HMS Lyme (1748)

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Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Lyme
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: 29 April 1747
Builder: Deptford Dockyard
Laid down: 24 September 1747
Launched: 10 December 1748
Christened: 2 August 1748
Fate: Wrecked off the Baltic coast of Sweden 18 October 1760
General characteristics
Class and type: Lyme-class frigate
Tons burthen: 596 76/94 BM
Length: 117 ft 10 in (35.92 m)
Beam: 33 ft 10 in (10.31 m) (2 inches more than designed)
Depth of hold: 9 ft 10 in (3.00 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 160 men (raised to 180 on 22 September 1756, and then to 200 on 11 November 1756)
Armament: UD: Twenty-four 9-pounder guns;
QD: four 3-pounder guns;
FC: Nil.
Also 12 Swivels

HMS Lyme was a 28-gun, sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Originally ordered as a 24 gun ship to the draft of the French privateer Tyger. The sixth vessel of the Royal Navy to bear the name, the Lyme, as well as the Unicorn, which was a near-sister, were the first true frigates built for the Royal Navy. They were actually completed with 28 guns including the four smaller weapons on the quarterdeck, but the latter were not included in the ship's official establishment until 22 September 1756. The two ships differed in detail, the Unicorn having a beakhead bow, a unicorn figurehead (naturally!), two-light quarter galleries and only five pairs of quarterdeck gunports, while the Lyme had a round bow, a lion figurehead, three-light quarter galleries and six pairs of quarterdeck gunports.

The Lyme was named on 2 August 1748, and commissioned in September 1748 under Capt. Charles Proby, while still building in Deptford Dockyard under the direction of Master Shipwright John Holland. After her launch, she was fitted out there, finally sailing when completed on 8 February 1752. Her total initial cost had been £12,282.0.1d (including fitting out costs). She sailed for the Mediterranean in May 1749. Returning home, she was fitted out at Portsmouth Dockyard from December 1750 to March 1751 (at a cost of £389.6.9d) for bearing the new ambassador to Tripoli out to the Mediterranean.

After her first commission finished in 1752, she was surveyed on 1 July 1753, and then underwent a Small Repair and was fitted out at Plymouth Dockyard (under Admiralty Order on 4 December 1753, for a total cost of £1,519.6.3d) in February to March 1754. She was recommissioned under Capt. Samuel Faulkner, but some months later he was replaced by Capt. Edward Vernon, under whom the Lyme joined the Western Squadron based on Plymouth. In ?March 1758 she was under Capt. James Baker, in the Mediterranean to 1759.

Back home, and under Vernon's command again, she was surveyed again on 7 June 1760, and then underwent a Small Repair and was fitted out at Chatham Dockyard (for a total cost of £4,211.6.4d) in May to August 1760, before sailing for the Baltic.


  • David Lyon, "The Sailing Navy List", Brasseys Publications, London 1993.
  • Rif Winfield, "British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1714 to 1792", Chatham Publishing, London 2007.