Hebe -> 1805 Blonde

Nominal Guns38BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
PreviouslyFrench Fifth Rate frigate 'L'Hébé' (1782) (38)
ShipyardSt Malo NNF-1774
Ship ClassHébé Class
Designed byJacques-Noël Sané (1740-1831)NNF-1774
CategoryFifth RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeFrigate
Sailing RigShip Rigged
Broken Up6.1811BWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck151' 3 ½"Imperial Feet46.0375 
Length of Keel126' 1 ¾"Imperial Feet38.4239 
Breadth39' 11 ½"Imperial Feet11.8999 
Depth in Hold12' 5 ½"Imperial Feet3.6703 
Burthen1,071 1894Tons BM 


9.1782Broadside Weight = 297 Imperial Pound ( 134.6895 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck28 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck8 British 9-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 9-Pounder

12.1805Broadside Weight = 389 Imperial Pound ( 176.4115 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck28 British 18-Pounder
Quarterdeck6 British 32-Pound Carronade
Forecastle2 British 32-Pound Carronade
Forecastle2 British 9-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
9.1782280 BWAS-1714

8 Commanding Officers

4.9.1782 - 12.1782CaptainGeorge KeppelBWAS-17141784 - 6.1785CaptainEdward Thornbrough (1754-1834)BWAS-17146.1785 - 7.10.1785CaptainThe Hon. John Leveson Gower (1740-1792)BWAS-17141.1790 - 8.1794Captain Alexander Hood (1758-1798)BWAS-17148.1794 - 1796CaptainPaul MinchinBWAS-17143.1798 - 1800CommanderWilliam BirchallBWAS-17141800 - 1802CommanderGeorge ReynoldsBWAS-17147.1806 - 7.1810CaptainVolant Vashon BallardBWAS-1714

1 Warrant Officer

12.1.1790 - 6.10.1791MasterBartholomew JacksonADM29-1

3 Petty Officers

4.9.1782 - 1783MidshipmanMichael Fitton (1765-1852)NBD18492.1790 - 1791MidshipmanThomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839)ODNB1792Master's MateWilliam Pryce Cumby (1771-1837)ref:616

Service History

23.12.1782Began coppering and fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
11.11.1783Completed coppering and fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £8743.17.5dBWAS-1714
1784Recommissioned for the ChannelBWAS-1714
4.1785Began refitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
5.1785Completed refitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £4000.19.1dBWAS-1714

Paid off

3.1787Began refitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
5.1787Completed refitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £4763.0.0dBWAS-1714
5.1793Began fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
7.1793Completed fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £5293.0.0dBWAS-1714
10.1794Began refitting at Plymouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
1.1795Completed refitting at Plymouth Dockyard at a cost of £7461.0.0dBWAS-1714
9.5.1795Action in Carteret Bay
3.7.1795Took the Unrated Gunboat Vesuve (4)
2.1798Began fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard BWAS-1714
3.1798Refitted as a 16 gun Unrated Troop Ship
5.1798Ostend operationsBWAS-1714
5.1798Completed fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £8587.0.0dBWAS-1714
1800Egyptian operationsBWAS-1714
28.3.1800Embarked elements of the 40th Regiment of Foot at MargateJF1800

Paid off and laid up at Chatham

17.7.1805Action off Calais
12.1805Refitted as a 38 gun Fifth Rate Frigate
24.12.1805Renamed BlondeBWAS-1714
1.1806Began middling repair at Chatham Dockyard BWAS-1714
8.1806Completed middling repair at Chatham Dockyard at a cost of £19907.0.0dBWAS-1714
7.7.1807Sailed for the Leeward IslandsBWAS-1714
15.8.1807Took the Privateer La Dame Villaret (5)
16.8.1807Took the Privateer L'Hortense (8)
14.9.1807Took the Privateer L'Hirondelle (8)
23.9.1807Took the Privateer Schooner Duquesne (12)
14.10.1807Took the Privateer L'Alert (20)
13.12.1809Actions of December 1809
7.1810Paid offBWAS-1714
6.1811Broken up at DeptfordBWAS-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
NNF-1774Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1774 à 1792Alain DemerliacBook
ADM29-1ADM 29/1 1802-1814 Admiralty: Warrant Officers. Entry Books of Certificates of Service Document
NBD1849A Naval Biographical Dictionary 1849O'BrienDigital Book
ODNBOxford Dictionary of National BiographyOxford University PressWeb Site
ref:616Who's Who in Nelson's NavyNicholas TracyBook
JF1800A Journal of the Forces which sailed form the Downs, April 1800Aeneas AndersonWeb Site

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Tim Oakley on Friday 28th of December 2018 18:45

On 8 October 1783 Thornbrough was given command of the crack frigate Hebe 38, serving in home waters and enjoying huge success in the prevention of smuggling whilst also undertaking some survey work. From June to September 1785 he cruised around the British Isles with the broad pennant of Commodore Hon. John Leveson-Gower, having Prince William aboard as a newly-commissioned lieutenant, He later served in Rear-Admiral Hon. John Leveson-Gower’s squadron of observation during 1788, and was present at the Kings Naval Review at Plymouth on 18 August 1789 prior to being paid off on 21 October.

Posted by Tim Oakley on Sunday 2nd of December 2018 18:47

Collection Correspondence of William IV
Reference GEO/MAIN/44685-44686
Title Letter from Prince William to George III, written aboard HMS Hebe, in Portland Roads
Date 6 November 1785
Writer William, Prince (1765-1837)
Addressee George III, King
Description Prince William writes of stormy weather during their last cruise and of the admiration he has for the Hebe. He hopes the King will grant him a promotion and the command of the Hebe - this will be, the Prince maintains, in the best interest of the reign.

Posted by Charles on Thursday 24th of July 2014 20:51

Portsmouth Dec 31, 1784 - Hebe frigate departs on a cruize (The Times 3 Jan 1785)

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