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DOLPHIN (24) 6th rate Built in 1751, Woolwich Dockyard.
Broken up in 1777.

  • 1752 Capt. Richard HOWE, he commissioned the ship in May, and was immediately ordered to the Straits of Gibraltar.

    Madrid, August 26th. 1753.
    We hear from Gibraltar, the honourable captain Howe, commander of his majesty's ship the Dolphin, now in that bay, having been ordered to go to Sallee and inform himself of the intentions of the Moors, with regard to Great Britain, was answered, that their design was, to observe the treaties with his Britannic majesty.
  • 1756 Capt. Carr SCROPE, Mediterranean. With a small squadron under Capt. Hon. George EDGCUMBE off Minorca, where Capt. SCROPE commanded the seamen and marines who were assisting the construction of defensive works ashore. When the French landed an army in Minorca EDGCUMBE retired to Gibraltar, leaving Capt. SCROPE behind with the DOLPHIN's barge, to join Vice Ad. John BYNG who had arrived there with a fleet from England on 2 May.
    On the 8th BYNG sailed for Minorca, sending DOLPHIN, Cdr. Benjamin MARLOW, and PHOENIX (20) on ahead with CHESTERFIELD (40) to try and make contact with the army in the castle of St. Philip at Port Mahon. DOLPHIN was also to make a private signal to Capt. SCROPE, so he could come off in the barge. Before they could accomplish this the French fleet appeared and they had to retire. The two fleets engaged on the afternoon of the 20th, the two lines nearly parallel, exchanging broadsides. Casualties were nearly equal although the British suffered more aloft. BYNG held a council of war and sailed for Gibraltar. This decision was to result in BYNG's court martial and execution.
  • 1756 Capt. Matthew MOORE, 20th. August. He was one of the captains sent out to the Mediterranean in the AMBUCADE to replace those ordered home for the trial. He removed to UNICORN towards the end of 1757.
  • On 23 November 1757 DOLPHIN and HUSSAR (28) Capt. John ELLIOT, fought and sank French two-decked ship, later discovered to have been the ALCION (50).
  • 1764 Capt. John BYRON. A voyage of discovery including a circumnavigation. For details see TAMAR 1758.
  • 1766 Capt. Samuel WALLIS. The results of BYRON's voyage were disappointing so a second expedition with DOLPHIN and SWALLOW, Cdr. Philip CARTERET, set out from Plymouth on 22 August and reached Cape Virgins at the entrance to Magellan's Straits in December. Fresh vegetables and fish had the same good effects on the health of the crew as in BYRON's passage of the Straits. WALLIS took longer, not reaching Cape Pilar until 11 April 1767, losing contact with SWALLOW the same day. He reached Tahiti on 20 June and stayed for seven weeks allowing his sick men to recover their health. After discovering and naming a few islands to the westward WALLIS lost interest in exploration and returned to England by way of Tinian and the Cape of Good Hope, arriving back in Plymouth on 20 May 1768.
  • 1764 Capt. Hon. John BYRON, DOLPHIN arrived in Woolwich on 17th. March and orders were issued on 18th. of April to prepare her for a voyage of discovery. She was sheathed in copper, then a new idea, and her rudder pins and other fastenings were made of the same metal. A 26ft. double-banked, 12 oar cutter was ordered from Deal and fitted with an awning. By the 14th. June she was ready to sail for the Downs. On her way there she grounded, but floated off with the tide, she was docked in Plymouth to check for any damage. DOLPHIN sailed from Plymouth at the beginning of July in company with the TAMAR sloop, Capt. Patrick MOUATT. Capt. BYRON hoisting a broad pendant, having been appointed commander-in-chief, East Indies station. Madeira was reached on 14th. July and Capt. BYRON, who was in need of a sailmaker when he sailed, appointed Thomas GOSLING late of the DISPATCH sloop, by warrant. On the 14th. September DOLPHIN anchored off Rio de Janeiro. When she left on 20th. October she was taken south to the latitude where he was ordered to make his instructions known. Capt. MOUATT was signalled to repair on board and he and both ship's companies were told that they were on a voyage of discovery, during which they would receive double pay.
    On 27th. November they made Cape Blanco on the coast of Patagonia, and on the 1st. December they entered Port Desire, where the ship was almost wrecked by a sudden violent storm. The 29th. Dec. to 4th. Jan. was spent at Port Famine, where the DOLPHIN and TAMAR took on board as much provisions and stores as they could stow from the FLORIDA storeship, which then returned to England.
    They passed through the Straits of Magellan and on 9th. April entered the Pacific Ocean. On the 26th. they made the island of Masa Fuero, where Mr Byron made Mr Mouat commander of the Dolphin under him, with the rank of post captain.
    After a passage of thirty-six days the Tamar made a signal for having sighted land, two small islands with no place to anchor. The next day another island was sighted where they obtained coconuts and a considerable quantity of scurvy grass. The group of islands he discovered are now known as the Society Islands. On 8th. July he came to anchor in the road of Tinian, where he remained for nearly three months to effect the cure of those infected with scurvy. Returning via Batavia and the Cape of Good Hope, Dolphin and Tamar anchored in the Downs on 9th. May 1766.
  • 1766 Capt. Samuel WALLIS, appointed in August and sent out, in company with Capt. CARTERET in SWALLOW (14), and Lieut. BRINE in the PRINCE FREDERICK, store ship, on a voyage of discovery, sailing from Plymouth on the 22nd of August. The SWALLOW proved to be an indifferent sailor and they did not arrive in Madeira until 7th. September.
    They followed much of the same route as Byron's voyage but going further north to Tahiti.
  • Broken up January 1777.

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