Speedwell -> 1779 Spitfire

Nominal Guns8BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down11.2.1751/52BWAS-1714
First Commissioned13.2.1753BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardChatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
Ship ClassCruizer ClassBWAS-1714
Designed byWilliam Rule (d.1816)BWAS-1714
ConstructorSir Thomas Slade (1703-1771)BWAS-1714
Ship TypeSloop BWAS-1714
Sailing RigKetchBWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck75' 7"Imperial Feet22.8956 
Length of Keel62' 3"Imperial Feet18.9357 
Breadth20' 7 ½"Imperial Feet6.1087 
Depth in Hold9' 4"Imperial Feet2.8448 
Burthen140 7994Tons BM 


21.10.1752Broadside Weight = 14.5 Imperial Pound ( 6.576 kg)BWAS-1714
Gun Deck8 British 3-Pounder
Gun Deck10 British 1/2-Pound Swivel

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
21.10.175250Design ComplementBWAS-1714
27.8.177940As a fireshipBWAS-1714

17 Commanding Officers

13.2.1753 - 6.8.1756CommanderJames Webb (d.1761) ADM 6/18/59BWAS-17146.8.1756 - 7.2.1757CommanderThomas Cornwall (d.1796) ADM 6/18/299BWAS-17147.2.1757 - 13.1.1758CommanderRobert Bond (c.1722-1772) ADM 6/18/353BWAS-171413.1.1758 - 2.3.1759CommanderJoseph Fraine (d.1802) ADM 6/18/470BWAS-17142.3.1759 - 14.3.1760CommanderSamuel Taylor (d.1790) ADM 6/19/40BWAS-171414.3.1760 - 11.2.1761CommanderThomas Fitzherbert (1727-1794) ADM 6/19/146BWAS-171411.2.1761 - 4.3.1761CommanderThe Hon. Keith Stewart (1739-1795) ADM 6/19/277ADM 6/194.3.1761 - 14.2.1763CommanderWilliam Kite (c.1719-1792) ADM 6/19/288BWAS-17148.6.1763 - 16.9.1766CommanderRobert Fanshawe (1740-1823) ADM 6/19/508BWAS-171429.11.1766 - 18.1.1770CommanderWilliam Webster (c.1727-c.1777) ADM 6/20/148BWAS-171418.1.1770 - 26.1.1773CommanderJames Feattus (c.1728-1784) ADM 6/20/268BWAS-171426.1.1773 - 25.6.1773CommanderRichard Pearson (1730/31-1806) ADM 6/20/475ODNB26.6.1773 - 26.1.1776CommanderRichard Pearson (1730/31-1806) ADM 6/20/501ADM 6/2026.1.1776 - 16.9.1777CommanderJohn Harvey (1740-1794) ADM 6/21/152BWAS-171416.9.1777 - 12.5.1778CommanderWilliam Denne (c.1733-1791) ADM 6/21/312ADM 6/2113.5.1778 - 6.2.1779CommanderThomas Bornford Mainwaring (c.1734-c.1780) ADM 6/21/404BWAS-171427.8.1779 - 16.8.1780CommanderJames Norman (c.1735-1806) ADM 6/22/20BWAS-1714

Service History

11.2.1752Began building at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
10.10.1752Began fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham BWAS-1714
21.10.1752Completed building at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £2285.13.3dBWAS-1714
2.1753Off the Isle of WightBWAS-1714
7.3.1753Completed fitting at Chatham Dockyard - Chatham at a cost of £853.11.10dBWAS-1714
11.3.1757Sailed for North AmericaBWAS-1714
8.1757Louisbourg Expedition
6.1758Operations against St Malo, Cherbourg and St CasBWAS-1714
5.6.1758Raid on Saint-Malo
19.1.1759Sailed for the Leeward IslandsBWAS-1714
3.1759fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth BWAS-1714
14.2.1763Paid offADM 51
16.9.1766Paid offADM 51
12.1766Began middling repair at Deptford Dockyard - Deptford BWAS-1714
2.1767Completed middling repair at Deptford Dockyard - Deptford at a cost of £1737.16.0dBWAS-1714
6.1770Began large repair at Sheerness Dockyard - Sheerness BWAS-1714
9.1770Completed large repair at Sheerness Dockyard - Sheerness BWAS-1714
22.6.1773Spithead reviewBWAS-1714
5.1775fitting at Sheerness Dockyard - Sheerness at a cost of £407.4.9dBWAS-1714
1776In the ChannelBWAS-1714
6.2.1779Paid offADM 51
8.1779Recommissioned as a fireshipBWAS-1714
27.8.1779Refitted as a 8 gun Unrated Fireship
27.8.1779Renamed SpitfireBWAS-1714
5.12.1780Sold at Sheerness for £160BWAS-1714


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Peter Evans on Saturday 2nd of February 2019 20:55

John Cragwell Boatswain of the Sloop Speedwell drowned in the River Thames and buried at St Nicholas Parish Church Deptford 23 September 1766 (Source - Parish Records)

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