Origin and History
The frigate was built by John Buxton at Rotherhithe starting on January 24, 1742/43 and launched on October 8, 1743.
In 1745, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the frigate captured many French privateers off Ostend and off the Dogger Bank. In 1746, it took two more privateers.
During the Seven Years' War, the frigate was under the command of:
- from July 8, 1757: Captain Thomas Graves
- from May 18, 1757: Captain Matthew Moore
- from January 19 1759: Captain John Clarke
- from October 28, 1762 to December 17, 1763: Captain George Bowyer
The frigate was sold at Deptford on July 26, 1768.
Service during the War
On December 11, 1755, the frigate took the privateer Treize Cantons.
On December 27, 1756, Captain Thomas Graves, in the Sheerness frigate, discovered a large ship making for Brest. There was some doubt as to what the stranger was; for it was known that French ships of the line were in the neighbourhood, and the vessel in question looked as if she might be one of them. The weight of opinion on board the Sheerness was to the effect that the enemy was a sixty-gun ship, and it was well seen that she was just ending a long voyage and was very foul. The Frenchman tried to get away before dawn, but, when she discovered the Sheerness's force, she shortened sail to wait for her. In point of fact, the enemy was only an East Indiaman but Graves kept away. He was later reprimanded because he ought to have gone down and discovered her force by engaging her.
On February 6, 1757, the frigate took the privateer Prince de Soubise (16); on May 6, the privateer Automne (4); and on July 11, the privateer Port Mahon.
On March 6, 1758, the frigate escorted a convoy to Gibraltar.
On June 4, 1760, the frigate sailed once more for the Mediterranean.
In November 1762, the frigate was chased by the French ship of the line Content (64), and the frigates Pléiade (24) and Minerve near Gibraltar. After 7 days, she finally took refuge in Villa Franca. During the chase, the Minerve struck on a rock and foundered. The crew of the Sheerness saved 25 men from the wreck.
|Length at gundeck||112 ft (34.14 m)|
|Width||32 ft (9.75 m)|
|Depth||11 ft (3.35 m)|
|Displacement||508 ton BM|
This article contains texts from the following book which is now in the public domain:
- 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. 293-294
Colledge, J J: Ships of the Royal Navy: A Complete Record of All Fighting Ships from the 15th Century to the Present, 4th ed., Naval Institute Press: 2006
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 partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.