Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Squirrel (20)
Origin and History
The frigate was built at the Woolwich dockyard and launched in 1755.
During the Seven Years' War, the frigate was under the command of:
- from December 21 1757: captain John Wheelock
- in 1758: commander John Cleland
- in 1759: captain George Hamilton
The frigate was sold out of the navy in 1783.
Service during the War
At the beginning of 1758, the frigate was part of the fleet who assembled at Portsmouth under the command of admiral Edward Boscawen for the 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. On June 8, the frigate supported the successful landing of the right division at La Cormorandière. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army and the fortress finally surrendered on July 26.
In February 1759, the frigate 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 17 at 5:00 PM, the British launched their boats against the fireship Jaloux but they were chased by about 24 Abenaki canoes who captured a boat belonging to the Squirrel, taking 8 prisoners. 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. On July 18 about 11:00 PM, favoured by the wind and covered by a furious cannonade from Pointe-Lévis, the Sutherland (50), with the frigates Diana (32) and Squirrel (20), 2 armed sloops, and 2 transports sailed safely up the Saint-Laurent and reached the river above the town of Québec. On July 19 at 9:00 AM, these British vessels stationed above Québec attacked and destroyed the last French fireship and some small craft that they found at Anse-des-Mères. 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. However, he also left captain lord Colville in command of a small squadron, including several frigates (maybe this one), in North America.
To do: more details on the campaigns 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 derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.