Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

HMS Sultana (1768)

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Name  HMS Sultana
Acquired  1768
Out of service  10 October 1772
Launched  1767
Owner  Royal Navy
In service  27 August 1768
Fate  Sold at auction
Builder  Benjamin Hallowell Carew
HMS Sultana (1768) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

HMS Sultana was a small Royal Navy schooner that patrolled the American coast from 1768 through 1772, preventing smuggling and collecting duties. She was retired and sold in 1773 when unrest in Britain's American colonies required larger, better armed patrol craft.



Sultana was built in the yard of renowned Boston Shipwright Benjamin Hallowell in 1767, probably as a yacht. She made one voyage from Boston to England before the Royal Navy purchased her for £292 9s 0d. The navy named her HMS Sultana and sent back to the colonies as a coast guard vessel. At the time of purchase, her lines were taken off and a draught of the hull filed at the Admiralty. She was one of six Marblehead schooners that the Royal Navy bought.

Sultana left Dungeness on the morning of 27 August 1768. Her assignment was to enforce the Townshend Acts (and to enforce tea taxes) by stopping smugglers. Sultana's logbook began on 15 July 1768. Her commander was Lieutenant John Inglis. Inglis would end his service to the crown as Vice Admiral of the Blue. The schooner’s master was David Bruce.

Sultana's first assignment once she reached Halifax was to proceed to Boston to help land General Gage’s troops in Boston for the protection of customs officials. Following that, she sailed up and down the coast of the Colonies, visiting Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and many spots in the lower Chesapeake tidewater region. On 10 October 1772 Sultana set off to England.


Sultana was sold at auction in Portsmouth on 11 August 1773 to John Hook Jr. for £85.

Modern replicas

A new Sultana, launched in Chestertown, Maryland, in 2001, serves as an educational vessel for schoolchildren as it travels around the Chesapeake Bay. Each year there are public excursions out of Chestertown and other ports. "Downrigging Weekend" in Chestertown is always the first weekend in November. Replica sailing ships from all around the mid-Atlantic participate in sailing excursions and allow the public on board.

The replica vessel is not an exact reconstruction. It has a diesel auxiliary engine and otherwise conforms to Coast Guard regulations in order to carry passengers. The modern version is framed with osage orange and planked with oak; there is a lead ballast keel which the original did not have. She has only four guns, rather than the original eight. All work and can be fired. Within modern safety requirements, however, she was built following traditional methods as much as possible.

The Howard I. Chapelle drawings of Sultana, traced from the Admiralty draughts, also inspired another modern vessel, the schooner Larinda. Her design is loosely based on Sultana but with a junk-rig and fantasy woodwork featuring whimsical details such as a frog for a figurehead.


HMS Sultana (1768) Wikipedia

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