Viper -> 1755 Lightning

Nominal Guns10BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
Keel Laid Down1.6.1745BWAS-1714
First Commissioned29.5.1746BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardPoole - Dorset BWAS-1714
Ship ClassMerlin ClassBWAS-1714
Designed byJacob Ackworth (d.1748/49)BWAS-1714
ConstructorTito DurrellBWAS-1714
Ship TypeSloop BWAS-1714
Sailing RigSnowBWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck91' 0"Imperial Feet27.7368 
Length of Keel74' 9"Imperial Feet22.6124 
Breadth26' 1"Imperial Feet7.929 
Depth in Hold12' 1"Imperial Feet3.6703 
Burthen270 4894Tons BM 


11.6.1746Broadside Weight = 33.5 Imperial Pound ( 15.1926 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck10 British 6-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck14 British 1/2-Pound Swivel

1748Broadside Weight = 45.5 Imperial Pound ( 20.6346 kg)BWAS-1714
Upper Gun Deck14 British 6-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck14 British 1/2-Pound Swivel

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource
1743110Design Complement
1748125 BWAS-1714

7 Commanding Officers

29.5.1746 - 9.7.1747CommanderRobert Roddam (1719-1808) ADM 6/17/109BWAS-17149.7.1747 - 7.10.1748CommanderJames Hackman (c.1714-1764) ADM 6/17/242BWAS-171428.10.1748 - 22.2.1753CommanderCornelius Smelt (c.1719-1755) ADM 6/17/395BWAS-17145.5.1756 - 17.1.1757CommanderRichard Kempenfelt (1715-1782) ADM 6/18/262ADM 6/1821.1.1757 - 12.12.1757CommanderHenry Martin (1733-1794) ADM 6/18/347ADM 6/1812.12.1757 - 23.1.1759CommanderWilliam Goostrey (d.1762) ADM 6/18/469ADM 6/1821.11.1760 - 12.1762CommanderJoseph Norwood (c.1725-1793) ADM 6/19/210ADM 6/19

1 Commissioned Officer

21.3.1748/49 - 15.11.1752LieutenantCharles Stuart ADM 6/17/450ADM 6/17

Service History

1.6.1745Began building at Poole - Dorset BWAS-1714
11.6.1745Completed building at Poole - Dorset at a cost of £1043.10.0dBWAS-1714
11.6.1746Began fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard - Portsmouth BWAS-1714
9.8.1746Completed fitting at Portsmouth Dockyard - Portsmouth at a cost of £1520.3.10dBWAS-1714
15.10.1746Took the Privateer Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria
7.1.1746/47Took the Privateer Le Demouchy
20.6.1747Took the Privateer Nuestra Señora del Pilar
23.8.1747Took the Privateer L'Hector (28)
1748Refitted as a 14 gun Unrated Sloop BWAS-1714
7.10.1748Paid offADM 106
1749Sailed to JamaicaBWAS-1714
20.2.1753Paid off at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth ADM 6/18
29.7.1755Renamed LightningBWAS-1714
29.7.1755Refitted as a 8 gun Unrated Fireship BWAS-1714
8.1755Began fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth BWAS-1714
12.1755Completed fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth at a cost of £1891.4.11dBWAS-1714
8.1756Refitted as a 6 gun Unrated Hospital Ship BWAS-1714
8.1756fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth at a cost of £1554.2.11dBWAS-1714
8.1757Louisbourg Expedition
6.6.1758The Siege of Louisbourg
3.1759fitting at Plymouth Dockyard - Plymouth at a cost of £605.3.7dBWAS-1714
27.12.1762Ordered to be soldBWAS-1714
30.12.1762Sold at Woolwich for £1,105BWAS-1714


BWAS-1714British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792Rif WinfieldBook
ADM 6/18ADM 6/18 Commission and Warrant Book 1751 May-1758 Oct.  Archive
ADM 6/19ADM 6/19 Commission and Warrant Book 1758 Nov.-1763 Archive
ADM 6/17ADM 6/17 Commission and Warrant Book 1745 18 Sep.-1751 Apr.  Archive
ADM 106ADM 106 Navy Board Letters-In Document

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