Devonshire (74)

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

Origin and History

The ship was built at Woolwich and launched in 1745.

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

  • from 1757 to the end of 1759: captain William Gordon

The ship was broken up in 1772.

Service during the War

In 1757, the ship was sent to America to reinforce admiral Holbourne's squadron which was planning an expedition against Louisbourg. The ship joined Holbourne in mid August by which time the enterprise had been abandoned. Nevertheless, the reinforced squadron cruised off Louisbourg till September 25 when it was shattered by a most terrible storm. It then returned to Great Britain in a very bad condition.

At the beginning of 1758, the ship was part of the fleet who assembled at Portsmouth under the command of admiral Edward Boscawen for a new expedition against Louisbourg. On February 19, this fleet set sail for Halifax and finally arrived there on May 9. On May 28, the fleet sailed from Halifax and arrived in sight of Louisbourg on June 1. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army and the fortress finally surrendered on July 26.

In February 1759, the ship sailed from Spithead in Great Britain as part of the fleet destined for the expedition against Québec. The voyage was long and tedious. On April 21, when the fleet finally reached Louisbourg, it was to find the harbour blocked with ice, so that the fleet made for Halifax instead. The fleet finally sailed for Louisbourg in May. Between June 1 and 6, the fleet gradually left the harbour of Louisbourg and sailed for Québec. On June 23, Saunders' fleet made a junction with Durell's squadron at Isles-aux-Coudres. On June 26, the whole British fleet of vice-admiral Saunders was anchored safely off the southern shore of Isle-d'Orléans, a few km below Québec without loosing a single ship. The town finally surrendered on September 18. At the end of October, vice-admiral Saunders fired his farewell salute and dropped down the Saint-Laurent river with his fleet on his way to Great Britain. In November, the ship was part of vice-admiral Charles Saunders' squadron, just returning from the conquest of Québec when Saunders learnt in the chops of the Channel that the French were out and that Hawke had gone in chase of them. Saunders fully realised that no addition of forces was to be despised and, on his own responsibility, he steered for Quiberon Bay with all the sail he could set. Saunders had with him but 3 ships of the line. However, Saunders' reinforcements arrived too late to take part in the decisive battle of Quiberon.

To do campaigns from 1760 to 1762


Technical specifications
Guns 74
Gun deck ???
Upper gun deck ???
Quarter deck ???
Forecastle ???
Crew ???
Length ???
Width ???
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Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 202-205, 233-235

Castex, Jean-Claude, Dictionnaire des batailles terrestres franco-anglaises de la Guerre de Sept Ans, Presse de l'université Laval, Québec: 2006, pp. 319-321

Phillip, Michael, 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.