Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Laid down:||23 July 1759|
|Launched:||7 May 1765|
|Decommissioned:||Still in commission|
|Displacement:||3,500 tons (3,556 tonnes)|
|Length:||227 ft 6 in (69.3 m) overall|
(gun deck 186 ft (56.7 m))
|Beam:||51 ft 10 in (15.8 m)|
|Draught:||28 feet 9 inches (8.8 m)|
|Height from waterline to top of mainmast:||205 ft (62.5 m)|
|Propulsion:||Sails—6,510 square yards (5,468.4 square metres)|
|Speed:||8-9 knots maximum|
|Range:||No fuel so limited by water and provisions|
|Armour:||None, although oak hull thickness at waterline 2 ft (0.6m)|
|Armament (Trafalgar):||Quarter gun deck: Twelve 1.7 ton short 12 pounder|
Forecastle: Two medium 12 pounder and Two 68 pounder carronade
- This article is about the late 18th century ship of the line HMS Victory. For other ships of the same name see HMS Victory (disambiguation).
In December 1758, the commissioner of Chatham dockyard was instructed to prepare a dry dock for the construction of a new 100-gun first rate ship. This was an unusual occurrance, during the whole of the eighteenth century only ten were constructed - the Royal Navy preferred smaller and more manouverable ships and it was unusual for more than two to be in commission simultaneously.
Her keel was laid on 23 July 1759 in the Old Single Dock (now No. 2 Dock), and the name was finally chosen in October 1760. It was to commemorate the Annus Mirabilis or Year of Victories, of 1759. In that year land victories had been one at Quebec, Minden and naval battles had been won at Lagos and Quiberon Bay. There were some doubts as whether this was a suitable name since the previous first rate Victory had been lost with all on board in 1744.
Once the frame had been constructed it was normal to cover the ship up and leave it for several months to season. However, the end of the Seven Years' War meant that she remained in this condition for nearly three years, which helped her subsequent longevity. Work restarted in autumn 1763 and she was finally launched on 7 May 1765 having cost £63,176 and 3 shillings and used around 6000 trees, 90% of which were oak and the remainder elm, pine and fir.
There being no immediate use for her she was placed in ordinary— in reserve having been roofed over, demasted and placed under general maintenance—moored in the River Medway for 13 years until France joined the American War of Independence.
She was commissioned in 1778 under the command of Rear Admiral John Campbell (1st Captain) and Captain Jonathan Faulknor (2nd Captain), with the flag of Admiral the Honorable Augustus Keppel. She was armed with smooth bore, cast iron cannon 30 x 32 and 42 pounders (15 and 19 kg), 30 x 24 pounders (11 kg), and 40 x 12 pounders (5 kg). Later she also carried two carronades, firing 68 lb (31 kg) round shot.
Keppel put to sea from Spithead on July 9 1778, with a force of 30 ships of the line and, on July 23rd, sighted a French fleet of 29 sail 100 miles (160 km) west of Ushant. The French Admiral, the Comte d'Orvilliers , who had orders to avoid battle, was cut off from Brest but retained the weather gage. Two of his ships to windward escaped into port leaving him with 27. The two fleets manoeuvred during shifting winds and a heavy rain squall until a battle became inevitable with the British more or less in column and the French in some confusion. However, the French managed to pass along the British line to windward with their most advanced ships. At about a quarter to twelve Victory opened fire on Bretagne 110, followed by Ville de Paris 90. The British van escaped with little loss but Sir Hugh Palliser 's rear division suffered considerably. Keppel made the signal to wear and follow the French but Palliser did not conform and the action was not resumed. Keppel was court martialled and cleared and Palliser criticised by an inquiry before the affair turned into a party political squabble.
On December 2 1781, Victory, now commanded by Captain Henry Cromwell and bearing the flag of Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt, sailed with 11 other ships of the line, a 50 and five frigates, to intercept a convoy which sailed from Brest on December 10. Ignorant of the fact that the French Comte de Guichen had twenty one ships of the line, Kempenfelt ordered a chase when they were sighted on December 12 and began the Second Battle of Ushant. When he noted the French superiority he contented himself with capturing 15 sail of the convoy. The French were dispersed in a gale and forced to return home.
