Below is some genealogy information on the Speedwell, a ship from the Royal Navy, that may help searches for military ancestors.
Building of the Royal Navy (900-1793).
Description: The first ship to bear the name HMS Speedwell was a galley captured in 1560 from the French. She was broken up in 1580.
The second ship to bear this name was a 40-gun galleon renamed in 1607. She was previously HMS Swiftsure. She was lost in 1624.
The third ship to bear this name was a 20-gun vessel renamed in 1660. She was previously HMS Cheriton. She was wrecked in 1676.
The fourth ship to bear this name was an 8-gun fire ship bought in 1688. She was sunk for use as a breakwater in 1692.
The fifth ship to bear this name was an 8-gun fireship launched in 1690. She was converted to a 28-gun fifth-rate in 1702. She was wrecked in 1720.
The sixth ship to bear this name was a 14-gun sloop launched in 1744. She was sold in 1750.
The seventh ship to bear this name was an 8-gun sloop launched in 1752. She was renamed HMS Spitfire when converted to a fireship in 1779.
The eighth ship to bear this name was a cutter captured by the French in 1761.
The ninth ship to bear this name was an 18-gun sloop active in 1775.
The tenth ship to bear this name was a 14-gun cutter bought in 1780.
French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Description: In 1798 she captured the Zeelust (with HMS Amphion). In 1799 she captured the Drotchterland, the Brooderschap, the Helder, the Minerva, the Venus and the Hector. She was lost in 1807.
The eleventh ship to bear the name HMS Speedwell was a 14-gun lugger hired in 1796. In 1796 she captured the Brave. In 1797 she captured the Frederickstadt (with HMS Phaeton and HMS Melpomene), the Amis and the Telemachus. In 1799 she captured the Heureux Esperance and the Heureux Speculateur (both with HMS Valiant). She ceased service in 1801.
The twelfth ship to bear this name was a smack hired in 1804. In 1804 she captured the Hazard. In 1805 she captured the American ship Venus (with HMS Meteor). She ceased service in 1806.
- 1799-1799: Lieutenant Robert Tomlinson.
- 1807-1807: Lieutenant William Robertson.
Pax Britannica (1815-1895)
Description: The thirteenth ship to bear the name HMS Speedwell was a 5-gun schooner bought in 1815. She was sold in 1834.
The fourteenth ship to bear this name was a cutter bought in 1841 as a survey ship. She was sold in 1855.
The fifteenth ship to bear this name was a wooden screw gunboat launched in 1861. She was broken up in 1876.
The sixteenth ship to bear this name was a torpedo gunboat launched in 1890.
- 1826-1826: Lieutenant James C. Bennett.
- 1863-1865: Commander George Frederick Cottam.
- 1865-1867: Commander James Elphinstone Erskine.
Description: She was converted to a minesweeper in 1909.
Description: She was sold in 1920 for scrap.
The seventeenth ship to bear the name HMS Speedwell was a minesweeper launched in 1935.
World War Two
Description: In 1941 she sank U-651 (with HMS Malcolm, HMS Scimitar, HMS Arabis and HMS Violet).
- 1939-1941: Lieutenant-Commander Frederick Richard Guy Maunsell.
- 1941-1942: Lieutenant-Commander Joseph John Youngs.
- 1942-1944: Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Edward Williams.
- 1944-1945: Temporary Acting Lieutenant-Commander Herman Arnold Ledeboer.
- 1945-1945: Acting Lieutenat-Commander Roderick Charles Oliver.