Dunkirk (60)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Dunkirk (60)

Origin and History

The ship was built Edward Allin at Woolwich and launched on July 22 1754.

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

  • from January 20 1755 t0 July 2 1757: Captain Richard Howe
  • from August 1757 to April 11 1763: Captain Robert Digby

The ship was transferred to harbour service in 1778 and broken up on March 8 1792.

Service during the War

In 1755, the ship was part of Boscawen's squadron who left Great Britain on April 27 and sailed to the entrance of the Saint-Laurent Gulf, near the southern coast of Newfoundland, to intercept a French Fleet. On June 7, seven isolated French vessels were spotted by Boscawen's fleet who chased them. During the morning, the British fleet was within 10 km of him, crowding all sail in pursuit. Four of the French vessels managed to disappear in the fog but three were caught up by the British fleet. On June 8 towards 11:00 a.m., the Dunkirk (60), came abreast of the Alcide (64) to windward and volleyed a tempest of iron upon her crowded decks. The Alcide returned fire, but was forced at length to strike her colours.

In the Summer of 1756, the French were busy fortifying the Chausey Islands, which lie off Granville, considering that these islands afforded a refuge to the Saint-Malo privateers and were also close to the Channel Islands, upon which the French had designs. To prevent the completion of these fortifications, Captain Richard Howe of the Dunkirk (60) was sent with a small squadron, consisting of a 20-gun frigate and some small craft, to put a stop to the work. With Howe went 300 men of the Jersey garrison; but there was no fighting, for the French commandant, after some dispute about terms, was content to respect the force arrayed against him, and to surrender on the conditions offered. The fortifications were immediately destroyed. The conquest, small though it was, would not have been so easily effected, had all the works been completed, for the situation was strong and the approach to it was difficult, and wholly exposed to the fire of the fort, which was designed to mount 30 guns. The destruction of these fortifications afforded relief to British trade in the Channel.

On May 28 1757, the ship captured the privateer Nouveau Saxon (16). On June 9, off Bordeaux, she captured the privateer Comte de Gramont (36). In August, she captured the Merlin (10). The same month, the ship joined the fleet assembling at Spithead under the command of Sir Edward Hawke. On September 8, this fleet sailed. It escorted 45 transports carrying more then 7,000 foot for an expedition against an undisclosed French port of the Atlantic coast. In fact, it was a raid against Rochefort which failed lamentably. On October 6, the expeditionary force returned home with no tangible results. In November, off Bordeaux, the ship captured the privateer Prince de Soubise (14).

In 1758, the ship was part of Commodore Augustus Keppel's squadron which undertook an expedition against Gorée in Sénégal. On October 26, the fleet embarked some troops at Kinsale in Ireland and sailed off on November 11. On December 29, the squadron bombarded Gorée, soon silencing the French batteries and forcing the town to surrender. The squadron then escorted the British troops to Sénégal where they would take station and returned to Great Britain.

On November 20 1759, the ship was present at the decisive Battle of Quiberon who eliminated any serious threat from the French navy for the rest of the war.

On May 25 1760, the ship sailed for the Mediterranean.


Technical specifications
Guns 60
Lower Gun Deck 24 x 24-pdrs
Upper Gun Deck 26 x 12-pdrs
Quarterdeck 8 x 6-pdrs
Forecastle 2 x 6-pdrs
Crew 420 men
Length 153 ft 2 in (46.64 m.)
Width 42 ft 9 in (12.81 m.)
Depth 18 ft 9 in (5.52 m.)
Displacement 1,236 tons BM


This article contains texts from the following book which is now in the public domain:

  • Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, p. 291

Other sources

Anonymous: A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 227-232, 334

Blasco, Manuel: British 3rd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

Harrison, Simon; Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail

Parkman, Francis: Montcalm and Wolfe, Collier Books, New York, 1884, pp. 106-109, 214

Vial, J.-L.: Nec Pluribus Impar

Wikipedia: "List of ships of the line of the Royal Navy"

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