HMS Viper

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Sixteen ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Viper, or HMS Vipere, after the members of the Viperidae family:

  • HMS Viper was a 14-gun sloop launched in 1746. She was converted into a fireship in 1755 and renamed HMS Lightning. She was sold in 1762.
  • HMS Viper was a 10-gun sloop launched in 1756. She was wrecked in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in bad weather while escorting a convoy in 1779.
  • HMS Viper was the Massachusetts privateer schooner Viper that HMS Perseus captured on 26 September 1776. She was purchased in 1777 and broken up in New York in 1779.
  • HMS Viper was a 6-gun galley, the former South Carolina navy's Rutledge, captured on 4 November 1779 at Tybee and listed until 1785.[1]
  • HMS Viper was a 14-gun cutter purchased in 1780 as Greyhound; in 1781 she was renamed Viper. She was sold in 1809.[2]
  • HMS Vipere was a 4-gun xebec, formerly a French privateer. She was captured in 1793, but foundered in Hyères Bay later that year during the evacuation of Toulon.[3]
  • HMS Vipere was a 16-gun brig-sloop, formerly a French privateer, which Flora captured in 1794.[4] Vipere foundered in the estuary of the River Shannon on 2 January 1797 with the loss of her entire crew of 120 men.[5]
  • HMS Viper was a 4-gun Dutch hoy purchased in 1794 and broken up in 1802.
  • HMS Viper was a 4-gun schooner purchased in 1807 that disappeared in 1809 while sailing from Cadiz to Gibraltar and was presumed to have foundered with all hands.[6]
  • HMS Viper was an 8-gun cutter launched in 1809 as the civilian vessel Niger. She was purchased that same year and sold in 1814.
  • HMS Viper was a 10-gun gun-brig purchased in 1810. She was possibly renamed Mohawk later that year, and is not present on the navy list of 1811.
  • HMS Viper - tender to Ramillies, c. 1820-21.[7]
  • HMS Viper was a 6-gun schooner launched in 1831 and broken up in 1851.
  • HMS Viper was an Arrow-class wooden-hulled screw gunvessel launched in 1854 and sold in 1862.
  • HMS Viper was an iron armoured gunvessel launched in 1865. She was used for harbour service from 1890, as a tank vessel from 1901 and was sold in 1908.
  • HMS Viper was a Viper-class destroyer launched in 1899 and wrecked in 1901.

Other vessels[edit]

HM Customs and Excise and the Bombay Marine of the East India Company also had cutters named Viper.


  1. ^ "no. 12041". The London Gazette. 18 December 1779. p. 2. 
  2. ^ Winfield (2008), p.353.
  3. ^ Hepper (1994), p.75.
  4. ^ "no. 13622". The London Gazette. 8 February 1794. p. 130. 
  5. ^ Hepper (1994), p.83.
  6. ^ Hepper (1994), p.128.
  7. ^ "no. 17705". The London Gazette. 12 May 1821. p. 1025.