 ft (44.5 m) (Gundeck)
    Beam: 40 ft 7 in (12.4 m)
    Draught: 15 ft 7 in (4.7 m)
    Depth of hold: 17 ft 6 in (5.3 m)
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament: 50 guns:

    Gundeck: 22 × 24 pdr cannon

    Upper gundeck: 22 × 12 pdr cannon

    QD: 4 × 6 pdr cannon

    Fc: 2 × 6 pdr cannon


    Service.


    The American Revolution.

    HMS Bristol was commissioned under Captain John Morris in the October of 1775 for wartime service, and on the 12th of February, 1776 she sailed for America.

    On the 28th of June in that year, serving as the Flagship to Commodore Sir Peter Parker, she was involved in the attack on Sullivan’s island and sustained heavy damage during the battle.

    An exact plan of Charles Town bar and harbour. From an actual survey. With the attack of Fort Sullivan, on the 28th of June 1776, by His Majesty's squadron commanded by Sir Peter Parker

    On the 20th of March, 1780 now commanded by Captain Tobias Caulfield, she sailed for Jamaica, and on the 20th of June in that year was in action in the off Mont Christi. Operating out of the Jamaican station where his badly damaged ship had fled following the Battle of Grenada the previous July, Captain the Hon William Cornwallis in the 64 gun HMS Lion was cruising in the Windward Passage to the north of Monte Cristi, Haiti, in company with the Bristol under acting Captain Thomas Packenham, and the 44 gun HMS Janus, when his ships fell in with a superior French squadron under Rear-Admiral Jean Toussaint Guillaume La Motte-Picquet, whose force, consisted of the 74 gun Annibal, 74 gun Diad me, 64 gun Refl chi, 50 gun Amphion, and 32 gun Amphitrite, escorting a convoy from Martinique to Cap Fran ois. Prudently despatching his charges to safety, the much respected French admiral soon piled on sail to the north-west in pursuit of Cornwallis.

    In order to meet the enemy threat Cornwallis formed his three ships in line ahead, but he was soon overreached by the French flagship Annibal when she came within range at about 5 p.m. A general action did not ensue however, for despite his superiority La Motte-Picquet showed no further inclination to close with the British that evening. Instead a long-range cannonade continued through to the early hours of the following morning.
    At daylight a calming wind had drawn the Janus well away from her consorts to leeward, ands she became engaged with La Motte-Picquet s flagship, losing both her mizzen-top and fore-topgallant masts, but in turn inflicting more than superficial damage to the Annibal by using her manoeuvrability to hang off the Frenchman’s quarter and stern. At some time in the morning Captain Glover died, and command devolved upon his first lieutenant, George Hopewell Stephens.

    Wishing to support the Janus, the boats of the Lion and Bristol were hove overboard and employed in towing the two heavier ships to the support of the frigate. After a three hour long-range engagement, one in which the Lion had to replenish the Bristol ‘s stock of powder, the French hauled off to make good on their repairs, showing no interest in putting any of their ships at risk, but rather looking to the protection of their damaged flagship.
    At dawn the following morning the 64 gun Ruby, and two frigates, the 28 gun Pomona, and 32 gun Niger 32, hove into view. Their appearance was a hammer blow to La Motte-Picquet, At 6.30 a.m. the French admiral decided to abide by standing instructions to protect his ships, and retreated before what he now considered might be a superior force. Signalling his squadron to make for Cap Fran ois and rejoin the convoy, La Motte-Picquet crowded on sail, and after a five hour chase Cornwallis abandoned the pursuit, his squadron having sustained just twelve casualties in the three day action.

    On the 6th of October, Bristol was caught in a severe Hurricane and was dismasted. With the severity of the stress put upon the ships timbers by the force of the winds and water she was in need of a complete refit and arrived back in England in the September of 1781 now under Captain John Thomas Duckworth who had assumed command in the January of that year.


    HMS Bristol and Hector in distress and dismasted during the Great hurricane of 1780.

    Paid off following wartime service, she then underwent a complete re-coppering and was fitted for temporary service at Plymouth at a cost of £13,567.3.11d. She was recommissioned in the March of 1782 under Captain James Samber whilst the repairs were underway. On completion of the refit In the June of that year Bristol came under the command of Captain James Burney and on the 11th of September she sailed first to the relief of Gibraltar and thence onward to the East Indies.

    In the December of 1782 whilst she was escorting a convoy of East Indiamen, and when they called at the island of Trinidade, they found Captain Phillippe d’ Auvergne of HMS Rattlesnake, which had been wrecked there almost a year earlier. Bristol took the survivors with her to India, where on the 20th of June 1783 she fought at the Battle of Cuddalore.

    In 1784 the ship temporally came under Lieutenant Augustus William Fitzroy, and returned to England in 1786, arriving in the July of that Year. Paid off, by 1787 she had assumed the role of a church ship in the Medway.

    Fate.

