Nominal Guns50BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down14.12.1742BWAS-1714
First Commissioned24.12.1743BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardKing's Yard - Harwich BWAS-1714
Ship Class1741 Establishment 50-GunnerBWAS-1714
Constructor John Barnard (1705-1784)BWAS-1714
CategoryFourth RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip of the Line BWAS-1714
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck140' 2"Imperial Feet42.6733 
Length of Keel113' 9"Imperial Feet34.46 
Breadth40' 2"Imperial Feet12.2428 
Depth in Hold17' 2 ½"Imperial Feet5.1943 
Draught Forward12' 0"Imperial Feet3.6576 
Draught Aft14' 1"Imperial Feet4.2736 
Burthen976 1694Tons BM 


22.12.1743Broadside Weight = 414 Imperial Pound ( 187.749 kg)BWAS-1714
Lower Gun Deck22 British 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck22 British 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck4 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 6-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1741300Design Complement

6 Ship Commanders

24.12.1743 - 1.8.1748Captain Philip Carteret (d.1748) ADM 6/16/253BWAS-17141.8.1748 - 29.9.1748Captain William Adams (c.1716-1748) ADM 6/17/533
Issued by Thomas Griffin (1692-1771), East Indies - Asia
Confirmed 27.9.1750
ADM 6/17
29.9.1748 - 9.10.1748Captain Richard Clements (c.1714-1775) ADM 6/17/493
Issued by The Hon. Edward Boscawen (1711-1761), East Indies - Asia
Confirmed 29.8.1749
9.10.1748 - 16.5.1750Captain Richard Tiddeman (d.1762) ADM 6/17/520
Issued by The Hon. Edward Boscawen (1711-1761), East Indies - Asia
Confirmed 11.5.1750
24.1.1756 - 21.9.1757Captain Joshua Rowley (1734-1790) Transfered ADM 6/18/229BWAS-171421.9.1757 - 4.10.1760Captain William Marsh (d.1765) ADM 6/18/439BWAS-1714

5 Commissioned Officers

29.11.1743 - 11.6.1744First Lieutenant Thomas Ruffin (d.1754) Transfered ADM 6/16/242ADM 6/1613.1.1743/44 - 11.6.1744Second Lieutenant Philip Manning Columbine (d.1746) ADM 6/16/259ADM 6/1612.6.1744 - 21.10.1744First Lieutenant Philip Manning Columbine (d.1746) ADM 6/16/320ADM 6/161.2.1745/46 - 3.8.1748Second Lieutenant Wheeler Hoult (d.1749) Transfered ADM 6/17/498
Issued by Curtis Barnet (d.1746), East Indies - Asia
Confirmed 3.10.1749
ADM 6/17
25.5.1749 - 16.5.1750Third Lt. & Lt. at Arms Hobart Brewse (d.1754) ADM 6/17/520
Issued by The Hon. Edward Boscawen (1711-1761), East Indies - Asia
Confirmed 10.5.1750
ADM 6/17

Service History

11.1743Commissioned for the ChannelBWAS-1714
1744To the North SeaBWAS-1714
9.2.1743/44Completed at Harwich - Essex BWAS-1714
29.9.1744Took the Privateer Le Solide (24) losing 1 Marine wounded who dead laterBG
1745To the East IndiesBWAS-1714
25.6.17461st Battle of Negapatam
16.5.1750Paid offADM 51
5.1752Began great repair at Deptford Dockyard - Deptford BWAS-1714
3.1756Completed great repair at Deptford Dockyard - Deptford BWAS-1714
9.3.1758Sailed for the West Coast of AfricaBWAS-1714
9.3.1758Capture of Fort Louis
1.5.1758Present at the capture of SengalBWAS-1714
24.5.1758Present at the attack on GoreeBWAS-1714
4.10.1760Wrecked on the Isle of Pines, CubaBWAS-1714


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Marylynn Rouse on Friday 15th of February 2019 10:30

