HMS Lydia
The Happy Return
Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.
1807 1808
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"If I am not back aboard the Lydia within one hour, she'll train her guns upon your fort and reduce it to rubble."
"With you in it, Captain?"
"That is my order.
Horatio Hornblower and El Supremo[src]

HMS Lydia was Horatio Hornblower's first frigate command.


The Lydia was a middle-sized frigate built at Woolwich in 1796 to the design of Sir William Rule at a cost of £19,070. Her commission under Hornblower began on March 12th, 1807. She sailed first to Alexandria, Egypt, but then in 1808 was given secret orders for a very ambitious mission to Central America. There, the 36-gun Lydia fought and sank the much larger Spanish ship of 50 guns, the Natividad.

Lydia supported a crew of 274 and was armed with twenty-six 18lb guns, eight 9lb guns, and two 12lb guns. She was 143 feet long and berthed 951 tons.


  • Horatio Hornblower, Captain
  • William Bush, First Lieutenant
  • Gerard, Second Lieutenant
  • Donald Galbraith, Third Lieutenant
  • Rayner, Fourth Lieutenant
  • Clay, Midshipman
  • Hooker, Midshipman
  • Samuel Simmonds, Lieutenant of the Marines
  • Bailey, Gunroom Steward
  • Benskin, Seaman
  • Brown, Captain's Coxswain
  • Chump the Negro, Seaman
  • James Clifton, Boatswain's Mate
  • Crystal, Master
  • Dawson, Seaman
  • Gray, Master's Mate
  • Hall, Ordinary Seaman
  • Hankey, Ship's Surgeon
  • Harrison, Boatswain
  • Harper, Ordinary Seaman
  • Hudson, Ordinary Seaman
  • Laurie, Acting Surgeon, Purser's Steward
  • Owen, Seaman
  • Polwheal, Captain's Steward