Princess Louisa (60)
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Origin and History
The ship was built at Limehouse and launched in 1744.
In 1739, whilst under the command of captain Thomas Waterhouse, the ship was part of the six-ships force under admiral Vernon which on November 21 successfully attacked Porto Bello (in actual Panama).
During the War of the Austrian Succession, in October 1747 the ship, as part of Hawke's squadron, intercepted an escorted French convoy sailing for the the West Indies.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
- in 1756: captain Thomas Noel (mortally wounded during the battle of Minorca on May 20 1756)
- in 1759: captain Robert Harland
The ship was broken up in 1766.
Service during the War
In 1756, the ship was part of a small squadron stationed at Minorca. When a French amphibious force proceeded to the invasion of Minorca, this squadron managed to escape the French fleet on April 23, leaving the harbour after bringing in about ten captured French merchant vessels. It arrived at Gibraltar on May 2. The ship then joined admiral Byng's squadron which sailed from Gibraltar on May 8 to relieve Fort St. Philip besieged by the French. On May 19, the squadron came into sight of Fort St. Philip. The French fleet then advanced to meet Byng. Early on May 20, chased two French tartans bringing reinforcements to the French squadron but did not capture any. Later the same day, she 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. The Princess Louisa was able to engage but, during the night, the French squadron managed to get away. It then 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. She was the flagship of vice-admiral Broderick. 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 in the victorious battle of Lagos. As soon as his fleet had repaired damages, Boscawen returned to Great Britain, in accordance with his instructions, taking with him a large part of his squadron. These were afterwards followed by the Edgar (60), Princess Louisa (60), and the prize Centaure (74).
To do: campaigns of 1760 to 1762
Castex, Jean-Claude, Dictionnaire des batailles terrestres franco-anglaises de la Guerre de Sept Ans, Presse de l'université Laval, Québec: 2006, pp. 438-443
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
Fortescue J. W., A History of the British Army, Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899, pp. 291-295
Pajol, Charles P. V., Les Guerres sous Louis XV, vol. VI, Paris, 1891, pp. 3-19
Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy
- "Battle of Minorca"
- "HMS Princess Louisa"
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.