Sir Thomas Slade (1703/4–1771)was an English naval architect, most famous for designing HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
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. She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.
The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).
Like many who rose to the pinnacle of the design of British sailing warships, Thomas Slade began as a shipwright in the Royal Dockyards. His uncle Benjamin Slade was Master Shipwright at Plymouth Dockyard (a master shipwright was responsible for all ship construction and repair at the dockyard in which he served).
In 1744 Thomas became Deputy Master Shipwright at Woolwich Dockyard. On 22 November 1750 he replaced his uncle, who had died that year, as Master Shipwright at Plymouth. On 27 May 1752 he was transferred temporarily back to Woolwich Dockyard as Master Shipwright, and from there to Chatham Dockyard on 17 June 1752 and subsequently on 15 March 1753 to Deptford Dockyard, where he remained until 5 August 1755.
Woolwich Dockyard was an English naval dockyard along the river Thames at Woolwich in north-west Kent, where a large number of ships were built from the early 16th century until the late 19th century. William Camden called it 'the Mother Dock of all England'. By virtue of the size and quantity of vessels built there, Woolwich Dockyard is described as having been 'among the most important shipyards of seventeenth-century Europe'. During the Age of Sail, the yard continued to be used for shipbuilding and repair work more or less consistently; in the 1830s a specialist factory within the dockyard oversaw the introduction of steam power for ships of the Royal Navy. At its largest extent it filled a 56-acre site north of Woolwich Church Street, between Warspite Road and New Ferry Approach; 19th-century naval vessels were fast outgrowing the yard, however, and it eventually closed in 1869. The former dockyard area is now partly residential, partly industrial, with remnants of its historic past having been restored.
Her Majesty's Naval Base, Devonport, is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy.
Chatham Dockyard was a Royal Navy Dockyard located on the River Medway in Kent. Established in Chatham in the mid-16th century, the dockyard subsequently expanded into neighbouring Gillingham.
He was appointed Surveyor of the Navy in August 1755 by George Anson, First Lord of the Admiralty, serving until his death in February 1771. For the first decade, he shared the appointment with William Bately, formerly the Deputy Surveyor of the Navy, until the latter's retirement in June 1765. On Bately's retirement, John Williams was appointed to share the post. Nevertheless, Slade was clearly the senior surveyor throughout his tenure.
Admiral of the Fleet George Anson, 1st Baron Anson, was a Royal Navy officer. Anson served as a junior officer during the War of the Spanish Succession and then saw active service against Spain at the Battle of Cape Passaro during the War of the Quadruple Alliance. He then undertook a circumnavigation of the globe during the War of Jenkins' Ear. Anson commanded the fleet that defeated the French Admiral de la Jonquière at the First Battle of Cape Finisterre during the War of the Austrian Succession.
The Admiralty, originally known as the Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs, was the government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy first in the Kingdom of England, later in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire. Originally exercised by a single person, the Lord High Admiral (1385–1628), the Admiralty was, from the early 18th century onwards, almost invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who sat on the Board of Admiralty.
He was knighted on 27 January 1768.
According to N. A. M. Rodger:
The ships which [he] designed...were admirably suited to Britain's strategic requirements...By common consent, Slade was the greatest British naval architect of the century...it was generally agreed (even by themselves) that his successors, though competent designers, never matched his genius.
During this tenure, Slade was responsible for several major design changes. He produced a 'generic design' that was used as a template for the Royal Navy's 74-gun ships and frigates. His '74' designs, starting with the Dublin-class, were an evolution of current British ships, built to compete with the new French '74's, some of which had been captured during the War of Austrian Succession in 1747. At least forty-six '74's were built to his designs; the last was launched in 1789.
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 Dublin-class ships of the line were a class of seven 74-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade.
He also designed HMS Asia, which was the first true 64-gun ship.As a result, the Royal Navy ordered no further 60-gun ships but instead commissioned more 64s. Because these incorporated alterations learned from trials with Asia, subsequent ships were bigger, she was the only ship of her draught (class). The first of these was HMS Ardent, which ushered in the Ardent-class.
HMS Asia was a 64-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 3 March 1764 at Portsmouth Dockyard. She participated in the American Revolutionary War and the capture of Martinique in 1794. She was broken up in 1804.
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.
The Ardent-class ships of the line were a class of seven 64-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade.
Slade also designed smaller vessels, such as the 10-gun Board of Customs cutter, HMS Sherborne.
