Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Cumberland (66)
Origin and History
The ship was built at Woolwich and launched in 1739.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
- 1757: captain John Harrison
- April to June 1758: captain William Brereton
- September 1759: captain John Stukley Somerset
The ship foundered in 1760.
Service during the War
In Mid July 1756, when vice-admiral Charles Watson was summoned to Madras after the fall of Calcutta, the ship was rear-admiral George Pocock's flagship.
In 1757, the ship was part of admiral Watson's squadron operating in Bengal. In March it took part to the expedition against Chandernagore and was the flagship of rear-admiral Pocock. On March 21, rear-admiral Pocock was forced to leave her at Ballasore because she drew too much water to come up the river. Chandernagore surrendered on March 23, after a heavy bombardment.
On March 24 1758, the ship was part of vice-admiral Pocock's squadron assembled in the Hooghly river. It took an active part to the operations on the coast of Coromandel. On April 29, she was among Pocock's ships who took part to the combat of Cuddalore. At the beginning of the engagement, she was slow to get into her assigned positions. Because of her delay, the vice-admiral, and the 3 ships ahead of him, had, for some time, to sustain the whole fire of the French. In her somewhat belated attempts to get into action, the Cumberland nearly fouled the Yarmouth (64), and forced her to back her topsails, thus obliging the Newcastle (50) and the Weymouth (60) to back theirs likewise. Finally, she engaged the Saint-Louis (54), materially relieving the Yarmouth. After the combat, Pocock's squadron was forced to return to Madras to refit. At the end of May, the squadron made an unsuccessful attempt to relieve Fort St. David who finally surrendered on June 2. A few days later (June 6), the squadron sailed for Madras. There, Pocock brought his defaulting captains to court-martial. Captain William Brereton of the Cumberland was sentenced to the loss of one year's seniority as a post-captain. On July 25, Pocock's squadron sailed from Madras, intending to engage the French squadron of d'Aché near Pondicherry. On August 3, the ship took part to the victorious combat of Negapatam where, at the beginning of the engagement, she was almost cut off from the British line.
On September 10 1759, the ship took part in the battle of Pondicherry where it was damaged. Her captain, John Stukley Somerset , was wounded during the engagement. After the battle, on September 11, she was towed by the Elizabeth (64).
To do: campaign of 1760
Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 181-184
Blasco, Manuel, British 3rd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki
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. 161-163
Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.