|Ordered:||14 July 1779|
|Laid down:||April 1780|
|Launched:||30 March 1782|
|Fate:||Broken up, 1816|
|Class and type:||Ganges-class ship of the line|
|Tons burthen:||167853⁄94 or 1679 bm|
|Length:||169 ft 6 in (51.7 m) (gundeck)|
|Beam:||47 ft 8 1⁄2 in (14.5 m)|
|Depth of hold:||20 ft 3 in (6.2 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full rigged ship|
|Complement:||590 officers and men|
HMS Ganges was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched in 1782 at Rotherhithe. She was the first ship of the Navy to bear the name, and was the name ship of her class. She saw active service from 1782 to 1811, in Europe and the West Indies.
In the rating system of the British Royal Navy, a third rate was a ship of the line which from the 1720s mounted between 64 and 80 guns, typically built with two gun decks. Years of experience proved that the third rate ships embodied the best compromise between sailing ability, firepower, and cost. So, while first-rates and second-rates were both larger and more powerful, the third-rate ships were in a real sense the optimal configuration.
A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed from the 17th through to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactic known as the line of battle, which depended on the two columns of opposing warships maneuvering to fire with the cannons along their broadsides. In conflicts where opposing ships were both able to fire from their broadsides, the side with more cannons—and therefore more firepower—typically had an advantage. Since these engagements were almost invariably won by the heaviest ships carrying the most powerful guns, the natural progression was to build sailing vessels that were the largest and most powerful of their time.
The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years' War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.
The British East India Company had Randall build a 74-gun ship under the name Bengal. They then presented (donated) her to the Royal Navy, which renamed her HMS Ganges.
The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), or the British East India Company, and informally known as John Company, Company Bahadur, or simply The Company, was an English and later British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with Mughal India and the East Indies, and later with Qing China. The company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonised parts of Southeast Asia, and colonised Hong Kong after a war with Qing China.
The Royal Navy commissioned Ganges in February 1782 under the command of Captain Charles Fielding. She was paid-off in March, but immediately recommissioned under Captain J. Lutterell as a guardship at Portsmouth. Between 1784 and 1787, she was under the command of Captain Sir Roger Curtis. In October 1787 she became the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Drake. She was recommissioned in December 1790 under Captain Anthony Molloy.
Charles Fielding was a British naval officer who gained brief notoriety for his role in the Affair of Fielding and Bylandt in the run-up to the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War. He attained the "rank" of Commodore and died of gangrene after being wounded in action during the Battle of Cape Spartel, commanding HMS Ganges.
Francis William Drake was an officer of the Royal Navy. He served during the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, rising to the rank of vice-admiral of the red.
In 1794, whilst under the command of Captain William Truscott, she and Montagu captured the French corvette Jacobine. Jacobin was armed with twenty-four 12-pounder guns, and had a crew of 220 men; she was nine days out of Brest and taken nothing.The Royal Navy took Jacobin into service as HMS Matilda.
HMS Montague was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 28 August 1779 at Chatham Dockyard.
A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below was historically that of the sloop-of-war. The modern types of ship below a corvette are coastal patrol craft, missile boat and fast attack craft. In modern terms, a corvette is typically between 500 tons and 2,000 tons although recent designs may approach 3,000 tons, which might instead be considered a small frigate.
HMS Matilda was the French corvette Jacobine, which was launched in March 1794 and which the British captured in the West Indies seven months later. She served in the West Indies until 1799, capturing six small privateers. In 1799 she sailed to Woolwich where she became a hospital ship. Between 1805 and 1807 she was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Henry Stanhope. She was broken up in 1810.
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.
Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, England, with a total population of 205,400 residents. The city of Portsmouth is nicknamed Pompey and is mainly built on Portsea Island, a flat, low-lying island measuring 24 square kilometres in area, just off the south-east coast of Hampshire. Portsmouth is the only island city in the United Kingdom, and is the only city whose population density exceeds that of London.
Prize money has a distinct meaning in warfare, especially naval warfare, where it was a monetary reward paid out under prize law to the crew of a ship for capturing or sinking an enemy vessel. The claims for the bounty are usually heard in a Prize Court.
Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood was a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer he saw action during the War of the Austrian Succession. While in temporary command of Antelope, he drove a French ship ashore in Audierne Bay, and captured two privateers in 1757 during the Seven Years' War. He held senior command as Commander-in-Chief, North American Station and then as Commander-in-Chief, Leeward Islands Station, leading the British fleet to victory at Battle of the Mona Passage in April 1782 during the American Revolutionary War. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, then First Naval Lord and, after briefly returning to the Portsmouth command, became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet during the French Revolutionary Wars.
Ganges shared in the prize money from the capture of the French supply ship Marsouin by Beaulieu on 11 March 1796.
