HMS Nancy

A brief history of the HMS Nancy

HMS Nancy

Built in 1789, the Nancy was used as a private transportation Schooner throughout the Great Lakes, primarily in Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. When the United States declared war on Great Britain in 1812, she was pressed into service as a British Supply Ship. She make many trips with men, munitions, food and other supplies until she was spotted by three American War Ships in July 1814 on the Nottawasaga River, in what is now called Wasaga Beach. She was sunk and her hull, which is on Nancy Island, in the river, is now a National Museum.

The story does not quite end yet. In August 1814, Lieutenant Worsley (the HMS Nancy’s Captain) was now directing a crew who was rowing and paddling the shores of Georgian Bay with their supplies. On one 300 mile trip, he spotted one of the war ships at anchor. He, his crew which included British solders, local militia and Indians surprised the ship after dark and took it over. The next day, another war ship came along side of the first and it was also surprised and taken over. Both ships were renamed to the British fleet. The HMS Nancy was avenged.

The HMS cover seen above, was designed and produced by the Georgian Bay Coin and Stamp Club to commemorate the HMS Nancy’s contribution to the war of 1812-1814.

Quantities are still available for $4.00 each, including taxes & return postage in Canada. Please contact George Potopnyk at

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