In 1796 Captain Robert Calder (First Captain) and Captain George Grey (Second Captain) commanded Victory under Admiral Sir John Jervis's flag. Sir John sailed from the Tagus on January 18, 1797, and after being reinforced on February 6 by five ships from England, his fleet consisted of 15 sail of the line and six frigates. On February 14, the Portuguese frigate Carlotta, commanded by a Scotsman named Campbell with a Portuguese commission, brought news that a Spanish fleet was close. Jervis manoeuvred to intercept, and the Battle of Cape St Vincent was joined. Principe de Asturias, leading the Spanish lee division, tried to break through the British line ahead or astern of Victory but that ship poured such a tremendous fire into her, followed by several raking broadsides, that the whole Spanish division wore round and bore up. Horatio Nelson, in HMS Captain (primarily), also played a decisive role in this action.
In February 1798, Victory was stationed at Chatham under the command of Lieutenant J. Rickman. On 8 December, unfit for service as a warship, she was ordered to be converted to a hospital ship to hold wounded French and Spanish prisoners of war. In 1799, Rickeman was relieved by Lieutenant J. Busbridge.
However on 8 October 1799 HMS Impregnable was lost off Chichester, having run aground on her way back to Portsmouth after escorting a convoy to Lisbon. She could not be refloated and so was stripped and dismantled. Consequently, now short of a first rate, the Admiralty decided to recondition Victory. Work started in 1800 but as it proceeded an increasing number of defects were found and the repairs developed into a very extensive reconstruction. The original estimate was £23,500 but the final cost was £70,933.
Extra gun ports were added and her magazine lined with copper. Her figurehead was replaced along with her masts and the paint scheme changed from red to the black and yellow seen today. Her gun ports were originally yellow to match the hull but later repainted black, giving a pattern later called the "Nelson chequer" and which was subsequently adopted by all Royal Navy ships after the Battle of Trafalgar. The work was completed on 11 April 1803 and the ship left for Portsmouth on 14 May under her new captain, Samuel Sutton .
Lord Nelson hoisted his flag in Victory on 16 May 1803 with Samuel Sutton as his flag captain and sailed to assume command in the Mediterranean on May 20. Nelson transferred to the faster frigate Amphion on 23 May.
On May 28th Captain Sutton captured the French Embuscade 32, bound for Rochefort from San Domingo. Victory rejoined Lord Nelson off Toulon on July 30 when Captain Sutton exchanged commands with the captain of the Amphion Thomas Masterman Hardy.
Victory was passing the island of Toro on April 4, 1805, when Phoebe brought the news that the French fleet under Pierre-Charles Villeneuve had escaped from Toulon. While Nelson made for Sicily to see if the French were heading for Egypt, Villeneuve was entering Cádiz to link up with the Spanish fleet. On May 7 Nelson reached Gibraltar and received his first definite news. The British fleet completed their stores in Lagos Bay, Portugal , on May 10 and two days later sailed westward with ten ships and three frigates in pursuit of the combined Franco-Spanish fleet of 17 ships. They arrived in the West Indies to find that the enemy was sailing back to Europe where Napoleon Bonaparte was waiting for them with his invasion forces at Boulogne.
The combined fleet were involved in an indecisive action in fog off Ferrol with Admiral Sir Robert Calder's squadron on July 22 before taking refuge in Vigo and Ferrol to land wounded and abandon three damaged ships. Calder on August 14 and Nelson on August 15 joined Admiral Cornwallis's Channel Fleet off Ushant. Nelson continued to England in Victory leaving his Mediterranean fleet with Cornwallis who detached 20 of his 33 ships of the line and sent them under Calder to find the combined fleet at Ferrol. On August 19 came the worrying news that the enemy had sailed from there, followed by relief when they arrived in Cádiz two days later. On the evening of Saturday, September 28, Lord Nelson joined Lord Collingwood's fleet off Cádiz, quietly, so that his presence would not be known.
When Admiral Villeneuve learned that he was to be removed from command he took his ships to sea on the morning of October 19, first sailing south towards the Mediterranean but then turning north towards the British fleet, beginning the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson had already made his plans: to break the enemy line some two or three ships ahead of their Commander in Chief in the centre and achieve victory before the van could come to their aid. In the event fitful winds made it a slow business. For five hours after Nelson's last manoeuvring signal the two columns of British ships slowly approached the French line before Royal Sovereign, leading the lee column, was able to open fire on Fougueux . Twenty five minutes later Victory broke the line between Bucentaure and Redoubtable firing a double shotted broadside into the stern of the former from a range of a few yards. At 25 minutes past one Nelson was shot, the fatal ball entering his left shoulder and lodging in his spine. He died at half past four. Such killing had taken place on Victory's quarter deck that Redoubtable attempted to board her, but the marines and small arms men repelled them. Nelson's last order was for the fleet to anchor but this was rejected by Vice Admiral Collingwood. Victory lost 57 killed and 102 wounded.
