HMS Jason (1794)

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HMS Jason captures the Seine on 30 June 1798, depicted in a contemporary engraving
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Jason
Ordered: 1 April 1793
Builder: John Dudman, Deptford Wharf
Laid down: April 1793
Launched: 3 April 1794
Completed: By 25 July 1794
Fate: Wrecked on 13 October 1798
General characteristics
Class and type: 38-gun Artois-class fifth rate frigate
Tons burthen: 997 64/94 bm
Length: 146 ft 3 in (44.6 m) (overall)
121 ft 9 in (37.1 m) (keel)
Beam: 39 ft 3 in (12.0 m)
Depth of hold: 13 ft 9 in (4.19 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 270
  • Upper deck: 28 x 18pdrs
  • Quarter deck: 2 x 9pdrs + 12 x 32pdr carronades
  • Forecastle: 2 x 9pdrs + 2 x 32pdr carronades.

HMS Jason was a 38-gun Artois-class fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She served during the French Revolutionary Wars, but her career came to an end after just four years in service when she struck an uncharted rock off Brest and sank on 13 October 1798. She had already had an eventful career, and was involved in several engagements with French vessels.


Jason was ordered on 1 April 1793 and was laid down that month at the yards of John Dudman, at Deptford Wharf.[1] She was launched on 3 April 1794 and had been completed at Deptford Dockyard by 25 July 1794.[1][2] She cost £16,632 to build; this rising to a total of £22,567 when the cost of fitting her for service was included.[1] Jason was commissioned in May 1794 under her first commander, Captain James Douglas.[1]


Jason initially served in the English Channel, at first under Douglas, and then by 1795 under Captain Charles Stirling.[1] Stirling remained the Jason's commander for the rest of her career. In a highly active career against French shipping he took at least six French vessels, including two that later became part of the Royal Navy.[1]

The Jason was present at the Quiberon expedition in October 1795 as part of John Borlase Warren's squadron, and went on to be highly active against French privateers and raiders.[1] In December 1796 she was part of the British squadron that frustrated the French Expédition d'Irlande, capturing the disarmed frigate Suffren. [3] Further service in the Channel followed; Jason captured the 14-gun privateer Marie off Belle Isle on 21 November 1797, the 24-gun privateer Coureur on 23 February 1798, and in company with HMS Russell captured the 12-gun privateer Bonne Citoyenne on 20 March 1798.[1] Further successes that year included the 6-gun Arrogante off Brest 19 April 1798, and in company with HMS Pique, the 38-gun frigate Seine in the Breton Passage on 30 June 1798.[1] The Arrogante was taken into service with the Royal Navy as HMS Arrogante, later being renamed HMS Insolent.[4] The Seine too became a British ship, as HMS Seine, serving until being wrecked in 1803.[5]


HMS Jason struck an uncharted rock on 13 October 1798 while sailing off Brest and was wrecked.[1][2] She was one of a handful of frigates to be lost on the dangerous Brest blockade, with three of her class being wrecked in the space of three years. HMS Artois had been lost the year before, while HMS Ethalion was lost the following year.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Winfield. British Warships of the Age of Sail. p. 135. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 178. 
  3. Clowes. The Royal Navy, A History. p. 304. 
  4. Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 21. 
  5. Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 316. 
  6. Gardiner. Frigates of the Napoleonic Wars. p. 165.