Origin and History
The French privateer “Marquis de Vandreville”, captured in 1757 and bought by the Royal Navy on April 28 1757.
During the Seven Years' War, the sloop of war was under the command of:
- in February 1759: commander Francis Richards
- in October and November 1759: commander George Miller
The schooner was captured by the American Andrea Doria (14) in December 1776 and destroyed in November 1777.
Service during the War
In February 1759, the bomb vessel 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. From June 1 to 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. Québec finally surrendered on September 18 1759. 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. The bomb vessel along with the sloop Porcupine (16), under commander John Macartney, were left to winter at Québec. On November 24, the remnants of the French flotilla under the command of Jacques Kanon managed to pass under the guns of Québec and to sail for France. However, during the manoeuvre, the merchantman Elisabeth (10) was stranded on the south shore. On the morning of November 25, commander Miller of the Racehorse (8) with a lieutenant and above 40 men, went on board the Elisabeth and ordering a light to be struck, inadvertently blew up the ship. Most of the party were killed by the explosion and the rest, including the 2 officers, were left in a horrible condition between life and death. Thus they remained till a Canadian, venturing on board in search of plunder, found them, called his neighbours to his aid, carried them to his own house, and after applying, with the utmost kindness, what simple remedies he knew, went over to Québec and told of the disaster. Fortunately for themselves, the sufferers soon died.
To do: more details on the campaign from 1760 to 1762
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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.