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Rudely but surely they bedded the plinth of the days to come.
Behind the feet of the Legions and before the Norsemanís ire
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Rudely but deeply they laboured, and their labour stand till now.
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Author Topic: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)  (Read 23820 times)

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Offline Signals99

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 08:56:00 »
Billgerat, lovely blog re the Temeraire. Please would you know if a painting in the Royal Holloway University of London picture gallery titled "Guard Ship at Sheerness " is of the Temeraire, the staff at the Uni weren't sure.

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 07:57:10 »
Turners painting of HMS Temeraire is to feature in a programme on BBC2 tonight. The Genius of Turner - Painting the Industrial Revolution. BBC2 9pm tonight (Friday 25th April).
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

petermilly

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 21:41:39 »
Thank you once again Bilgerat.
Very interesting and much appreciated.  :)
P

Offline Longpockets

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 17:27:23 »
Beatson's Yard

Amongst the shipyards which were prominent in the first half of the nineteenth century was John Beatsonís ship yard at Bull Head Wharf (which was renamed Surrey Canal Wharf). It was located near the Youth Hostel and Spice Island/Old Salt Quay where 165 Rotherhithe Street now stands (a modern building). Beatsons purchased warships from the Admiralty for breaking up. Examples include the Treekronen (74 guns) broken up in 1825 the Grampus (58 guns) broken up in 1832 and the Salisbury (58 guns), broken up in 1837, the Charybdis (10 guns) broken in 1843 and the Admiral Rainer, an East Indiaman converted to a prison ship and renamed the Justitia, broken in 1855. They also broke up two of the most remarkable ships that saw action in naval battles: the Bellerapheron and the the Temeraire.

From here - http://russiadock.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/rotherhithe-heritage-9-1825-1843.html - worth a look quite interesting.


david brown

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 13:49:06 »
HMS Temeraire
Kennedy received orders from the Admiralty in June 1838 to have Temeraire valued in preparation for her sale out of the service. She fired her guns for the last time on 28 June in celebration of the coronation of Queen Victoria, and work began on dismantling her on 4 July. Kennedy delegated this task to Captain Sir John Hill, Commander of HMS Ocean. Her masts, stores and guns were all removed and her crew paid off, before Temeraire was put up for sale with twelve other ships. She was sold by Dutch auction on 16 August 1838 to John Beatson, a ship breaker based at Rotherhithe for £5,530. Beatson was then faced with the task of transporting the ship 55 miles from Sheerness to Rotherhithe, the largest ship to have attempted this voyage. To accomplish this he hired two steam tugs from the Thames Steam Towing Company and employed a Rotherhithe pilot named William Scott and twenty five men to sail her up the Thames, at a cost of £58.

The tugs took the hulk of the Temeraire in tow at 7:30 am on 5 September 1838, taking advantage of the beginning of the slack water. (From the Great Nore anchorage)

They had reached Greenhithe by 1:30 pm at the ebb of the tide, where they anchored overnight.
It took them the whole of the flood 6.0 hours to reach Greenhithe 23 nautical miles= 3.83 knots
They resumed the journey at 8:30 am the following day, passing Woolwich and then Greenwich at noon.

They reached Limehouse Reach shortly afterwards and brought her safely to Beatsonís Wharf at 2 pm. 17.5 nautical miles= 3.18 knots

The Temeraire was hauled up onto the mud, where she lay as she was slowly broken up. The final voyage was announced in a number of papers, and thousands of spectators came to see her towed up the Thames or laid up at Beatson's yard. The ship breakers undertook a thorough dismantling, removing all the copper sheathing, rudder pintles and gudgeons, copper bolts, nails and other fastenings to be sold back to the Admiralty. The timber was mostly sold to house builders and shipyard owners, though some was retained for working into specialist commemorative furniture.

