HMS Princess Charlotte

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HMS Princess Charlotte, renamed the HMS Burlington, was a 42-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy built in 1814, at the Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard in Kingston, Ontario. Her mission as a frigate was to escort vessels to secure sea lines and/or to be used for communication as part of a strike group. She was used for service in the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain/Canada.

The War of 1812 (1812 to 1814) was a military clash between the United States and Great Britain. As a state of Great Britain, Canada was attacked on occasions by the Americans. The war was battled in Upper Canada, Lower Canada, on the Great Lakes and the Atlantic, and in the United States.

The Charlotte was built under private agreement by the ace shipwright John Goudie. The vessel weighed 755 tons. Princess Charlotte was outfitted with twenty-four 24 long weapons on her upper deck and eighteen carronades (short large-caliber cannon) on her quarterdeck and forecastle. 280 enlisted men were aboard.

Charlotte officially launched on 14 April 1814, from Kingston, Ontario, under the charge of Captain Mulcaster. On 5 May 1814, with troops aboard, the Charlotte headed for it’s first undertaking to Oswego, New York for an assault on Fort Oswego. On 6 May, warfare began. Princess Charlotte bombarded the citadel with her 24-pounder lengthy guns and what followed was the storming of the shore by Charlotte’s troops. The mission was considered successful, Fort Oswego was captured and the remaining troops aboard Princess Charlotte landed to secure the perimeter around the fort and town. Supplies and goods were taken and the squadron returned to Kingston on 8 May.

On 11th May, the Charlotte sailed once more, alongside the south shore of Lake Ontario and started a naval blockade of the primary United States naval base at a lake located at Sackets Harbor, New York. Mulcaster was shot in his leg during the battle of Oswego and command of the ship was turned over to Captain Edward Collier.

HMS Princess Charlotte
Image Credit: Wikipedia

On 9 December 1814, the frigate was renamed the Burlington. Following the war, the vessel stayed in commission and went under the order of Captain Nicholas Lockyer. Late in 1816, she was not, at this point required for dynamic assistance and was “retired”. The Burlington (Charlotte) was available to be purchased in January 1833, yet finding no purchasers, was towed away and deliberately scuttered in Deadmans Bay at Kingston, Lake Ontario. The site became a Canadian National Historic Site of in 2015.

This dive is a shallow dive at 17 feet and visibility was between 20-30 feet. Water temperature was 75 degrees F.

Video Credit – Chris and Dan Haslip of Explorer Diving in Kingston

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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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