HMS Niger (1759)
File:HMS Niger hull plan
|Ordered:||19 September 1757|
|Laid down:||7 February 1758|
|Launched:||25 September 1759|
|Completed:||By November 1759|
|Renamed:||HMS Negro in 1813|
|Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Egypt"|
|Fate:||Sold for breaking up on 29 September 1814|
|Class and type:||Niger-class fifth rate frigate|
|Tons burthen:||67967⁄94 bm|
|Beam:||35 ft 2 in (10.72 m)|
|Depth of hold:||12 ft (3.7 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full rigged ship|
She was launched in 1759.
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. 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.
Banks collected many species of plants and animals during that journey, including many which were previously unknown or undescribed by Europeans. 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.
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]
The Navy converted Niger to a prison hospital ship in May 1809, and renamed her Negro in 1813. She was sold in 1814.
Notes, citations, and references
- 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. He inherited a baronetcy on the death of his father, but died without issue in April 1770.
- 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.
- 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.