    After 1794 she was used as a prison ship under Lieutenant James Manderson in Gillingham Reach, in the County of Kent), and in the following year became an unrated hospital ship under Lieutenant John Samuel Silly, followed by three further changes of commander until 1808 when her final commander Lieutenant Richard Simmons took over and saw here through until she was broken up in the June of 1810 at Sheerness.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    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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    HMS Renown (1774)

    HMS Renown was a John Williams designed, Portland Class, small two decker, 50 gun ship, built by Robert Fabian at Northam,Southampton. She was ordered on the 25th of December, 1770, approved on the 30th of January 1771 laid down in the May of that year and launched on the 4th of December, 1774. The ship was completed on the 16th of September, 1775, at Portsmouth.



    Plans of the Renown
    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Renown
    Ordered: 25 December 1770
    Builder: Robert Fabian,
    Northam
    Laid down: May 1771
    Launched: 4 December 1774
    Completed: 16 September 1775 at Portsmouth Dockyard
    Commissioned: July 1775
    Fate: Taken to pieces at Sheerness in December 1794

    General characteristics
    Class and type: Portland Class fourth rate ship
    Tons burthen: 1,050 ​4894 (bm)
    Length:
    • 146 ft 0 in (44.5 m) (gundeck)
    • 119 ft 8 in (36.5 m) (keel)
    Beam: 40 ft 712 in (12.4 m)
    Depth of hold: 17 ft 412 in (5.30 m)
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • 50 guns comprising:
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24 pdr guns
    • Upper deck: 22 × 12 pdr guns
    • QD: 4 × 6 pdr guns
    • Fc: 2 x 6 pdr guns



    Service.

    HMS Renown was commissioned under Captain Francis Banks in the July of, 1775.

    The American Revolution.

    On the 30th of September in that year she sailed for North America. When Banks died on the18th of June, 1777, command passed to Lieutenant George Dawson, who was posted captain in the September of that year.
    Having sailed from Halifax Nova Scotia, Renown arrived in the nick of time to reinforce the rag tag Fleet of Admiral Richard Howe. She then took part in his notable action against the French fleet under the Comte d’Estaing on the 11th of August, 1778. Only two days subsequent to this, she attacked the 90 gun Languedoc, which had been dismasted the day before in a storm, and raked her.


    [IMG]file:///C:\Users\Rob\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image002.jpg[/IMG]
    The Languedoc, dismasted by the storm the night of the 12th, attacked by HMS Renown the afternoon of 13 August 1778 (Pierre Ozanne)

    She then returned to England in the November of 1780 and underwent a refit and replacement of her coppering at Plymouth between that month and the February of 1781, at a cost of £7,362.7.9d. before recommissioning under Captain John Henry and returning to the North American station. The Renown took part in Rear Admiral Kempenfelt's action on the 12th of December, 1781, when his squadron sighted the French convoy for which he had been searching, only to discover that its protective escort had been strengthened. Initially, the French Fleet under Guichen was downwind of the convoy, which allowed the British ships to sweep down and capture 15 troop transports and supply ships before the French ships could react. However, his force was not strong enough to attack the 19 French escorts. Nevertheless, the remains of the French convoy, having foolishly risked setting sail in the North Atlantic storm season in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid British forces, was dispersed in a gale shortly afterwards, and most of the ships were forced to return to port.

    Fate.

    Renown finally returned home and paid off in the August 1784 following wartime service and Pace into Ordinary. In the March of 1794 she was fitted as a lazarette at Chatham, but by Admiralty Orders issued on the 25th of November in that year was broken up at Sheerness on the month following.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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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    HMS Isis (1774)

    HMS Isis was a John Williams designed Portland Class 50 gun fourth rate ship, built by Jonn Henniker and Co. at Chatham. Ordered on the 25th of December, 1770 and approved on the 30th of January, 1771, she was laid down in the December of 1772, and launched on the 19th of November, 1774.
    She was completed in the February of 1776, at a total cost of £19,303.8.9d. Fitting out was a further £4,334.19.6d.



    The Isis 1774
    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Isis
    Ordered: 25 December 1770
    Builder: John Henniker & Co, Chatham
    Laid down: December 1772
    Launched: 19 November 1774
    Completed: February 1776
    Fate: Broken up in September 1810
    General characteristics
    Class and type: Portland Class 50 gun fourth rate ship
    Tons burthen: 1,050 6694 (bm)
    Length: 146 ft (45 m)
    Beam: 40 ft 7 12in (12.383 m)
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 6in (5.33 m)
    10ft 1in x 15ft 1in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Complement: 350
    Armament:
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24 pdr guns
    • Upper deck: 22 x 12pdr guns
    • QD:4 x 6 pdr guns
    • Fc:2 x 6 pdr guns
    Service.

    HMS Isis was commissioned under Captain Charles Douglas in 1776, at which time he sailed with a squadron for the relief of Quebec. After further service in the North sea, she underwent a small repair and coppering at Woolwich between the February and November of 1780. at a cost of £ 2964.19.9d.

    The ship then sailed for the East Indies and on the 20th of June, 1783, under Captain Christopher Halliday, in the Squadron commanded by Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, Isis fought in the Van at the Battle of Cuddalore.

