Built in 1759, Rotherhithe. Built in by Quallet and launched on 17 January.
In French hands 1778-81
- 1759 Capt. Alex. Arthur HOOD.
On 20 November she was with Ad. Sir Edward HAWKE's fleet in the action with a French fleet in Quiberon Bay.
- 1760 Capt. Alexander HOOD.
On 7 February 1761 news reached the Admiralty that the MINERVA had arrived at Spithead after taking the WARWICK, formerly a British 60 gun 4th. rate captured by the French L'ATLANTE in 1756, and now mounting but 34 guns and carrying 295 men, 74 of them soldiers, bound with stores, ammunition and provisions to French settlements in the East Indies. Capt. HOOD had given chase to a two-decked ship 30 leagues west of Cape Pinas, the weather being boisterous with a heavy sea, he was determined to engage her to leeward to avoid the effect of her lower deck guns. At twenty past ten a close action ensued and in 40 minutes the enemy suffered a loss of their fore and main topmasts falling on board the MINERVA, but by one o'clock the decks were cleared and she again bore down to attack the enemy. At 4 o'clock the action was renewed and maintained for 45 minutes until she struck. She was commanded by M. la Verger de Belair and both ships had 14 men killed.
On 24 January Capt. HOOD gave chase to a two-decked ship 30 leagues west of Cape Pinas, the weather was boisterous with a heavy sea.
Capt. HOOD determined to engage her from leeward, the better to avoid the effect of her lower deck guns.
At twenty minutes past ten a close action ensued and after 40 minutes the enemy lost their fore and main-topmasts which fell on board MINERVA.
A heavy sea and the exertions of the Capt. HOOD and his officers cleared them by one o'clock with the loss of MINERVA's sheet anchor, bowsprit and foremast, and the action was renewed at 4 o'clock.
After 45 minutes more the enemy struck and proved to be the WARWICK (34), (originally the Royal Navy's WARWICK (60) of 1733 which had been captured by L'ATLANTE on 11 March 1756) with 231 men and 74 soldiers, commanded by M. la Verger de Belair, taking stores to the East Indies. She had 14 men killed and 32 wounded.
MINERVA lost 14 killed and 34 wounded.
- On 7 August Ad. ANSON hoisted the Union flag on board the ROYAL CHARLOTTE yacht at Harwich and, after being joined by MINERVA and other vessels (NOTTINGHAM, WINCHESTER, TARTAR, HAZARD and LYNX) they sailed on the 9th. for Cuxhaven, to escort Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Streliz to England to be the wife of the future George III. She landed at Harwich on 6 September.
- 1778 Capt. John STOTT, West Indies.
On 22 August he approached a French ship assuming that she was a merchant vessel.
Unfortunately she proved to be the frigate CONCORDE (32) which fired two broadsides before MINERVA could reply.
The action lasted two hours before MINERVA struck with heavy losses after she lost her mizzen mast overboard and the other masts were threatening to fall.
Both Capt. STOTT and his 1st.
lieutenant were mortally wounded and 18 men were killed or wounded when a powder explosion dismounted three guns.
CONCORDE suffered only slight damage and had 15 killed and wounded.
MINERVA was taken into the French navy as MINERVE.
- On 4 January 1781 MINERVE and three other frigates were chased in the Channel by COURAGEUX (74) and VALIANT (74).
MINERVE fought COURAGEUX at close range before striking as VALIANT came up. She lost 51 killed, including two officers, and 23 wounded, including the captain.
COURAGEUX had 17 killed and wounded.
MINERVE was towed into port and restored to the Royal Navy as RECOVERY.
Sold 30 December 1784