As the Thames runs mostly East West the painting or original sketches must have been drawn on the 4th September from Sheerness with the setting sun over Gillingham as the sun would have been behind the artist as the vessel made her way up the Thames
It is likely that the hulk was moored in Saltpan reach once she had paid off and the painting shows the vessel being towed outwards from the Medway at slack water on the afternoon of the 4th September 1838.
It is also likely that the Monarch depicted in the painting would have taken on coal in the Nore anchorage and at Greenhithe to complete the tow

Unless the artist used a little bit of licence and painted the tow coming up the Thames from the Essex bank and added the sunset but I prefer to think he painted it from Sheerness

Offline Sentinel S4

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 23:37:48 »
Thank you for that addition David Brown. I have always wondered about the paddler.

S4.
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david brown

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 19:58:40 »
The tug Monarch with the Temeraire in tow.
She was built by Edward Robson, South Shields. Wooden Paddle Tug, clench built. L64'10''. B13'11''. D7'5''. (some sources 4'6''). 88grt. 34nrt. . 20nhp 1cyl steam engine with flue boiler and jet condenser by H S Wait, North Shields. Fitted with Galloway's patent paddle wheels. Coal cap. 7 tons. Acquired 1833. Disposed 1876. Scrapped 1876. ON15862 Callsign LVCK
 
1833 Delivered to Benjamin Thompson & Robert Stoker, Yarmouth. 1834 Acquired by John Rogers Watkins & William L. Ogilby, London. 13-11-1835 Nathaniel William Green, Master, was committed to Newgate Prison after the tug ran down a small boat off Blackwall, drowning a 16 year old boy. Green's trial for manslaughter did not take place until 1840. 18-9-1838 Arrived at Beatsons Yard, Rotherhithe towing HMS Temeraire for scrapping. 1840 Transferred to William Watkins. 1841 Transferred to John R. Watkins, London. 1843 Returned to William Watkins, London.1845 New 20psi tubular boiler. 19-9-1848 Damaged in collision with steamer Waterman No 3 off Wapping. 1856 Engine, boiler and hull overhaul, patent paddles fitted. 26-4-1860 William Watkins summonsed because tug had been emitting excessive smoke off Wapping. The £5 fine imposed would not be enforced if Clarkes patent smoke prevention apparatus was fitted to the vessel. 1861 Reboilered and hull repairs. 29-10-1863 Towing sailing vessel Benlida out of St Katherines Dock when the tow suddenly fell onto its beam ends in a sudden squall due to lack of ballast and later sank off Wapping Old Stairs.1876 Sold for scrap for £40 to John Stewart.
 
Watkins first tug. The tug features in Turners painting "The Fighting Temeraire", although apparently not a very good likeness. With the £40 scrap money Mrs Watkins bought a silver tea and coffee service, "to remember her by".

Offline CDP

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 11:36:52 »
Just to sadly finish this episode from the local newspaper Sheernees Times/Guardian, 1887 July 28th.

 "H.M.S.Temeraire. John Alexander Blow and his son are both in the Workhouse on Sheppey.

His father was the Captain ".                                                       
The solution to every problem is a.) time , or  b.) another problem.

Offline helcion

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 10:26:39 »
Bilgerat     -

Excellent post, packed with interesting information  -  thank you.

Quote
Nelson used a loud-hailer to order Captain Harvey to take station astern of the flagship.

A tiny comment   -  we all know what you mean but strictly speaking at the time Nelson would have used a 'Speaking Trumpet'

'Loudhailer' in a fairly modern word & usually means something with electric power to provide amplification of the voice, either mains powered or a battery-powered portable unit.

But I  do  like the idea of Nelson telling Hardy to make sure that he had put fresh batteries in the loudhailer . . . . .

Cheers

Helcion

Offline smiler

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Re: The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 09:44:43 »
Thank you Bilgerat, another very interesting topic from you. Great reading, appreciated.

Offline Bilgerat

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The Fighting Temeraire (1798 - 1838)
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2012, 22:59:35 »
HMS Temeraire was a 98-gun Second Rate Ship of the Line of the Neptune Class built at the Chatham Royal Dockyard. The Neptune Class was a group of three Second Rate ships designed by Sir John Henslow, Co-Surveyor of the Navy, two of which were built in Kent shipyards. The other Kent-built ship was the lead ship of the class, which was built at the Deptford Royal Dockyard. The odd one out was HMS Dreadnought, built at the Portsmouth Royal Dockyard. HMS Dreadnought was originally intended to be the lead ship and was ordered first, on 7th January 1788. As things turned out, HMS Neptune was the first to be launched, on 28th January 1797, so the class became known as the Neptune Class.