    On her return to England in 1784 she was paid off in the July of that year following wartime service, and underwent a Great repair and refit at Woolwich costing £33,312 between the March of 1792 and May of 1795. Recommissioned under Captain Benjamin Archer for North Sea service in the July of that year, she was placed under the command of Captain Robert Watson before sailing, and on the 22nd of August Isis was engaged in the action off Norway against a Dutch squadron where along with others she was involved in the capture of the Dutch 36 gun Alliante.

    On her return in 1797, she was involved in the Nore Mutiny, and then on the 11th of October of that year, under Captain William Mitchell, fought under Admiral Duncan in the Windward Division at the Battle of Camperdown. During the action Isis suffered 2 killed and 21 wounded.

    From the August of 1799 she came under the command of Captain James Oughton, as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell during the Anglo- Russian invasion of Holland, and the seizure of the Dutch Fleet in the Nieuwe Diep on the 28th of August in that year. From October she came under Captain Richard Ratalic, and then Captain James Walker in the November of 1800. On the 2nd of April, 1801, under Captain Walker she fought in the Battle of Copenhagen and suffered 33 killed and 88 wounded.

    In the August of 1801, Isis was placed under the command of Captain Masterman Hardy, and then Captain William Nowell.

    During the Peace of Amiens which was signed in the March of 1802, Isis was fitted for Foreign Service at Chatham between the June and July of that year at a cost of £ 3,008. and under Captain Edward Brace, on the 29th of July in that year, she sailed for Newfoundland to become Vice Admiral Gambier’s flagship. During her crossing of the Atlantic she was badly damaged by a hurricane, requiring repairs, and then from the February of 1803 came under Captain William Lobb, before sailing for further service in Newfoundland until the May of 1803, still as Gambier’s Flagship. In the May of 1804 she came under the command of Captain John Ommaney as Flagship to Vice Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower in which she continued until 1806. In the June of that year she came under the command of Captain John Laugharne, as the Flagship of Vice Admiral John Holloway sailing back to Newfoundland on the 26th of January 1808 with a convoy of East Indiamen and arriving on the 19th of June.

    In the January of 1809 Captain Donald M’Leod took command of Isis for service in the North Sea, which was taken over by Captain Alexander Kerr in the May, and in the following month Captain Woodley Losack.

    Fate.

    Isis was broken up at Deptford in the September of 1810.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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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    HMS Leopard (1790)





    HMS Leopard was a John Williams designed Portland Class 50 gun fourth rate ship built by M/shipwright Edward Hunt until the December of 1777 and the underwent more work by Nicholas Phillips to the May of 1779 and then George White at Portsmouth Dockyard.She was originally ordered on the 16th of October, 1775, named on the 13th of November, and laid down in the January of 1776., Ten years after having first been laid down she was reordered in the May of 1785, and the order was moved to Sheerness dockyard where construction re-began on the 7th of that month. M/shipwright was now Martin Ware until the December of 1785, and then John Nelson until the March of, 1786, when William Rule took over. She was launched on the 24th of April, 1790, and completed on 26 May in that same year. The total cost for the construction being £24,489 to build plus £3,464. For fitting.



    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: Leopard
    Ordered:
    • 16 October 1775
    • Reordered in May 1785
    Builder: Portsmouth Dockyard (1775)

    • Sheerness Dockyard (1785)
    Laid down:
    • January 1776 (Portsmouth)
    • 7 May 1785 (Sheerness)
    Launched: 24 April 1790
    Completed: By 26 May 1790
    Reclassified: Troopship in 1812
    Honours and
    awards:
    Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Egypt"
    Fate: Wrecked on 28 June 1814
    General characteristics
    Class and type: Portland Class 50 gun fourth rate ship
    Tons burthen: 1,055 ​7594 (bm)
    Length:
    • 146 ft 5 in (44.6 m) (overall)
    • 120 ft 0 34 in (36.6 m) (keel)
    Beam: 40 ft 8 in (12.4 m)
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)
    10ft 3 in x 15ft 8 in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Upper deck: 22 x 12-pounder guns
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 x 6-pounder guns
    • Fc: 2 x 6-pounder guns



    Service.

    HMS Leopard was commissioned under Captain John Blankett in the June of 1790 and sailed for the East Indies. On the 21st of March 1791 in company with HMS Thames Leopard left Macao escorting The China fleet of East Indiamen as far as Java Head.
    On her return to England in the December of that year she was paid off, and between the January of the following year and the January of 1793 she underwent a refit at Woolwich for £9,686. During the November of 1792 she had been recommissioned under Captain John Maude.
    On the 1st of November 1793 she came under the command of Captain William Swaffield for service in the Downs, and then from the February of 1794 she served as Flagship to Vice Admiral Joseph Peyton until the February of 1796 in the same area of operations. In the august of that year Captain William Hargood assumed command, and on the 18th of February, 1797 Leopard took the 4 gun Privateer Le Victorieux off Scarbrough. On the 27th of May she was involved in the Mutiny at the Nore, but managed to get to sea on the 10th of June, as on the afternoon of the 9th, a meeting of the loyal officers, men and Marines in HMS Leopard agreed that they should take back control of the ship from the mutineers. The meeting had been convened following concerns about the increasingly militant demands of the ringleaders and rumours about sailing to join the French and Dutch Fleets at the Texel. The men agreed to divide themselves into three teams. One, under Lieutenant Joseph Robb would move two 12pdr long guns, in the part of the upper gundeck screened off to form the wardroom, away from their gunports and aim them down the gundeck. A second party would disable the 24pdr long guns on the lower gundeck by filling the vents with vinegar and then cut the anchor cable, while a third party would go aloft and set the sails.



