Nominal Guns20BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down5.1775BWAS-1714
First Commissioned20.12.1776
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardChatham Dockyard BWAS-1714
Ship ClassSphinx Class
Designed byJohn Williams (1700-?)BWAS-1714
ConstructorWilliam PownallBWAS-1714
CategorySixth RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip
Sailing RigShip Rigged


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

17 Commanding Officers

20.12.1776 - 6.11.1779CaptainThomas Pringle (d.1803) ADM 6/21/244BWAS-17146.11.1779 - 4.1781CaptainMathew Squire (d.1800) ADM 6/22/46BWAS-171425.4.1781 - 10.1781CaptainSir John Borlase Warren (1st Baronet of Little Marlow) (1753-1822)BWAS-171410.1781 - 30.11.1781CommanderArthur Phillip (1738-1814)BWAS-171430.11.1781 - 4.1783CaptainArthur Phillip (1738-1814)BWAS-17144.1783 - 1784CaptainJoseph Ellison (d.1816)BWAS-17141784 - 1787CaptainSamuel OsbornBWAS-17141.1793 - 1.1794CaptainThomas Revell ShiversBWAS-171420.1.1794 - 8.1794CaptainCharles William Paterson (1756-1841)BWAS-171411.8.1794 - 4.1795CaptainRobert Gambier MiddletonBWAS-171421.4.1795 - 3.1796CaptainRobert Plampin (1762-1834)BWAS-17143.1796 - 4.1797CaptainHenry Lidgbird Ball (1756-1818)BWAS-17144.1797 - 1800CaptainJames Bradby (d.1801)BWAS-171428.7.1801 - 9.1803CaptainPatrick Campbell (1773-1841)BWAS-171411.1803 - 1805CaptainCharles Fullerton Elphinstone (1784-1807)BWAS-17141805 - 5.1806CaptainEdward King (d.1807)BWAS-17145.1806 - 1808CaptainArthur FarquharBWAS-1714

1 Flag Officer

1787CommodoreHerbert Sawyer (d.1798)BWAS-1714

1 Commissioned Officer

14.11.1803 - 27.9.1804LieutenantFrederick William Burgoyne (1778-1848)NBD1849

1 Petty Officer

9.1801 - 3.9.1805MidshipmanCharles James Beart (d.1861)NBD1849

2 Crewmen

28.8.1797 - 1798BoyHenry Bourchier (1787-1852)NBD184912.12.1797 - 8.18001st Class VolunteerThomas BradbyNBD1849

Service History

5.1775Began building at Chatham Dockyard BWAS-1714
27.12.1776Completed building at Chatham Dockyard at a cost of £11179.4.4dBWAS-1714
27.12.1776Began fitting at Chatham Dockyard BWAS-1714
23.2.1777Completed fitting at Chatham Dockyard BWAS-1714
27.3.1777Sailed for the Leeward IslandsBWAS-1714
5.6.1777Took the Unrated Schooner Mosquito
29.11.1777Took the Privateer Johnston
9.3.1778Took the Unrated 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 Privateer Frigate La Princesse de Robecq (20) in the North Sea
30.6.1782Took the Unrated Frigate Robecq (18)
4.1783Paid off and recommissionedBWAS-1714
21.12.1783Sailed for Nova ScotiaBWAS-1714
1787Paid offBWAS-1714
1792great repair at Northam at a cost of £12286.12.5dBWAS-1714
8.1792Began repairs at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
9.1792Completed repairs at Portsmouth Dockyard 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
1802Paid off?BWAS-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 Privateer Le Trente-et-Quarante (16)
8.1.1808Took the Privateer L'Aglaé off Flamborough
4.10.1808Took the Privateer Hoevhesen (4)
2.1810Laid up at ChathamBWAS-1714
7.8.1814Sold at Chatham for £1,400BWAS-1714

FromUntilFleetFleet CommanderSource
1798/05/141798/05/20Raid on OstendHome Riggs Popham (1762-1820)


BWAS-1714British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792Rif WinfieldBook
NBD1849A Naval Biographical Dictionary 1849O'BrienDigital Book

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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