The Second Rate ship of the line (carrying 90 or more, but less than 100 guns) was regarded as a slightly cheaper alternative to the great First Rate ships. First rate ships of the line in the Royal Navy were very few and far between, whereas Second Rate ships were much more numerous. Even at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, when the Royal Navy was larger than the rest of the worlds navies put together, there were only six First Rate ships in commission, not including the ex-Spanish ships HMS San Josef (112) and HMS Salvador del Mundo (112). At the same time, there were sixteen Second Rate ships in commission. That stated, the First Rate ships, despite only carrying a few more guns, threw a much heavier broadside and were thus significantly more powerful than the similarly sized Second Rate ships.

As a more general point, vessels like the Second Rate ship of the line were unique to the Royal Navy. Only the British built ships of the line with three gundecks carrying less than 100 guns. Their French and Spanish rivals preferred instead to build 80 gun ships with two gundecks which threw a broadside of similar weight and power. Despite the obvious advantages of the 80 gun two-decker in terms of building and running costs and superior speed and agility, the British preferred the 90 and later 98 gun three-decker because they felt that it's towering appearance, sheer physical presence and outward similarity to the First Rate ships would much reduce the enemy's willingness to stand and fight. Although a small number of 80 gun two deckers were serving in the Royal Navy at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar, all but two of them had been captured from the enemy. In other words, despite their advantages, the British only ever built two 80 gun two-deckers.

The new ships were the first Second Rate ships to be designed after the American War of Independence and were intended to incorporate the lessons learned in that conflict, the main ones being that the ships needed to be more powerfully armed and larger. A group of three Second rate ships had been ordered during the war, the Boyne Class and they were essentially copies of the draft of the First Rate ship HMS Victory. The new ships were to be even bigger.

On 9th December 1790, the Navy Board wrote to the Resident Commissioner at the Chatham Royal Dockyard, enclosing a set of plans and detailed specifications. These were passed to Mr Edward Sison, master Shipwright in the Chatham Royal Dockyard and he was instructed to cause to be set up, a ship of the line of the Second Rate, to be fitted with 98 guns as per the documents sent by the Navy Board.

The American War of Independence had seen a huge program of building new ships of the line, which was still under way when the war ended, so it was to be July of 1793 before the new ship's first keel section was laid at Chatham, by which time war had broken out again between Britain and France. HMS Temeraire was a huge ship and ships of this size took a long time to build, so it was to be 11th September 1798 before the new ship was launched with all due ceremony into the River Medway. The ship was fitted with guns, masts and rigging at Chatham and commissioned into the Channel Fleet in March 1799 under Captain Peter Puget.

Captain Peter Puget had first held a command in January of 1793 when he had been appointed as Lieutenant-in-Command of the brig-tender HMS Chatham of four guns. In January of 1797 he had been appointed Master and Commander in the 18-gun brig-sloop HMS Raven; a post he held for four months before he was posted, or promoted to Captain and appointed in command of HMS Temeraire.

By the time she was declared complete on 18th May 1799, HMS Temeraire had cost £73,241. On completion, HMS Temeraire was a ship of 2,120 tons. She was 185ft long on her upper gundeck and 156ft 3in long along her keel. She was 51ft 2in wide across her beams, she drew 14ft 8in of water at her bow and 18ft at the rudder. She was armed with 28 32pdr long guns on the lower gundeck, 30 18pdr long guns on the middle gundeck with a further 30 18pdr long guns on her upper gundeck. Previous Second rate ships had carried 12pdr long guns on the upper gundeck, so the Neptune Class represented a move towards a heavier armament for these ships. She also carried two 12pdr long guns on the forecastle with eight more on the quarterdeck.

