HMS Martin (1790)

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Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Martin
Ordered: 17 January 1788
Builder: Woolwich Dockyard
Laid down: 15 July 1789
Launched: 8 October 1790
Commissioned: 13 January 1791
Fate: Lost, presumed foundered with all hands in the North Sea on 31 October 1800
General characteristics
Class and type: Hound-class sloop
Tons burthen: 326 bm
Length: 100 ft (30 m) (overall)
83 ft 2 in (25.35 m) (keel)
Beam: 27 ft 2 in (8.28 m)
Draught: 8 ft 1 in (2.46 m) (normal)
11 ft 5 in (3.48 m) (full)
Depth of hold: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: sloop
Complement: 125 (from 1794, 121)
  • Upper deck:16 × 6 pdrs and 14 x ½pdr swivels
    (later UD 16 x 6pdrs)
  • Quarter deck:4 x 12pdr carronades
  • Forecastle:2 x 12pdr carronades

HMS Martin was a 16-gun sloop of the Royal Navy.

Construction and commissioning

Martin was a Hound-class sloop, built to a design by John Henslow and ordered from Woolwich Dockyard on 17 January 1788. She was worked on by Master Shipwright John Nelson until August 1790, after which she was completed by William Rule. She was launched on 8 October 1790 and commissioned on 13 January 1791, having cost a total of £8,732 to build, with a further £1,674 spent on fitting out.


Martin’s first commander was George Duff, under whom she sailed off the East coast of Scotland. She passed under the command of Commander Richard Lane in February 1793, followed by Commander James Newman in May 1794 and then Commander Charles Garnier in August 1794. Commander William Lobb took over the Martin in April 1795, during which time she served as a Royal escort for Princess Caroline of Brunswick. Samuel Sutton took command in September 1795, and departed Britain for the West coast of Africa on 10 December 1795, followed by a voyage to Jamaica. Returning to British waters, on 14 February 1797 Martin and HMS Espion captured the 17-gun privateer Buonaparte in the North Sea. In June 1797 Martin came under the command of Charles Paget, under whom she was present at the Battle of Camperdown on 11 October 1797.

In November 1797 Martin was commanded by Commander John Cleland, followed by Commander William Renton in January 1798. Renton, while dining with other naval officers in Harwich in February 1799, committed suicide with a pistol. He was succeeded by Commander the Hon. Michael Sinclair or St. Clair, the brother of Lord Sinclair, who captained the Martin in escorting convoys in the North Sea to Denmark and captured the 14-gun privateer Vengeur off the Skaw on 28 April 1799. The ship operated out of Leith harbour at this time. John Brougham, youngest brother of Lord Brougham, was appointed to her as a midshipman and also Charles John Napier, the future admiral, whose father was a friend of Sinclair: Martin was Napier's first ship. John Brougham left her at Yarmouth in early 1800 and Napier was transferred to HMS Renown in May 1800. Martin disappeared without trace in the North Sea in October of the same year and was supposed to have caught fire or foundered in heavy seas with all hands.