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Nominal Guns32BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down1.10.1780BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardChatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
Ship ClassAmazon Class (1770)BWAS-1714
Designed by
John WilliamsBritish
Ship Builder
Service 1762-1778
CategoryFifth RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeFrigateBWAS-1714
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1714
Blown Up22.9.1796BWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck126' 1"Imperial Feet38.4058 
Length of Keel104' 3"Imperial Feet31.7183 
Breadth35' 0"Imperial Feet10.668 
Depth in Hold12' 2"Imperial Feet3.683 
Draught Forward8' 10"Imperial Feet2.4384 
Draught Aft13' 0"Imperial Feet3.9624 
Burthen679 2794Tons BM 


12.12.1780Broadside Weight = 228 Imperial Pound ( 103.398 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck26 British 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck4 British 18-Pound Carronade
Quarterdeck4 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 18-Pound Carronade
Forecastle2 British 6-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1770220Design Complement

5 Ship Commanders

19.12.1780 - 25.2.1784Captain
John BazelyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1753-1805
ADM 6/22/213
14.7.1786 - 1.12.1788Captain
John BrownBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1772-1808
ADM 6/23/346
1.12.1788 - 9.7.1790Captain
Henry NichollsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1780-1814
20.6.1793 - 30.6.1794Captain
Herbert SawyerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1780-1825
ADM 6/24/247
1.7.1794 - 22.9.1796Captain
Israel PellewBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1814

2 Warrant Officers

22.12.1782 - 10.8.1790Boatswain
William IrelandBritish
Naval Sailor
Dockyard Staff
Service 1776-1824
ADM 29/8
21.7.1786 - 12.6.1790Master
Robert LoutheanBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1794
ADM 29-1

Service History

9.2.1781Completed at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £16580.13.5dBWAS-1714
11.5.1781Sailed with a convoy to North AmericaBWAS-1714
30.7.1781Took the Ship
Jack and Harry (10) 1780-1781
American 10 Gun
Privateer Ship

16.10.1781Took the Privateer
Juno 1781-1781
American Privateer

4.11.1781Took the Brig
Alexander (6) 1780-1781
American 6 Gun
Privateer Brig

23.11.1781Took the Schooner
Young Cromwell (10) 1779-1781
American 10 Gun
Privateer Schooner

3.1.1782Took the Sloop
Bonetta (14) 1779-1797
British 14 Gun
Unrated Sloop

2.5.1782Took the Brig
Fair American (8) 1781-1782
American 8 Gun
Privateer Brig

17.9.1782Took the Privateer
San Eloy 1782-1782
Spanish Privateer

11.1.1783Took the Brig
Le Railleur (14) 1782-1783
French 14 Gun
Unrated Brig


Paid off

7.1784Began small repair at Woolwich Dockyard - Woolwich BWAS-1714
9.1784Completed small repair at Woolwich Dockyard - Woolwich at a cost of £4725.0.0dBWAS-1714
6.1786Began fitting at Woolwich Dockyard - Woolwich BWAS-1714
8.1786Completed fitting at Woolwich Dockyard - Woolwich at a cost of £4196.0.0dBWAS-1714
11.10.1786Sailed for JamaicaBWAS-1714

Paid off

5.1793Began fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth BWAS-1714
12.1793Completed fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth at a cost of £10650.0.0dBWAS-1714
1.3.1794Sailed for NewfoundlandBWAS-1714
18.6.1795Sailed for NewfoundlandBWAS-1714
4.1796Began refitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth BWAS-1714
5.1796Completed refitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth at a cost of £4237.0.0dBWAS-1714
22.9.1796Blown up by accident in Hamoaze, Portsmouth, c300 killed including about 100 civilians who were on boardBWAS-1714


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Tim Oakley on Wednesday 18th of May 2016 21:04

NB Hamoaze is at Plymouth not Portsmouth

Posted by Brian on Monday 19th of May 2014 19:03

September 22, 1796, Plymouth - About four this afternoon, the fore magazine of the Amphion, then lying along side the sheer hulk in Hamoaze, refitting, by some accident took fire and blew up, which had such an effect as to rip the upper works in the fore part of the ship to atoms, and she almost immediately sunk in ten fathoms of water. Several of her crew were blown up with her, ten or twelve of whom fell on board the hulk, mangled in a manner to dreadful to describe; many others fell in the water and perished, and a few were taken up with but slight injury. The number of the ships company, and the visitors (of which there were several), unfortunately on board at the time, are, from all accounts, stated at no less than 250, out of which number, according to the most accurate returns that have been made, only thirty-seven men and 2 women have been saved, and some of those severely wounded. Capt. Pellew had some officers of other ships on board to dine, who, with his own officers, were with him in the cabin at the time of the accident, out of whom, there is reason to fear, only himself and his first lieutenant have escaped with life, both of whom are wounded, the former slightly the latter, it is feared, in a much more dangerous manner. As the names of all the officers who have perished cannot yet be obtained with that accuracy which is necessary on so melancholy an occasion, it is deemed prudent to mention that only that Captain William Swaffield, commander of his Majesty's ship Overyssell, of 64 guns, now under sailing orders in this harbour, who was in the cabin with Capt. Pellew, and other officers, and is gone down in the ship. It is also feared that the second and third lieutenants had shared the same fate. Capt. Pellew had a very miraculous escape. He is said to have heard a kind of rumbling noise immediately preceding the blowing up, which alarmed him, and he instantly ran into the quarter galley nearest the sheer hulk, on whose dock he was instantly thrown, whereby he received a severe blow on one side of the head, and concussion on his breast but is in a fair way of recovery. Though the explosion was, as may be expected, very great, yet it had been a trifling effect on shore, or indeed even on board the ships along side which she lay. Her masts, yards etc. were shivered almost to pieces, and lifted out of the ship, (except the mizen-mast); four of her guns, 12 pounders, were thrown in upon the hulks deck, and several bodies, pieces of the wreck etc. were seen to be thrown as high as her maintop-gallant mast head. In short, the whole was such a dreadful scene, as the human mind cannot dwell upon but with the indescribable horror. The dead bodies and mangled limbs that were picked up have been conveyed to the hospital, in order to be interred. Apparatuses are preparing to lift the ship, which will be done as soon as possible, as she lay immediately in the track of the men of war going into and out of dock.

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