Victory was his most famous single vessel. Once commissioned, she became the most successful first-rate ship of the line ever built. On 13 December 1758, the Board of Admiralty in London placed an order for the construction of 12 new ships of the line, including one of 100 guns. The following year the Admiralty chose the name Victory for this vessel, despite the previous holders of the name having been largely unsuccessful. In 1758, Nelson was born, who would die on her decks at Trafalgar.
Out of the 33 ships which were available to Nelson at Trafalgar, eight ( Africa, Victory, Agamemnon, Bellerophon, Defiance, Thunderer, Defence, and Prince ) were built to Thomas Slade's designs. Two more of his ships ( Swiftsure and Berwick ) had been captured by the French earlier and fought on the French side. Slade's designs represented 24% of Nelson's ships and 29% of his guns.
This table lists ships that were built to designs drawn up by Thomas Slade. Some of them were not ordered until after his death.
|HMS Victory||First rate||104||1||1759||1778||Chatham Dockyard||Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar.|
|Sandwichclass||Second rate||90||3||1759–1761||Chatham Dockyard, Woolwich Dockyard|
|London class||Second rate||90–98||4||1766–1790||Chatham Dockyard, Woolwich Dockyard, Deptford Dockyard|
|Barfleurclass||Second rate||90||4||1768–1777||Chatham Dockyard, Portsmouth Dockyard|
|Dublinclass||Third rate||74||7||1755–1756||1757–1759||Deptford Dockyard; Wells & Company, Deptford; Chatham Dockyard; Woolwich Dockyard; Thomas West, Deptford; Henry Bird, Northam, Southampton; Portsmouth Dockyard||First class of 74-gun ships built for the Royal Navy.|
|HMS Hero||Third rate||74||1||1759||Plymouth Dockyard|
|Herculesclass||Third rate||74||2||1759–1760||Deptford Dockyard, Woolwich Dockyard||Developed from the Dublinclass, and HMS Hero.|
|Bellonaclass||Third rate||74||5||1757–1758||1760–1770||Chatham Dockyard, Deptford Dockyard, Plymouth Dockyard|
|Ramilliesclass||Third rate||74||9||1760–1762||1762–1778||Chatham Dockyard; Deptford Dockyard; John Barnard, Harwich; Thomas West, Deptford; John and William Wells, Deptford; Henry Bird and Roger Fisher, Milford Haven; Plymouth Dockyard||Based on the Bellonaclass.|
|HMS Asia||Third rate||64||1||1758||1771||Portsmouth Dockyard||First 64-gun ship built for the Royal Navy.|
|Southamptonclass||Frigate||32||4||1756||1757–1759||Robert Inwood, Rotherhithe; Deptford Dockyard; John Quallet, Rotherhithe; John Barnard & John Turner, Harwich; Robert Batson, Limehouse||First single-deck frigates. Designed with sweep ports (for rowing) along the lower deck.|
|Nigerclass||Frigate||32||11||1757–1763||1758–1769||Thomas Stanton & Company, Rotherhithe; Deptford Dockyard; John Barnard & John Turner, Harwich; Thomas West, Deptford; Sheerness Dockyard; Chatham Dockyard; Hugh Blaydes, Hull; Hugh Blaydes & Thomas Hodgson, Hull||Developed from the Southampton-class frigates.|
|Lowestoffeclass||Frigate||28||2||1755||1756||John Greaves, Limehouse; John Randall's yard, Nelson Dock, Rotherhithe (both completed at Deptford Dockyard)||Based on the prototype 28-gun frigate Lyme, "with such alterations as may tend to the better stowing of men and carrying for guns".|
|Coventryclass||Frigate||28||18||1756–1783||1757–1787||Henry Adams, Buckler's Hard; Henry Bird, Rotherhithe; Gorill & Pownall, Liverpool; Thomas Seward, Rochester; Woolwich Dockyard; Chatham Dockyard; Deptford Dockyard; Thomas Stanton & Co, Rotherhithe; Robert Inwood, Rotherhithe; Pleasant Fenn, East Cowes; Portsmouth Dockyard; Moody Janvrin, Bursledon; Richard Chitty, Milford; Sheerness Dockyard||Largely modeled on the Lowestoffe class. Five ships were built in fir instead of oak as an experiment.|
|HMS Sherborne||Cutter||10||1||1763||1764||Woolwich Dockyard|
Sir Thomas Slade died on 23 February 1771 in Bath, and is buried in St Clement's churchyard, Grimwade Street, Ipswich. His will was proven on 19 March 1771 (Prob. 11/965). His wife Hannah and her parents were buried next to the west boundary of the churchyard.
