This model was awarded Silver Medal
M.E. Exhibition London 1996
One of the earliest vessels ordered for the infant Continental Navy of the United States, the frigate 'Hancock' mounted 32 guns and measured 762 tons. Built at Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1776, she was 136½ feet long with a 35½ foot beam, and was ready for sea in 1777. After capturing the British frigate H.M.S. 'Fox' on 27 June. 'Hancock' was then herself taken by H.M.S. 'Rainbow' after a two day chase on 7-8 July. Absorbed into the Royal Navy and renamed H.M.S. 'Iris', she fought in several actions during 1780-81 until captured again, this time by the French, who retained her after peace was concluded in 1783. By the time the Napoleonic Wars began in 1793, 'Iris' had become a powder hulk at Toulon and was found lying in the harbour there after the Bristish took the port early in the war. The occupation proved short-lived however and on 18 December 1793 - just prior tothe British evacuation - the 'Iris' was blown up by the Royal Navy when they found her to old to remove for further service. It was an ignoble end for the last survivor of the Continental Navy and a notable vessel which had fought under three flags during her short but highly eventful life.