HMS Coronation

Coordinates: 50°19′00″N 4°11′00″W / 50.3167°N 4.1833°W / 50.3167; -4.1833
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Royal Navy EnsignEngland
BuilderIsaac Betts, Portsmouth Dockyard
Launched23 May 1685
Commissioned14 February 1690
FateWrecked, 3 September 1691
General characteristics [1]
Class and type90-gun second-rate ship of the line
Tons burthen1,345 (bm)
Length160 ft 4 in (48.9 m) (gundeck)
Beam44 ft 9 in (13.6 m)
Depth of hold18 ft 2 in (5.5 m)
Sail planFull-rigged ship
Armament90 guns of various weights of shot

Coronation was a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677, and launched in 1685.[1] She was lost in a storm off Rame Head, Cornwall on 3 September 1691 and is designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The wreck is a Protected Wreck managed by Historic England.


Coronation was commissioned on 14 February 1690 under Captain John Munden, as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Ralph Delavall, under whom she took part in the Battle of Beachy Head, against the French, on 30 June 1690. The French won the battle and had temporary control of the English Channel.[2] Captain Charles Skelton took command of the ship on 29 October 1690.


On 3 September 1691 Coronation was patrolling the channel with the English Fleet and made for Plymouth. The exact circumstances are unclear but it is thought she dragged her anchors while trying to sit out a south-east gale in the lee of Rame Head and was driven aground in Lady Cove to the west of Penlee Point; approximately 600 men drowned, including Skelton. Only about twenty survived.[1]

The foundering of Coronation, by Ludolf Bakhuizen


Part of the wreck was discovered, close to the shore in 1967 and a second offshore site was found in 1977. The area is subject to strong tidal flows, especially during spring tides. The main wreck site extends in a south-west direction, over 1300m, from the southern side of Penlee Point and artefacts are spread over a large area.[3] The site is a protected wreck and a licence is required to dive on the site.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line vol. 1, p. 162.
  2. ^ Churchill, Winston (2002). A History of the English-Speaking Peoples: Age of Revolution. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 9. ISBN 0-304-36393-6.
  3. ^ Berry, Jessica; Camidge, Kevin (2012). "Coronation Geophysical Survey". Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Information for Divers". The Coronation Wreck Project. Retrieved 15 December 2016.


  • 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.
  • Winfield, Rif (2009) British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1603–1714. Seaforth Publishing.

50°19′00″N 4°11′00″W / 50.3167°N 4.1833°W / 50.3167; -4.1833

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