HMS Shannon, 38 guns, Frigate, 1806


Warships of the Royal Navy Sail 1765-1838

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HMS Shannon, like many Leda class 38-gun frigates built early in the 19th century, was Classified as a Fifth Rate. They were never used in the line of battle but they were the fastest and most useful of all naval vessels. Launched in 1806 from Frindsbury on the Medway. In 1811 she was posted to American waters and participated in the brief War of 1812. After several British losses to American vessels, on June 1, 1813 she won an extraordinary naval victory under the command of Captain Boke when, after a one-to-one encounter in front of a large audience in Boston Harbour, she captured the American Navy frigate, USS Chesapeake, under Captain James Lawrence, in a singularly bloody battle off Boston, Massachusetts. Lawrence’s words, as he lay dying, “Don’t give up the Ship!” have resonated over the years. Chesapeake was taken into the Royal Navy, without being renamed, until sold in 1819. Shannon remained out of Halifax, Newfoundland, Canada until the end of the war and then laid up in ordinary1 at Chatham until 1828 when recommissioned for service in the West Indies. She returned to England in 1831 and was used as a receiving ship at Sheerness until being finally broken up at Chatham in 1859 (her name having changed, ironically, to Saint Lawrence in 1844). Sail plan: full-rigged; Displacement: 1,065​ 6294 bm, length o/a gundeck: 150ft 2in (45.8 m); beam: 39ft 12in (12.2 m); draught: 12ft 11in (3.9 m);armament: 28 × 18-pounder guns, QD: 8 × 9-pounder guns + 14 × 32-pounder carronades, Fc: 2 × 9-pounder guns + 2 × 32-pounder carronades.
1 In naval matters, vessels “in ordinary” (from the 17th century) are those out of service for repair or maintenance, a meaning coming over time to cover a reserve fleet or “mothballed” ships.

Additional information

Weight 0.022 kg
Dimensions 43.1 × 35.6 cm