The testimony of John Newton, author of Amazing Grace and deserter from HMS Harwich:
'I was impressed [by Thomas Ruffin]… and put on board a tender... In a few days I was sent on board the Harwich man-of-war, at the Nore… My father… procured me a recommendation to the captain, who took me upon the quarter-deck as a midshipman… I here met with companions who completed the ruin of my principles…
At length we sailed from Spithead with a very large fleet. We put into Torbay with a change of wind; but it returning fair again, we sailed the next day… the following night the whole fleet was greatly endangered upon the coast of Corn¬wall, by a storm from the southward. The darkness of the night, and the number of the vessels, occa¬sioned much confusion and damage. Our ship, though several times in imminent danger of being run down by other vessels, escaped unhurt; but many suffered much, particularly the Admiral. This occasioned our putting back to Plymouth.
While we lay at Plymouth... I was resolved to leave the ship at all events; I did so, and in the wrongest manner possible. I was sent one day in the boat, to take care that none of the people deserted; but I betrayed my trust, and went off myself.... All went smoothly that day, and part of the next; I walked apace, and expected to have been with my father in about two hours, when I was met by a small party of soldiers. I could not avoid or deceive them. They brought me back to Plymouth; I walked through the streets guarded like a felon. My heart was full of indignation, shame, and fear. I was confined two days in the guard-house, then sent on board my ship, kept a while in irons, then publicly stripped and whipped; after which I was degraded from my office, and all my former companions forbidden to show me the least favour, or even to speak to me. As mid-shipman I had been entitled to some command, which (being sufficiently haughty and vain) I had not been backward to exert. I was now in my turn brought down to a level with the lowest, and exposed to the insults of all.
… the captain, though in general a humane man, who behaved very well to the ship's company, was almost implacable in his resentment when he had been greatly offended, and took several occasions to show himself so to me; and the voyage was expected to be (as it proved) for five years. Yet I think nothing I either felt or feared distressed me so much as to see myself thus forcibly torn away from the object of my affections under a great improbability of seeing her again, and a much greater of returning in such a manner as would give me hopes of seeing her mine. Thus I was as miserable on all hands as could well be imagined. My breast was filled with the most excruciating passions, eager desire, bitter rage, and black despair. Every hour exposed me to some new insult and hardship, with no hope of relief or mitigation; no friend to take my part, or to listen to my complaint. Whether I looked inward or outward, I could perceive nothing but darkness and misery… I cannot express with what wishfulness and regret I cast my last look upon the English shore: I kept my eyes fixed upon it, till the ship's distance increasing, it insensibly disappeared; and when I could see it no longer, I was tempted to throw myself into the sea... But the secret hand of God re¬strained me.
Though I had well deserved all I met with, and the captain might have been justified if he had carried his resentment still further; yet my pride at that time suggested that I had been grossly injured: and this so far wrought upon my wicked heart, that I actually formed designs against his life; and this was one reason that made me willing to prolong my own. I was sometimes divided between the two, not thinking it practicable to effect both… In a word, my love to [the future] Mrs N was now the only restraint I had left. Though I neither feared God, nor regarded men, I could not bear that she should think meanly of me when I was dead.
We had been now at Madeira some time: the business of the fleet was completed, and we were to sail the following day. On that memorable morning, I was late in bed, and had slept longer, but that one of the midshipmen (an old companion) came down, and, between jest and earnest, bade me rise; and as I did not immediately comply, he cut down the hammock, or bed in which I lay: which forced me to dress myself. I was very angry, but durst not resent it… I said little, but went upon deck; where I that moment saw a man putting his clothes into a boat, who told me he was going to leave us. Upon inquiring, I was informed, that two men, from a Guinea-ship, which lay near us, had entered on board the Harwich, and that the commodore (Sir George Pocock) had ordered the captain to send two others in their room. My heart instantly burned like fire. I begged the boat might be detained a few minutes: I ran to the lieutenant, and entreated them to intercede with the captain, that I might be dismissed. Upon this occasion, though I had been formerly upon ill terms with these officers, and had disobliged them all in their turns; yet they had pitied my case, and were ready to serve me now. The captain, who, when we were at Plymouth, had refused to exchange me, though at the request of Ad¬miral Medley, was now easily prevailed on. I believe, in little more than half an hour from my being asleep in my bed, I saw myself discharged, and safe on board another ship.'

Posted by Robert Boon on Saturday 11th of February 2017 12:28

Admiralty-Office, October 9.
His Majesty's Ship the Harwich, commanded by Captain Carteret, in her Passage to the Nore, with the Trade from the Baltick, saw three Sail on the 29th of last Month, to which he gave Chace and came up with one of them at Nine in the Evening, which, after exchanging one broad Side, struck to her. She was a French Privateer of Dunkirk, called La Solide, of 24 Guns, and 202 Men, and extraordinarily well fitted. She had Seven Men killed, and 21 wounded. The Harwich had one Marine wounded, of which he died. The other two, which were in Company with her, and made their Escape, were also Privateers, one of 10 Guns, and 150 Men, and the other of 8 Guns, and 80 Men.

London Gazette Publication date: 6 October 1744 Issue: 8369 Page: 1

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