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SHREWSBURY (74) Built in 1758, Wells of Deptford.
Scuttled at Jamaica in 1783.

  • She was launched on 23 February 1758 and in July, under Capt. Hugh PALLISER, with the UNICORN (20) and the LIZARD (28), under his orders, she was sent to watch the French fleet in Brest from close inshore.
    On 12 September they sighted a convoy of coasters escorted by two frigates, so close in that it was difficult to cut them off. However, Capt. HARTWELL of LIZARD managed to get between the convoy and their escorts and capture or destroy many of the coasters. One of the frigates, CALYPSO, was driven ashore and destroyed.
  • The following February she was with Vice Ad. Charles SAUNDERS' fleet which sailed for Louisbourg to convoy and support Gen. Wolfe's attack on Quebec. When they arrived on 21 April the harbour was so blocked with ice that they had to bear away for Halifax.
  • 1760, Mediterranean, with Vice Ad. SAUNDERS' fleet blockading the French in Toulon.
    A small division slipped out in June but PALLISER'S squadron drove them to take refuge in the Isle of Candia until the British ships ran out of supplies.
  • 1762 SHREWSBURY was sent with SUPERB, Capt. ROWLEY, BEDFORD, Capt. MARTIN, and MINERVA, Capt. PEYTON, to reinforce Lord COLVILLE in America. They arrived at St. John's, Newfoundland on 3 August.
  • 1778 Capt. Sir John Lockhart ROSS, with Ad. KEPPEL's fleet at the action off Ushant with the Comte d'Orvilliers of almost equal force, on 27 July. The French had sailed from Brest on 8 July and Keppel had left Spithead the following day. They first sighted each other on the 23rd., with the French to leeward but by the following morning the French had the weather gage and, in spite of variable wind direction, managed to avoid action for the next four days until a sudden confusion brought the two fleets together on the 27th., neither in line of battle. The result was inconclusive before the French escaped without KEPPEL attempting to renew the action, no ships were taken, deaths were roughly equal but the French had more wounded.
    Both KEPPEL and PALLISER (now a Rear Admiral) were court martialled but the affair became a political squabble.
  • 1781 Capt. Mark ROBINSON, West Indies.
    With Sir Samuel HOOD'S fleet which was detached by RODNEY to cruise to the windward of Martinique from February to intercept a large convoy escorted by ships of the line expected from France.
    When the convoy did not materialise they moved to leeward side and commenced a close blockade of Fort Royal.
    On 28 April Rear Ad. De Grasse with 20 sail of the line and a convoy rounded the southern end of Martinique en route for Port Royal, where a 74 and three 64s awaited him, with HOOD to the south with only 18 ships, trying hard to get to windward.
    At about 11 a.m. on the 29th. De Grasse, having secured his convoy, and with his van opposite the British centre, opened fire at long range. The action became general but HOOD, finding his shot not reaching soon ceased fire. However the ships in the van, including SHREWSBURY, suffered in various ways.
  • On 5 September SHREWSBURY was with Rear Ad. Thomas GRAVES' fleet of 19 sail of the line approaching the mouth of the Chesapeake. Twenty-four French ships of the line under de Grasse, anchored in Lynnhaven Bay, came out as soon as the tide served. At a quarter past four in the afternoon the leading British ships,were were less than half a gunshot from the enemy's van and the action became general, except for those in the rear.
    SHREWSBURY's top-masts and and topsail-yards were rendered unserviceable, her first lieutenant was killed and Capt. ROBINSON lost a leg.
    The British fleet returned to New York to refit.
  • 1782 Capt. John KNIGHT. West Indies.
    On 21 January she was with Sir Samuel HOOD at Antigua for repairs, supplies and troops prior to sailing to Nevis which was invested by a French fleet under de Grasse. HOOD hoped to take the French by surprise at daybreak but he was delayed by a collision between ALFRED (74) and NYMPHE (36). De Grasse put to sea and HOOD stood towards them as if to bring on an action but, with a favourable change in the wind, tacked and fetched the anchorage at Basse-Terre which the French had just quitted. A furious de Grasse made three determined attacks on the 26th. but was repulsed with heavy losses.
  • Capt. Isaac COFFIN, June 1782. Port Royal, Jamaica, where unsuccessful attempts were made to repair her leaks.
  • Cdr. Charles HOTCHKYS, 1 Dec.1782. Prison Ship with guards provided by 10th., 14th. and 99th. regiments of foot.
  • 1783 William Henry RICKETTS, 17 March 1783.
    The foremast was lifted out in April and by May pumps had to kept working continuously.
    On 4 June she was moved alongside the "Pallisades" and the following day all prisoners and soldiers were discharged. Over the next few days the remaining masts and the ballast were removed which increased the water flow.
    On 13 June there was 8 feet of water in the hold, and two days later, after she had been hauled on to the shore, Ad. ROWLEY ordered the pennant to be struck.
    (Information about her final months from Christopher Morgan-Jones and David Hepper.)

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