HMS Amphitrite (1778)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Amphitrite
Ordered: 8 January 1777
Builder: Deptford Dockyard
Laid down: 2 July 1777
Launched: 28 May 1778
Completed: 22 July 1778
Commissioned: May 1778
Fate: Wrecked on 30 January 1794
General characteristics
Class and type: 24-gun Porcupine-class sixth-rate post ship
Tons burthen: 513.6 tons
Length: 114 ft 3 in (34.82 m) (gundeck)
94 ft 3.5 in (28.740 m) (keel)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draught: 7 ft 10 in (2.39 m)
Depth of hold: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 160

Rated at 24 guns:

  • Upper deck: 22 x 9pdrs
  • Quarter deck: 2 x 6pdrs

HMS Amphitrite was a 24-gun Porcupine-class sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy.

Construction and commissioning

Amphitrite was ordered on 8 January 1777 from Deptford Dockyard, and laid down there on 2 July 1777. She was built under the supervision of Master Shipwright Adam Hayes, and was launched on 28 May 1778. She was commissioned into navy service on 22 July 1778, having cost a total of £12,737.6.6d to build, including the cost of fitting out and coppering.


She was commissioned in May 1778 under the command of Captain Thomas Gaborian. She initially operated as part of the squadron off the Downs, but in 1780 Amphitrite passed under the command of Captain Robert Biggs, under whom she sailed to North America in May that year. On her arrival she joined Graves's squadron and was present at the capture of the Bellisarius on 4 August 1781. On her cruises Amphitrite captured a number of privateers, including the Agneau in the North Sea on 18 September 1781, the Experiment and the Revenge also on 18 September, the Franklin on 3 April 1782 and the Fair American on 3 May 1782. She also helped in the recapture of HMS Atalanta on 7 July 1781.

After the end of the American War of Independence Amphitrite returned to Britain and was paid off in January 1784. She underwent a small repair between 1783 and 1784, followed by a larger one between 1790 and 1793, after which she was fitted out at Woolwich. She was recommissioned in April 1793 with the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, under Captain John Child Purvis. She came under the command of Captain James Dickinson in April 1794, and then Captain Anthony Hunt the following month. Hunt sailed her to the Mediterranean where she was on the Toulon station with Vice Admiral Hood.


On 30 January 1794 Amphitrite was wrecked after striking an uncharted submerged rock whilst entering Leghorn harbour. A court martial on 3 February acquitted Hunt of blame.