HMS Niger (1759)

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HMS Niger (1759).jpg
File:HMS Niger hull plan
Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Niger
Ordered: 19 September 1757
Builder: Sheerness Dockyard
Laid down: 7 February 1758
Launched: 25 September 1759
Completed: By November 1759
Renamed: HMS Negro in 1813
Honours and
Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Egypt"[1]
Fate: Sold for breaking up on 29 September 1814
General characteristics
Class and type: Niger-class fifth rate frigate
Tons burthen: 6796794 bm
  • 125 ft (38 m) (gundeck)
  • 103 ft 4 in (31.50 m) (keel)
Beam: 35 ft 2 in (10.72 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 220
  • As built
    • Upper gundeck: 26 ×  12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 ×  6-pounder guns
    • Fc: 2 ×  6-pounder guns
    • 12 x  ½pdr swivels
  • After 1794
    • Upper gundeck: 26 ×  12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 ×  6-pounder guns + 4 ×  24-pounder carronades
    • Fc: 2 ×  6-pounder guns + 2 ×  24-pounder carronades

HMS Niger was a 32-gun Niger-class fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy.


She was launched in 1759.[2]

In 1766, under the command of Sir Thomas Adams, Niger travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador.[Note 1] Also on board were Constantine Phipps, and the English botanist Joseph Banks.[4] The purpose of the journey was to transport a party of mariners to Chateau Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador to build a fort, to continue strengthening relations with the native population, and to survey some of the coast of Newfoundland.[2]

Banks collected many species of plants and animals during that journey, including many which were previously unknown or undescribed by Europeans.[5] In 1766 Banks met James Cook briefly in St. John's, Newfoundland, through their mutual friend Thomas Adams. This meeting would lead to Banks joining Cook on his first circumnavigation from 1769 to 1771.[6]

Because Niger served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March to 8 September 1801), her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal that the Admiralty issued in 1847 to all surviving claimants.[Note 2]

On 21 May Niger was in company with the bomb vessel Thunder and the brig Dexterous when they detained Trende Damen (Three Ladies).[8]


The Navy converted Niger to a prison hospital ship in May 1809, and renamed her Negro in 1813. She was sold in 1814.

Stern plan of Niger

Notes, citations, and references[edit]


  1. ^ Sir Thomas Adams was Niger's captain from March 1763 until 1767. His father, Sir Robert Adams, was a London solicitor, his mother's name was Diana. Sir Thomas was baptized in St Pancras Church, London on 17 February 1738.[3] He inherited a baronetcy on the death of his father, but died without issue in April 1770.[citation needed]
  2. ^ A first-class share of the prize money awarded in April 1823 was worth £34 2s 4d; a fifth-class share, that of a seaman, was worth 3s 11½d. The amount was small as the total had to be shared between 79 vessels and the entire army contingent.[7]


  1. ^ "No. 21077". The London Gazette. 15 March 1850. pp. 791–792.
  2. ^ a b Lysaght, p. 37
  3. ^ Lysaght, p.63
  4. ^ Lysaght, p.37 & 41.
  5. ^ Lysaght, p.38
  6. ^ Lysaght, p.41
  7. ^ "No. 17915". The London Gazette. 3 April 1823. p. 633.
  8. ^ "No. 16390". The London Gazette. 24 July 1810. p. 1104.


  • Lysaght, A. M. (1971). Joseph Banks in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1766; his diary, manuscripts, and collections. Berkeley, University of California Press.
  • Winfield, Rif (2007). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714–1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. London: Seaforth. ISBN 978-1-84415-700-6.