Antelope (54)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Antelope (54)

Origin and History

The ship was built, starting on September 28, 1738, by John Hayward at the Woolwich Dockyards and launched on January 27, 1741.

In 1743, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the ship served in the Soundings and off Portugal; and from 1744 to 1746, in the Mediterranean.

In 1750, the ship was repaired at the Sheerness Dockyard.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • from May 21, 1755: Captain Clark Gayton
  • from June 4, 1756: Captain Thomas Saumarez (Captain Alexander Arthur Hood seems to have briefly commanded in 1757)
  • from April 10, 1759: Captain James Webb
  • from May 15, 1761 to April 4, 1764: Captain Thomas Graves

The ship was sold at Woolwich on October 30, 1783.

Service during the War

On June 16 1756, Hawke and Saunders left Portsmouth on board this ship and proceeded to Gibraltar to take command of the British squadron of the Mediterranean. On July 3, the ship arrived at Gibraltar and Hawke immediately assumed command of the British fleet, replacing Byng. On July 9, the ship sailed back from Gibraltar with Admiral Byng and Rear-Admiral West on board. On July 26, she arrived at Portsmouth after a short trip. Byng was immediately put under arrest for his conduct during the Battle of Minorca.

On May 14, 1757, the ship chased the Aquilon (42) off Brest. After a two-hours action, in which the Aquilon lost 30 killed and 25 wounded, the Aquilon was driven ashore, struck on the rocks of Audierne Bay and was totally lost. On May 24, the ship took the privateer Heureuse Union; and on November 3, the Moras (22).

On April 11, 1758, the ship took the privateer Marguerite. On November 2, the ship took the French Belliqueux (64) off Ilfracombe in the Irish sea.

In the summer and autumn of 1759, the ship was part of Commodore William Boys' squadron blockading the French squadron of Thurot at Dunkerque. In October, Boys' squadron was driven from his station by a gale. On October 15 at 5:00 PM, Thurot seized the opportunity, slipped out through a thick fog and made to the northward. Boys followed as soon as possible but was not able to overtake Thurot. Ultimately, Boys contented himself with cruising off the coast of Scotland with the object of preventing any sudden raid there.

On April 5, 1760, the ship took the privateer Villegenie (12) off the Lizard.

On June 5, 1762, the ship escorted a convoy destined for Newfoundland. On Novenber 29, she rescued the crew of the sinking Marlborough (80) in the North Atlantic.

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 50
Lower gun deck 22 x 24-pdrs
Upper gun deck 22 x 12-pdrs
Quarterdeck 4 x 6-pdrs
Forecastle 2 x 6-pdrs
Crew 300
Length 134 ft 3 in (40.85 m)
Width 38 ft 7 in (11.60 m)
Depth 15 ft 9 in (4.62 m)
Displacement 860 ton BM

References

Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761

Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, pp. 146-160, 295

Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, 3 Decks

Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.