- Endymion class frigate
The Endymion-class was a class of six
Royal Navy40-gun fifth-rate frigates, with the prototype launched in 1797and five slightly amended versions built of fir launched from 1813to 1814.
1794, a frigate-squadron under the command of Captain Sir John Borlase Warrencaptured the French 40-gun frigate "Pomone". Surprisingly to her captors, the ship was armed with 26 x 24-pounder long guns, a main-armament that was relatively uncommon for frigates in the 18th century. Furthermore, the "Pomone" impressed the British with outstanding sailing-qualities in every variation of the wind, and being capable of sailing more than 13 knots.
30 April 1795, the Admiraltyordered three frigate - with 36 guns, 38 guns and 40 guns, with each one built to the lines of the captured French frigate and the second to a new design by the Surveyors (the ship-designers of the Royal Navy). The 40-gun French design was copied from the "Pomone", and in November 1795the keel was laid down at the Rotherhithe shipyard of John Randall & Company for the new ship, which on 14 November 1795was named as the "Endymion". She was launched on 29 March 1797and towed to Deptford Dockyard, where she was commissioned in April 1797and completed on 12 June 1797.
The "Endymion" was not an exact copy of the "Pomone", being built to British design-standards with stronger construction. Surprisingly, "Endymion" sailed even better than "Pomone", reaching 14.4 knots, the highest recorded speed during the
Age of Sail. Reclassified as a 48-gun fourth-ratefrigate in February 1817, then as 50-gun, and finally as 44-gun in February 1839, "Endymion"'s fine qualities were such that she continued to be praised for nearly half a century. She was finally broken up at Plymouth Dockyardin June 1868.
The 1812 Programme
1812, war with the United Statesseemed inevitable. To cope with the heavy American 24-pounder frigates of the "Constitution-type", the Admiralty decided to build a batch of new 24-pounder frigates. During the long war with France, the standard British frigate was of about 1000 tons and armed with a main-battery of only 28 x 18-pounders, no match for the big US-Ships. The only proven design for a suitable 24-pounder frigate was that of "Endymion", and in May 1812 two ships were ordered from the Blackwall shipyard of Wigram, Wells & Green, who were to construct all five ships eventually built. They differed from the prototype by being constructed of "fir" (actually, pitch pine) rather than oak, and mounted an extra (fourteenth) pair of 24-pounder guns on the upper deck forward. All would be reclassified as 50-gun fourth-ratefrigates in February 1817; however, the use of softwood in their construction was such that they were only intended for a short lifetime, and indeed all five were taken to pieces after a few years' service.
The first pair were originally ordered on
4 May 1812as the "Tagus" and "Eridanus" of the 18-pounder armed "Leda" class, but were renamed on 7 January 1813as the "Severn" and the "Liffey". The War broke out in June, and on 26 Decembertwo further ships were ordered, becoming the "Glasgow" and "Liverpool". The final ship was the "Forth", ordered on 7 January 1813. These five new ships were of a slightly modified design, having ports for 28 instead of 26 24-pounders and were built of softwood, to speed up the construction. The ships were launched from June 1813to February 1814.
(there were small variations in the dimensions of the different ships)
*Length on gundeck: 159 ft 2.375 in
*Beam: 41 ft 11.375in
*Tonnage: 1246 to 1277 tons
*Established armament: 28 ("Endymion" 26) x 24 pounders, 20 x 32-pounder
carronades, 2 x 9 pounder chase guns
*Complement: 340 men
fifth-rates, rerated as 50-gun fourth-rates in 1817.
List of ships
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