HMS Newcastle (1813)
|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Ordered:||6 May 1813|
|Builder:||Wigram, Wells & Green, Blackwall|
|Laid down:||June 1813|
|Launched:||10 November 1813|
|Completed:||By 23 March 1814|
|Fate:||Broken up in June 1850|
|Class & type:||50-gun fourth rate|
|Tons burthen:||1,556 bm|
|Length:||176 ft 5 in (53.77 m) (gundeck)
149 ft 5.75 in (45.5613 m) (keel)
|Beam:||44 ft 8 in (13.61 m)|
|Depth of hold:||15 ft 1.5 in (4.610 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full rigged ship|
A new type of ship, a large spar-decked frigate, Newcastle and her near sister HMS Leander were ordered in response to the threat posed by the heavy American spar-decked frigates, during the War of 1812. The Newcastle proved a successful ship, which operated in squadrons which chased the American frigates, but ultimately failed to catch them before the war ended. She spent some time as the flagship on the North American Station before returning to Britain in 1822 and being laid up the following year as a lazarette. She spent the rest of her career in this role, until being broken up in 1850.
Construction and commissioning
HMS Leander was ordered from the Blackwall-based firm of Wigram, Wells & Green on 6 May 1813. She was laid down in June 1813 and built of pitch pine to a design by émigré designer Jean-Louis Barrallier. Built of softwood to get her into service as quickly as possible, Leander was launched on 10 November 1813, less than five months after laying down. She was moved to Woolwich Dockyard and completed there by 23 March 1814. The construction of fourth rates, a type that had fallen out of favour prior to the French Revolutionary Wars, was a response to the American spar-decked frigates, like USS Constitution and USS Chesapeake. Ordered alongside Newcastle was the similar 50-gun HMS Leander.[a]
Leander was a spar-deck frigate, designed to carry thirty 24 pounders on her main deck, and twenty-four 42 pounder carronades on her spar deck (two fewer carronades than her half-sister), with four 24 pounders on her forecastle. In 1815, after the War of 1812 and Napoleonic Wars, Newcastle and Leander were fitted with accommodation for a flag officer with a poop deck built over the quarterdeck, and were mostly used as flagships on foreign stations, replacing older 50-gun ships which had previously filled this role. Both ships were re-rated as 60-gun fourth rates in February 1817.
The Newcastle was commissioned under her first commander, Captain George Collier, in November 1813, but Collier was moved to command of the Leander a month later, and was replaced as commander by Captain Lord George Stuart.
- Winfield. British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817. p. 112.
- Colledge & Warlow. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 196.
- Gardiner. Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars. pp. 53–5.
- Gardiner. Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars. p. 67.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Gardiner, Robert (2006). Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-86176-292-5.
- Toll, Ian W. (2007). Six Frigates: How Piracy, War and British Supremacy at Sea gave Birth to the World's Most Powerful Navy. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-101456-2.
- Tracy, Nicholas (2006). Who's who in Nelson's Navy: 200 Naval Heroes. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-86176-244-5.
- Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. London: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.