Neptune Class Plans

Orlop Plan:



Lower Gundeck Plan:



Middle Gundeck Plan:



Upper Gundeck Plan:



Quarterdeck and Foreastle Plans:



Inboard Profile and Plan:



Sheer Plan and Lines:



HMS Temeraire by Derek Gardner:



On 26th June 1799, HMS Temeraire left Chatham bound for Portsmouth. On the way there, off Beachy Head, the ship made all sail for the first time and in good sailing conditions, was able to make 11 knots with the wind over the beams (ie side-on).

On 27th July 1799, Captain Puget was replaced by Captain Thomas Eyles. Under his command, HMS Temeraire became flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir John Warren and joined the Channel Fleet, then under the command of Admiral Alexander Hood, the Lord Bridport. On 14th October 1799, Captain Puget once again took command of the ship, which was engaged in the blockade of Brest. During this time, the ship would undertake 3 - 4 month cruises off the French port, out of sight of land, work which was monotonous and broken by constant drilling with the guns and small-arms, in all weathers. This duty continued, without a break, until late 1801. With the end of the war in sight and peace negotiations underway, HMS Temeraire was detached from the Channel Fleet and was sent to Bantry Bay in southern Ireland, from where she was to join a convoy escort bound for the Caribbean.

By this time, HMS Temeraire had a new commander, Captain Edward Marsh. Whilst at Bantry Bay, rumours began to spread amongst her 700-man crew about the forthcoming trip to the West Indies. Her crew, the majority of whom had been pressed into service, were by now aware of the imminent end of the war and were anxious to be paid off and return to their civilian lives. About a dozen of the men began to agitate for the ship to return to the UK and disaffection began to spread. Things came to a head on the morning of 3rd December 1801, when a crowd of seamen assembled on the forecastle and demanded that the ship return to England instead of going to the Caribbean. The ship was by now the flagship of Rear-Admiral George Campbell and he spoke to the men and informed them that the ship's officers did not know where the ship was going and ordered them to disperse, at which point they returned below and all appeared well. However, the ringleaders were making discreet enquiries amongst the ships crew including the marines to gauge the level of support for a mutiny. Having decided that a mutiny would be supported, or at least not opposed by the majority of the ships company, they pressed ahead with their planned mutiny.

The mutiny began later that day, when the crew closed the gunports, effectively sealing themselves in. Officers who ordered the gunports to be re-opened were jeered and threatened and the crew once again came up on deck and demanded that they be informed of the ships destination and announced that they would refuse to sail anywhere but back to England. Rear-Admiral Campbell informed his superior, Vice-Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell of the situation aboard his flagship. Mitchell sent a dispatch to the Admiralty while Campbell returned to his flagship and ordered the men to return to duty. Discipline began to break down and the spirit locker was broken open and the men began drinking. Several of the ships officers were struck by drunken seamen. One of the marines who supported the mutiny was arrested and placed in irons for drunken behaviour and insubordination, at which point a crowd gathered on deck and attempted to free him. Things were beginning to spiral out of control and on a warship of the size and power of HMS Temeraire, this was unacceptable. The ringleaders of the mutiny had already been identified and Rear-Admiral Campbell ordered the marines to arrest them and place them in irons. Without leadership, the mutiny collapsed and the men returned to duty.

News of the mutiny soon spread and caused a sensation back in the UK and the Admiralty, anxious to avoid a repeat of the Great Mutiny back in 1797, ordered HMS Temeraire to return to Portsmouth, with additional marines aboard as a precaution. Once the ship arrived off Spithead, a Court Martial was arranged aboard the 44 gun frigate HMS Gladiator. The Admiralty granted Vice-Admiral Mitchell the authority to pass a death sentence. The Courts Martial were held aboard HMS Gladiator on 6th and 14th January 1802 and once found guilty, 12 of the ringleaders were sentenced to death, with the other two sentenced to receive a 'flogging around the fleet', receiving a total of 120 lashes each, with a dozen lashes on each ship anchored there at the time.

The Royal Navy reserved particularly brutal punishments for mutineers at the time. The men were to be hanged from the main-yard, to send a signal to anyone else contemplating mutiny of the potential consequences. Four of the men were hanged from the fore-yard of HMS Temeraire, being run up by their ship-mates. The rest were executed aboard HMS Majestic, HMS Formidable, HMS Achille and HMS Centaur.

