Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Gibraltar (20)
Origin and History
The frigate was built by Peirson Lock at the Portsmouth dockyard and launched May 9 1754.
During the Seven Years' War, the frigate was under the command of:
- since 1754: captain Richard Spry, promoted to the Fougueux (64) in 1755
- from 1756: captain Archibald Cleveland, removed to the Shannon (28) in July 1757
- from August 10 1757: captain William Hotham
- from November 1 1757: captain William McLeverty, promoted to the Norwich (50)
- in 1759: captain Walter Griffith
The frigate was broken up on November 18 1773.
Service during the War
In 1754, the frigate was part of the escort of a convoy who sailed for North America under commodore Keppel.
In March 1755, the frigate returned to Great Britain.
In May 1759, the frigate was part of Boscawen squadron who had taken position off Cap Sicié to blockade the harbour of Toulon where a French fleet was preparing to sail to join another squadron at Brest and then to escort an invasion force to Ireland. Boscawen then abandoned the blockade and to sail for Gibraltar for provisions and repairs. On August 4, he finally reached Gibraltar. Meanwhile he ordered the Lyme (28) to cruise off Malaga and the Gibraltar (20) to cruise between Estepona and Ceuta to keep watch for the French fleet. 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). Captain McLeverty made at once for Gibraltar and arrived off Europa Point at 7:30 PM. When he signalled the force and situation of the French fleet to the admiral, Boscawen sent off an officer to the Gibraltar (20), ordering her to keep sight of the foe and from time to time to signal to him accordingly. Boscawen then set sail from Gibraltar to intercept de la Clue, defeating him on August 18 at the battle of Lagos. After the battle, Boscawen rehoisted his flag in the Namur (90) and despatched captain Matthew Buckle in the Gibraltar (20) to Great Britain with dispatches. On November 15, Hawke was informed by captain William McLeverty of the Gibraltar (20) that the Brest fleet had sailed and that it had been seen about 130 km N.W. of Belle Isle, steering S.E. Hawke, with strategical intuition, made for Quiberon Bay with all possible sail, rightly judging that the French would take advantage of their brief liberty in order to make for that neighbourhood, so as to free the transports which were blockaded by Duff in the Morbihan river. This led to the victorious battle of Quiberon. Captain McLeverty was promoted to the Norwich (50) for his brilliant conduct.
The frigate then served in the Mediterranean until the end of the war.
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Blasco, Manuel, British 6th Rates, 3 Decks Wiki
Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy
N.B.: the section Service during the War is derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.