HMS Niger (1759)

Last updated

HMS Niger (1759).jpg
File:HMS Niger hull plan
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg UK
Name: HMS Niger
Ordered: 19 September 1757
Builder: Sheerness Dockyard
Laid down: 7 February 1758
Launched: 25 September 1759
Completed: By November 1759
Renamed: HMS Negro in 1813
Honours and
Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Egypt" [1]
Fate: Sold for breaking up on 29 September 1814
General characteristics
Class and type: Niger-class fifth rate frigate
Tons burthen: 679 6794 bm
  • 125 ft (38 m) (gundeck)
  • 103 ft 4 in (31.50 m) (keel)
Beam: 35 ft 2 in (10.72 m)
Depth of hold: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 220
  • As built
    • Upper gundeck: 26 ×  12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 ×  6-pounder guns
    • Fc: 2 ×  6-pounder guns
    • 12 x  ½pdr swivels
  • After 1794
    • Upper gundeck: 26 ×  12-pounder guns
    • QD: 4 ×  6-pounder guns + 4 ×  24-pounder carronades
    • Fc: 2 ×  6-pounder guns + 2 ×  24-pounder carronades

HMS Niger was a 32-gun Niger-class fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy.

Frigate Type of warship

A frigate is a type of warship, having various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.


She was launched in 1759. [2]

In 1766, under the command of Sir Thomas Adams, Niger travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador. [Note 1] Also on board were Constantine Phipps, and the English botanist Joseph Banks. [4] The purpose of the journey was to transport a party of mariners to Chateau Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador to build a fort, to continue strengthening relations with the native population, and to survey some of the coast of Newfoundland. [2]

Sir Thomas Adams, 6th Baronet was an officer in the Royal Navy who served during the Seven Years' War.

Newfoundland and Labrador Province of Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador is the most easterly province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it comprises the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador to the northwest, with a combined area of 405,212 square kilometres (156,500 sq mi). In 2018, the province's population was estimated at 525,073. About 92% of the province's population lives on the island of Newfoundland, of whom more than half live on the Avalon Peninsula.

Constantine Phipps, 2nd Baron Mulgrave 18th-century British explorer and naval officer

Constantine John Phipps, 2nd Baron Mulgrave was an English explorer and officer in the Royal Navy. He served during the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, seeing action in a number of battles and engagements. Inheriting a title, he also went on to have a successful career in Parliament, and occupied a number of political offices during his later years.

Banks collected many species of plants and animals during that journey, including many which were previously unknown or undescribed by Europeans. [5] In 1766 Banks met James Cook briefly in St. John's, Newfoundland, through their mutual friend Thomas Adams. This meeting would lead to Banks joining Cook on his first circumnavigation from 1769 to 1771. [6]

James Cook 18th-century British explorer

Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

First voyage of James Cook combined Royal Navy and Royal Society expedition to the south Pacific

The first voyage of James Cook was a combined Royal Navy and Royal Society expedition to the south Pacific Ocean aboard HMS Endeavour, from 1768 to 1771. It was the first of three Pacific voyages of which Cook was the commander. The aims of this first expedition were to observe the 1769 transit of Venus across the Sun, and to seek evidence of the postulated Terra Australis Incognita or "unknown southern land".

Because Niger served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March to 8 September 1801), her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal that the Admiralty issued in 1847 to all surviving claimants. [Note 2]

Admiralty British Government ministry responsible for the Royal Navy until 1964

The Admiralty, originally known as the Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs, was the government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy first in the Kingdom of England, later in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire. Originally exercised by a single person, the Lord High Admiral (1385–1628), the Admiralty was, from the early 18th century onwards, almost invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who sat on the Board of Admiralty.

The Navy converted Niger to a prison hospital ship in May 1809, and renamed her Negro in 1813. She was sold in 1814.

Prison ship

A prison ship, often more precisely described as a prison hulk, is a current or former seagoing vessel that has been modified to become a place of substantive detention for convicts, prisoners of war or civilian internees. While many nations have deployed prison ships over time, the practice was most widespread in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain, as the government sought to address the issues of overcrowded civilian jails on land and an influx of enemy detainees from the War of Jenkins' Ear, the Seven Years' War and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Stern plan of the Niger NIGER 1759 RMG J6012.jpg
Stern plan of the Niger

