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FOX (28) 6th rate Built in 1773, Cathoun, Northam. Launched on 2 Sept. 1773.
Captured by the Americans on 7 June 1777 and retaken by FLORA on 8 July 1777.
Captured by the French JUNON on 17 September 1778.

  • 1777 Capt. Patrick FOTHERINGHAM, Newfoundland.
  • On 7 June 1777 she was chased by the American frigates HANCOCK (32) Capt. John MANLEY, and BOSTON (30) Capt. Hector McNEIL, which had been on a cruise near the Newfoundland Banks with another eight vessels including MIFLIN, TARTAR and HAWKE, until they were separated in a gale. The first part of the action with HANCOCK lasted half an hour before BOSTON came up and stationed herself on the starboard quarter. With HANCOCK on the port quarter they were out of reach of most of FOX's guns and her rigging was soon reduced to wreckage and her masts badly wounded, the wheel was shot away and she became unmanageable. Although her hull was still sound and her casualties low, she was forced to haul down her colours. She lost 2 killed, including Lieut. James Napier RM and 10 wounded. In the course of the fight FOX took fire from some of the wads from BOSTON's guns and firing was suspended on both sides while the flames were extinguished.
  • On 6 July, when the two frigates were on their way to Boston with their prize they were pursued by the British frigate RAINBOW (44) Capt. Sir George COLLIER, which they mistook for a ship of the line, and the VICTOR, brig. Sir George lost them during the night but the following morning they were still in sight, together with a coal sloop they had brought to during the night. As RAINBOW approached Capt. MANLEY ordered the sloop to be burnt and the three frigates formed line ahead and set all possible sail. Early in the morning another sail hove in sight to leeward. Sir George had doubts about her nationality since she did not answer his private signals, but she proved to be the British frigate FLORA (32) Capt. John BRISBANE, which hove round on the same tack to join in the chase. The American ships now steered different courses and FLORA chased FOX while RAINBOW went after HANCOCK. FLORA recaptured FOX without much resistance, raking her and shooting away much of her running rigging, and took her into Halifax where they were soon joined by RAINBOW and HANCOCK. Capt. FOTHERINGHAM, his officers and crew, were tried for the loss of the ship at Portsmouth on 3 March 1778. It was shown that FOX was 30 men short of complement and that he had not struck until she was unmanageable and defenceless. They were honourably acquitted. Capt. McNEIL was dismissed the American service for deserting Capt. MANLY.
  • 1778 Capt. Hon. Thomas WINDSOR, with Ad. Augustus KEPPEL'S fleet in action off Ushant on 27 July 1778.
  • On 10 September FOX, cruising off Brest, gave chase to a ship and a sloop. In the dark and squally weather she did not notice that she, in turn, was being chased by a frigate. This proved to be the French JUNON (32) Capt. Vicomte de BEAUMONT, with more men and weight of broadside. After some preliminary skirmishing LA JUNON's heavier guns were turned on FOX's hull. She lost all her masts and several guns were disabled and after three and a half hours, when 11 men had been killed and 38 wounded, including the captain, FOX was forced to surrender. JUNON suffered little damage and only had 4 men killed and 15 wounded.
    captured on the Banks of Newfoundland by the HANCOCK and BOSTON frigates of 32 guns each, commanded by Capts. MANLEY and M'NEIL. On 18th. August these frigates, with their prize, were off the coast of Nova Scotia, when they were chased by the RAINBOW (40), Capt. George COLLIER, upon which they separated and steered different courses. After a chace of 39 hours, the HANCOCK struck to the RAINBOW. During the chace, the FLORA (32), Capt. BRISBANE, came in sight, and retook the FOX. The BOSTON made her escape.

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