HMS Orion (1787)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Orion.
HMS Orion (1787).JPG
Model of HMS Orion at the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Orion
Ordered: 2 October 1782
Builder: Barnard, Deptford
Laid down: February 1783
Launched: 1 June 1787
Honours and
awards:

Participated in:

Fate: Broken up, 1814
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Canada class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1646 (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: Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounder guns

Upper gundeck: 28 × 18-pounder guns
Quarterdeck: 14 × 9-pounder guns

Forecastle: 4 × 9-pounder guns

HMS Orion was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford on 1 June 1787 to the design of the Canada-class, by William Bately.[1] She took part in all the major actions of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars under a series of distinguished captains.

In 1794 she fought at the Glorious First of June under Captain John Thomas Duckworth.

In early 1795, Captain James Saumarez was appointed in command. Under Saumarez, Orion took part in the defeat of the French fleet at the Battle of Groix off Lorient on 22 June.

In early 1797 she was sent to join the Mediterranean Fleet and distinguished herself at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent on 14 February. She then took part in the blockade of Cadiz from March 1797 to April 1798, when she was sent into the Mediterranean as part of a small squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson. In August, Nelson finally caught up with the French fleet, resulting in the Battle of the Nile, where Captain Saumarez was wounded.

Seven years later in October 1805, now under Captain Edward Codrington, she took part in the Battle of Trafalgar where, with Ajax, she forced the surrender of the French 74-gun ship Intrépide.

After Trafalgar, Orion continued in the blockade of Cadiz. On 25 November, Thunderer detained the Ragusan ship Nemesis, which was sailing from Isle de France to Leghorn, Italy, with a cargo of spice, indigo dye, and other goods.[2] Orion shared the prize money with ten other British warships.[3]

Fate[edit]

Orion was broken up in 1814.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p181.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 15885. p. 129. 28 January 1806.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 16364. p. 617. 24 April 1810.

References[edit]

  • 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.