    At a pre-arranged signal the plan was put into action. The wardroom screens were taken down and faced with large cannon filled with grapeshot and unable to fire the lower gundeck guns, the mutineers had no choice but to surrender and the ship made good her escape to rejoined the rest of the North Sea Fleet at Yarmouth.

    In the Courts Martial which followed the collapse of the Mutiny, 42 of HMS Leopard's men were tried. Of those 42 men, nine were convicted, of whom seven were hanged from her fore-yard, two were sent to the prison hulks, and the rest were acquitted.


    In the December of that same year she came under the command of Captain Captain Thomas Surridge, and sailed for the East Indies on the 27th of June, 1798 as the Flagship under the overall command of Commodore John Blankett.

    The French Revolutionary Wars.

    On the 24th of October 1798, Leopard captured the French 16 gun Privateer Apollon, under the command of Captain La Vaillant. On 22 August 1800 Leopard captured La Clarice.
    In 1801 she took part in the Egyptian operations, from the 20th of April under Captain George Collier until she paid off in 1803. Because Leopard served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March – 8 September 1801), her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal issued by the Admiralty in 1847 to all surviving claimants.


    The Napoleonic Wars.

    Between the July and November of 1803 Leopard underwent a refit at Chatham for £10,152. She recommissioned in the September of that year under Captain James Morris she served as flagship to Commodore Charles Cunningham, and then in the June of the following year under Captain Francis Austin as Flagship to Rear Admiral Thomas Lewis off Dunkirk. In the February of 1805 she came under Captain Richard Raggett as the flagship of Vice Admiral Billy Douglas in the North Sea.
    On the 30th of March, 1806, Leopard sailed from England as an escort to a convoy which included Asia, Lady Burges, Lord Melville, Lord Nelson and Sovereign. During the night of the 20th of April Lady Burges was wrecked on a reef off Boa Vista in the Cape Verde Islands. Boats from the convoy were able to rescue 150 of the 184 people on board, but 34 or 38 drowned. Leopard later left the convoy and arrived back at Spithead on the 8th of June in that year.

    The Chesapeake-Leopard affair.



    In early 1807, a handful of British sailors, some of whom were of American birth, deserted their ships, which were blockading French vessels in the Chesapeake Bay. They then joined the crew of the USS Chesapeake. In an attempt to recover the British deserters, Captain Saulsbury Pryce Humphreys, commanding Leopard, hailed Chesapeake and requested permission to search her. Commodore James Barron of Chesapeake demurred and Leopard opened fire. Caught unprepared, Barron surrendered and Humphreys sent boarders to search for the deserters. The boarding party seized four deserters from the Royal Navy, three Americans and one British born sailor, and shipped them to Halifax Nova Scotia, where the British sailor, Jenkin Ratford, was hanged for desertion. The Americans were initially sentenced to 500 lashes, but had their sentence commuted. Britain also offered to return them to America.
    The incident caused severe political repercussions in the United States, and almost resulted in the two nations going to war.



    The Chesapeake-Leopard affair. Barron surrenders to Humphreys aboard Chesapeake

    In 1808 under Captain James Johnstone she served as Flagship to Vice Admiral Sir Albermarle Bertie and sailed for the Cape of Good Hope on the 7th of May in that year. In the June of 1809 she was temporally under the command of Captain James Tate and was part of the convoy assigned to Commodore Josias Rowley in the Mauritius Campaign which took place in the Indian Ocean between 1809 and 1811. However, she did not participate in the whole campaign but returned to England in the latter part of 1810 to be fitted as a 26 gun sixth rate troopship at Chatham between the December of that year and the April of 1811. Recommissioned under Captain William Dillon she spent 1812 and most of 1813 in the Med, before returning to England.

    Fate.

    Recommissioned under Captain Edward Crofton in the January of 1814 for the Halifax station, on the 28th of June in that year she was en route from Britain to Quebec, ferrying a contingent of 475 Royal Scots Guardsmen, when she grounded and was wrecked off Anticosti Island in heavy fog. Although Leopard was destroyed, all those on board survived.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    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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    HMS Jupiter (1778)

    HMS Jupiter was a John Williams designed Portland Class, 50 gun fourth rate ship, built by John Randall & Co. at Rotherhithe. Ordered on the 21st of June, and confirmed on the 1st of July, 1776, she was laid down in that same month and launched on the 13th of May, 1778. Completed at Deptford on the 26th of July in that year she cost £15,801.2.10d to build and 38,511.5.4d for fitting and coppering which featured the new technical breakthrough of protecting her iron bolts by the application of thick paper between the copper plates and the hull. In her trials this proved a great success and she also had the added advantage of proving to be one of the most speedy ships in the Royal Navy as demonstrated in her pursuit and attempted capture of the cutter Eclipse.

