HMS Diana was
the second built in the Artois class was designed by Sir John Henslow.
She was built by Randall & Brent of Rotherhithe, one of the largest
merchant builders in the country. After eleven months building the hull,
Diana was launched on the 3rd of March 1794. She was then towed to the
Royal Dockyard at Deptford where she was fitted out. This included
masts, rigging, anchors, coppering of her bottom, ordnance and stores.
On the 12th of June 1794 Diana was ready to receive her full crew and
spent the next 6 1/2 weeks working up at the Nore. The total cost of
building and fitting out the Diana was £23,000. Diana had a very long
and active career in which most of her time was spent in patrol, convoy
and blockade duties. The highlight of her career was in August 1795 when
on patrol duty accompanied by her sister ship Seahorse and the frigate
Unicorn, they captured the Dutch East Indiaman Cromhout, another
merchant ship and her escort. From the Cromhout alone the ship shared
nearly £47,000 prize money. On the 30th of May 1814 Britain and France
signed a peace treaty. On the 7th of March 1815 after a large repair and
re-coppering Diana was sold to the Dutch Navy for £36,796. On the 27th
August 1816 Diana was one of 6 Frigates in the Dutch squadron that
combined with the British fleet under Sir Edward Pellow (Lord Exmouth),
himself a distinguished Frigate captain, and took part in the famous
bombardment of Algiers. On the 16th of January 1839, after an incredible
45 year service, Diana was accidentally destroyed by fire in dry-dock at
Willemsoord. The model kit of Diana is depicted not as built, but after
her first refit at Portsmouth in June 1796 where she was given solid
quarter deck bulwarks, carronades to replace the 9lb carriage guns and a
dolphin striker on the bowsprit. Diana measured 173ft from figurehead to
stern, her breadth was 39ft 3 1/2" and was almost 1000 tons burthen.
Main armament was twenty eight 18lb carriage guns on the gun deck, with
secondary armament consisting of ten 9lb guns on the top deck along with
eight 32lb carronades. There is no doubt that this configuration
constantly changed throughout her career and at the end of her time in
the British Navy she had fourteen carronades on her top deck.