Built in 1762, Rotherhithe.
Broken up in 1811.
- 1776 Capt. GRAVES, North America under Vice Ad. Lord HOWE.
- 1793 Capt. G. W. A. COURTNEY, North America.
In July 1793 he was off New York searching for the French 36-gun frigate AMBUSCADE which had been attacking English commerce. While he was at Newfoundland he had received a letter from Capt. GEORGE of HUSSAR at Halifax saying that he was about to depart for the West Indies with a convoy, leaving no British man-of-war on the station.
- BOSTON stood in towards Sandy Hook on 26 July and two days later captured a French privateer schooner of 5 guns and 34 men. The prize was manned as a tender under Lieut. (acting) John HAYES with the purser, one midshipman, a pilot and 8 men and he left BOSTON on the afternoon of the 28th. to reconnoitre and, if possible to obtain some volunteers for the ship, since she had 6 men sick.
- On the 30th. BOSTON stood into the shore under French colours and captured a boat, with two officers and 13 men, which AMBUSCADE sent out to her. Meanwhile the previous afternoon Mr HAYES had discovered AMBUSCADE at anchor off New York and, the following day, issued a challenge to a French officer to come out and fight. The master of an American revenue cruiser, correctly identifying BOSTON, took in another directly from Capt. COURTNEY. Finding from his prisoners that AMBUSCADE was about to sail the captain sent Mr Daniel GUION in a fishing boat to recall the tender, but he found that she had been detained at the instance of the French consul, and her people were coming out in a hired vessel.
BOSTON, investigating a strange sail off Long Island, was not in the appointed place to meet Lieut. HAYES on the 31st. Seeing AMBUSCADE under weigh he decided that the only way to save his crew from capture was to stand in to shore and land them. Just before midnight BOSTON returned to her station off Sandy Hook and a daylight on 1 August AMBUSCADE was sighted about 3 miles off. The long action, which was watched by crowds on the beaches of New Jersey, was indecisive.
After an hour both ships had lost top-masts, Lieut. Alexander KERR had lost the sight of one eye and was partially blind in the other and Lieut. John EDWARDS had been wounded by a splinter striking his head. Then an unlucky shot struck a hammock stanchion on the quarter deck and killed Capt. COURTNEY and a marine officer. Mr EDWARDS assumed command and the sight of a squadron (which he assumed to be French but were actually Americans coming out to watch) to windward induced him to break off the action with 10 killed and 24 wounded.
Some of her men could not be got back to their quarters at the guns after the captain fell so Lieut. Edwards ordered his body thrown overboard.
BOSTON had only 189 officers, men and boys on board, some guarding the 49 French prisoners.
AMBUSCADE was reported to have more 400, including American volunteers.
AMBUSCADE was detained at New York for two months to repair the damage inflicted on her. Apart from the damage to her masts and rigging BOSTON had been hulled in many places and two of the main deck guns were dismounted. Large numbers of musket balls were picked up from her decks.
BOSTON steered for the Delaware to repair damage but decided to change course for Newfoundland when they discovered two French frigates there. They arrived safely on 19 August having sent a letter to the British consul at Philadelphia to say they were going to Jamaica. This letter was delivered to the French.
Lieut. HAYES was allowed to sail by the Americans and he escaped from an enemy squadron by going up the East River into Long Island Sound.
Capt. COURTNEY's widow received a royal pension of 500 a year and each of his children an annuity of 50.
- BOSTON returned to England in 1795 under Capt. James MORRIS.
- 1797 Capt. PRESTON, 08/1797.
- 1798 Capt. John Erskine DOUGLAS, removed from GARLAND at the beginning of the year.
Coast of France.
- 1799 West Indies station, where he blockaded the French frigate SEMILLANTE in Norfolk, Virginia, in the spring of 1801. She returned home at the close of 1804.
- 1805 Out of commission at Plymouth.