HMS Queen Charlotte (1790)

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Loutherbourg-La Victoire de Lord Howe.jpg
Lord Howe's action, or the Glorious First of June by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, painted 1795, shows the two flagships engaged on 1 June 1794. Queen Charlotte is to the left and Montagne to the right.
Royal Navy EnsignGreat Britain
Name: HMS Queen Charlotte
Ordered: 12 December 1782
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: 1 September 1785
Launched: 15 April 1790
Completed: 7 July 1790
Fate: Blown up by accident, 17 March 1800
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 100-gun first-rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 2,286
Length: 190 ft (58 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 52 ft 5.5 in (15.989 m)
Depth of hold: 22 ft 4 in (6.81 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
  • 100 guns:
  • Gundeck: 30 × 32-pounder guns
  • Middle gundeck: 28 × 24-pounder guns
  • Upper gundeck: 30 × 18-pounder guns
  • QD: 10 × 12-pounder guns
  • Fc: 2 × 12-pounder guns

HMS Queen Charlotte was a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 15 April 1790 at Chatham. She was built to the draught of Royal George designed by Sir Edward Hunt, though with a modified armament.[1]

In 1794 Queen Charlotte was the flagship of Admiral Lord Howe at the Battle of the Glorious First of June, and in 1795 she took part in the Battle of Groix.


At about 6am on 17 March 1800, whilst operating as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Lord Keith, Queen Charlotte was reconnoitering the island of Capraia, in the Tuscan Archipelago, when she caught fire. Keith was not aboard at the time and observed the disaster from the shore.[2]

The fire was believed to have resulted from someone having accidentally thrown loose hay on a match tub.[2] Two or three American vessels lying at anchor off Leghorn were able to render assistance, losing several men in the effort as the vessel's guns exploded in the heat.[2] Captain A. Todd wrote several accounts of the disaster that he gave to sailors to give to the Admiralty should they survive. He himself perished with his ship.[2] The crew was unable to extinguish the flames and at about 11am the ship blew up with the loss of 673 officers and men.[2]


  1. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p183.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gossett (1986), pp.26–7.


  • Gossett, William Patrick (1986). The lost ships of the Royal Navy, 1793–1900. Mansell. ISBN 0-7201-1816-6.
  • 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 (2008): British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1793 - 1817. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4.

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