Nominal Guns12HCA26
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorPrivate Owners
First Commissioned28.3.1757HCA26
Ship TypeUnknownHCA26
Last known1757HCA26


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentHCA26
Burthen240Tons BM 


28.3.1757Broadside Weight = 1 Imperial Pound ( 0.4536 kg)HCA26
Gun Deck4 British 1/2-Pound Swivel
Gun Deck12 Carriage Guns


1757/03/28 - 1757William ThomsonHCA26

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
28.3.1757100 HCA26

1 Commanding Officer

28.3.1757 - 1757Captain (Privateer)William ThomsonHCA26

Notes on Ship

Letter of MarqueHCA26
HCA 26/7/81 1757 March 28

Commander: William Thomson.

Ship: Success.

Burden: 240 tons.

Crew: 100.

Owners: William Thomson.

Lieutenant: John Johnston.

Gunner: Abraham Andrews.

Boatswain: William Goodchild.

Carpenter: Alexander Sanders.

Surgeon: David Tesstair.

Cook: John Jeffrys.

Armament: 12 carriage and 4 swivel guns.

Folio: 84.

Note that the Patsey received a similar commission.


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Cy on Friday 9th of August 2019 07:53

Hi Tony
Thanks for the info.

If, as seems likely, these are the same ship. I don't agree that the entry from the Stamford Mercury indicates that she carried 20 9-pounders. I would suggest that they were more likely carried as cargo. A ship of 240 tons is simply not big enough to carry that weight of armament.

As a comparison the sloop Fame, which foundered in 1745 and is thus contemporary, was larger, at 278 tons, and only carried 12 3-pounders and 20 swivels.

Posted by Tony Perry on Thursday 8th of August 2019 21:01

Following on from my previous message, below is a source attesting to the Ship Success having 20 guns:

"We hear from Hull, of the 7th Instant, that General Pultaney arriv'd there to put that Town in a Posture of Defence; that the Ship Success, Capt William Thompson, which carried the Georgia Rangers, and Soldiers, from London, who are now with General Oglethorpe in the North, luckily lying in that Harbour, and being well fitted out with heavy Cannon, 20 Pieces of Nine Pounders were immediately landed, and mounted on the Bastions round the Town; and the said Ship again mounted with a complete Set of Six Pounders, and other Cannon (being sparc(??) one had on Board) and is to serve as a floating Battery, to Flank the Enemy, in Case of the attacking that Place, which from the Situation of the River she will be able to do, and be of the greatest Service."
(Stamford Mercury, 19 December 1745, page 3)

Posted by Tony Perry on Friday 2nd of August 2019 09:18

I believe I have an earlier records for the Success Merchant (or Success Frigate?) captained by William Thomson, and wanted to confirm if this is the same ship.

There are several accounts related to William Thomson ferrying General James Oglethorpe from Georgia to England in 1743, and a regiment (the Georgia Rangers) from England to Georgia in May 1746. (I have other accounts that describe the Success as a 20-gun ship rather than a 16-gun ship, though I don't have these to hand and will need to send them separately).

Below is a newspaper account from the Country Journal or The Craftsman dated 1 Oct 1743:
"On the 22nd of July last General Oglethorpe embark'd for England in St Simon's in Georgia, with a Number of Spanish Prisoners, on board the Success Frigate, Captain William Thomson, Commander, which was the same Ship that fought so well in the Defence of Jekyll Sound, in the Spanish Invasion, and was kept in the publick Service ever since."

Below is another reference to the Success in the National Archives, dated 1 Oct 1745 (Source: ADM 106/1018/255)

William Thomson, Master, the Success Merchant. Request for a pilot, having been ordered by the Duke of Newcastle to proceed to Yorkshire with officers and men belonging to General Oglethorpe.

Another newspaper account (Old England or Constitutional Journal, 27 Sept 1746), notes repairs to the ship:

"There are letters from Captain Thomson, and the Commanding Officer on board the Success Frigate, now in Plymouth Sound, with Recruits bound for Georgia, in which they write, that all the Persons on board, who are near three hundred, are healthy, and have not had the Sickness, which they chiefly attribute to the Ventilators, which are fixed in that Ship, by the Order of General Oglethorpe, which they say entirely prevents the hot sickly Smell, which is generally found when great Numbers are on board."

Could this be the same Ship Success?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you might have!

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