HMS St Lawrence (1814)
HMS "St Lawrence" was a 112-gun
first-ratewooden warship of the Royal Navythat served on Lake Ontarioduring the War of 1812. She was likely the only Royal Navy ship of the lineever to be launched and operated entirely in fresh water.Fact|date=May 2008
The "St Lawrence" had her keel laid on 12 April 1814, and was launched on 10 September 1814. British naval commodore James Yeo commissioned her as his flagship (Captain Frederick Hickey) in the
Kingston Royal Naval Dockyardin Kingston, Upper Canada.
At the time, Lake Ontario was effectively landlocked for any but the smallest vessels, due to shallow water and rapids on the
St. Lawrence Riverdownstream and Niagara Fallsupstream. As a result, warships operating on Lake Ontario had to be built onsite, either in Kingston or in the American naval dockyards at Sackets Harbor, or converted from merchant ships already operating in the lake.
Control of the lake — the most important supply route for military operations to the west — had passed back and forth between the Americans and the British over the course of the war. The construction of a first rate ship of the line, in a campaign that had been dominated by
sloops and frigates, gave the British uncontested control of the lake during the final months of the war. HMS "St Lawrence" never saw action, because her presence on the lake deterred the U.S. fleet from setting sail.
After the war in 1815, the ship was decommissioned and her hull was used as a storage facility by Morton's Brewery in Kingston. In January 1832, the hull was sold there to Robert Drummond for £25. Later, it was sunk in 30 feet (10 m) of water close to shore, and is now a popular diving attraction.
Master shipbuilder John Dennis and nearly 200 shipwrights built the "St Lawrence" in under 10 months [however cf. both refs 1 and 2 which state that she was designed and built by master shipwright William Bell] . The "St Lawrence"'s 112 guns on three flush decks qualified her as a
first rate, larger than Lord Nelson's flagship HMS "Victory" at the Battle of Trafalgarnine years earlier.
The "St Lawrence" measured 2,305 tons burthen, and she carried a crew of 700. In way of armaments she carried thirty-two 32pdr
long gunsand two 68pdr carronadeson the upper deck, thirty-six 24pdr long gunson the middle deck and twenty-eight 32pdr carronades, four 24pdr long guns, and two 68pdr carronades on the lower deck. [cite book | title= The Sail & Steam Navy List| author =Lyon & Winfield | page=p. 100] She had a gundeck of 191' 2" and breadth of 52' 6".
* cite book | title= The Sail & Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889 | author =David Lyon & Rif Winfield | location= London | year= 2004 | id= ISBN 1-86176-032-9
*cite book| title= British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates | author = Rif Winfield | location= London | year= 2005 |id = ISBN 1-86176-246-1
* cite book | title= Warships of the Great Lakes: 1754-1834 | author =Robert Malcomson | location= Annapolis | year= 2001 | id= ISBN 1557509107
* cite book | title= Lords of the Lake | author =Robert Malcomson | location= Annapolis | year= 1998 | id= ISBN 1557505322
* cite book | title= Archaeological and Historical Investigations of Three War of 1812 Wrecks at Kingston, Ontario : HMS St. Lawrence, HMS Kingston and HMS Burlington : Report for Province of Ontario Licence to Conduct Archaeological Exploration or Fieldwork 1999-096 at Sites BbGd-6, BbGc-45 and BbGc-46 | author =Jonathan Moore | location= Ottawa | year= 2006 | id= ISBN 0-9781712-0-9
* [http://www.tallshipcanada.homestead.com/files/HMS_St._Lawrence_001.jpgPainting of HMS St. Lawrence]
* [http://www.geodiving.com/locationdetails.asp?ID=2495 Diving information for HMS St. Lawrence]
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