Hunter (10)

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Origin and History

The cutter was built at Deptford and launched in 1756.

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

  • in 1756: lieutenant Cockburn
  • in 1759: commander William Adams

The cutter was sold in 1780.

Service during the War

In November 1756, Boscawen sent the cutter under lieutenant Cockburn, to reconnoitre Brest. Cockburn ran close into the harbour's mouth and then, with five companions, got into a boat and rowed into the port in the dark. He reported that he had found there only 9 50-guns ships and 6 large merchantmen.

In 1757, the ship was part of the aborted expedition against Louisbourg. By July 10, a British fleet (Hardy's and Holbourne's squadrons) had been assembled at Halifax. However on August, when the combined fleet was ready to set sail, Louisbourg had already been reinforced by three French squadrons and governor Loudon canceled the whole enterprise.

At the beginning of 1758, the sloop was part of the fleet who assembled at Portsmouth under the command of admiral Edward Boscawen for a new expedition against Louisbourg. On February 19, this fleet set sail for Halifax and finally arrived there on May 9. On May 28, the fleet sailed from Halifax and arrived in sight of Louisbourg on June 1. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army and the fortress finally surrendered on July 26.

In February 1759, the sloop of war 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. On July 23 1759 at 3:30 AM, the frigate Lowestoffe (28) and the sloop Hunter (10) made an attempt to sail above Québec to join the British vessels already stationed there. However, the fire of the French batteries obliged them to abandon their project. On August 11, vice-admiral Charles Saunders resolved to make some efforts to destroy the French ships above the town and to open communication with general Amherst who was supposed to be advancing from Fort Saint-Frédéric and Lake Champlain. Accordingly, at 10:00 PM, the frigate Lowestoffe (28), the sloop Hunter (10), the bomb Pelican (8), another sloop, 2 storeships and a schooner tried to pass above Québec but could not do so. Finally, on August 27 at 9:00 PM, the frigate Lowestoffe (28), the sloop Hunter (10), 2 storeships and an armed schooner successfully passed above Québec. During the night of September 12 to 13, the sloop was anchored in a stream not far off Anse-au-Foulon where the British army landed. On September 18, the town finally surrendered. 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.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 10

N.B.: reported with 14 guns in 1757 by "Complete History"

Main deck ???
Crew 100
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. 145-146

Phillip, Michael, 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.