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NavSource Online: "Old Navy" Ship Photo Archive

USS Hancock (I)

  • Built as the schooner Speedwell, date and location unknown
  • Leased from Mr. Thomas Grant of Marblehead, MA., renamed Hancock
  • After fitting out in October 1775 Hancock received orders to sail in company with the schooner Franklin to intercept two brigs as they arrived in the St. Lawrence from England
  • Disobeying their orders the two schooners instead sought easier quarry off Cape Canso where five prizes of dubious legality were taken. They also raided Charlottetown settlement without regard to orders to respect Canadian property
  • General Washington dismissed both ship commanders and returned their prizes to Canadian owners with apologies
  • On 1 January 1776, CAPT. John Manley, Continental Army, was appointed Commodore of the four schooner fleet and hoisted his flag in Hancock
  • Hancock captured two enemy transports, 25 January 1776, fending off an eight-gun British schooner
  • On 30 January 1776 Hancock was intercepted off Plymouth by the 14-gun British brig HMS Hope. The American schooner ran ashore and grounded where it became impossible for Hope, with her deeper draft, to draw close aboard
  • After refloating the schooner captured several more prizes in joint operations with the squadron by April 1776 when Captain Samuel Tucker took command of Hancock
  • Hancock captured two brigs off Boston 7 May 1776. She continued to cruise under Tucker until declared unfit for service late in 1776
  • Hancock was returned to her owner early 1777
    Displacement 72 t.
    Length 60'
    Beam 30'
    Draft 70
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    six 4-pdrs

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Hancock 216k Painting by E. Tufnell R.N. (Ret) of the Continental Navy schooner Hancock
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 72801 KN.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command

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