Postcard - HMS Rose


Le Teich, France

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The frigate HMS Rose was built in Hull in 1757. She was a “sixth rank” ship, barely superior to the corvettes of the same time. After a long service in the Channel and in the Caribbean, she was sent to the American thirteen Colonies in 1768. In 1774, under the command of James Wallace, she was sent to Rhode Island, in the Bay of Narragansett to put a stop to merchant traffic off Newport. As no American ship was at her level, she played her dissuasive role painstakingly. From then on, Newport merchants petitioned their colonial legislature for a flotilla capable of attacking the British frigate. Financing the transformation of a merchant ship, they had a fast trading schooner chartered under the orders of John Paul Jones.

The latter became the very first ship of the future US Navy. Later, in May 1776, the colony of Rhode Island was shattered, followed two months later by the other colonies. During the war of independence that followed, the HMS Rose frigate participated in the New York landings, carrying out many raids and incursions far ahead of the Hudson. Wallace was made Chevalier by the crown. He pushed his action along the coast, recruiting civilian sailors for incorporation, capturing merchant ships, supplying garrisons, including Boston. When the war reached a new level with the help of the French, turning in favor of the insurgents, the town of Savannah where the British frigate was anchored, was the object of a siege. The French fleet had planned a landing to take the city by sea, but the British had the frigate scuttled in the passage leading to the bay. As a result, the city supported the siege until the end of hostilities.

The Frigate was rebuilt in 1970 in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia under the direction of architect Phil Bolger, and has since been in constant representation. She made appearances in many films, sometimes repainted. For example, it was used for a full-size replica to be double the Surprise (Master and Commander).

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