HMS Elephant (1786)
|Ordered:||27 December 1781|
|Builder:||George Parsons, Bursledon|
|Laid down:||February 1783|
|Launched:||24 August 1786|
|Fate:||Broken up, 1830|
|Notes:||58-gun fourth rate from 1818|
|General characteristics |
|Class & type:||Arrogant class ship of the line|
|Tons burthen:||1604 bm|
|Length:||168 ft (51 m) (gundeck)|
|Beam:||46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)|
|Depth of hold:||19 ft 9 in (6.02 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full rigged ship|
Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns
In late November 1790 the ship narrowly avoided destruction when lightning struck her whilst she was in Portsmouth harbour. The main topmast exploded but did not plunge through the quarterdeck as it was still held by the toprope.
In 1801 Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson chose Elephant as his flagship during the Battle of Copenhagen due to its suitability for the shallow waters there. It was on this ship that he is said to have put his telescope to his blind eye and claimed not to be able to see a signal ordering him to withdraw.
In mid-1803, the squadron under Captain Henry William Bayntun, consisting of Cumberland, Hercule, Bellerophon, Elephant, and Vanguard captured Poisson Volant and Superieure. The Royal Navy took both into service. The ship participated in the Blockade of Saint-Domingue in the same year.
- Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p180.
- The London Gazette: . 13 September 1803.
- Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.
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