Once the executions were carried out, HMS Temeraire sailed to the West Indies and remained there until the summer of 1802. Once the Treaty of Amiens had been signed, 1st and 2nd rate ships were the first to be paid off and HMS Temeraire arrived back in Plymouth on 28th September 1802 and was laid up in the Ordinary there.

The peace only lasted until May 1803. On 22nd, HMS Temeraire was taken into dry dock at Plymouth and refitted for a return to active service. The work was delayed in January 1804, when Plymouth was struck by a fierce storm, during which HMS Temeraire was damaged. The repairs and refit were complete by February and the ship recommissioned under her most famous commander, Captain Eliab Harvey and it was under his command that the ship would go on to achieve enduring fame, which I will come to later. Once again, the ship was assigned to blockade duty. Harvey was also MP for Essex and this caused him to be absent from the ship for periods, during which she was temporarily commanded by firstly Captain William Kelly from 27th August 1804 to 6th April 1805, then by Captain George Fawke until 9th July, when Captain Harvey returned to duty. During that that time, the weather in the English Channel was particularly bad and HMS Temeraire was forced to put into Torbay on a number of occasions to carry out repairs.

Britain was at this time in the grip of an invasion scare and with good reason. Napoleon Bonaparte commanded an army which was encamped around Boulogne preparing for the planned invasion and Pierre-Charles Villeneuve had broken out with a fleet of powerful French ships-of-the-line. Villeneuve's original plan to put into Brest and join up with the fleet there had been thwarted by his defeat at the Battle of Cape Finisterre by Sir Robert Calder and he had been forced to sail south to Cadiz and join the Spanish fleet there. Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood was in command of a fleet which had Villeneuve and the combined Franco-Spanish fleet bottled up there. Vice-Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson had been ordered to hand-pick a fleet and join Collingwood off Cadiz and take overall command of the force. HMS Temeraire was picked by Nelson and sailed to join the fleet off Cadiz, arriving on 28th September 1805.

Once his fleet was assembled, Nelson spent the next few weeks preparing to meet the Combined Fleet. He quickly formulated a battle plan whereby the British fleet would be split in two, with one column led by Nelson in HMS Victory and the other by Collingwood in HMS Royal Sovereign. The plan was that the most powerful ships in the fleet would head up the colums. There are very good reasons for this. Firstly, all the captains knew that the lead ships would be the most exposed to fire from the enemy and the biggest ships were better placed to absorb the punishment. Secondly, the initial contact had to be so devastating to the enemy as to demoralise them and the three-decked First and Second Rate ships could best achieve this. The original plan had HMS Temeraire at the head of a column, followed by HMS Victory. Nelson was advised to command the action from the frigate HMS Euryalus as this would be safer than being exposed to the full force of the enemy's fire during the long, drawn-out approach. Nelson refused, insisting on leading his ships and men into action personally.

On 19th October 1805, the Combined Fleet put to sea and was spotted by the British two days later, on 21st. At this time, HMS Temeraire found herself out of her planned station and was astern of HMS Victory. Captain Harvey manoeuvred his ship to overtake the flagship. Nelson had by this time changed his mind and decided that HMS Victory would lead the column and as HMS Temeraire came alongside and began to overtake, Nelson used a loud-hailer to order Captain Harvey to take station astern of the flagship.

HMS Victory and HMS Temeraire race to be the first in line. HMS Temeraire is on the right.



