24 Facts About HMS Victory


HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765.

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HMS Victory is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

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HMS Victory additionally served as Keppel's flagship at Ushant, Howe's flagship at Cape Spartel and Jervis's flagship at Cape St Vincent.

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HMS Victory has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission, with 244 years' service as of 2022.

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The end of the Seven Years' War meant that HMS Victory remained in this condition for nearly three years, which helped her subsequent longevity.

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HMS Victory told the news to his superior, master shipwright John Allin, who considered abandoning the launch.

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HMS Victory remained there until France joined the American War of Independence in 1778.

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HMS Victory was now placed in active service as part of a general mobilisation against the French threat.

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HMS Victory's weaponry was intended to be thirty 42-pounders on her lower deck, twenty-eight 24-pounder long guns on her middle deck, and thirty 12-pounders on her upper deck, together with twelve 6-pounders on her quarterdeck and forecastle.

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At about a quarter to twelve, HMS Victory opened fire on Bretagne of 110 guns, which was being followed by Ville de Paris of 90 guns.

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On her return to England, HMS Victory was examined for seaworthiness and found to have significant weaknesses in her stern timbers.

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HMS Victory was declared unfit for active service and left anchored off Chatham Dockyard.

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HMS Victory was under orders to meet up with Cornwallis off Brest, but after 24 hours of searching failed to find him.

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Nelson continued on to England in HMS Victory, leaving his Mediterranean fleet with Cornwallis who detached twenty of his thirty-three ships of the line and sent them under Calder to find the combined fleet at Ferrol.

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Around 30 minutes later, HMS Victory broke the line between the 80 gun French flagship Bucentaure and 74 gun Redoutable and fired her guns at range so close that the flames of the guns were singeing the windows of the French flagship before the shockwave and cannonballs arrived, the HMS Victory's port guns unleashed a devastating broadside, raking the Bucentaure and blowing a hole in it described as large enough to drive a coach and four horses through.

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HMS Victory had been badly damaged in the battle and was not able to move under her own sail.

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HMS Victory then carried Nelson's body to England, where, after lying in state at Greenwich, he was buried in St Paul's Cathedral on 9 January 1806.

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HMS Victory was recommissioned as a troopship between December 1810 and April 1811.

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In 1831 the Admiralty issued orders for HMS Victory to be broken up and her timbers reused in other vessels.

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The Admiralty thereafter provided a small annual subsidy for maintenance, and in 1889 HMS Victory became the home of a signal school in addition to being a tender.

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HMS Victory's steering equipment had been removed or destroyed, along with most of her furnishings.

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HMS Victory met Constitutions commanding officer, Commander William A Bullard III, and discussed the possibility of arranging an exchange programme between the two ships.

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HMS Victory is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and attracts around 350,000 visitors per year in her role as a museum ship.

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HMS Victory has undergone emergency repair works to prevent the hull decaying and sagging.

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