Nominal Guns20BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down5.1775BWAS-1714
First Commissioned20.12.1776BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardChatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
Ship ClassSphinx ClassBWAS-1714
Designed by John Williams (1700-?)BWAS-1714
Constructor William PownallBWAS-1714
CategorySixth RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip BWAS-1714
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck108' 0"Imperial Feet32.9184 
Length of Keel89' 8"Imperial Feet27.1498 
Breadth30' 1"Imperial Feet9.1694 
Depth in Hold9' 8"Imperial Feet2.9464 
Draught Forward7' 4"Imperial Feet2.2352 
Draught Aft11' 8"Imperial Feet3.556 
Burthen431 6094Tons BM 


27.12.1776Broadside Weight = 90 Imperial Pound ( 40.815 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck20 British 9-Pounder

1793Broadside Weight = 98 Imperial Pound ( 44.443 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck20 British 9-Pounder
Quarterdeck2 British 4-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 4-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1773140Design Complement
1793160 BWAS-1714
1794155 BWAS-1714

19 Ship Commanders

20.12.1776 - 6.11.1779Captain Thomas Pringle (d.1803) ADM 6/21/244BWAS-17146.11.1779 - 25.4.1781Captain Mathew Squire (d.1800) Transfered ADM 6/22/46BWAS-171425.4.1781 - 30.11.1781CaptainSir John Borlase Warren (1st Baronet of Little Marlow) (1753-1822)BWAS-171430.11.1781 - 23.12.1782Captain Arthur Phillip (1738-1814) Transfered ADM 6/22/375BWAS-17144.1783 - 1784Captain Joseph Ellison (d.1816)BWAS-17144.4.1783 - 10.4.1783Captain Jonathon Faulknor (d.1809) Transfered ADM 6/23/45ADM 6/2331.10.1783 - 1783Captain William Henry Douglas (1763-1809) ADM 6/23/158ADM 6/231784 - 30.10.1787Captain Samuel OsbornBWAS-171422.11.1790Captain John Oakes Hardy ADM 6/24/88ADM 6/2425.1.1793 - 1.1794Captain Thomas Revell Shivers ADM 6/24/197BWAS-171420.1.1794 - 8.1794Captain Charles William Paterson (1756-1841)BWAS-171411.8.1794 - 4.1795Captain Robert Gambier MiddletonBWAS-171421.4.1795 - 3.1796Captain Robert Plampin (1762-1834)BWAS-17143.1796 - 4.1797Captain Henry Lidgbird Ball (1756-1818)BWAS-17144.1797 - 1800Captain James Bradby (d.1801)BWAS-171428.7.1801 - 28.9.1802Captain Patrick Campbell (1773-1841)BWAS-171411.1803 - 1805Captain Charles Fullerton Elphinstone (1784-1807)BWAS-17141805 - 5.1806Captain Edward King (d.1807)BWAS-17145.1806 - 23.2.1809Captain Arthur FarquharBWAS-1714

1 Flag Officer

1787 - 30.10.1787Commodore Herbert Sawyer (c.1731-1798)BWAS-1714

1 Commissioned Officer

14.11.1803 - 27.9.1804Lieutenant Frederick William Burgoyne (1778-1848)NBD1849

1 Petty Officer

9.1801 - 3.9.1805Midshipman Charles James Beart (d.1861)NBD1849

2 Crewmen

28.8.1797 - 1798Boy Henry Bourchier (1787-1852)NBD184912.12.1797 - 8.18001st Class Volunteer Thomas BradbyNBD1849

Service History

5.1775Began building at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
27.12.1776Completed building at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £11179.4.4dBWAS-1714
27.12.1776Began fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
23.2.1777Completed fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
27.3.1777Sailed for the Leeward IslandsBWAS-1714
5.6.1777Took the Schooner Mosquito
29.11.1777Took the Privateer Johnston
9.3.1778Took the Ship Alfred (30)
14.12.1778Battle of St. Lucia
6.7.1779Battle of Grenada
2.1780Began refitting at UnknownBWAS-1714
3.1780Completed refitting at a cost of £3418.18.3dBWAS-1714
30.4.1780Action of 30th April 1780
14.6.1780Took the Frigate La Princesse de Robecq (20) in the North Sea
30.6.1782Took the Frigate Le Robecq (18)
3.4.1783Paid offADM 34
21.12.1783Sailed for Nova ScotiaBWAS-1714

Paid off

1792great repair at Northam - Devon at a cost of £12286.12.5dBWAS-1714
8.1792Began repairs at Portsmouth Dockyard - Portsmouth BWAS-1714
9.1792Completed repairs at Portsmouth Dockyard - Portsmouth at a cost of £4892.0.0dBWAS-1714
1793Refitted as a 24 gun Sixth Rate Ship
13.5.1793Sailed for the MediterraneanBWAS-1714
7.1795Nelson's squadron off GenoaBWAS-1714
13.7.1795Battle of Hyeres
8.1795Nelson's squadron off VadoBWAS-1714
3.1796In the North SeaBWAS-1714
5.1798At OstendBWAS-1714
28.9.1802Paid offBWAS-1714
10.1803Began fitting at UnknownBWAS-1714
12.1803Completed fittingBWAS-1714
17.7.1805Action off Calais
5.1806In the North SeaBWAS-1714
10.2.1807Took the Privateer Le Chasseur (2)
7.1.1808Took the Lugger Le Trente-et-Quarante (16) BG
8.1.1808Took the Lugger L'Eglé (20) off FlamboroughBG
4.10.1808Took the Privateer Hoevhesen (4)

Paid off

ADM 35
2.1810Laid up at ChathamBWAS-1714
7.8.1814Sold at Chatham for £1,400BWAS-1714


DatesFleetFleet CommanderSource
14.5.1798-20.5.1798Raid on Ostend Home Riggs Popham (1762-1820) 

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Tim Oakley on Tuesday 20th of February 2018 13:33

Circa 24 Dec 1803 last week a court martial was held on board the Ariadne, in Sheerness harbour, upon D Madden, a marine from the Hound, for drunkenness, disobedience, wounding the pilot, and attempting to strike a midshipman. The charges being in part approved he was sentenced to 250 lashes. J Clark, a private marine, for having prevaricated in his evidence was given 3 months in prison.

Posted by Brian Stephens on Thursday 24th of April 2014 21:18

The Edinburgh Magazine, and Literary Miscellany: 1778
Capt. Pringle of His Majesty's ship Ariadne, to Adm. Young, Carli?ls Bay, March 18, 1778
I have the honour to acquaint you, that, early in the morning of the 9th instant, I saw two sail to the eastward; whom I chased, having His Majesty's sloop Ceres in company. The two strangers at first showed a disposition to attack us, but, in consequence of the King's ships having brought the sternmost to close action about noon, the other made off. The ship in action, after having given to and received from the Ariadne and Ceres some broadsides, struck, and proved to be the rebel ship Alfred of 20 nine pounders and 180 men. Her consort was the Raleigh of 32 guns; whom with the utmost dispatch we made sail after, and chased from that time until ten o'clock next day. But finding that we did not come up with her, and that she was throwing everything over
board to lighten, we left off chase. The two rebel cruisers had been at Port Le Orient in France to fit out; and came here to cruise for the English and Irish convoys having take the coast of Guinea in their way. They had taken no vessels since theri leaving France.

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