The fourth HMS Diamond was a Modified Lowestoffe Class Fifth Rate frigate,
ordered on 25 December 1770 as one of five Fifth Rate frigates of 32 guns
each contained in the Emergency frigate-building programme inaugurated
when the likelihood of war with Spain arose over the ownership of the Falkland
Islands (eight Sixth Rate frigates of 28 guns each were ordered at the
same time). Sir Thomas Slade's design for the Lowestoffe was approved,
but was revised to produce a more rounded midships section; the amended
design was approved on 3 January 1771 by Hawke's outgoing Admiralty Board,
just before it was replaced. The contract to build the Diamond was awarded
to Hodgson & Co at Hull, the keel being laid in May 1771, and the frigate
was launched 28 May 1774, at a cost of £11,506.9.1d. She sailed from Hull
on 13 June 1774 for Chatham Dockyard, where she remained for nearly two
years before she was completed and fitted out to the Navy Board's needs
(for £4,169.8.6d) in February to May 1776.
The Diamond as completed measured 130 ft 6 in on the gun deck and 108 ft
5 in on the keel, with a breadth of 35 ft 1 in (one inch wider than designed)
and a depth in hold of 12 ft 6 in; a total of 709 76/94 tons BM. She mounted
twenty-six 12-pounder guns on the upper deck, four 6-pounder guns on the
quarterdeck, and two 6-pounder guns on the forecastle; she also carried
twelve small (half-pounder) swivel guns. She was established with a complement
of 220 men.
The Diamond was first commissioned in February 1776 under Captain Charles
Fielding. On completion, she sailed for North America on 20 July 1776.
She was paid off into Ordinary in 1779, but after being coppered she was
recommissioned in November 1779 under Captain William Forster, and sailed
for Jamaica on 13 April 1780. The Diamond was finally paid off in August
1783 and was sold at Plymouth (for £405) on 30 December 1784.