Aetna (8)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Aetna (8)

Origin and History

The sloop was purchased as a fireship in 1756 and converted into a sloop the same year.

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

  • in 1758 (until November 2): commander George Balfour
  • in 1759 (until August 21): commander Richard Bickerton

The sloop was sold in 1763.

Service during the War

At the beginning of 1758, the sloop 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. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army during the siege. On the night of July 25, the commander of the Aetna, George Balfour, led one of the two divisions of boats (total of 600 seamen) sent into Louisbourg harbour to cut out the Prudent (74) and Bienfaisant (64), the only two remaining French warships at Louisbourg. Balfour's division boarded and captured the Bienfaisant. The two divisions then towed away the Bienfaisant. On July 26, Louisbourg surrendered and Balfour was promoted to post-captain and placed in command of the Bienfaisant.

In 1759, the sloop, transformed into a fireship, served as part of admiral Boscawen's squadron. She took part in the operations in the Mediterranean. On August 18, she was present at the victorious battle of Lagos off Gibraltar. 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 including the Aetna (8).

To do: more details on the campaigns from 1760 to 1762


Technical specifications
Guns 8
Gundeck information not available
Quarterdeck information not available
Forecastle information not available
Crew information not available
Length at gundeck information not available
Width information not available
Depth information not available
Displacement information not available


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.


  • HMS Aetna

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