Nominal Guns28BWAS-1793
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
PreviouslyFrench Sixth Rate corvette 'L'Unité' (1794) (32)
ShipyardLe Havre - Normandy E-WIKI
Ship ClassUnité classE-WIKI
Designed byPierre-Alexander Forfait (1752-1807)E-WIKI
ConstructorJean FouacheE-WIKI
CategorySixth RateBWAS-1793
Ship TypeFrigate BWAS-1793
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1793


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1793
Length of Gundeck126' 0"Imperial Feet38.4048 
Length of Keel108' 6 ¼"Imperial Feet32.9248 
Breadth31' 8"Imperial Feet9.652 
Depth in Hold10' 0 ½"Imperial Feet3.0607 
Burthen578 7394Tons BM 


6.1796Broadside Weight = 164 Imperial Pound ( 74.374 kg)BWAS-1793
Upper Gun Deck24 British 9-Pounder
Quarterdeck4 British 12-Pound Carronade
Quarterdeck8 British 4-Pounder
Forecastle2 British 12-Pound Carronade
Forecastle2 British 4-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
6.1796200 BWAS-1793

4 Commanding Officers

6.1796 - 3.6.1797CommanderEdward Joseph Hamilton (1772-1851)BWAS-17933.6.1797 - 9.1.1800CaptainEdward Joseph Hamilton (1772-1851)BWAS-17939.1.1800 - 8.1801CaptainChristopher LarocheBWAS-17938.1801 - 1802CaptainJames OswaldBWAS-1793

Service History

29.7.1796Sailed for JamaicaBWAS-1793
1798Took the Unrated La Lanvette (6)
1.1798Began fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth BWAS-1793
5.1798Completed fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth at a cost of £6992.0.0dBWAS-1793
2.1799Took the Unrated La Petite Français (4) on the Jamaica Station
3.1799Took the Privateer La Lionne (5)
25.10.1799Took the Frigate Santa Cecilia (32) cut out from Porto CavalloBG
2.1802Sold at DeptfordBWAS-1793


Previous comments on this page

Posted by Ian Johnston on Wednesday 16th of May 2012 22:12

Builder: Pierre-Alexandre Forfait, Le Havre
Laid down: August 1793
Launched: 16 January 1794
Commissioned: April 1794
Captured: 20 April 1796 by HMS Inconstant

Class and type: Unité-class corvette
Tons burthen: 350 bm
Length: 129 ft (39 m)
Beam: 31 ft 8 in (9.65 m)
Draught: 4.2 m (14 ft)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 240 officers and men.

As Unité
24 × 8-pounder guns
8 × 4-pounder guns

As HMS Surprise
24 × 32-pounder carronades
10 × 32-pounder carronades
2 × 4-pounder guns as chasers

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