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DIANA (6) Armed Schooner Armed schooner Diana - rated 6 guns and 10 swivels, 30 men in 1774. By Robert Brooks (rcbrooks@acadia.net).
  • Lieutenant Thomas GRAVES [later Sir Thomas] was her only commander. She carried four guns. She was purchased at Boston in late December 1774 as on 8 January 1775 V Adm Samuel GRAVES wrote Admiralty Secretary Philip Stephens (BM, Ms 14,038/1; TNA, Adm 1/485):
  • "I have taken upon me to purchase the DIANA Schooner of 120 Tons, about eight Months old, so exceedingly well built that she is allowed to be the best Vessel of the Kind that has been yet in the King's Service, her first cost is 3750 pounds Sterling and as I have thought it best for his Majesty's Service that she should be an established armed Schooner, I have directed the necessary alterations to be made in her Hull, and for her to be fitted in all respects like other Vessels of her Class; She will have the ST. LAWRENCE's Guns. On this Occasion I have appointed Lieut. Thomas GRAVES of his Majesty's Ship Lively to command the DIANA Schooner, and Mr. William LECHMERE of the Preston to be Lieutenant of the Lively. The Diana will soon be ready for Sea, and I shall send her to Rhode Island."
  • As there were limited facilities at Boston, most vessels were sent to Halifax to be fitted out. Obviously, DIANA required but little modification if she was fitted out in Boston. She is the last vessel I know of which was outfitted at Boston.
  • The DIANA's career was short lived. She never made Rhode Island. In February she was dispatched with an Army detachment on board to Marshfield, Mass., in support of Loyalists being hassled. After eight days there she returned to Boston from whence she was dispatched to Philadelphia "at the desire of the board of Customs to bring from thence a considerable Sum of Money belonging to his Majesty's Revenue." This was achieved with some notice of the officer's (mis)conduct (GRAVES & Midshipman Daswood BACON) which was reported in the Pennsylvania Packet. On 8 April 1775 the DIANA (together with the hired army transport schooner Neptune with a subaltern and a detachment of the 64th. Regiment of Foot) was sent from Boston to dismantle Fort Pownall at Penobscot (Maine) and then to go to Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) to impress seamen. The DIANA returned again to Boston at the end of April. On the night of Saturday, 27 May 1775, the DIANA, while attempting to keep Americans from driving livestock from Noodle's Island in Boston Harbour, ran aground on a falling tide on the Winnisimet ferry ways (Chelsea, Mass.), fell over on her side whereupon the Americans got hay under her stern and fired the ship. HMS SOMERSET's tender, BRITANNIA (Lieut. John GRAVES, brother of Thomas), was able to get in to rescue the DIANA's crew. This was the event where Thomas GRAVES got the facial burn scars so evident in his portrait made following the Battle of Copenhagen following which he was knighted.

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