Sunday, April 24, 2011

H.M.S Halifax Plans

HMS Halifax was a schooner built for merchant service at Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1765 and purchased in 1768 by the British Royal Navy for coastal patrol in North America in the years just prior to the American Revolution. She is one of the best documented schooners from early North America.

The schooner was built by a group of Halifax merchants with government support as the Nova Scotia Packet, to establish a reliable packet service of mail and passengers between Halifax and Boston in 1765.
The managing owner was, Joseph Grey, the son in law of the commissioner of the Halifax Naval Yard where the schooner was likely built.Launched in late September 1765, the schooner made her first voyage on 15 October 1765 under the command of Benjamin Green Jnr. Weather permitting, the packet sailed every
eight days between Halifax and Boston and made 23 round trips during her merchant career. In July 1768, the Nova Scotia Packet was chartered by Commodore Samuel Hood in Halifax to take dispatches to
Portsmouth, England. Hood also recommended that the schooner be purchased by the British Royal Navy. The schooner was renamed Halifax and purchased by the Royal Navy on 12 October 1768 to meet a
need for more coastal patrol schooners needed to combat smuggling and colonial unrest in New England. The careful record of her lines and construction by Portsmouth dockyard naval architects, and the
detailed record of her naval service, make the schooner a much-studied example of early schooners in North American. After being surveyed in September 1768 she was commissioned in October and fitted out at Portsmouth between October and December. Her first commander was Lieutenant Samuel Scott, who sailed her  back to North America in January 1769. In 1769 the Halifax confiscated and towed the schooner Liberty, later HMS Liberty, belonging to John Hancock. Halifax returned to Britain for a refit in December 1770, and the following year was under the command of Lieutenant Abraham Crespin. Lieutenant Jacob Rogers took command in 1773, and was succeeded in 1774 by Lieutenant Joseph Nunn. After an active career on the coast on North America she was wrecked on 15 February 1775 at an island near Machias, Maine.
A later schooner named Halifax serving in North America was recorded as being purchased in 1775, though her lines were identical to the Halifax sunk that year, and she may therefore have been salved and returned to service.