Captain (64)

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Origin and History

The ship was built at Woolwich and launched on April 14 1743 as a 70-guns ship.

In 1760, the ship was reduced to 64 guns.

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

  • in 1756: captain Charles Catford
  • in 1759: captain John Amherst

On February 7 1777, the ship was converted to a storeship and renamed HMS Buffalo.

The ship was broken up in October 1783.

Service during the War

In 1756, the ship was part of Byng's squadron sent to relieve Fort St. Philip besieged by a French amphibious force who had invaded the island of Minorca. The squadron set sail from England on April 10. On May 2, it arrived at Gibraltar. On May 8, Byng's squadron left Gibraltar. On May 19, it came into sight of Fort St. Philip. The French fleet then advanced to meet Byng. Early on May 20, the ship took part to the chase of two French tartans bringing reinforcements to the French squadron but did not capture any. Later the same day, she took part to the battle of Minorca where several British ships were seriously damaged but none was lost on either side. The ship lost 6 killed and 30 wounded during this battle. After a council of war, Byng gave orders to return to Gibraltar, abandoning Minorca to its fate.

In 1757, the ship was part of admiral Holbourne's squadron which left Ireland on May 5 for the planned expedition against Louisbourg. By July 10, the entire squadron was finally at anchor before Halifax where it made its junction with Hardy's squadron. However on August, when the combined fleet was ready to set sail, Louisbourg had already been reinforced by three French squadron and governor Loudon canceled the whole enterprise. Holbourne's squadron stayed off Louisbourg till September 25 when it was shattered by a most terrible storm. It then returned to Great Britain in a very bad condition.

At the beginning of 1758, the ship was part of the fleet who assembled at Portsmouth under the command of admiral Edward Boscawen for the expedition against Louisbourg. In January, Hardy sailed for Halifax in the Captain (64) to assume charge of the ships who had wintered there. In the spring, off Louisbourg, she captured the French Foudroyant (22), which was bound up the Saint-Laurent river. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army and the fortress finally surrendered on July 26. After the capture of the fortress, the ship escorted vessels transporting 5 British regiments to Boston where they arrived on September 14.

In February 1759, the ship sailed from Spithead in Great Britain as part of the fleet destined for the expedition against Québec. The voyage was long and tedious. On April 21, when the fleet finally reached Louisbourg, it was to find the harbour blocked with ice, so that the fleet made for Halifax instead. The fleet finally sailed for Louisbourg in May. Between June 1 and 6, the fleet gradually left the harbour of Louisbourg and sailed for Québec. On June 23, Saunders' fleet made a junction with Durell's squadron at Isles-aux-Coudres. On June 26, the whole British fleet of vice-admiral Saunders was anchored safely off the southern shore of Isle-d'Orléans, a few km below Québec without loosing a single ship. The town finally surrendered on September 18. At the end of October, vice-admiral Saunders fired his farewell salute and dropped down the Saint-Laurent river with his fleet on his way to Great Britain.

In 1760, her armament was reduced to 60 guns.

To do: campaigns of 1760 to 1762

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 70 (64 in 1760)

N.B.: reported with 68 guns in 1757 by "Complete History"

1st deck ???
2nd deck ???
3rd deck ???
Crew 580
Length ???
Width ???
Depth ???
Displacement ???

References

Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 202-205, 233-235

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

Phillip, Michael, Ships of the Old Navy

Wikipedia:

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