    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Jupiter
    Ordered: 21 June & 1 July 1776
    Builder: John Randall & Co, Rotherhithe
    Laid down: July 1776
    Launched: 13 May 1778
    Completed: By 26 July 1778
    Fate: Wrecked on 10 December 1808

    General characteristics
    Class and type: Portland Class 50 gun fourth rate ship
    Tons burthen: 1,061 ​3094 (bm)
    Length:
    • 146 ft 1 12 in (44.5 m)
    Beam: 40 ft 10 in (12.4 m)
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 6 in (5.3 m)
    10ft 7in x 16ft 3in
    Propulsion: Sails
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24 pdr guns
    • Upper deck: 22 x 12 pdr guns
    • QD: 4 x 6 pdr guns
    • Fc: 2 x 6 pdr guns


    Service.

    HMS Jupiter was commissioned in the April of 1778 under Captain Charles Middleton. On October the 20th in that year whilst cruising off Finisterre Jupiter, now under Captain Francis Reynolds, in company with the 28 gun Medea, Captain James Montagu, fell in with the French 64 gun Triton, under Captain Comte de Ligondes. The Jupiter ranged up on one board, with the Medea taking up position on the opposite, just as dusk was falling, and cannonaded the Triton hotly. The French captain succeeded in turning the same broadside to both his assailants, but after about an hour's fighting was wounded in both arms and was forced to relinquish his command to Lieut, de Roquart. The engagement lasted two hours, before a squall of wind and rain, and the impenetrable darkness of the night separated the combatants. The Triton had suffered some 13 killed and approximately 20 wounded. The Jupiter had 3 killed and 7 wounded, whilst the Medea's loss was 1 killed and 3 wounded.



    Naval battle off the coast of Lisbon, 20 October 1778. The French ship Triton against the British ship Jupiter and the frigate Medea. Painting by Pierre-Julien Gilbert

    On the 27th of March, 1779, under Captain Lord Francis Reynolds, Jupiter sailed for the Med escorting a convoy and on the 1st of April she assisted the Delight after she had captured the French 20 gun Privateer Jean Bart. Then on the 2nd of October in that same year, Jupiter captured two French cutters, each of 14 guns and 120 men, the Mutin, under the command of Chevalier de Roquefeiul, and the Pilote, under the command of Chevalier de Clonard. The two cutters surrendered after an engagement that left the Mutin dismasted. Jupiter shared the prize money with HM Ships Apollo, Crescent, Glory and Milford.

    On the 20th of September, 1780 Jupiter came under the command of Captain Thomas Pasley, and under him on the 13th of March,1781 she sailed as escort to an outbound East India convoy, and fought at the Battle of Porto Preya on the 16th of April, in that year. The battle took place between the British squadron under Commodore George Johnstone and a French squadron under the Bailli de Suffren.
    Both squadrons were en route to the Cape of Good Hope, the British to take it from the Dutch, the French aiming to help defend it and French possessions in the Indian Ocean. The British convoy and its escorting squadron had anchored at Porto Praya in the Cape Verde Islands to take on water, when the French squadron arrived and attacked them at anchor.
    Due to the unexpected nature of the encounter neither fleet was prepared for action, and in the inconclusive battle which followed the French fleet sustained more damage than the British, though no ships were lost. Johnstone tried to pursue the French, but was forced to call it off in order to repair the damage his ships had taken.

    On the 21st of July Commodore George Johnstone's squadron, still on route to the East Indies, captured five valuable prizes in Saldanha Bay. These were the Dutch East Indiamen Dankbaarheid, 24, Perel, 20, Schoonkoop, 20, Hoogcarspel, 20, and Middelburg, 24. Their masters were surprised and could not escape; they therefore cut their cables, loosed their fore-topsails, and drove on shore, where the ships were fired, and the men landed. The British boats, however, were smartly on the spot and checkmated the Dutch designs. The fires were got under on board all the ships except the Middelburg, which burnt furiously, floated off, and nearly drifted on board two of the other prizes. Finally she blew up. A hooker laden with the sails of the captured ships, was discovered hidden away, and captured. Two other hookers were taken, but restored to the Dutch inhabitants by the Commodore. The prizes were sent home, but it is noteworthy as showing the extreme insecurity of British waters at that time, that two of them had sharp fights in coming up the Channel.
    The Hoogcarspel was chased by a French frigate, and had to retire to Mount's Bay, there to await an escort. The Perel was attacked by two privateers, which only retired when their ammunition was exhausted.


    On her return from the Indies in the July of 1783 Jupiter was paid off following wartime service and in the July of the following year underwent a small repair at Sheerness which was completed in the November of that year at a cost of £9,669.2.7d.

