Girish Mahajan (Editor)

HMS Orpheus (1780)

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Name  HMS Orpheus
Laid down  7 July 1779
Construction started  7 July 1779
Builder  Deptford
Ordered  2 October 1778
Completed  By 15 July 1780
Launched  3 June 1780
Fate  Wrecked on 23 January 1807
Class and type  32–gun Amazon-class fifth-rate

HMS Orpheus was a 32–gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1780, and served for more than a quarter of a century, before she was wrecked in 1807.


American War of Independence

On 14 March 1781, Orpheus and HMS Roebuck captured the USS Confederacy off the Delaware. The Royal Navy briefly took her into service as HMS Confederate.

French Revolutionary Wars

On 5 May 1794, Orpheus captured the French frigate Duguay Trouin, the former East Indiaman Princess Royal, which the French had captured on 27 September 1793.

On 22 June 1796 Orpheus was in the Straits of Banca, where she captured the Dutch brig Harlingen. The British took Harlingen into service as HMS Amboyna.

In August 1797 Orpheus was reported as being in Madras and Captain William Hill was appointed commander.

Napoleonic Wars

On 16 April 1806, Orpheus, Captain Thomas Briggs, was in company with the revenue cutter Badger. They share in the proceeds of the capture of two merchant vessels, Vrou Fingina and Vyf Gesusters.


Orpheus, under the command of Captain Thomas Briggs, arrived off Jamaica from England in the evening of 22 January 1807. Being short of water, Briggs decided to try to sail her into Port Royal, rather than wait for a pilot. Around midnight Orpheus grounded on a reef that was not accurately marked on her charts. Efforts to lighten her failed and she took on water. When the water reached her main deck, the crew took to the boats, abandoning her.


HMS Orpheus (1780) Wikipedia

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