é To close this page click on the name again
H.M.S. Pallas: Historical Reconstruction of an 18th-Century Royal Navy Frigate
- Peter Erik Flynn
- Thesis: May 2006
- Chair: Crisman
A 1998 joint survey undertaken by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology and
Portuguese authorities located and identified the sunken remains of the Royal
Navy frigate HMS Pallas (1757-1783) off of the Azorean island of SÃ£o Jorge.
Physical remains are so limited as to suggest that excavation would likely yield
little new information. However, much documentary evidence has been preserved in
Contemporary treatises about 18th-century British ship
construction focus on glossaries of terms, scantling lists and design theory,
and include only short sections on frigates insofar as they apply to those
topics. They rarely address specific construction aspects. Most current works
address individual aspects of ship construction for the period, but provide
little significant detail about the frigate as a ship type. All of these works
are useful and reliable, however none attempt to combine the ship with the crew,
or pursue the complete history of one ship.
As the flagship of a prototypical
class, intended to address French superiority in cruiser design, it is
reasonable to expect that a history of Pallas would exist with some analysis of
how successfully these new frigates fulfilled the Royal NavyÂ’s perceived need.
However, to date there has been no attempt to consolidate the evidence of her
26-year career. This study provides a comprehensive history of a single ship
from perceived need and conceived solution through design and construction. The
shipÂ’s logbooks and additional primary sources made it possible to accurately
document and analyze PallasÂ’ activities, maintenance, modifications, and
ultimately to draw conclusions about the overall effectiveness of the frigate
I began with basic background information to establish the perceived need
for a new frigate type, followed by an examination of the conceived design
solution. A partial set of admiralty drafts served as a foundation from which to
develop a more complete set of construction plans, a spar plan, and rigging
plans. Comprehensive research into life aboard Royal Navy warships of the period
provided a social context within which to examine the service history of Pallas.
Finally, a review of the maintenance record and the events leading up to her
sinking enabled an informed assessment of how well HMS Pallas fulfilled the
perceived need for which she was developed.
Download Pdf of Thesis