HMS Enterprize (1709)

The second HMS Enterprize, 40, was a fifth-rate of the Royal Navy, built at Plymouth, England, and launched on April 28, 1709.

Under command of Nicholas Smith, she patrolled off the coast of Virginia from 1709 to 1712, with an expedition to the St. Lawrence River against French possessions in Quebec and French Canada under Rear Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker in June 1711. However, poor planning, poor supply arrangements in New England, and ignorance of the pilotage of the St. Lawrence doomed the expedition to failure, and eight transports were wrecked, with nearly 900 men drowned.

Enterprise then returned to England, and sailed in home waters until 1720. In 1718 she underwent a major repair and refit, and was thus ready in March 1719 when a small Spanish expedition landed in the western Highlands of Scotland, making its depot at Eilean Donan Castle in Loch Duich, and raising a small force of disaffected clansmen in support of the Jacobite cause. Enterprise, in company with HM Ships Worcester and Flamborough, was soon on the scene and, after a close-range bombardment of the castle, a landing party blew it up. The Jacobite forces and their Spanish supporters were later easily defeated at the Battle of Glenshiel, and the invasion scare was soon over.

Spain's intention had been for a full-scale invasion of the West of England, but their forces had been dispersed in a storm and only the West Highland landing had proceeded. In retaliation a British punitive expedition was quickly assembled and in late September 1719 Enterprise sailed as part of a strong force for the port of Vigo, Spain. By October 14, bombardment from land and sea had forced the town's surrender; over 200 guns and many tons of military stores were taken as booty.

After another patrol off the Virginia coast from 1721 to 1724, Enterprise again returned to her home waters. She was stationed in the English Channel from 1729 to 1731. On February 20, 1740, Enterprise was hulked. From September 1745 she was used as a hospital ship called Liverpool and on April 3, 1749, she was sold off for £280.

General Characteristics

See HMS Enterprise for other Navy ships of this name.

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