Culloden (74)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Culloden (74)

Origin and History

The ship was built at Deptford Dockyard and launched on September 9 1747.

During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:

  • 1756: captain Henry Ward
  • 1759: captain Smith Callis

The ship was sold on June 29 1770.

Service during the War

In 1756, the ship was part of Byng's squadron sent to relieve Fort St. Philip besieged by a French amphibious force who had invaded the island of Minorca. The squadron set sail from England on April 10. On May 2, it arrived at Gibraltar. On May 8, Byng's squadron left Gibraltar. On May 19, it came into sight of Fort St. Philip. The French fleet then advanced to meet Byng. On May 20, the ship took part in the battle of Minorca where several British ships were seriously damaged but none was lost on either side. After a council of war, Byng gave orders to return to Gibraltar, abandoning Minorca to its fate.

On April 2 1757, the ship was part of Saunders' squadron which left Gibraltar to intercept the French squadron of M. du Revest. The latter was attempting to gain the Atlantic with reinforcements for Louisbourg. On April 5, the British squadron sighted the French. A minor engagement followed but the Culloden was not involved. The French squadron managed to get away and to successfully passed the strait of Gibraltar.

In May 1759, during the naval operations in the Mediterranean, the ship was part of admiral Edward Boscawen's squadron who blockaded Toulon to prevent the French squadron from leaving without being detected and followed. On June 7, before the French attempted to come out, Boscawen chased 2 French frigates and drove them into a fortified bay near Toulon. On June 8, Boscawen ordered the Culloden (74), Conqueror (68) and Jersey (60), under the orders of captain Smith Callis, to proceed, and, if possible, destroy the 2 French frigates trapped into the fortified bay near Toulon. The ships were gallantly taken in. However, they were becalmed while under the batteries and, after a sharp engagement of 2 hours, they had to be recalled without having accomplished their object. The Culloden (74) lost 16 killed and 26 wounded; the Conqueror (68), 2 killed and 4 wounded; and the Jersey (60), 8 killed and 15 wounded ; and all the vessels were badly damaged aloft. At the beginning of July, Boscawen was compelled to go to Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. On August 4, Boscawen finally reached Gibraltar. On August 5, de la Clue set sail from Toulon to make a junction with de Conflans' fleet at Brest. On August 17, de la Clue's fleet (10 ships of the line, 2 50-gun ships and 3 frigates) passed the straits of Gibraltar where it was sighted by the Gibraltar (20). Alarmed, Boscawen set sail from Gibraltar to intercept de la Clue. On August 18, the ship took part to the victorious battle of Lagos. At about 2:30 PM, she began to fire on the Centaure (74), the rear ship of the French squadron. After the battle, the ship was part of vice-admiral Broderick's squadron who remained in the straits and blockaded Cadiz, in which still lay that part of the French squadron which had taken refuge there. On November 9, Broderick was driven from his station off Cadiz by a storm. The Culloden (74) had to cut away all her masts and run for port. Returning off Cadiz, Broderick continued the blockade as before but the French, though by that time superior in strength, declined to come out and offer him battle. The vice-admiral being a second time driven from his station by a storm, the French at length ventured forth and got safely back to Toulon.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1762


Technical specifications
Guns 74
1st deck ???
2nd deck ???
3rd deck ???
Crew ???
Length 161.5 feet (49.23 m)
Width 46.5 feet (14.17 m)
Depth ???
Displacement 1,487 tons (1,349 metric tons)


Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, pp. 146-160, 170

Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy


  • "Battle of Minorca"
  • "HMS Culloden (1747)"

N.B.: the section Service during the War is derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.