Harvey complied reluctantly with his commander's order and followed closely behind the flagship as HMS Victory crossed the bows of the enemy flagship, the 80-gun two decker Bucentaure. As Victory engaged the enemy flagship, HMS Temeraire was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with Victory and made to engage with the Spanish ship Santisima Trinidad. That ship mounted no less than 140 guns on four gundecks and was the largest ship in the world at the time. For twenty minutes, HMS Temeraire exchanged fire with the Spanish giant while also coming under fire from the French ships Neptune (80 guns) and Redoutable (74 guns).  Fire from these ships damaged HMS Temeraire. Her main-topmast and fore-yard had come down and the bowsprit was damaged. Redoutable had come alongside HMS Victory and had swept her decks with small-arms fire and grenades, forcing the flagship to cease fire. HMS Victory was in trouble and was surrounded by no less than three French ships, all pouring fire into her from point blank. Captain Harvey decided to come to his commander's aid and rammed his ship into the Redoutable, dismounting many of the French ship's guns. As she came alongside the French ship, HMS Temeraire fired full broadsides at point-blank range at the smaller enemy vessel, causing carnage. The French ship, sandwiched between two much bigger British ships, eventually surrendered,  but not before more than half her crew were killed.

While this action was going on, the French 74 gun ship Foragueux manoeuvred alongside. Captain Harvey ordered his gun crews to wait until the Foragueux was alongside before opening fire. Temeraire was now caught between two French two-deckers with a much larger Spanish ship, the 112 gun Santa Anna firing at her from astern. The Redoutable's main mast fell over HMS Temeraire's poop deck and Harvey's ship by this time had had all three top-masts shot away.

Foragueux came alongside HMS Temeraire, but the French were unable to board because the British ship was considerably higher than their own. Instead, Captain Harvey ordered his 1st Lt to lead a boarding party, which overcame the French and took their ship after fierce fighting in which the French captain was killed.

HMS Temeraire had fought and defeated two powerful French ships of the line, but had been severely damaged in the process. All her top-masts were gone, her rudder-head had been shot away, as had one of her cat-heads. 8 feet of her starboard side had been stoved in and the quarter galleries on both sides had been destroyed. She had suffered 47 dead and 76 wounded. Captain Harvey signalled for a frigate to tow his ship out of the action and eventually, HMS Sirius came to his aid. However, before HMS Sirius could pass a tow-line, the Franco-Spanish vanguard had recovered, turned around and were beginning to get stuck into the melee. Captain Harvey ordered whatever guns were able to bear on the enemy to open fire. With more British ships now pouring through the gap in the enemy line opened up by HMS Temeraire and HMS Victory, the French ships were beaten off.

The positions of the fleets at the beginning of the Battle of Trafalgar:



The Battle of Trafalgar. Victory is the three-decker slightly right of centre. The ship in the middle is Redoutable and Temeraire is to the left of that.



Although Nelson was killed in action, HMS Temeraire had been involved in the most vicious part of the battle and had saved the flagship from being overrun by the enemy's superior weight of numbers. She had taken on and beaten two enemy ships and had fought off a number of others. She claimed both Foragueux and Redoutable as prizes, but sadly both those ships were lost in the storm which followed the battle.

HMS Temeraire rode out the storm, taking aboard prisoners transferred from other ships. By now, Collingwood had transferred his flag to the relatively undamaged frigate HMS Euryalus and Captain Harvey went aboard the flagship to present his report of his ship's part in the battle to Collingwood personally. He was the only captain to do so before Collingwood wrote his report and sent it to the Admiralty. This was probably the reason why HMS Temeraire was singled out for particular praise by Collingwood in his report. HMS Temeraire made it into Gibraltar on 2nd November 1805 and carried out temporary repairs there before departing for Portsmouth. She arrived at Portsmouth on 1st December. The battle-damaged ships returning home became tourist attractions and because of her reported role in the battle, HMS Temeraire became the most popular destination for the many visitors. As a result of her actions at the Battle of Trafalgar, the ship became popularly known as 'The Fighting Temeraire'.

HMS Temeraire had been severely damaged during the battle and once put into dry-dock at Portsmouth, her repairs took sixteen months. The ship recommissioned in the summer of 1807 under Captain Sir Charles Hamilton and rejoined the fleet blockading Toulon. Her time there was uneventful and the ship returned to the UK in April 1808, to undergo repairs at Plymouth. During her time there, Spain changed sides and the Peninsular War broke out. In June 1808, HMS Temeraire left Plymouth for Cadiz, to support Anglo-Spanish forces fighting the invading French.