    She was recommissioned in the August of 1786 under Captain Christopher Parker and sailed for the Leeward Islands in the April of 1787. On her return in the September of 1789 she was paid off and then underwent a very large repair at Sheerness between the February of 1792 and the September of 1794 at a cost of £32,877.

    The ship recommissioned under Captain Richard Fisher, and in the January of 1795 came under the command of Captain William Lechmere as the flagship of Commodore John Willett Payne. After serving as a Royal escort for Princess Caroline of Brunswick, in the February of 1796 she was placed under Captain George Losack until 1802, and on the 11th of April she sailed with reinforcements for the Cape arriving in time for the Battle of Muisenberg in the Cape colony, and winning the battle honour “Cape of Good Hope” in the process. Having joined Elphinstone’s squadron she was also at the capture of the Dutch Squadron in Saldanha Bay on the 17th of August in that year. Losack was made Commodore flying his broad pennant in the November of 1798.

    On the 25th of April, 1799, Jupiter, Adamant, and Tremendous recaptured the East Indiaman Chance as she lay at anchor under the guns of the battery at Connonies-Point, Île de France. The French frigate Forte had previously captured Chance, which was carrying a cargo of rice, in Balasore Roads. The squadron also recaptured another ship that a French privateer had captured in the Bay of Bengal. After the French had driven the American ship Pacific onshore at River Noir, Jupiter, Adamant, and Tremendous came on the scene and sent in their boats, which removed much of Pacific's cargo of bale goods and sugar. The British then set Pacific on fire.
    On the 10th of October, 1799, under the temporary command of Captain William Granger, Jupiter was in action with the 40 gun French Frigate La Preneuse commanded by Jean Marthe Adrien L’ Hermitte in the Indian Ocean.
    In 1801 Jupiter became the flagship to Vice Admiral Sir Roger Curtis destined for the East Indies.On the 17th of September in that year, she arrived at Cape Town from Rio de Janeiro, together with Hindostan and Euphrosyne, having taken over from HMS Lion which had escorted a convoy of East Indiamen from England bound for China as far as Rio, together with Hindostan. They had arrived there on the 1st of August. Captain Losack, of Jupiter, then decided to accompany the convoy eastward until they were unlikely to encounter several Spanish and French vessels known to be cruising off the coast of Brazil.
    On the 27th of May1803 Jupiter shared with Braave, Diomede, and Hindostan, in the capture of Union.
    Returning home she was paid off into Ordinary on the 7th of October in that year. Between the September and the December of 1805 she was fitted as a Hospital ship at Plymouth.
    After refitting as a 50 gun ship which was completed in the March of 1807 and recommissioned under Captain Henry Edward Reginald Baker and on the 18th of April she sailed from Portsmouth as escort to a fleet of East Indiamen bound for India and China, although she was not intended to accompany them all the way. On the 15th of June when they were 55°10′N 22°30′W "all was well". However, Surat Castle had sprung a leak and it was determined that she should go into a port.

    Fate.

    On the 10th of December, 1808, Captain Barker approached Vigo Harbour towards the end of dusk. He decided to anchor as close to the harbour as possible in order to be able to come in early the next morning. As Jupiter was coming into position to anchor she hit a reef. Attempts to lighten her by throwing shot and stores overboard had no effect, and she was taking on so much water the fear was that if she were heaved off she would sink. Over the next two days stores were removed. She then fell on her starboard side and was left a wreck. The subsequent court martial admonished Captain Barker to be more careful in the future.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    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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    HMS Leander (1780)



    HMS Leander was a John Williams designed Portland Class, 50 gun, fourth rate ship, built by M/shipwright Israel Pownoll until the April of 1779 and completed by Nicholas Phillips at Chatham Dockyard. Ordered on the 21st of June and confirmed on the 25th of July, 1776, she was laid down on the 1st of March,1777, and launched on the 1st of July, 1780. She was completed on the 21st of August in that year at a total cost of £26,831.1.3d.
    History
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Leander
    Ordered: 21 June & 25 July 1776
    Builder: Chatham Dockyard, M/Shipwright Israel Pownoll to April 1779 then completed by Nicholas Phillips
    Laid down: 1 March 1777
    Launched: 1 July 1780
    Honours and
    awards:
    Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Nile"
    Fate: Captured 18 August 1798 by the French Navy
    FRANCE
    Name: Leander
    Acquired: By capture 18 August 1798
    Captured: 3 March 1799 by the Russian Navy
    Fate: Returned to the Royal Navy
    GREAT BRITAIN
    Name: HMS Leander
    Acquired: Returned by Russian Navy
    Renamed: Hygeia, in 1813
    Reclassified: Converted to hospital ship 1813
    Fate: Sold 1817


    General characteristics
    Type and Class: Portland Class 50
    Gun fourth rate ship
    Tons burthen: 1,052 ​4694 (bm)
    Length:
    • 146 ft 0 in (44.5 m) (overall)
    • 119 ft 7 34 in (36.5 m) (keel)
    Beam: 40 ft 8 in (12.4 m)
    Depth of hold:
    Draught:
    17 ft 5 in (5.3 m)
    11ft 0in x 15ft 11in
    Sail plan: Full rigged ship
    Armament:
    • Lower deck: 22 x 24 pdr guns
    • Upper deck: 22 x 12 pdr guns
    • QD: 4 x 6-pounder guns
    • Fc: 2 x 6-pounder guns


    Service.

