HMS Defiance (1744)

HMS Defiance was a 58-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built to the dimensions laid out in the 1741 proposals of the 1719 Establishment at Deptford, and launched on 12 October 1744.[1]

Great Britain
Name: HMS Defiance
Builder: West, Deptford
Launched: 12 October 1744
Honours and
Second battle of Cape Finisterre, 1747
Fate: Sold, 1766
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 1741 proposals 58-gun fourth rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1136
Length: 147 ft (44.8 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 42 ft (12.8 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft 1 in (5.5 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
  • 58 guns:
  • Gundeck: 24 × 24 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 24 × 12 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 8 × 6 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 2 × 6 pdrs

In November 1745 she encountered her fellow Royal Navy vessel HMS Hampton Court. The crew of both vessels mistook the other for a French man-o-war and opened fire at long range. The engagement ended after half an hour, when crew aboard Defiance observed British markings on the cannonballs striking their ship and signaled for a truce.[2]

During the Seven Years' War, the Defiance was part of the 1758 Royal Navy fleet assembled to attack the French fortress at Louisbourg. Before the siege, she captured a French ship that was carrying much-needed provisions and military supplies from France to the fortress.[3]

Defiance was sold out of the Navy in 1766.[1]


  1. Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 172.
  2. "Extract of a Letter from Plymouth, dated December 2". Ipswich Journal. Ipswich, United Kingdom: W. Craighton. 14 December 1745. p. 2. Retrieved 26 November 2016 via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. "Boston". The New-York Mercury. 12 June 1758.


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line – Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650–1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.

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