HMS Illustrious (1803)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Illustrious.
HMS Illustrious heading out of Table Bay in choppy conditions and a stiff breeze, by Thomas Whitcombe (British, 1760-1824).jpg
HMS Illustrious heading out of Table Bay (Thomas Whitcombe, cira 1811)
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Illustrious
Ordered: 4 February 1800
Builder: Randall, Rotherhithe
Launched: 3 September 1803
Fate: Broken up, 1868
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Fame-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1746 tons (1774 tonnes)
Length: 175 ft (53 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 47 ft 6 in (14.48 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship

74 guns:

  • Gundeck: 28 × 32 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 28 × 18 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 14 × 9 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 4 × 9 pdrs

HMS Illustrious, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line and the second of that name, was built by Randall & Brent at Rotherhithe where her keel was laid in February 1801. Launched on 3 September 1803, she was completed at Woolwich.[1][2] She was first commissioned for the Channel Fleet under Captain Sir Charles Hamilton and was involved in the Battle of the Basque Roads in 1809, in which she won a battle honour, and in the expeditions against the docks at Antwerp and render the Schelde unnavigable to French ships. On 22 November 1810, Illustrious was amongst the fleet that overtook Mauritius on 3 December.[2] She then took part in the Invasion of Java (1811) in Indonesia. She was refitted at Portsmouth (1813-17) and then laid up in reserve until recommissioned in 1832. She was laid up again in 1845, and later used as a guard-ship, a hospital ship and, lastly, in 1854 she became a gunnery training ship and continued as one until she was broken up in 1868 in Portsmouth. .[1][2]



  • 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.