HMS Enterprise (1774)
Painting of the hull model of HMS Enterprise by Joseph Marshall, 1777
|Career (Great Britain)|
|Builder:||Deptford Royal Dockyard|
|Laid down:||9 September 1771|
|Launched:||24 August 1774|
|Completed:||20 June 1775|
|Fate:||Broken up, August 1817|
|Class & type:||Enterprise-class frigate|
|Tons burthen:||593 89⁄94 (bm)|
|Length:||120 ft 6 in (36.73 m) (gundeck)
99 ft 6 in (30.33 m) (keel)
|Beam:||33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)|
|Depth of hold:||11 ft 0 in (3.35 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|
|Complement:||200 officers and men|
|Armament:||Gundeck: 24 × 9pdrs
Quarter deck: 4 × 3pdrs
The fifth HMS Enterprise (sometimes spelled Enterprize), 28 guns, was the name ship of a class of twenty-seven sixth-rate frigates of the Royal Navy. Enterprise was built at Deptford Royal Dockyard, England, launched in August 1774, and was commissioned in April 1775 under the command of Captain Sir Thomas Rich.
On 7 June 1780, Enterprise, under command of Captain Patrick Leslie (not to be confused with Patrick Leslie), was at anchor in the Bay of Gibraltar with other ships of the Royal Navy. At about 1:30am, Enterprise saw some vessels drifting toward the harbor. When they came within hailing distance, the seaman on watch called a challenge. The six drifting vessels were set afire by their crews, who made their escape in small boats, leaving the flaming hulks drifting toward the British ships. Captain Leslie fired a three-gun salvo to warn the other ships, cut his anchor lines to let Enterprise drift away from the hulks, and then opened fire on the hulks in an attempt to sink them. With the Spanish fleet waiting just outside the harbor for any British ships trying to escape, the British seamen took to small boats and, at great peril to their lives, boarded the flaming hulks to attach lines to pull them away from their own ships and burn themselves out.
After this action and continued service in the Mediterranean, she sailed under the command of Captain John Payne on 27 April 1782, for the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. In October 1782, now under the command of Captain William Carnegie, she captured the 22-gun American privateer Mohawk.
Enterprise was decommissioned in May 1784. From 1790 until she was broken up in August 1807, she was stationed in port in British home waters as a receiving ship, monitoring the arrival of foreign vessels.
In April 1806, another Enterprise-class frigate, HMS Resource (built at Rotherhithe in 1777-78) was renamed Enterprise, and joined her sister ship at the Tower as another receiving ship to accommodate men taken up by another press at the end of the Peace of Amiens and the outbreak of the Napoleonic War.
In 1806 the original Enterprise was taken to Deptford and broken up in 1807. The second Enterprise, ex-Resource, was broken up in 1816.
- Robert Gardiner, The First Frigates, Conway Maritime Press, London 1992. ISBN 0-85177-601-9.
- David Lyon, The Sailing Navy List, Conway Maritime Press, London 1993. ISBN 0-85177-617-5.
- Rif Winfield, British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1714 to 1792, Seaforth Publishing, London 2007. ISBN 978-1-84415-700-6.