Built in New England, before 1764. Purchased by the British Royal Navy 1764.
Great Britain was often at war in the 1600s and 1700s, and Britain’s enemies attacked ships from the American colonies. To outrun danger, New England shipbuilders developed fast-sailing schooners. The Chaleur, a Marblehead schooner, represents a common type in the Massachusetts fishing fleet.
"In January 1764, the Admiralty began buying schooners for service mostly along the New England coast…Hence, the Admiralty ordered the Navy Board to obtain six "Marblehead schooners or sloops" to be named Chaleur, Gaspee, Hope, Magdalen, St. John, and St. Lawrence…." The Navy List shows these vessels to have been nearly alike in size: Magdalen 90 3/94; Gaspee, 102 44/94; Hope, 105 40/94; St. John and St. Lawrence 114 65/94 and Chaleur 116 91/94. Chaleur is the only one of these vessels for which Admiralty draughts are known to exist.
Hahn presents much of a long letter from Admiral Colville, writing from Halifax Harbor, to Philip Stephens, Secretary of the Admiralty detailing the progress in acquiring "six Marblehead Schooners or Sloops". I quote in part "on the 27 Directions were sent to Boston, by the Naval Officer, for purchasing three of the best Marblehead Schooners or Sloops, from Seventy to ninety Tones that could be procured, to be delivered at this Place." In a later letter, Colville identifies the three as Magdalen, Schooner, 90 3/94 tons; Chaleur, Sloop, 116 91/94 tons; and St. John, Schooner, tonnage unknown.