† THE official navy-list contains four classes not to be found in this Abstract ; the 110, 76, 52, and 22 gun ship. The 110, a building .class, consisted of the Hibernia and Ville-de-Paris. The latter ship, on being launched, was fitted with thirty-two instead of thirty 24-pounders, but was not registered as a 112 until many years afterwards. The Hibernia was made 11 feet longer than originally intended, and became pierced, in consequence, for a pair of additional ports upon each deck ; but, although mounting at first 118, and afterwards 120 guns, exclusive of poop-carronades, the Hibernia still classed as a 110-gun ship. The 76-gun class was filled by one ship only, the Canada ; her captain, the late Sir George Collier, having applied for and obtained two additional 18-pounders (making the number 30 instead of 28) for her second deck. The Canada, one of the smallest 74s in the navy, is here restored to her proper class. The 52 and 22 gun classes also contained each but one individual ; the former, the Leander, because she had exchanged two of her carronades for two long 6-pounders ; the latter, the Myrmidon, because she had received on board two 3-pounders for her quarterdeck. Both ships are here reinstated among their former class-mates ; the one as a 50, the other a 20 gun ship. The above four classes, together with "Hospital and Receiving ships" (here added to their respective classes in the "Stationary" columns), "Hoys, Lighters, and Transports," and " Hulks " (both for their insignificance omitted), are the only classes in the official list of the year 1793 not to be found in this Abstract. But the latter is, in other respects, much more copious than the former. For instance, the numerous sub-classes, or varieties of the primary gun-class, appear nowhere but in this series of Abstracts. A difference. in the nature, is often as important as a difference in the number, of the guns mounted. That forms one distinction. Another distinction lies in the difference of the tonnage, or size, especially among the British-built ships. In the official register, sloops, without any regard to their guns, are divided into "Sloops rigged as ships," "Sloops rigged as brigs." Here, each of those classes is sub-divided according to the gun-force of the vessels ; and the ship-sloops are further distinguished, as they are "quarter-decked," with room to mount six or eight additional guns, or "flush," with every, except occasionally the bow, port already filled.
Captured ships, especially when commissioned and retained in service on a foreign station, were frequently misregistered. These are placed in their proper stations, or where they would have classed had they been British-built ships. Soon after the commencement of the year 1793, carronades became so extensively employed, sometimes in lieu of, and sometimes in addition to, the quarterdeck and forecastle long guns, that an exact enumeration of the ship's long guns, the alleged groundwork of the classification, would have multiplied, without end, the number of classes, besides subjecting them to repeated fluctuations : in short, the object of any classification at all would thereby have bean defeated. One instance, and that a real one, may suffice. A frigate receives on board as her equipment 38 long guns and eight carronades, and becomes, in consequence, a 38. She afterwards exchanges her 28 maindeck long guns for carronades, and is then, or, in strictness ought to be, a 10-gun frigate. She subsequently receives back her long 18s, and is restored to a 38 ; but presently parts with six of her long 9s for an equal number of carronades, and, in obedience to the rule laid down, ought then to be a 32. An enumeration of the carronades, as well as the long guns, would have continued her as a 46 through all these changes ; but not only were carronades not considered as guns (see p. 37), but they were, as yet, too partially mounted to be of any great use in classification. The only way left to avoid any confusion of the kind is, to class the ships, other circumstances considered, in reference to their original establishment of long guns on the principal deck or decks. Thus, the frigate just instanced, mounting on the main deck, through every alteration in her armament, 28 guns (whether long guns or carronades), may continue to rank as a 38-gun frigate. It is tree that the classes D and G or H agree in the number of their maindeck guns, and yet are separated. The ships of D are, however, considerably larger than those of G, and a full third larger than those of H; and besides, every ship of D, all through the Abstracts, is foreign-built. Due notice will be taken of any other exception that may hereafter occur.
‡ It is here that worn-out cruisers eke out the remnant of their days. Not to have separated them from their active class-mates, would have been doing an injustice to the latter. The "&c." comprehends all the classes below the cutters of four guns.
|| Swivels, being mounted on stocks, are not carriage-guns. Carronades were not, at this time, officially considered even as guns (see p. 37), and are not considered anywhere as long guns. Both swivels and carronades were in use ; but, as the latter gained ground, the former decreased, and finally disappeared.
§ Captured ships, and ships built or bought as experiments, were frequently armed somewhat differently from the regular establishment : also the rapid increase of carronades soon gave an entire change to the quarterdeck and forecastle armaments. Still the guns on the principal decks of all the classes, down to frigates inclusive, remained the same, with very few exceptions, beyond those remarked upon in the first note.
†† These are fictitious men, whose pay and maintenance, by a very ancient regulation in the navy, constitute a fund for pensioning the widows of officers. Hence they are called " Widows' men," and are invariably included in the established complement of every ship, in the proportion assigned to her rate. So that a I12-gun ship's ostensible complement is 850 men and boys ; but, as the statements in this work look to fighting, rather than fictitious men, we have thought fit to exclude the latter, and carry out the net complement only.
D*. The " 18-pounder" and other " pounders" below it apply to the nature of the guns on the third deck (see p. 18) of three-deckers, second deck of two-deckers, and single or main deck of one-deckers. A reference to the gun-
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