List of ironclads of the Royal Navy

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This is a list of ironclads of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. An ironclad was a steam-propelled warship in the early part of the second half of the 19th century, protected by iron or steel armour plates.

Glossary[edit]

  • BU = broken up
  • In the sections listing warships in the English/Royal Navy from 1618 onwards, the dates have been quoted using the modern convention of the year starting on 1 January.

Predecessors of the battleships of the Royal Navy[edit]

Warships of the Scots Navy pre-1707[edit]

Prior to the Acts of Union 1707, warships of the Kingdom of Scotland were under the Royal Scots Navy.

Warships of the English Navy pre-1660[edit]

The Royal Navy formally came into existence with the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. Prior to this, warships were the property of the English Monarch, until the execution of Charles I in 1648, when the ships became the property of the state.

Ships of the line of the Royal Navy (1660-1880)[edit]

Ship of the line was the term used in the Royal Navy referring to a warship powerful enough to use line-of-battle tactics. Such ships were wooden-hulled sailing ships from 1660 until the transition towards battleships in nineteenth century. From 1840, steam-driven screw propellors were introduced and in 1860, the first iron-hulled, armour-plated warship, HMS Warrior was launched. Battleships began to be built from 1880.

List of ironclad warships of the Royal Navy (1860–1882)[edit]

The term battleship was not used by the Admiralty until the early 1880s, with the construction of the Colossus class. Capital ships from the period 1860 onwards are given for comparison, as these would later evolve into the modern battleship.

Sea-going ironclads (1860–1882)[edit]

  • Warrior class broadside ironclads
    • Warrior (1860) - Preserved Portsmouth
    • Black Prince (1861) - Renamed Emerald 1903, renamed Impregnable III 1910, sold for BU 1923
  • Defence class broadside ironclads
    • Defence (1861) - Renamed Indus 1898; hulked 1922; sold for BU 1935
    • Resistance (1861) - Sold 1898; foundered 1899; raised and BU
  • Hector class broadside ironclads
    • Hector (1862) - Sold for BU 1905
    • Valiant (1863) - Renamed Indus 1898, Valiant (Old) 1916, and Valiant III 1919; became floating oil tank 1924; BU 1957
  • Achilles (1863) broadside ironclad — Renamed Hibernia 1902, Egmont 1904, Egremont 1918, and Pembroke 1919; sold for BU 1925
  • Minotaur class broadside ironclads
    • Minotaur (1863) - Renamed Boscawen 1904, Ganges 1906, and Ganges II 1908; sold for BU 1922
    • Agincourt (1865) - Renamed Boscawen III 1904 and Ganges II 1906; became coal hulk C109 1908; sold for BU 1960
    • Northumberland (1866) - Renamed Acheron 1904; became coal hulk C 1909, renamed C68 1926; sold 1927; became hulk Stedmound, BU 1935
  • Prince Consort-class broadside ironclads (converted from Bulwark class 2-deckers)
  • Royal Oak (1862) broadside ironclad (converted from Bulwark class 2-decker) - Laid up 1871; sold for BU 1885
  • Royal Alfred (1864) central-battery ironclad (converted from Bulwark class 2-decker)- Sold for BU 1885
  • Research (1863) central-battery ironclad — Sold for BU 1884
  • Enterprise (1864) central-battery ironclad — Sold for BU 1886
  • Favorite (1864) central-battery ironclad — Sold for BU 1886
  • Zealous (1864) central-battery ironclad (converted from Bulwark class 2-decker) - Laid up 1875; sold for BU 1886
  • Repulse (1868) central-battery ironclad (converted from Bulwark class 2-decker) - Sold for BU 1889
  • Lord Clyde class broadside ironclads
  • Pallas (1865) central-battery ironclad — Sold for BU 1886
  • Bellerophon (1865) central-battery ironclad — Renamed Indus III 1904; sold for BU 1922
  • Penelope (1867) central-battery ironclad — Hulked 1897; sold for BU 1912
  • Hercules (1868) central-battery ironclad — Renamed Calcutta 1909 and Fisgard II 1915; sold for BU 1932
  • Monarch (1868) masted turret-ship — Renamed Simoom 1904; sold for BU 1905
  • Captain class masted turret-ship
  • Audacious class central-battery ironclads
    • Audacious (1869) - Renamed Fisgard 1904 and Imperieuse 1914; sold for BU 1922
    • Invincible (1869) - Renamed Erebus 1904 and Fisgard II 1906; foundered under tow 1914
    • Iron Duke (1870) - Hulked 1900; sold for BU 1906
    • Vanguard (1870) - Sunk in collision 1875
  • Swiftsure class central-battery ironclads
    • Swiftsure (1870) - Hulked 1901; renamed Orontes 1904; sold for BU 1908
    • Triumph (1870) - Renamed Tenedos 1904, Indus IV 1912, and Algiers 1912; sold for BU 1921
  • Sultan (1870) central-battery ironclad — Named Fisgard IV 1906-1931; sold for BU 1946
  • Devastation class mastless turret-ship
  • Alexandra (1875) central-battery ironclad — Sold for BU 1908
  • Temeraire (1876) central-battery ironclad with barbettes — Renamed Indus II 1904 and Akbar 1915; sold for BU 1921
  • Superb class (intended for Ottoman Empire) central-battery ironclads
    • Superb (launched as Hamidieh, renamed) (1875) - Sold for BU 1906
    • (Ottoman Messudieh)
  • Neptune (1874) (ex-Independencia) masted turret-ship — Sold for BU 1903
  • Dreadnought (1875) mastless turret-ship — Sold for BU 1908
  • Inflexible (1876) central citadel turret-ship — Sold for BU 1903
  • Ajax class central citadel turret-ships
  • Colossus class turret-ships

