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HMS St Albans (1764)

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Name  HMS St Albans
Fate  Broken up, 1814
Launched  12 September 1764
Ordered  13 January 1761
Tons burthen  1380 (bm)
Builder  Blackwall Yard
Notes  Floating battery from 1803
Class and type  St Albans-class ship of the line

HMS St Albans was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 12 September 1764 at Blackwall Yard, London. She served in the American War of Independence from 1777 and was part of the fleet that captured St Lucia and won victories at Battle of St. Kitts and The Saintes. She was converted to a floating battery in 1803 and was broken up in 1814.

Contents

Career

Captain Richard Onslow took command of St Albans on 31 October 1776. He took a convoy to New York City in April 1777 and joined Lord Howe in time for the repulse of d'Estaing on 22 July 1777 at Sandy Hook. Onslow sailed for the West Indies on 4 November 1778 with Commodore Hotham, and took part in the capture of Saint Lucia and its defense against d'Estaing that December at the Cul-de-Sac. In August 1779, he brought a convoy from St Kitts to Spithead.

On 10 December 1780, St Albans, in company with Vestal, Monsieur, Portland and Solebay captured the Comtess de Buzancois.

Captain Charles Inglis took command of St Albans in November 1780. On 13 March 1781 he sailed in with Vice-Admiral George Darby's fleet to the relief of Gibraltar. He was with Admiral Robert Digby's squadron later that year, before being sent to the Leeward Islands to join Sir Samuel Hood at Barbados.

St Albans was with Hood during the Battle of Saint Kitts, when Hood attempted to relieve the island and repulsed several attacks by the Comte de Grasse on 25 and 26 January 1782. Inglis was again in action with the French on 9 April, when Hood's fleet clashed with de Grasse's in the Dominica Channel, and fought at the Battle of the Saintes on 12 April, where the main British fleet under Inglis's old captain, now Admiral Sir George Rodney, decisively defeated de Grasse. St Albans had six men wounded during this engagement.

St Albans sailed to North America in late July 1782 with Rodney's successor, Admiral Hugh Pigot. She was back in the West Indies by November, where Inglis was given command of a squadron of four ships cruising independently there. The squadron, consisting of St Albans, the 64-gun Prudent, the 74-gun Magnificent and the sloop HMS Barbados, was sent from Gros Islet Bay on 12 February to investigate reports of a French squadron, consisting of Triton, Amphion and several frigates, having sailed from Martinique.

On 15 February 1783 the 74-gun Magnificent, under Captain Robert Linzee. was on a cruise in company with Prudent and St Albans. Magnificent sighted a strange sail and gave chase. She was close enough to identify the mysterious ship as a frigate by 18:00, and by 20:00 as darkness fell the quarry opened fire on her pursuer with her stern guns. Magnificent overhauled the French ship by 21:15, and after fifteen minutes forced her to strike her colours. Magnificent took possession of Concorde, of 36 guns and 300 men under the command of M. le Chevalier du Clesmaur. Shortly after surrendering, Concorde's maintopsail caught fire, forcing the crew to cut away the mainmast to extinguish it. Prudent and St Albans came up two hours later and Magnificent towed Concorde to St. John's, Antigua.

On 26 November 1794 she rescued the crew of HMS Actif which had developed leaks and was foundering.

Fate

From 1803, St Albans was used as a floating battery. She was broken up in 1814.

References

HMS St Albans (1764) Wikipedia


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