HMS Majestic (1785)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Majestic.
Tonnant LeBreton PX8975.jpg
The Tonnant at the Battle of the Nile, by Louis Lebreton. HMS Majestic is seen in the background.
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Majestic
Ordered: 23 August 1781
Builder: Adams & Barnard, Deptford
Laid down: June 1782
Launched: 11 December 1785
Honours and

Participated in:

Fate: Broken up, April 1816
Notes: Reduced to a 58-gun fourth rate, 1813
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Canada class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1623 bm
Length: 170 ft (52 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament: As third rate :

Gundeck (GD): 28 × 32-pounder guns
Upper gundeck (UG): 28 × 18-pounder guns
QD: 14 × 9-pounder guns
Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns
As fourth rate: GD: 28 × 42-pounder carronades
UG: 28 × 32-pounder guns

  • QD: 2 × 12-pounder guns

HMS Majestic was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line launched on 11 December 1785 at Deptford.[1] She fought at the Battle of the Nile, where she engaged the French ships Tonnant and Heureux, helping to force their surrenders. She was captained by George Blagdon Westcott, who was killed in the battle.[2]

On 22 February 1799, Majestic was in sight when Espoir, under the command of Captain James Sanders, captured the Spanish 14-gun xebec Africa some three leagues from Marbello on the Spanish coast. Captain Cuthbert, of Majestic, transmitted Sanders's letter, adding his own endorsement extolling "the meritorious Conduct of Captain Sanders and his Ship's Company on the Occasion."[3] Espoir and Majestic shared the prize money for the xebec, whose full name was Nostra Senora de Africa.[4]

On 4 April, Majestic and Transfer destroyed a French privateer of unknown name. Head money was paid in 1828, almost 30 years later.[Note 1]

Majestic was razeed into a 58-gun fourth-rate frigate in 1813.

On 22 May 1814 she recaptured the former British naval schooner Dominica, which the American privateer Decatur had captured the year before.[6] At the time of her recapture, Dominica was sailing under a letter of marque, had a crew of 38 men, and was armed with four 6-pounder guns.


Majestic was broken up in 1816 after a stranding.[1]


  1. ^ A first-class share of the head money was worth £94 2sd; a fifth-class share, that of an able seaman, was worth 4s 11⅔d.[5]
  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p181.
  2. ^ Correspondence, Horatio Nelson to Admiralty 3 August 1798, cited in Dublin Penny Journal 1836, p. 389
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15119. p. 288. 26 March 1799.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15300. p. 1161. 7 October 1800.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18518. p. 1957. 28 October 1828.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16924. p. 1610. 9 August 1814.


  • 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.