Royal Oak -> 1805 Assistance

Nominal Guns74BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down5.1766BWAS-1714
First Commissioned17.11.1770
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardPlymouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
Ship ClassRoyal Oak Class
Designed byJohn Williams (1700-?)BWAS-1714
ConstructorIsrael Pownoll (d.1779)BWAS-1714
CategoryThird RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip of the Line
Sailing RigShip Rigged
Broken Up2.11.1815BWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck168' 6"Imperial Feet51.2086 
Length of Keel138' 2"Imperial Feet42.0637 
Breadth46' 9"Imperial Feet14.0589 
Depth in Hold20' 0"Imperial Feet6.096 
Draught Forward12' 2"Imperial Feet3.683 
Draught Aft17' 10"Imperial Feet5.1816 
Burthen1,606 2194Tons BM 


13.11.1769Broadside Weight = 781 Imperial Pound ( 354.1835 kg)BWAS-1714
Lower Gun Deck28 British 32-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck28 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck14 British 9-Pounder
Forecastle4 British 9-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
18.12.1765600Design Complement

22 Commanding Officers

17.11.1770 - 14.2.1772CaptainMolyneaux Shuldham (1717-1798) ADM 6/20/315BWAS-171414.2.1772 - 15.10.1773CaptainGeorge Balfour (c.1720-1794) ADM 6/20/429BWAS-171415.10.1773 - 1.11.1775CaptainJoseph Deane (d.1779) ADM 6/20/522BWAS-17141.11.1775 - 24.10.1776CaptainSir Peter Parker (1715-1811)BWAS-171424.10.1776 - 26.1.1778CaptainJonathon Faulknor (d.1795) ADM 6/21/223BWAS-171426.1.1778 - 29.4.1778CaptainCharles Middleton (1726-1813) ADM 6/21/357ADM 6/2129.4.1778 - 1779CaptainHenry Francis Evans (d.1781) ADM 6/21/397BWAS-17141779 - 1780CaptainThomas Fitzherbert (1727-1794)BWAS-17141780 - 8.1780CaptainSir Digby Dent (1739-1817)BWAS-17148.1780 - 5.1781CaptainWilliam SwineyBWAS-17143.1781 - 2.7.1781LieutenantIsaac Coffin (1759-1839)ref:6165.5.1781 - 1782CaptainJohn Plummer Ardesoif (1737-1790)BWAS-17141.10.1781 - 5.1782CaptainThomas Burnett (1724-1783)ref:8985.1782 - 6.1783CaptainCharles Buckner (1735-1811)BWAS-17141.1797 - 1798LieutenantJames ShareBWAS-17141798 - 1801LieutenantJohn Rowe (d.1799)BWAS-17147.1803 - 9.1805LieutenantStephen LiddleBWAS-17149.1805 - 1806LieutenantJames M'ArthurBWAS-17141806 - 1807LieutenantThomas Cowper SherwinBWAS-17141808 - 1811CommodoreHugh Downman (1765-1858)BWAS-17141809 - 1811CaptainAmelius Beauclerk (1771-1846)NBD18491812 - 1813CaptainSir Robert Mends (d.1823)BWAS-1714

3 Flag Officers

1772Vice-Admiral of the RedThomas Pye (1713-1785)BWAS-17144.1778 - 1779Rear-Admiral of the BlueHyde Parker (1713/14-1783)BWAS-17141781 - 6.1781Vice-Admiral of the WhiteMarriot Arbuthnot (1711-1794)BWAS-1714

2 Commissioned Officers

10.3.1778 - 11.4.1778Fifth LieutenantRichard Hussey Bickerton (1759-1832) ADM 6/21/377ref:61611.4.1778 - 16.4.1778Fourth LieutenantRichard Hussey Bickerton (1759-1832) ADM 6/21/389ref:616

3 Warrant Officers

1768 - 15.11.1768PurserHenry Topham ADM 6/20/221ADM 6/201780ChaplainJohn Coleref:61615.12.1798 - 21.4.1802MasterWilliam TatlockADM29-1

2 Petty Officers

5.1780 - 8.1780MidshipmanChristopher Cole (1770-1836)WWNH16.12.1799 - 6.1801MidshipmanEdward Thomas Crouch (d.1846)NBD1849

2 Crewmen

1770VolunteerManley Dixon (1757-1838)ref:61616.6.1798 - 15.12.1799Able SeamanEdward Thomas Crouch (d.1846)NBD1849

Service History

11.1770Commissioned for the Falkland Islands dispute, then as a guard ship at Portsmouth until 1778BWAS-1714
1771Began fitting at Plymouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
13.4.1771Completed at Plymouth Dockyard at a cost of £29914.16.10dBWAS-1714
13.4.1771Completed fitting at Plymouth Dockyard at a cost of £9391.14.4dBWAS-1714
11.1771refitting at Plymouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
22.6.1773Spithead reviewBWAS-1714
13.12.1778Sailed to the West IndiesBWAS-1714
1779In the Leeward IslandsBWAS-1714
6.7.1779Battle of Grenada
1.1780Began coppering and fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
3.1780Completed coppering and fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £12286.12.1dBWAS-1714
17.5.1780Sailed to North AmericaBWAS-1714
13.7.1780Arrived in North AmericaBWAS-1714
16.3.1781Battle of Cape Henry
12.8.1781Took the Privateer Sloop Aurora (16)
5.9.1781Battle of the Chesapeake
5.12.1781Sailed to the West IndiesBWAS-1714
12.4.1782Battle of the Saintes
21.7.1782Sailed to AmericaBWAS-1714
6.1783Sailed home and paid offBWAS-1714
11.1796fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £1734.0.0dBWAS-1714
1.1797Refitted as a Unrated Prison Ship
25.10.1805Renamed AssistanceBWAS-1714
28.7.1809Walcheren Expedition
1814In ordinaryBWAS-1714
14.12.1814Battle of Lake Borgne

Notes on Ship

The dimensions quoted from this source are as designed, not as built.


BWAS-1714British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792Rif WinfieldBook
ADM 6/21ADM 6/21 Commission and Warrant Book 1774 Jan.-1779 June  Archive
ref:616Who's Who in Nelson's NavyNicholas TracyBook
ref:898The Mid-eighteenth century navy from the perspective of captain Thomas Burnett and his peersAnne Byrne McLeodThesis
NBD1849A Naval Biographical Dictionary 1849O'BrienDigital Book
ADM 6/20ADM 6/20 Commission and Warrant Book 1764-1773 Archive
ADM29-1ADM 29/1 1802-1814 Admiralty: Warrant Officers. Entry Books of Certificates of Service Document
WWNHWho's who in naval historyAlastair Wilson, Joseph F. CalloBook

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