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HMS Drake was a 14-gun sloop-of-war of the Royal Navy. Originally the merchantman Resolution, she was purchased in early 1777 and commissioned in April 1777, being fitted for RN service at Plymouth from 19 April to 24 May. She served in the American Revolutionary War, and on 24 April 1778, off Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, she fought the North Channel naval duel with the 18-gun sloop Ranger of the Continental Navy, commanded by Captain John Paul Jones. Five of Drake's crew, including her captain, George Burdon, were killed, and after an hour-long engagement, Drake surrendered to the Americans. Jones was able to evade capture and deliver Drake to Brest, France as his prize on 8 May 1778. This was the first, and most complete, American victory over any Royal Navy vessel in British waters.[1][2]

The boys of 1812 and other naval heroes (1887) (14578743397).jpg
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Drake
Acquired: by purchase, 1777
Fate: Captured by USS Ranger, 24 April 1778
General characteristics
Type: Sloop-of-war
Tons burthen: 274 6194 bm
  • 91 ft 5 in (27.9 m) (gundeck)
  • 75 ft 10.75 in (23.1 m) (keel)
Beam: 26 ft 1 in (8.0 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft 3.5 in (5.58 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 100
Armament: 14 x 4-pounder guns


  1. ^ "USS Ranger". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. 2003. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. ^ "He Bought HMS Drake". Seacoast New Hampshire. 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.