HMS Surprise (1812)
|Ordered:||10 April 1809|
|Laid down:||January 1810|
|Launched:||25 July 1812|
|Completed:||1 December 1812|
|Fate:||Sold 2 October 1837|
|Class & type:||Leda-class frigate|
|Tons burthen:||1072.35 bm|
|Length:||150 ft 4 in (45.82 m) (gundeck)
125 ft 8.875 in (38.32543 m) (keel)
|Beam:||40 ft 0.5 in (12.205 m)|
|Depth of hold:||12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|
|Complement:||284 (later 300);|
|Armament:||Upper deck: Twenty-eight 18-pounder guns
Forecastle: Two 9-pounder guns and two 32-pounder carronades
Quarter deck: Eight 9-pounder guns and six 32-pounder carronades
HMS Surprise was a 38-gun frigate of the Leda class of the Royal Navy, although all these fifth-rate frigates were re-classed as 46-gun under the general re-rating of February 1817, from when carronades on the quarter deck and forecastle were included in the rating. She carried a complement of 284 officers and ratings, and a primary armament of 28 eighteen-pounder guns on her upper deck, with 8 nine-pounder guns (and 6 32-pounder carronades) on her quarterdeck and 2 nine-pounder guns (and 2 more 32-pounder carronades) on her forecastle.
The Surprise was ordered on 10 April 1809 at Milford Dockyard in Pembrokeshire where her keel was laid down there in January 1810. She was launched on 25 July 1812, and sailed round to Plymouth Dockyard to be completed. Fitting out took place between 9 August and 1 December 1812, and she was commissioned in September 1812 under the command of Captain Sir Thomas John Cochrane, sailing for the West Indies on 19 December 1812. She measured 150 feet 4 inches on the gun deck, with a breadth of 40 feet and a half-inch, and a depth in hold of 12 feet 9 inches, giving a tonnage of just over 1,072.
Under Cochrane's command, she served initially on the Leeward Islands, where she captured the American 12-gun privateer Decatur on 16 January 1813, and subsequently on the North American station during the War of 1812. From June 1814, she was commanded by Capt. George Knight and was present at the bombardment of Fort McHenry in September 1814. She paid off out of commission into ordinary in August or September 1815. By 1822, she had been reduced to a hulk at Milford, but was then fitted out at Plymouth as a convict hulk to be stationed at Cork, where she remained until sold (for £2,010) there in 1837.
- HMS Surprise at the Naval Database website
- Winfield, Rif (2005) British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. 2nd edition, Seaforth Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.