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HMS Thunderer (1783)
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Thunderer
Ordered: 23 July 1781
Builder: John & William Wells, Rotherhithe
Laid down: March 1782
Launched: 13 November 1783
Commissioned: January 1793
Honours and

Participated in:

Fate: Broken up, March 1814
General characteristics [1]
Class & type: Culloden-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1,679 (bm)
Length: 170 ft 8 in (52.02 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 47 ft 7 in (14.50 m)
Depth of hold: 19 ft 11 in (6.07 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: about 600

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

Forecastle: 4 × 9-pounder guns

HMS Thunderer was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at the Wells brother's shipyard in Rotherhithe and launched on 13 November 1783.[1] After completion, she was laid up until 1792, when she underwent a 'Middling Repair' to bring her into service in 1793.[citation needed] In 1794 she fought at the Glorious First of June under Captain Albemarle Bertie, and from 1796 to 1801 served in the West Indies, under a succession of captains.[citation needed] During this period, under Captain William Ogilvy, Thunderer fought at the Battle of Jean-Rabel in which the French frigate Hermione was destroyed.

Thunderer was recommissioned in 1803, and in 1805 she fought in Admiral Calder's fleet at the Battle of Cape Finisterre. Her captain, William Lechmere, returned to England to attend a court-martial as a witness to the events of Admiral Calder's action off Cape Finisterre at the time of the battle.

Later that year she fought at the Battle of Trafalgar under the command of her First Lieutenant John Stockham,[2] The surgeon on board was Scotsman James Marr Brydone, who was the first of the main British battle fleet to sight the Franco-Spanish fleet. Thunderer signalled the Victory and three minutes later battle orders were signalled to the British fleet beginning the Battle of Trafalgar.[citation needed]

On 25 November, Thunderer detained the Ragusan ship Nemesis, of 350 tons (bm), four guns and 18 men, Poulovich, master. Nemesis was sailing from Isle de France to Leghorn, Italy, with a cargo of spice, indigo dye, and other goods.[3] Thunderer shared the prize money with ten other British warships.[4] In 1807, Thunderer served in the Dardanelles Operation as part of a squadron under Admiral Sir John Duckworth and was badly damaged when the squadron withdrew from the area.[2] However, she accompanied Duckworth on the Alexandria expedition of 1807, and in May left Alexandria for Malta, where she was provisioned and repaired over a period of 30 days.[5]

She was decommissioned in November 1808 and broken up in March 1814.[6]

It is reputed that some of her timbers were re-used to build Christ Church, Totland on the Isle of Wight, whilst others were used in the construction of the lych gate at St. Nicolas' Church at North Stoneham near Eastleigh.[7]

Citations and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 180.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ships of the Old Navy, Thunderer.
  3. "No. 15885". 28 January 1806. 
  4. "No. 16364". 24 April 1810. 
  5. John Lace.
  6. Colledge. Ships of the Royal Navy. p. 351. 
  7. Mann, John Edgar (2002). Book of the Stonehams. Tiverton: Halsgrove. p. 44. ISBN 1-84114-213-1. 


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