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Lynch (I)

  • Built as a fishing schooner, date and location unknown
  • Chartered by order of General Washington 26 January 1776 from Col. John Lee of Marblehead, MA.
  • Commissioned 1 February 1776 as the Continential Navy armed schooner Lynch at Manchester, N.H., CDR. John Ayers in command
  • Lynch departed Manchester on 7 February 1776 to rendezvous in Cape Ann Harbor with three other ships in the little American fleet commanded by COMO. John Manley
  • On the night of the 4th, Manley's schooners drove off British brig HMS Hope in a spirited engagement
  • The next day they took their first prize, Susannah, a 300-ton English merchantman laden with coal, cheese, and porter for General Howe's beleaguered army in Boston
  • Off Cape Ann,on the 10th the squadron captured a second prize, Boston-bound transport Stokesby, a 300-ton ship carrying porter, cheese, vinegar, and hops
  • Manley divided his fleet, keeping Lynch and Lee with his flagship Hancock
  • On the afternoon of 2 April they sighted brig Elizabeth. This prize, an American vessel captured by the British the previous October, was full of loot plundered from the warehouses of patriot merchants just before the evacuation of Boston, and carried a goodly number of Tory refugees.
  • On 13 May, Lynch joined Lee and Warren in Cape Ann Harbor
  • A fortnight later HMS Milford pursued the schooners but they escaped in the fog
  • On 7 June they captured British transport Anne carrying a light infantry company of the 71st Highland Regiment and some twoscore British tars sent out as fleet replacements
  • Cruising the New England coast through the summer, on 26 August Lynch and Warren encountered British frigate HMS Liverpool and scurried away in opposite directions
  • Warren was captured while Lynch escaped and a few days later reached Boston
  • Lynch next cruised athwart the transatlantic shipping lanes. On 27 September she ran across a fleet of 120 sail bringing a division of Hessians to reinforce General Howe. Frigate HMS Unicorn peeled off the convoy and chased the schooner.
  • Lynch only managed to escape by jettisoning her guns and water, enabling her to stay out of range until darkness allowed her to slip away. Returning to Boston the schooner was laid up
  • Late in February 1777 Lynch was reactivated to take important dispatches to France. Under command of CAPT. John Adams, she got underway from Boston 3 March and reached Nantes 2 April with valuable intelligence for the American Commissioners at Paris
  • On 19 May, while trying to slip away from the French coast, Lynch, again carrying important secret documents as well as arms and clothing for the American Army, was intercepted by British ship-of-the-line HMS Feudroyant south of Belle Isle. Unable to escape, Adams was captured before he could run the schooner aground, but he did manage to sink the dispatches
    Displacement unknown
    Length unknown
    Beam unknown
    Draft unknown
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    four 4-pdrs
    two 2-pdrs
    four swivel guns

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    Lynch (I)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
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    Last Updated 15 January 2016