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Frigate Diamond

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.