Coastal service ironclads[edit]

  • Royal Sovereign (1862) turret-ship (converted from Duke of Wellington class 3-decker) - Sold for BU 1885
  • Prince Albert (1864) turret-ship — Sold for BU 1899
  • Scorpion class masted turret-ships
    • Scorpion (1863) - Sunk as target 1901; raised and sold for BU 1903; foundered en route scrapyard 1903
    • Wivern (1863) - Sold for BU 1922
  • Cyclops class turret-ships
    • Cyclops (1871) - Sold for BU 1903
    • Gorgon (1871) - Sold for BU 1903
    • Hecate (1871) - Sold for BU 1903
    • Hydra (1871) - Sold for BU 1903
  • Cerberus class turret-ships
    • Cerberus (1868) (Victoria) - Renamed Platypus II 1918; sunk as breakwater 1926
    • Magdala (1870) (India) - Sold for BU 1904
  • Abyssinia (1870) (India) turret-ship — Sold for BU 1903
  • Glatton (1871) turret-ship — Sold for BU 1903
  • Hotspur (1870) turret-ship — Sold for BU 1904
  • Rupert (1872) turret-ship — Sold for BU 1907
  • Belleisle class (intended for Ottoman Empire) central battery ships
    • Belleisle (launched as Peki-Shereef, renamed) (1876) -Sold for BU 1904
    • Orion (planned name: Boordhi-Zaffer) (1879) - Renamed Orontes 1909; sold for BU 1913
  • Conqueror class turret-ships
    • Conqueror (1881) - Sold for BU 1907
    • Hero (1885) - Sunk as target 1908; raised and BU

Sources[edit]

  • Ballard, Admiral G.A. The Black Battlefleet, published Nautical Publications Co. and Society for Nautical Research, 1980. ISBN 0-245-53030-4
  • Chesnau, Roger and Kolesnik, Eugene (Ed.) Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1860–1905. Conway Maritime Press, 1979. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4
  • Gardiner, Robert (Ed.). Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships, 1906–1921. Conway Maritime Press, 1985. ISBN 0-85177-245-5
  • Chesnau, Roger and Gardiner, Robert (Ed.) Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. Conway Maritime Press, 1980. ISBN 0-85177-146-7
  • Lyon, David and Winfield, Rif, The Sail and Steam Navy List, All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889, pub Chatham, 2004, ISBN 1-86176-032-9
  • Parkes, Oscar British Battleships, first published Seeley Service & Co, 1957, published United States Naval Institute Press, 1990. ISBN 1-55750-075-4
  • Reed, Edward J Our Ironclad Ships, their Qualities, Performance and Cost. John Murray, 1869.