Hired armed lugger Duke of York

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His Majesty's Hired armed lugger Duke of York served the Royal Navy from 14 October 1794 to 2 January 1799 when she foundered in the North Sea. She was of 57 44/94 tons burthen (bm) and was armed with eight 4-pounder guns.[1]

She may have been the lugger by the same name that on 28 October 1793 received a letter of marque. That Duke of York was described as being under the command of Richard Mowle, having a burthen of 54 tons, being armed with six 4-pounder guns and six swivels, and having a crew of 23.[2]

Service with the Royal Navy[edit]

On 31 January 1795 Duke of York was part of a squadron under Captain Sir John Borlase Warren that seized the Dutch East India Ship Ostenhuyson.[3]

On 26 February, Pomone, under Captain Warren, captured a 12-gun schooner off the Île de Groix, near Lorient. She was the French Convention navy, American-built Coureuse and she was escorting a convoy of three brigs and two luggers from Brest to Lorient. The frigates Artois and Galatea, and the Duke of York assisted Pomone in the capture. The British scuttled two of the brigs that were of little value, but took the other four vessels as prizes, with Coureuse being taken into service briefly as a dispatch vessel in the Mediterranean.[Note 1]

In 1796 Duke of York sailed with Captain Sir Edward Pellew's squadron. The squadron captured or sank a number of merchant vessels between ll and 21 March.

  • Favorite Sultana, laden with salt—captured;
  • Friends, brig, laden with flour—captured;
  • Brig of unknown name, in ballast—sunk;
  • Chasse maree of unknown name, empty—sunk;
  • Providence, chasse maree, laden with wine and brandy—captured;
  • Brig of unknown name, laden with empty casks—sunk;
  • Four Marys, brig, in ballast—captured;
  • Aimable Justine, brig, in ballast—captured;
  • Nouvelle Union, brig, in ballast—captured.[5]

The vessels sharing in the prize money were: Indefatigable, Concorde, Révolutionnaire, Amazon, Argo, the hired armed cutter Dolly and Duke of York.[6]

On 13 April 1796 Revolutionnaire, one of Pellew's squadron, captured the French frigate Unité. Then on 21 April Indefatigable captured the French 44-gun frigate Virginie off the Lizard.[7] In July there was an initial distribution of prize money for the capture of Unite and Virginie of £20,000. Indefatigable shared this with Amazon, Revolutionnaire, Concorde and Argo.[8] Apparently Duke of York too shared in some or all of the prize money.[9]

In December 1796 Duke of York, under the command of Mr. Benjamin Sparrow, was still cruising with Pellew's small squadron of frigates off Brest, reporting the movements of the French fleet to the admiral of the British fleet, then cruising some distance of the Ushant. Between 16–17 December Duke of York observed the French fleet assemble after its departure from Brest and on the 17th Pellew sent her to Falmouth with despatches to report the news. She arrived in Falmouth on 20 December, followed closely by Pellew in Indefatigable.

On 11 May 1797 Indefatigable, in company with Phoebe, Cleopatra Childers, and Duke of York, captured the Nouvelle Eugénie. She was a razee privateer of 16 guns and carried a crew of 120 men. She was four days out of Nantes on a 30-day cruise, but had taken no prizes.[10] The Navy took her into service as HMS Eugenie.

In July 1797 Duke of York shared in the capture of a French privateer in the Channel. The privateer's name was not recorded, but she was armed with two guns and had a crew of 25. Duke of York had chased the French vessel into the hands of the revenue cutter Hind, which also retook a sloop the privateer had captured.[11]

On 28 January 1798, Indefatigable and Cambrian captured the privateer Heureuse Nouvelle. She was armed with 22 guns and had a crew of 130 men. She was 36 days out of Brest and during that time had taken only one ship, a large American vessel named Providence, which had a cargo of cotton and sugar. Pellew sent Cambrian in pursuit.[12] Duke of York also shared in the capture.[13]

On 2 January 1799 Duke of York was under the command of Master Benjamin Sparrow when she foundered in the North Sea.[14]

Notes, citations and references[edit]


  1. ^ Chapelle reports that Coureuse only had eight guns, and 2-pounders at that.[4]


  1. ^ Winfield (2008), p.388.
  2. ^ .Letters of Marque[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "No. 15248". The London Gazette. 15 April 1800. p. 367.
  4. ^ Chapelle (1967), p.154.
  5. ^ "No. 13884". The London Gazette. 16 April 1796. p. 352.
  6. ^ "No. 13943". The London Gazette. 22 October 1796. p. 1003.
  7. ^ "No. 13887". The London Gazette. 26 April 1796. p. 388.
  8. ^ "No. 13914". The London Gazette. 23 July 1796. p. 708.
  9. ^ "No. 14031". The London Gazette. 25 July 1797. p. 703.
  10. ^ "No. 14010". The London Gazette. 16 May 1797. p. 447.
  11. ^ "No. 14030". The London Gazette. 22 July 1797. p. 688.
  12. ^ "No. 14088". The London Gazette. 3 February 1798. p. 111.
  13. ^ "No. 15060". The London Gazette. 11 September 1798. p. 869.
  14. ^ Hepper (1994), p.90.


  • Chapelle, Howard Irving (1967) The search for speed under sail, 1700-1855 (New York: Norton).
  • Hepper, David J. (1994). British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859. Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot. ISBN 0-948864-30-3.
  • Winfield, Rif (2008). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793–1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth. ISBN 1-86176-246-1.