Swiftsure (70)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Swiftsure (70)

Origin and History

The ship was built by John Hollond at the Deptford dockyards and launched on May 25 1750.

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

  • in February 1758 and 1759: captain Thomas Stanhope

The ship was sold on June 2 1773.

Service during the War

At the beginning of 1758, a British squadron of 11 ships of the line and 9 frigates operated in the Mediterranean under the command of admiral Henry Osborn. This squadron intercepted a smaller French squadron which had sailed from Toulon for North America, forcing it to take refuge in the harbour of Cartagena. In February, the French sent a relief squadron (only 5 ships of the line and a frigate) under M. Duquesne. On February 28, off Cape de Gata, Osborn sighted 4 of these sail near his fleet and ordered them to be chased while the main part of the British squadron continued off Carthagena to watch the French ships there. The Monmouth (64), along with the Swiftsure (70) and the Hampton Court (70) chased the largest of the enemy, the Foudroyant (80). The Monmouth, being far ahead of her consorts, got up with and engaged the French ship at 8:00 PM and fought her gallantly. The Frenchman's guns were almost reduced to silence when the Swiftsure was finally able to get up. Her captain then hailed the foe to know whether she had surrendered but was answered with a few guns and a volley of small arms, whereupon he poured in a broadside and part of a second, and the enemy promptly surrendered.

In May 1759, during the naval operations in the Mediterranean, the ship was part of admiral Edward Boscawen's squadron who blockaded Toulon to prevent the French squadron from leaving without being detected and followed. At the beginning of July, Boscawen was compelled to go to Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. On August 4, Boscawen finally reached Gibraltar. On August 5, de la Clue set sail from Toulon to make a junction with de Conflans' fleet at Brest. On August 17, de la Clue's fleet (10 ships of the line, 2 50-gun ships and 3 frigates) passed the straits of Gibraltar where it was sighted by the Gibraltar (20). Alarmed, Boscawen set sail from Gibraltar to intercept de la Clue. On August 18, the ship took part in the victorious battle of Lagos. As soon as his fleet had repaired damages, Boscawen returned to Great Britain, in accordance with his instructions, taking with him a large part of his squadron including the Swiftsure (70). Captain Stanhope was knighted for his share in the action. On November 20, the ship took part in the decisive battle of Quiberon. This British victory eliminated any serious threat from the French navy for the rest of the war.

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 70
Gundeck 26 x 32-pdrs
Upper gundeck 28 x 18-pdrs
Quarterdeck 12 x 9-pdrs
Forecastle 4 x 9-pdrs
Crew 520 men
Length at gundeck 160 ft (48.8 m)
Width 45 ft (13.7 m)
Depth 19 ft 4 in (5.9 m)
Displacement 1,426 long tons (1448.8 t)

References

Blasco, Manuel, British 3rd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

Wikipedia

  • HMS Swiftsure (1750)

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