Endymion was a 40-gun 24-pounder fifth-rate frigate that served in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812 and during the First Opium War. She was known as the fastest sailing-ship in the Royal Navy during the Age of Sail, logging 14.4 knots running. She was the lead ship of her class of six frigates built to the lines of the French prize Pomone captured in 1794. Measured at 1277 tons, she had a length of 159 feet with a 43 foot beam. On 15 January, 1815 she fought with the American 56 gun ship President in one of the most important duels of the the 1812-15 war. Eventually the President was knocked out by Endymion after a long fight. She served in China 1840-42 in the First Opium War, including operations on the Yangtze river. In 1859, she became a Receiving ship in Plymouth, and was finally broken up in June 1868.
The Endymion was mentioned in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park as being in Portsmouth harbor along with Canopus when Lieutenant William Price departs for the Thrush. Two of Jane Austen's brothers served in the Royal Navy during the period she was writing, including aboard both the Canopus (Francis Austen as Captain) and Endymion (Charles Austen as 1st Lieutenant).