Essex (70)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Essex (70)

Origin and History

The ship was initially built at Blackwall in 1679. Throughout her life, she was rebuilt twice. A first time in 1700 at Rotherhithe and a second at Woolwich by John Hayward in 1740. She was relaunched on February 21 1740.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, the ship served in the Mediterranean in 1741. In May 1744, she took part to the attack a Spanish convoy near Toulon but her captain did not engage till late in the combat.

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

  • 1755: captain Robert Harland
  • 1757: captain John Cambell
  • 1758: captain Richard Howe
  • 1758: captain Lucius O'Brian

The ship was wrecked on November 20 1759.

Service during the War

On April 7 1758, the ship and 2 frigates, on their way to join Hawke's squadron, fell in with 12 French merchantmen escorted by a frigate of 22 guns. The Essex captured the French frigate along with 5 or 6 merchantmen. At the end of May, the ship was part of commodore Howe's squadron who, from June 1 to July 1, escorted the amphibious expedition against the French coasts. From July 31 to September 19 1758, she probably took part to the second expedition against the French Coasts.

On November 20 1759, the ship took part to the battle of Quiberon Bay where she ran aground on a shoal and wrecked.

To do more details on the campaigns of 1759


Technical specifications
Guns 70 (listed as a 64 by Clowes for the campaign of 1756)
Gun deck 26 x 24-pdrs
Upper gun deck 26 x 12-pdrs
Quarter deck 14 x 6-pdrs
Forecastle 4 x 6-pdrs
Crew 480 men
Length at gundeck 151 ft (46.0 m)
Width 43 ft 5 in (13.2 m)
Depth 17 ft 9 in (5.4 m)
Displacement 1,225 long tons (1,244.7 t)


Blasco, Manuel, British 3rd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

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


  • "HMS Essex (1679)"

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