Notes, citations, and references


  1. Sir Thomas Adams was Niger's captain from March 1763 until 1767. His father, Sir Robert Adams, was a London solicitor, his mother's name was Diana. Sir Thomas was baptized in St Pancras Church, London on 17 February 1738. [3] He inherited a baronetcy on the death of his father, but died without issue in April 1770.[ citation needed ]
  2. A first-class share of the prize money awarded in April 1823 was worth £34 2s 4d; a fifth-class share, that of a seaman, was worth 3s 11½d. The amount was small as the total had to be shared between 79 vessels and the entire army contingent. [7]


  1. "No. 21077". The London Gazette . 15 March 1850. pp. 791–792.
  2. 1 2 Lysaght, p. 37
  3. Lysaght, p.63
  4. Lysaght, p.37 & 41.
  5. Lysaght, p.38
  6. Lysaght, p.41
  7. "No. 17915". The London Gazette . 3 April 1823. p. 633.


International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Related Research Articles

Joseph Banks English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences

Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences.

HMS <i>Pegasus</i> (1779)

HMS Pegasus was a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth rate. This frigate was launched in 1779 at Deptford and sold in 1816. Pegasus had a relatively uneventful career and is perhaps best known for the fact that her captain from 1786 to 1789 was Prince William Henry, the future King William IV. By 1811 Pegasus was a receiving ship at Chatham; she was sold in 1816.

HMS <i>Thetis</i> (1782)

HMS Thetis was a 38-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy launched in 1782.

HMS <i>Northumberland</i> (1798) 1798 ship

HMS Northumberland was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at the yards of Barnard, Deptford and launched on 2 February 1798.

HMS Stately was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 27 December 1784 at Northam.

HMS <i>Diadem</i> (1782) Intrepid-class ship of the line

HMS Diadem was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 19 December 1782 at Chatham. She participated in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797 under Captain George Henry Towry.

HMS Inflexible was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 7 March 1780 at Harwich.

HMS <i>Dragon</i> (1798) 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy

HMS Dragon was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 2 April 1798 at Rotherhithe. She was designed by Sir William Rule, and was the only ship built to her draught.

The second HMS Dauntless was a Cormorant-class ship-sloop of the Royal Navy, launched in 1808. She was sold in 1823.

HMS Chichester was a 70-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard to the standard draught for 70-gun ships as specified in the 1745 Establishment amended in 1750, and launched on 4 June 1753.

HMS <i>Thisbe</i> (1783)

HMS Thisbe was a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Thisbe was first commissioned in December 1787 under the command of Captain George Robertson.

HMS Winchelsea was a 32-gun fifth-rate Niger-class frigate of the Royal Navy, and was the sixth Royal Navy ship to bear this name. She was ordered during the Seven Years' War, but completed too late for that conflict. She cost £11,515-18-0d to build.

Chateau Bay

Chateau Bay is a settlement and bay in Labrador, Canada. Historically it is also sometimes called York Harbour, a name given by James Webb in 1760 when he claimed the harbour for the English. It was surveyed by James Cook in 1763, during his survey of the Strait of Belle Isle aboard HMS Grenville. In August 1766 Joseph Banks arrived in Chateau Bay as a part of a partially scientific journey to study and collect the plants and animals. One of the specimens collected there was the now extinct great auk.

HMS Diana was a 38-gun Artois-class fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1794.

HMS Resource was a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1778 and sold for breaking up in 1816.

HMS Cyclops was a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. The Cyclops was first commissioned in July 1779 under the command of Captain John Robinson.

French frigate <i>Républicaine française</i> (1794)

The Républicaine française was a 32-gun frigate of the French Navy, of the Galathée class. The Royal Navy captured her in 1796. The Navy fitted her as a troopship in 1800, but both as a troopship, and earlier as a frigate, she captured several small Spanish and French privateers. She was broken up in 1810.

HMS Dangereuse was a tartane named Duguay-Trouin that the French Navy requisioned in May 1794 to serve as an aviso. The Navy renamed her Dangereuse either in May 1795 or on 2 March 1796. She was one of a flotilla of seven gun-vessels that Commodore Sir Sidney Smith in HMS Tigre took at Acre on 18 March 1799, all of which the British took into service. At capture Dangereuse carried six guns and had a crew of 23 men. Smith put her under the command of Lieutenant Robert William Tyte (acting).

HMS Madras was laid down as Lascelles, an East Indiaman being built for the British East India Company (EIC). The Royal Navy purchased her on the stocks and had her completed as a 56-gun Fourth rate. She was launched as HMS Madras in 1795. She served in the Leeward Islands and the Far East. In 1801 she was armed en flute. She then served in the Mediterranean. She first participated in the British campaign to drive Napoleon from Egyypt. From 1803 she served as a guard ship at Malta and was broken up there in 1807.