    HMS Leander was commissioned under Captain Thomas Shirley in the June of 1780, and cruised for some time on the North Sea station. At the end of 1781 Leander accompanied by the Sloop HMS Alligator sailed for the Gold Coast with a convoy, consisting of a few merchant vessels and transports. Britain was at war with the Dutch Republic and on the 17th of February in that year Shirley launched an unsuccessful attack, on the Dutch outpost at Elmina, which was repulsed four days later. Leander and Shirley then went on to capture the small Dutch forts at Moree. These comprised Fort Nassau housing 20 guns, Fort Amsterdam with 32 guns, Fort Patience with 22 guns, Fort Good Hope with18 guns, and Fort Ussher o f32 guns. Leander also destroyed the French store-ship Officeuse, off Senegal, credited with being worth £30,000. Shirley next garrisoned all those facilities with personnel from the Cape Coast.

    Leander then sailed to the West Indies where towards the end of 1782, as senior captain, Shirley became commanding officer of the station, prior to the arrival of Admiral Hugh Pigot who promoted him out of Leander to captain of the 90 gun HMS Union.
    Captain John Willet Payne became the new commander of Leander on the 5th of January 1783 and on the 18th of January she was escorting a cartel when the two vessels encountered a large French warship at midnight. After an inconclusive engagement of two hours, Leander and her opponent separated. Admiral Pigot reported that the French vessel was probably a 74 gun ship of the line. She was probably the Couronne. On the 4th of March Leander captured the brig Bella Juditta. On the 23rd of that month Leander was one of five warships and the armed storeship Sally which shared in the proceeds of the capture of the ship Arend op Zee. On the 16th of April, Captain John Reynolds took command of Leander until the 10th of May,1784, when on her return to Britain she was paid off at Portsmouth following wartime service.

    From the June to the December of 1785 she underwent a small repair costing £8,466.12.5d. and in the November of the following year was fitted for foreign service, having been recommissioned in the August of that year under Captain Sir James Barclay. However, it was not until the 9th of April in 1787 that she sailed for Nova Scotia to serve as the flagship of Sir Herbert Sawyer until the 3rd of September, 1788, when she was paid off. Captain Joseph Peyton, immediately recommissioned her as the flagship for his father Rear Admiral Joseph Peyton, and she sailed for the Mediterranean on the 22nd of December in that same year.

    The French Revolutionary, and Napoleonic Wars.

    Leander was recommissioned in May 1795 under Captain Maurice Delgano for service in the North Sea and Channel. On the 12th of May, 1796 she was part of Admiral Duncan’s squadron, when HMS Phoenix captured the Dutch frigate Argo and the brig Mercury. The Royal Navy took both Argo and Mercury into service. Argo became HMS Janus and Mercury became HMS Hermes. Leander also shared in the proceeds of the capture of the Vrow Hendrica, which was captured on the 22nd October of that year.

    In the following month, Leander came under the command of Captain Thomas Boulden Thompson, and on the 7th of January, 1797, she escorted a convoy to Gibraltar before joining the Mediterranean Fleet under Earl St. Vincent, and being assigned to the squadron under the command of Horatio Nelson. In the July of that year Leander took part in Nelson's attack on Santa Cruz with Captain Thompson being amongst the leaders of the landing parties, under the overall direction of Nelson and Troubridge. Wind hampered the initial attempts to force a landing, and when a successful landing was finally made on the evening of the 22nd, the Spanish defenders immediately subjected the insurgents to a heavy fire. Notwithstanding, Thompson's party were able to advance and spike several of the enemy's guns. However, the British forces had become dispersed throughout the town, and were then forced to negotiate a truce to allow them to withdraw. Thompson himself was wounded in the battle and in total Leander suffered 7men killed, 6 wounded including Thompson, and one missing in action.

    The Battle of the Nile.

    On the 1st of August 1798, Leander took part in the Battle of the Nile, where she was able to exploit a gap in the French line and anchor between Peuple Souverain and Franklin. From this advantageous position she succeeded in raking both enemy ships whilst being protected from their broadsides. The ploy proved so successful that during the entire battle she suffered no mortalities and sustained only 14 wounded.

    Leander’s capture.

    On the 18th of August, whilst carrying Nelson's dispatches from the Nile and accompanied by Sir Edward Berry, Leander encountered the 74 gun French ship Le Genereux off Crete. The subsequent action cost Leander 35 men killed and 57 wounded, including Thompson. However, the French suffered no fewer than 100 killed and 180 wounded, but still managed to take Leander. The French then put her into service under her existing name.



