Porcupine-class post ship

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Class overview
Name: Porcupine-class post ships
Operators:  Royal Navy
Completed: 10
General characteristics
Type: Sixth-rate post ship
Tons burthen: 513 5594 (bm; as designed)
Length:
  • 114 ft 3 in (34.8 m) (gundeck)
  • 94 ft 3 12 in (28.7 m) (keel)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Depth of hold: 10 ft 3 in (3.1 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 160
Armament:
  • Upperdeck: 22 × 9-pounder guns
  • QD 2 × 6-pounder guns

The Porcupine-class sailing sixth rates were a series of ten 24-gun post ships built to a 1776 design by John Williams, that served in the Royal Navy during the American War Of Independence. Some survived to serve again in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. The first two were launched in 1777. Three were launched in 1778, three more in 1779, and the last two in 1781.

Design[edit]

John Williams, the Surveyor of the Navy, designed the class as a development of his 1773 design for the 20-gun Sphinx class. The 1776 design enlarged the ship, which permitted the mounting of an eleventh pair of 9-pounder guns on the upper deck and two smaller (6-pounder) guns on the quarterdeck.

Ships in class[edit]

The Admiralty ordered ten ships to this design over a period of two years. The contract for the first ship was agreed on 25 June 1776 with Greaves, for launching in July 1777; the second was agreed with Adams on 6 August 1776, for launching in May 1777. The contract price for each was £10½ per ton BM; they were named Porcupine and Pelican by Admiralty Order on 27 August 1776. The contract price for Penelope was £11½ per ton BM.

Name Ordered Builder Begun Launched Completed Fate
Porcupine 21 June
1776
Edward Greaves,
Limehouse
July 1776 17 December
1777
14 February 1778
at Deptford Dockyard
Broken up at Woolwich
in April 1805.
Pelican 24 July
1776
Adams & Barnard,
Deptford
August 1776 24 April
1777
12 June 1777
at Deptford Dockyard
Wrecked off Jamaica
in August 1781.
Eurydice 24 July
1776
Portsmouth
Dockyard
February 1777 26 March
1781
3 June 1781 Broken up at Deptford
in March 1834.
Hyaena 9 October
1776
John Fisher,
Liverpool
May 1777 2 March
1778
January 1779
at Portsmouth Dockyard
Sold at Deptford
in February 1802.
Penelope 13 November
1776
Peter Baker,
Liverpool
28 June 1777 25 June
1778
20 December 1778
at Plymouth Dockyard
Foundered in hurricane
in October 1780.
Amphitrite 8 January
1776
Deptford Dockyard 2 July 1777 28 May
1778
22 July 1778 Wrecked off Livorno
in January 1794.
Crocodile 8 January
1777
Portsmouth
Dockyard
February 1777 25 April
1781
12 June 1781 Wrecked off Prawle Point
in Mat 1784.
Siren 30 September
1777
James Baker,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
21 January 1778 29 July
1779
4 March 1780
at Sheerness Dockyard
Wrecked off Seaford
in January 1781.
Pandora 11 February
1778
Adams & Barnard,
Deptford
2 March 1778 17 May
1779
3 July 1779
at Deptford Dockyard
Wrecked in Torres Strait
in August 1791.
Champion 11 February
1778
John Barnard,
Harwich
April 1778 17 May
1779
14 August 1779
at Sheerness Dockyard
Sold at Sheerness
in August 1816.

References[edit]

  • Rif Winfield, British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1714-1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates, Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley (2007). ISBN 978-1-84415-700-6.