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HMS Ganges (1782)
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Ganges
Ordered: 14 July 1779
Builder: Randall, Rotherhithe
Laid down: April 1780
Launched: 30 March 1782
Honours and

Participated in:

Fate: Broken up, 1816
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Ganges-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1679 bm
Length: 169 ft 6 in (51.66 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 47 ft 8 12 in (14.5 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 590 officers and men

Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounder guns
Upper gundeck: 28 × 18-pounder guns
QD: 14 × 9-pounder guns

Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns

HMS Ganges was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 30 March 1782 at Rotherhithe.[1] She was the first ship of the Navy to bear the name. Her first captain was Charles Fielding. She saw active service from 1782 to 1811, in Europe and the West Indies.[2]

French Revolutionary Wars

In 1794, whilst under the command of Captain William Truscott, she captured the French 24-gun corvette Jacobin.[3] The Ganges was part of the squadron commanded by Admiral John Gell, which escorted a Spanish ship they had captured from the French back to Portsmouth. The ownership of the ship was a matter of some debate and was not settled until 4 February 1795, when the value of the cargo was put at £935,000. At this time all the crew, captains, officers and admirals received a share of the prize money, Admiral Hood taking away £50,000. Besides Ganges, the ships that conveyed the Spanish prize to Portsmouth were St George, Egmont, Edgar and Phaeton.[4]

Ganges shared in the prize money from the capture of the French supply ship Marsouin by Beaulieu on 11 March 1796.[5]

Ganges was under the command of Captain Thomas Fremantle at the Battle of Copenhagen.[2] She had on board a contingent of soldiers from the 49th Foot, commanded by Isaac Brock. Their mission was to storm the forts at Copenhagen, but the outcome of the naval battle made such an assault unnecessary.[citation needed]

Napoleonic Wars

Ganges was also present at the Second Battle of Copenhagen in 1807. She bore the flag of Commodore Richard Goodwin Keats, and was commanded by Captain Peter Halkett. During the battle Keats placed a portrait of Admiral Nelson on the mizzen mast where it was said to have encouraged officers and men alike despite being covered in the blood and brains of an unfortunate seaman.[6] In September 1810, two row-boat luggers, one from Ruby, under the command of Lieutenant Robert Streatfield, and from Ganges, under the command Lieutenants Stackpole, captured two Danish armed vessels off Lessoe. There were no British casualties.[7]


She was commissioned as a prison ship on 12 December 1811 for holding prisoners of war until she was transferred to the Transport Board in 1814. Ganges was broken up at Plymouth in 1816.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 180.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ships of the Old Navy, Ganges.
  3. HMS Ganges Association.
  4. Annual Register (1795), Chronicle, p. 6.
  5. "No. 13968". 3 January 1797. 
  6. Longman; Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman (1837). The Annual Biography and Obituary 1835, Volume 29. Fisher, Son and Jackson. pp. 49. 
  7. "No. 16406". 18 September 1810. 


Coordinates: 41°43′N 25°00′W / 41.717°N 25°W / 41.717; -25

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