HMS Victorious (1808)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Victorious.
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Victorious
Ordered: 21 December 1803
Builder: Adams, Bucklers Hard
Laid down: February 1805
Launched: 20 October 1808
Fate: Sold, 1862
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Swiftsure-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1724 tons (1751.7 tonnes)
Length: 173 ft (53 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 47 ft 6 in (14.48 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament:

74 guns:

  • Gundeck: 28 × 32 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 28 × 18 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 4 × 12 pdrs, 10 × 32 pdr carronades
  • Forecastle: 2 × 12 pdrs, 2 × 32 pdr carronades
  • Poop deck: 6 × 18 pdr carronades

HMS Victorious was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Bucklers Hard on 20 October 1808, just five years after the previous HMS Victorious had been broken up.[1]

Her first action came the year after her launch, as part of the Baltic Squadron, in which she assisted in the bombardment of the port of Flushing (Vlissingen) in what is now the Netherlands. The naval bombardment was just a part of a much larger operation; the land force consisted of some 30,000 men, and the objectives were simply to assist the Austrians by invading the Low Countries and to destroy the French Fleet at their believed location of Flushing.

The town of Flushing was actually seized, but the whole invasion soon became irrelevant and pointless, for the French Fleet had actually escaped to the port of Antwerp, and the Austrians had been defeated and were negotiating peace with the French. Over 4,000 British soldiers were killed during the expedition, 106 due to combat, the rest because of an illness known as Walcheren Fever.

Her deployment to the Mediterranean saw Victorious engage in her first skirmish against a French warship, on 22 February 1812 in the northern Adriatic Sea during Battle of Pirano, against the French Rivoli, 74, which was eventually defeated with much of her crew being killed and wounded. Rivoli was captured once the skirmish came to an end and she later served in action as a Royal Navy warship against the French. Victorious won the lineage its first battle honour during this engagement.

Victorious served as part of Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn's fleet in the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. She participated in the blockade of the Elizabeth River, keeping the USS Constellation at her berth in Norfolk during the conflict.

After sustaining serious damage by striking a rock, Victorious returned to the United Kingdom for repair in 1814,[2][citation needed] paying off to harbour service that would last until she was sold for breaking up in 1862.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 188.
  2. ^ Apps 1971, p. 26.

References[edit]

  • Apps, Michael. (1971) Send Her Victorious. William Kimber: London. ISBN 0-7183-0102-1.
  • 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.