Marsouin was a gabarre, the name-ship of her three-vessel class, built to a design by Raymond-Antoine Haran, launched in 1787 or '88 at Bayonne. She carried troops, supplies, invalids, etc., across the Atlantic to the Caribbean or back until the British captured her in 1795. Though the Royal Navy nominally took her into service, she was never actually commissioned, and she disappears from the lists in 1799.
Ganges was under the command of Captain Thomas Fremantle at the Battle of Copenhagen. [ citation needed ]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 the assault unnecessary.
Ganges was one of six British warships that shared in the capture on 23 August 1807 of the Danish vessel Speculation.
Ganges was also present at the Second Battle of Copenhagen. 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.
In September 1810, two row-boat luggers, one from Ruby, under the command of Lieutenant Robert Streatfield, and one from Ganges, under the command Lieutenants Stackpole, captured two Danish armed vessels off Lessoe. There were no British casualties.
She was commissioned as a prison ship on 12 December 1811 for holding prisoners of war. Then in 1814 she was transferred to the Transport Board. Ganges was broken up at Plymouth in 1816.
Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats was a British naval officer who fought throughout the American Revolution, French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War. He retired in 1812 due to ill health and was made Commodore-Governor of Newfoundland from 1813 to 1816. In 1821 he was made Governor of Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, London. Keats held the post until his death at Greenwich in 1834. Keats is remembered as a capable and well respected officer. His actions at the Battle of Algeciras Bay became legendary.
HMS Hannibal was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 15 April 1786, named after the Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca. She is best known for having taken part in the Algeciras Campaign, and for having run aground during the First Battle of Algeciras on 5 July 1801, which resulted in her capture. She then served in the French Navy until she was broken up in 1824.
HMS Ardent was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built by contract by Hugh Blaydes at Hull according to a design by Sir Thomas Slade, and launched on 13 August 1764 as the first ship of the Ardent-class. She had a somewhat turbulent career, being captured by the French in 1779, and then re-captured by Britain in 1782.
Viala was a 74-gun Téméraire-class ship of the line of the French Navy launched in 1795. The Royal Navy captured her in 1806 and sold her in 1814.
HMS Edgar was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, that saw service in the American Revolutionary, French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Launched in 1779, she fought in the battles of Cape St Vincent and Copenhagen, two of the major naval engagements of the wars.
HMS Fortitude was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by John Randall & Co. and launched on 23 March 1780 at Rotherhithe.
HMS Europa was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 21 April 1765 at Lepe, Hampshire. She was renamed HMS Europe in 1778, and spent the rest of her career under this name.
HMS Egmont was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 29 August 1768 at Deptford. She was designed by Sir Thomas Slade, and was the only ship built to her draught.
HMS Bedford was a Royal Navy 74-gun third rate. This ship of the line was launched on 27 October 1775 at Woolwich.
HMS Ramillies was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 12 July 1785 at Rotherhithe.
HMS Nonsuch was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 17 December 1774 at Plymouth. She was broken up in 1802.
The Foudroyant was an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was later captured and served in the Royal Navy as the Third Rate HMS Foudroyant.
HMS Donegal was launched in 1794 as Barra, a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was renamed Pégase in October 1795, and Hoche in December 1797. The British Royal Navy captured her on 12 October 1798 and recommissioned her as HMS Donegal.
HMS Modeste was a 64-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was previously the Modeste, of the French Navy, launched in 1759 and captured later that year.
HMS Inconstant was a 36-gun Perseverance class fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She had a successful career serving in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, capturing three French warships during the French Revolutionary naval campaigns, the Curieux, the Unité, and the former British ship HMS Speedy.
HMS Eurydice was a 24-gun Porcupine-class post ship of the Royal Navy built in 1781 and broken up in 1834. During her long career she saw service in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. She captured a number of enemy privateers and served in the East and West Indies, the Mediterranean and British and American waters.
HMS Lowestoffe was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Built during the latter part of the Seven Years' War, she went on to see action in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary War, and served often in the Caribbean. A young Horatio Nelson served aboard her shortly after passing his lieutenant's examination.
HMS Romney was a 50-gun fourth rate of the Royal Navy. She served during the American War of Independence, and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in a career that spanned forty years. Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Romney. The origins of the name are from the town of New Romney, although it may be that the name entered the Royal Navy in honour of Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney.
HMS Incendiary was an 8-gun fireship of the Royal Navy. She was present at a number of major battles during the French Revolutionary Wars, and captured, or participated in the capture, of several armed vessels. In January 1801 she was in the Gulf of Cadiz where she encountered Admiral Ganteume's squadron. French ship Indivisible was credited with the actual capture.
HMS Crescent was a 36-gun Flora-Class frigate of the British Royal Navy. Launched in 1784, she spent the first years of her service on blockade duty in the English Channel where she single-handedly captured the French frigate, La Reunion. In 1795, Crescent was part of a squadron commanded by George Elphinstone, that forced the surrender of a Batavian Navy squadron at the capitulation of Saldanha Bay. After serving in the West Indies, Crescent returned to home waters and was wrecked off the coast of Jutland on 6 December 1808.