In early 1809, the ship returned to the UK again. By now Britain was at war against Denmark. This had broken out when a fleet under Admiral Sir James Gambier had captured most of the Danish Navy in the Second Battle of Copenhagen in July 1807. Captain Hamilton was replaced in command by Captain Edward Clay and the ship arrived in the Baltic in May 1809 and was immediately sent to blockade Karlskrone in Sweden. Whilst operating in company with the 64 gun 3rd rate HMS Ardent and the frigate HMS Melpomene, a party of men from HMS Ardent had been captured by the Danes after they landed on the Danish island of Romso. HMS Melpomene was sent to negotiate their release and on the way back to the force, the frigate became becalmed. Unable to manoeuvre, HMS Melpomene was attacked by a force of 30 Danish gunboats, operating under oars. After being damaged by fire from these, HMS Melpomene signalled HMS Temeraire for assistance and this arrived in the form of boats from HMS Temeraire. These managed to drive off the Danes and HMS Temeraire's boats then towed the frigate to safety. HMS Temeraire was then sent to observe the Russian fleet at Reval before being ordered back to the UK as winter set in and the ship arrived at Plymouth in November 1809.

In January 1810, now under the command of Captain Edwin Chamberlayn, the ship was sent to Cadiz again. Cadiz was under seige by the French and HMS Temeraire was ordered to defend the city against a sea-borne attack by the French and to provide seamen and marines to help man the defences ashore. The ship became flagship of Rear-Admiral Francis Pickmore and her crew were involved in the fighting ashore until Pickmore was sent to Port Mahon in Menorca to take up the position of Port Admiral there in July 1810. After that point, the ship was either at Port Mahon or was operating with the fleet blockading Toulon. In March 1811, Chamberlayn was replaced by Captain Joseph Spear. On 13th August 1811, HMS Temeraire engaged the enemy for the last time, when on becoming becalmed, she drifted under the guns of a shore battery at Pointe des Medes. The ships boats, together with those from other ships in the squadron, towed HMS Temeraire out of range, but not before fire from the shore battery wounded several of her crew. After making it back to Menorca, she underwent repairs and during this time, there was an outbreak of Yellow Fever aboard. This infected almost the whole crew and killed 100 of them. HMS Temeraire was ordered to return to the UK and once out in the Atlantic and away from the oppressive Mediterranean heat, the health of the crew improved.

HMS Temeraire arrived back in Plymouth on 9th February 1812 and was dry-docked for a survey of her hull. This found significant rot in her structure and as a result, the ship was declared unfit for future front-line service. She was floated out of the dock on 13th March 1812 and was paid off.

In the meantime, the tide of the Peninsular War had turned in favour of the allies and large numbers of French prisoners of war were being brought to the UK. This was causing overcrowding in the prisons in which they were kept in and in order to alleviate this, it was decided that HMS Temeraire was to be converted into a prison hulk. This work was completed in December 1812 and the ship served in this role until 1819, moored in the River Tamar.

HMS Temeraire was taken into Plymouth again in September 1819 and was converted into a receiving ship. This work was completed in June 1820 and the ship was taken to Sheerness to take up this role. In 1829, the ship was converted into a stores hulk. In 1836, the ship was taken into the dockyard at Sheerness, was re-rigged and re-armed to become 'Guardship of the Ordinary and Flagship of the Fleet Reserve on the Medway'. She came under the nominal command of the Captain Superintendent at Sheerness, Captain Thomas Kennedy. By a coincidence, Kennedy had been the ship's First Lieutenant at Trafalgar.

In June 1838, the Admiralty decided to dispose of HMS Temeraire. After being stripped, the ship was sold at auction to John Beatson, a Rotherhithe based ship-breaker on 16th August 1838. The ship was towed to Rotherhithe from Sheerness by two steam tugs and this became the subject of one of the most famous paintings in the world.

'The Fighting Temeraire being tugged to her last berth to be broken' by J M W Turner.



On arrival at Beatson's Wharf, the ship was hauled up onto the mud and over the course the rest of 1838 and into 1839, was broken up.

HMS Temeraire at Rotherhithe.

"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

 

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