Nominal Guns68BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down5.5.1746BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardChatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
Constructor John Ward (d.1752)BWAS-1714
CategoryThird RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip of the Line BWAS-1714
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck160' 0"Imperial Feet48.768 
Length of Keel131' 4"Imperial Feet39.9321 
Breadth45' 4"Imperial Feet13.7363 
Depth in Hold19' 4"Imperial Feet5.8025 
Burthen1,435 6294Tons BM 


18.7.1748Broadside Weight = 731 Imperial Pound ( 331.5085 kg)BWAS-1714
Lower Gun Deck26 British 32-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck28 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck12 British 9-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 9-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1745520Design Complement

8 Ship Commanders

28.2.1748/49 - 21.11.1752Captain Thomas Sturton (d.1754) ADM 6/17/445BWAS-171416.1.1753 - 4.2.1755Captain Harry Powlett (1720-1794) Transfered ADM 6/18/53BWAS-17144.2.1755 - 5.7.1757Captain Francis Geary (1709-1796) ADM 6/18/128BWAS-17145.7.1757 - 26.9.1762Captain Edward Hughes (1720-1794) Transfered ADM 6/18/418BWAS-171426.9.1762 - 23.5.1763Captain William Parry (c.1705-1779) ADM 6/19/488
Issued by Charles Saunders (1713-1775)
Confirmed 27.4.1763
ADM 6/19
8.1.1771 - 2.9.1773Captain Edward Hughes (1720-1794) ADM 6/20/332BWAS-171415.9.1773 - 31.3.1775CaptainSir Edward Le Cras (c.1718-1784) Transfered ADM 6/20/515BWAS-171431.3.1775 - 2.11.1778Captain George Ourry (1732-1800) ADM 6/21/82BWAS-1714

2 Flag Officers

1756Vice-Admiral of the Red Henry Osborne (1694-1771) ADM 6/86/91BWAS-17141759Vice-Admiral of the Blue Charles Saunders (1713-1775)BWAS-1714

3 Commissioned Officers

1.12.1748 - 21.1.1752Third Lieutenant William Peevey (c.1714-?) ADM 6/17/416ADM 6/1730.12.1748 - 21.11.1752Second Lieutenant John Bernard ADM 6/17/427ADM 6/1717.6.1775 - 24.2.1776Acting Fourth Lieutenant Cuthbert Collingwood (1750-1810) ADM 6/21/110
Issued by Samuel Graves (1713-1787), North America
Confirmed 5.8.1775

1 Warrant Officer

1773 - 22.1.1773Surgeon James Young ADM 6/20/475ADM 6/20

3 Petty Officers

9.8.1757 - 7.4.1760Midshipman John Bazely (1741-1809) ADM 107/5/213ADM 107/516.9.1757 - 9.2.1758Midshipman William Martin (c.1739-?) ADM 107/5/130ADM 107/510.2.1758 - 13.6.1759Master's Mate William Martin (c.1739-?) ADM 107/5/130ADM 107/1

1 Crewman

14.12.1776 - 13.12.1778Able Seaman John OsborneADM 29/8

Service History

29.7.1748Completed at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £33967.13.8dBWAS-1714
12.1748Commissioned as a guardship at ChathamBWAS-1714
1750Moved to SheernessBWAS-1714
21.11.1752Paid off at Chatham Dockyard ADM 6/18
1.1753Guard ship at ChathamBWAS-1714
22.4.1755Sailed to North AmericaBWAS-1714
13.4.1757Took the Privateer La Victoire (26)

Arrived at Halifax

6.6.1758The Siege of Louisbourg

Had arrived at Spithead

14.2.1759Sailed for North AmericaBWAS-1714
9.1759At QuebecBWAS-1714
21.5.1760Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1714
6.1763Paid offBWAS-1714
1.1771Recommissioned as guardship at PlymouthBWAS-1714
22.6.1773Participated in the Spithead reviewBWAS-1714
24.10.1774Sailed to North AmericaBWAS-1714
18.12.1774Arrived in BostonNDARI
4.1776Returned home to pay offBWAS-1714
5.1776Guardship at PlymouthBWAS-1714
9.4.1777Sailed for North AmericaBWAS-1714
22.7.1778At Sandy HookBWAS-1714
2.11.1778Wrecked off Cape Cod losing 21 drownedBWAS-1714


DatesFleetFleet CommanderSource
27.4.1755-4.11.1755Fleet for North AmericaThe Hon. Edward Boscawen (1711-1761) 
1.1.1775-1.1.1775North American Squadron on the 1st of January 1775 Samuel Graves (1713-1787) 

Previous comments on this page

Posted by martin rigby on Tuesday 22nd of September 2020 07:59

Gunner of the Somerset was Stephen Foster from 1748 until at least 1765. Source: ADM\B\177. Later Gunner of Royal George. He died in 1808. His headstone describes him as 'the oldest seaman in His Majesty's service'.
The ship's Gunner on its loss in North America was Richard Collier. Source: HMS Somerset 1746-1778 by M H Gibson.

Posted by Cy on Thursday 27th of July 2017 11:38

The simple answer is 'don't know'. This is the third RN ship to carry the name, use the ships search to find them all.
I would guess they were named in honour of either the county, or, possibly more likely, one of the Dukes or Earls of Somerset.

Posted by Jane Somerset Trisos on Thursday 27th of July 2017 10:21

I would like to know the origin of the naming of the ship SOMERSET 1748. I am of English Somerset descent

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