    The Action between H.M.S. Leander and the French National Ship Le Généreux, August 18th 1798, by C.H. Seaforth. Généreux is visible in the front, with Leander seen damaged in background.

    The French treated the prisoners badly and plundered almost everything but the clothes the British had on their backs. When Thompson remonstrated with Captain Lejoille of Généreux, Lejoille answered nonchalantly, "J'en suis fâché, mais le fait est, que les Français sont bons au pillage." ("It makes me angry, but the fact is, the French are good at pillaging.") They refused treatment for Thompson, who had been badly wounded. Leander's surgeon, Mr. Mulberry, was able to remove a musket ball from Thompson's arm only after the vessels reached Corfu on the 1st of September, and he was smuggled aboard the vessel where the French were holding Thompson.
    The subsequent court-martial aboard HMS America at Sheerness most honourably acquitted Thompson, his officers, and his crew. The court also thanked Berry for the assistance he gave during the battle. Captain Thompson was subsequently knighted and awarded a pension of £200 per annum.

    Leander was at Corfu when a joint Russian and Ottoman force placed the island under siege. The Russians and Turks recaptured Leander when Corfu capitulated to them on the 3rd of March, 1799 and The Russians restored Leander to the Royal Navy.
    In the June of that year, Leander was recommissioned still in the Mediterranean under Commander Adam Drummond, but In the September of the year Captain Michael Halliday assumed command.
    On her return to England, between the July of 1801 and the June of 1802 she refitted at Deptford at a cost of £24,962, and during this period, in the May of 1802 she was recommissioned under Captain James Oughton as the flagship of Vice Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell until 1806.

    In the July of that year she sailed for Halifax, Nova Scotia and Captain Francis Fane took command a year later, in the August of 1803, followed by Captain Alexander Skene who replaced him in the November of that year. On the 16th of August 1804 Leander was in company with HMS Cambrian when they recaptured Hibberts.

    She then had three more captains in rapid succession. Firstly George Ralph Collier, then James Oughton again, and from the November of that year, Captain John Talbot.

    In the January of 1805 Leander came under the command of Captain William Llyall and on the 23rd of February, whilst on the Halifax station, she discovered the French 40 gun ship La Ville de Milan, under Captain Pierre Guillet, and the British Cleopatra, which Ville de Milan had captured on the previous day. The engagement between Ville de Milan and Cleopatra had left both ships greatly damaged. Consequently, when they encountered Leander they struck without a shot being fired. Leander came upon Cleopatra first, and as soon as she had struck, the British prisoners on board her, retook possession. She then followed Leander towards La Ville de Milan, and sent over a prize crew for her. The Navy later took her into service as HMS Milan.

    The rampage continued, when on the 3rd of June Leander captured the Nancy and three days later the Elizabeth. On the day following Leander captured Volunteer and to round off the year in style, on the 12th of October, she also took the Vengeance.
    Thereafter, in recognition of the capture of Ville de Milan and the recapture of Cleopatra, the Admiralty promoted Talbot to the command of a ship of the line, the HMS Centaur.

    The Leander Affair.

    In 1806 HMS Leander came under the command of Captain Henry Whitby. Leander, HMS Driver, and HMS Cambrian, were repeatedly stationed off Sandy Hook, ostensibly to keep watch on two French frigates that had taken refuge in the harbour. However, in the summer of 1804, the warships began stopping and boarding all American ships going into New York just outside the United States' three-mile territorial limit, and searching them for any French goods. If anything suspicious was found, the ship in question was detained and taken to Halifax.

    On the 25th of April 1806, Leander fired a warning shot over the bow of a merchantman, signalling it to stop. The cannonball passed by and decapitated John Pierce, the helmsman of the Richard, a small coasting sloop situated inside the harbour. The sloop's captain, who was Pierce's brother, made his way to New York, where he gathered a mob who then paraded Pierce's body and head through the streets. The next day, an angry mob intercepted a party from Leander returning to their ship with a load of provisions, and seized the provisions. Four of Leander's officers caught ashore were imprisoned for their own protection, and were later secretly released. On the 14th of June President Thomas Jefferson issued a proclamation against Captain Whitby. He ordered Leander, Driver and Cambrian immediately to quit US waters and forbade them ever to return. He extended the same prohibition to all vessels that Captains Whitby, John Nairne and Simpson might command in the future. Whitby was court martialed in England on the charge of murdering John Pierce, but was acquitted.



    An engraving depicting the incident.

    Unperturbed by this incident, on the 26th of April Leander, Cambrian and Driver captured the American ship Aurora.
    In the following month Captain Salusbury Pryce Humphreys took command of Leander at Halifax and she became the flagship of Admiral George Berkeley. For her voyage home to England she came under the command of Captain Richard. Raggett, and was decommissioned at the end of her voyage.

    Fate.

    In the October of 1806, Leander was fitted as a medical depot ship at Portsmouth. In 1813 the Admiralty commissioned a new Leander so on the 6th of May in that year the old Leander was given the name Hygeia, and on the 14th of April 1817 she was sold to a Mr. Thomas for £2,100.
    Attached Images Attached Images    
    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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