Victory bore many Admiral's flags after Trafalgar, and sailed on numerous expeditions, including two Baltic campaigns under Admiral Sir James Saumarez. Her active career ended on November 7 1812, when she was moored in Portsmouth Harbour off Gosport and used as a depot ship.
Over the next century, Victory slowly deteriorated at her moorings. A campaign to save her started in 1921, under the aegis of the Society for Nautical Research Save the Victory Fund, by which time she was in very poor condition. The outcome of the campaign was that British Government agreed to save her to commemorate Nelson, the Battle of Trafalgar and the Royal Navy's supremecy at that period.
On 12 January 1922 was moved into the oldest drydock in the world: No. 2 dock at Portsmouth. Restoration continued and in 1928 King George V was able to unveil a tablet celebrating the completion of the work, which still continues under the supervision of the Society for Nautical Research. Over the last few years the ship has undergone very extensive restoration to bring her appearance to as close as possible to that which she had at Trafalgar for the bicentennary of the battle in October 2005.
HMS Victory is still in commission as the flagship of the Second Sea Lord in his role as admiral in command of the Royal Navy's Home Command. She is the oldest commissioned warship in the World, although the USS Constitution, launched 30 years later, is the oldest still afloat. Victory attracts around 350,000 visitors per year in her role as a museum ship.
The name is also used to refer to the Royal Naval Barracks at Portsmouth.
Originally based on http://www.cronab.demon.co.uk/V.HTM, with the author's permission.
Admirals who have hoisted flags in Victory
|Admiral The Hon. Augustus Keppel||May 16, 1778||October 28, 1778|
|Admiral Sir Charles Hardy||March 19, 1779||May 14, 1780|
|Admiral Geary||May 24, 1780||August 28, 1780|
|Rear Admiral Francis Drake||September 26, 1780||December 29, 1780|
|Vice Admiral Sir Hyde Parker||March 20, 1781||May 31, 1781|
|Commodore John Elliot||June 1781||August 1781|
|Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt||September 10, 1781||March 11, 1782|
|Admiral The Earl Howe||April 20, 1782||November 14, 1782|
|Admiral The Earl Howe||July 1790||August 1790|
|Admiral The Lord Hood||August 1790||August 1791|
|Rear Admiral Sir Hyde Parker||February 6, 1793||May 1793|
|Admiral The Lord Hood||May 6, 1793||December 15, 1794|
|Rear Admiral John Man||July 8, 1795||September 27, 1795|
|Vice Admiral Robert Linzee||October 1795||November 1795|
|Admiral Sir John Jervis||December 3, 1795||March 30, 1797|
|Vice Admiral The Viscount Nelson||May 8, 1803||October 21, 1805|
|Admiral Sir James Saumarez||March 18, 1808||December 9, 1808|
|Admiral Sir Graham Moore||December 1808||January 23, 1809|
|Admiral Sir James Saumarez||April 8, 1809||December 1809|
|Admiral Sir James Saumarez||March 11, 1810||December 3, 1810|
|Rear Admiral Sir Joseph Yorke||December 1810||March 1811|
|Admiral Sir James Saumarez||April 2, 1811||December 25, 1811,|
|Admiral Sir James Saumarez||April 14, 1812||October 15, 1812|
|In Ordinary||December 18, 1812||January 31, 1824|
|Commissioner Sir Michael Seymour||1824|
|Paid off||April 30, 1827||October 21, 1831|
|became Flagship of Port Admiral|
|Rear Admiral Sir F L Maitland||1832|
|Rear Admiral D Pleydell Bouverie||1837|
|Rear Admiral Hyde Parker||1842|
|Rear Admiral W H Shiffeff||1847|
|Admiral Sir C. Ogle||March 20, 1848||December 19, 1848|
|Admiral Sir T B. Capel||December 20, 1848||December 19, 1851|
|Admiral Sir Thomas Briggs||December 20, 1851||March 19, 1853|
|Vice Admiral Sir Thomas J. Cochrane||March 20, 1854||March 19, 1856|
|Vice Admiral Sir George F. Seymour||March 20, 1856||March 19, 1859|
|Admiral William Bowles||March 20, 1859||March 19, 1860|
|Vice Admiral Henry Bruce||March 20, 1860||December 19, 1864|
