HMS Cormorant (1794)

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Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Cormorant
Ordered: 18 February 1793
Builder: Randall and Brent, Rotherhithe
Laid down: April 1793
Launched: 2 January 1794
Completed: 10 March 1794 at Deptford Dockyard
Commissioned: January 1794
Out of service: Lost 24 December 1796
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 16-gun Cormorant-class ship sloop
Tons burthen: 426 7194 (bm)
  • 108 ft 6 in (33.1 m) (gundeck)
  • 91 ft 6 38 in (27.9 m) (keel)
Beam: 29 ft 8 12 in (9.1 m)
Depth of hold: 9 ft (2.7 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Sloop
Complement: 121

HMS Cormorant was a 16-gun ship sloop of the Cormorant class in the Royal Navy, launched in 1794 at Rotherhithe. She captured four French privateers before an accidental fire destroyed her in 1796.


The Cormorant was the name-ship of the initial batch of six ship-rigged sloops of the Cormorant Class ordered in February 1793 to a joint design by Sir John Henslow and William Rule, shortly after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars. After launch, she was taken down the Thames to Deptford Naval Dockyard, where she was masted and completed on 10 March 1794.[1]

She entered service under Commander Joshua Morlock. Command passed in July 1794 to Commander Joseph Bingham, under whose command she sailed for Jamaica in February 1795.[1] On 30 June 1795 she captured the French privateer Resource Républicain (or Resource République).[2] Then on 27 November Cormorant captured the privateer Petit Créole.[3] Under Bingham, Cormorant also captured the 14-gun privateer Alerte.

In March 1796 Commander Peter Francis Collingwood became her captain, though he is given as her captain when she captured the Vengeance on 19 January. On 21 March 1796 Cormorant supported the landing of troops for an attack on Leogane. The British discovered they were outnumbered and withdrew the next day.[4] Later that year command passed to Commander Thomas Gott.


On Christmas Eve 1796, Cormorant caught fire by accident at Port-au-Prince and blew up; 95 of her crew were killed (including Gott).[5] A newspaper reported that Gott had been giving a party to celebrate his accession to the command of Cormorant when the accident occurred.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Winfield (2008), p. 253.
  2. ^ "No. 14065". The London Gazette. 14 November 1797. p. 1095. 
  3. ^ "No. 15004". The London Gazette. 3 April 1798. p. 287. 
  4. ^ "No. 13900". The London Gazette. 11 June 1796. pp. 558–559. 
  5. ^ Hepper (1994), p.82.
  6. ^ Grocott (1997), p.37.


  • Grocott, Terence (1997) Shipwrecks of the revolutionary & Napoleonic eras (Chatham). ISBN 1-86176-030-2
  • Hepper, David J. (1994). British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859. Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot. ISBN 0-948864-30-3. 
  • Winfield, Rif, British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1793-1817 (Seaforth Publishing, 2007) ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.