Slade Pointon the central Queensland coast was named after him.
His 1745 apprentice John Henslow (later Sir John) also became Chief Surveyor to the Navy in 1784 and was the grandfather of Darwin's mentor John Henslow.
HMS Bellerophon was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. Launched in 1786, she served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, mostly on blockades or convoy escort duties. Known to sailors as the "Billy Ruffian", she fought in three fleet actions, the Glorious First of June, the Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Trafalgar, and was the ship aboard which Napoleon finally surrendered, ending 22 years of nearly continuous war with France.
HMS Ganges was an 84-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 10 November 1821 at Bombay Dockyard, constructed from teak. She is notable for being the last sailing ship of the Navy to serve as a flagship, and was the second ship to bear the name.
HMS Ajax was an Ajax class 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the British Royal Navy. She was built by John Randall & Co of Rotherhithe and launched on the Thames on 3 March 1798. Ajax participated in the Egyptian operation of 1801, the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805 and the Battle of Trafalgar, before she was lost to a disastrous fire in 1807 during the Dardanelles Operation.
HMS Neptune was a 98-gun second rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She served on a number of stations during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
HMS Colossus was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched from Deptford Dockyard on 23 April 1803. She was designed by Sir John Henslow as one of the large class 74s, and was the name ship of her class, the other being Warspite. As a large 74, she carried 24 pdrs on her upper gun deck, as opposed to the 18 pdrs found on the middling and common class 74s. She took part in the Battle of Trafalgar, and was broken up in 1826.
HMS Elephant was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built by George Parsons in Bursledon, Hampshire, and launched on 24 August 1786.
HMS Fame was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, in service during the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War.
Sir John Henslow was Surveyor to the Navy a post he held jointly or solely from 1784 to 1806.
The Surveyor of the Navy also known as Department of the Surveyor of the Navy and originally known as Surveyor and Rigger of the Navy was a former principle commissioner and member of both the Navy Board from the inauguration of that body in 1546 until its abolition in 1832 and then a member Board of Admiralty from 1848-1859. In 1860 the office was renamed Controller of The Navy until 1869 when the office was merged with that of the Third Naval Lord's the post holder held overall responsibility for the design of British warships.
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.
The Bellona-class ships of the line were a class of five 74-gun third rates, whose design for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade was approved on 31 January 1758. Three ships were ordered on 28 December 1757, with names being assigned on 1 February 1758. Two further ships to this design were ordered on 13 December 1758, at the same time as two ships of a revised design – the Arrogant class.
The Hercules class ships of the line were a class of two 74-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade.
The Albion-class ships of the line were a class of five 74-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade.
HMS Africa was a 64-gun third rate Essex-class ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched in 1761 and in active service during the latter half of the Seven Years' War against France and Spain.
The Culloden-class ships of the line were a class of eight 74-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy by Sir Thomas Slade. The Cullodens were the last class of 74s which Slade designed before his death in 1771.
The Vengeur-class ships of the line were a class of forty 74-gun third rates, designed for the Royal Navy as a joint effort between the Surveyors of the Navy at the time. The Vengeur Class, sometimes referred to as the Surveyors' class of third rates, amongst other names, was the most numerous class of ships of the line ever built for the Royal Navy - forty ships being completed to this design. Due to some dubious practices, primarily in the commercial dockyards used for construction, this class of ships earned itself the nickname of 'Forty Thieves.'
Sir William Symonds CB FRS was Surveyor of the Navy in the Royal Navy from 9 June 1832 to October 1847, and took part in the naval reforms instituted by the Whig First Lord of the Admiralty Sir James Robert George Graham in 1832.
The 1745 Establishment was the third and final formal establishment of dimensions for ships to be built for the Royal Navy. It completely superseded the previous 1719 Establishment, which had subsequently been modified in 1733 and again in 1741. Although partially intended to correct the problems of the ships built to the earlier Establishments, the ships of the 1745 Establishment proved just as unsatisfactory, and important changes in the make-up of the Admiralty and Navy Boards finally led to the end of the establishment era by around 1751.
Sir Samuel Warren KCB, KCH was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence, and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.