|Vice Admiral Sir Michael Seymour||December 20, 1864||March 19, 1866|
|Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Pasley||March 20, 1866||March 20, 1869|
|Tender to HMS Duke of Wellington||December 20, 1869||September 1, 1891|
|Admiral The Earl of Clanwilliam||August 1, 1891||September 17, 1894|
|Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon VC||September 18, 1894||August 31, 1897|
|Admiral Sir Michael Culme-Seymour||September 1, 1897||November 17, 1900|
|Admiral Sir Charles F Hotham||November 18, 1900||September 30, 1903|
|Admiral Sir John Fisher||October 1, 1903||March 18, 1904|
|The Port Admiral's flag moved to Hercules|
|Admiral Sir Archibald L Douglas||March 18, 1905||March 1, 1907|
|Admiral Sir Day H Bosanquet||March 2, 1907||March 17, 1908|
|Admiral Sir Arthur D. Fanshawe||March 18, 1908||April 30, 1910|
|Admiral Sir Assheton Gore Gurzon-Howe||May 1, 1910||March 17, 1911|
|Admiral Sir Arthur W. Moore||March 18, 1911||July 31, 1912|
|Admiral of the Fleet Sir Hedworth Meux||August 1, 1912||February 17, 1916|
|Admiral The Hon Sir Stanley Colvill||February 18, 1916||April 17, 1919|
|Admiral Sir Cecil Burney||April 18, 1919||June 17, 1920|
|Admiral Hon Sir Arthur Gough-Calthorpe||June 18, 1920||May 31, 1923|
|Admiral Sir Sidney Robert Fremantle||June 1, 1923||April 1, 1926|
|Admiral Sir Osmond de Beauvior Brock||May 18, 1926||April 30, 1929|
|Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes||May 1, 1929||June 17, 1931|
|Admiral Sir Arthur Waistell||June 18, 1931||February 17, 1934|
|Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Kelly||February 18, 1931||August 31, 1936|
|Admiral of the Fleet The Earl of Cork and Orrery||August 18, 1937||June 30, 1939|
|Admiral Sir William M. James||July 1, 1939||September 30, 1942|
|Admiral Sir Charles Little||October 1, 1942||September 28, 1945|
|Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton||September 29, 1945||June 29, 1947|
|Admiral The Lord Fraser of North Cape||June 30, 1947||April 18, 1949|
|Admiral of the Fleet Sir Algernon Willis||April 19, 1949||October 17, 1950|
|Admiral of the Fleet Sir Arthur J. Power||October 18, 1950||October 17, 1952|
|Admiral Sir John Edelsten||October 18, 1952||October 17, 1954|
|Admiral of the Fleet Sir George E Creasy||October 18, 1954||July 17, 1957|
|Admiral Sir Guy Grantham||July 18, 1957||July 17, 1959|
|Admiral Sir Manley L Power||July 18, 1959||January 17, 1962|
|Admiral Sir Alexander N C Bingley||January 18, 1962||January 17, 1963|
|Admiral Sir Wilfrid J. W. Woods||January 18, 1963||September 9, 1965|
|Admiral Sir Varyl C. Begg||September 10, 1965||June 9, 1966|
|Admiral Sir Frank E. Hopkins||June 10, 1966||October 30, 1967|
|Admiral Sir John B. Frewen||October 31, 1967||February 27, 1970|
|Admiral Sir Horace R. Law||February 28, 1970||February 28, 1972|
|Admiral Sir Andrew Lewis||February 29, 1972||June 29, 1974|
|Admiral Sir Derek Empson||June 30, 1974||October 30, 1975|
|Admiral Sir Terence Lewin||October 31, 1975||October 30, 1976|
|Admiral Sir David Williams||October 31, 1976||October 30, 1978|
|Admiral Sir Richard Clayton||October 31, 1978||June 30, 1981|
|Admiral Sir James Eberle||July 1, 1981||December 31, 1983|
|Admiral Sir Desmond Cassidi||January 1, 1983||October 30, 1984|
|Admiral Sir Peter Stanford||October 31, 1984||October 30, 1987|
|Admiral Sir John Woodward||October 31, 1987||October 30, 1989|
|Admiral Sir Jeremy Black||October 31, 1989||March 30, 1991|
|Admiral Sir John Kerr||March 31, 1991||March 30, 1993|
|Admiral Sir Michael Layard||March 31, 1993||March 30, 1994|
|Admiral Sir Michael Boyce||March 31, 1994||March 30, 1997|
|Admiral Sir John Brigstocke||March 31, 1997||January 18, 2000|
|Vice Admiral Sir Peter Spencer||January 19, 2000||January 28, 2003|
|Vice-Admiral James Burnell-Nugent||29 January, 2003||present|
- Philip MacDougall, The Chatham Dockyard Story, ISBN 0948193301
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