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 Ship building programme 
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The Times, October 6th, 1785:

" .... An experiment is shortly to be tried in the King's Yard at Portsmouth, as to the celerity with which a certain number of men can build a ship of 90 guns. All the timbers, beams, knees, planks, &c. for this purpose are now prepared, and the keel will be laid on the same slip from which the St George is shortly to be launched. The French built their celebrated ship, La Couronne, of 90 guns, at Brest, in seven months, with only 140 workmen, shipwrights and labourers included, and she has proved as good a vessel as any in the French navy, the timbers having been all prepared. ....."


Does anyone have any details/info as to whether the experiment took place, and which vessel, in fact, was built?


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Last edited by Mil Goose on Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:31 am
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I do not know of any Second (or First) Rate built in an English yard in anything approaching seven months (in the absence of John Arbuthnot Fisher) but the ship referred to may have been the PRINCE OF WALES – although Rif Winfield states that her keel was laid in May of 1784. She was launched in June of 1794 and completed later in the same year.

The DREADNOUGHT had her keel laid at Portsmouth in July of 1788 and was completed in 1801.

The PRINCE OF WALES was ten years building and the DREADNOUGHT thirteen years. But peace prevailed between 1783 and 1793 and perhaps this militated against any attempt at fast building experiments.

The SAINT GEORGE’s keel was laid in 1774, launched in 1785 but not completed until 1790.

I do not know the fastest time achieved in construction of a Second Rate but during the Seven Years War the OCEAN’s keel was laid in August, 1758 and she was completed in June of 1761; so three years was not a impossibility although most First and Second Rates took much longer.


Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:24 pm
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Thanks for your information and comments on my post, Peter!


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Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:47 am
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Post Third Rates



The Times, October 18th, 1786:

" .... The most experienced officers in the British Navy, condemn the new plan of building third rates. In the House of Commons, it has been reprobated, on the principle that they are built on a scale inferior to that of the French, since the commencement of the late war. ....."


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Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:51 am
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The Times, October 31st, 1785:

" .... Extract of a letter from Chatham, Oct. 17 'This day the shipwrights employed upon the Ptince George, of 110 guns, building in this dock-yard, completed her frame, and she is now to remain in her present state for a twelvemonth, for her timbers to season.' ...."






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Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:24 am
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I assume this referes to the "Royal George" launched 16th Sep. 1788. She was originally ordered as "Umpire" on 25 Mar.1782 and renamed Royal George on 11 sep 1783.

See here for more info <a href="http://3decks.pbworks.com/HBMS-Royal-George-(1788)">Royal George on 3Decks</a>


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Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:45 am
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Post Re: Ship building programme
The Times, April 1, 1786

" ........... The Impregnable, a new second rate, now ready to be launched in the King's Yard at Deptford (which was intended for this day, but postponed till the water is deepened off the slip to the 15th of next month) is the first of the new three deckers constructed on a plan for fighting all their guns in the roughest seas, in which an engagement is at all practicable. This is done by elevating the lower ports sixteen inches further from the whale than in the former mode. This is expected to be of singular service, as all the men of war carry their heaviest metal in the lower tier. ..... "

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Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:59 am
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Post Re: Ship building programme
The Times, November 1st, 1804:

" ........... A new ship, of 74 guns, is ordered to be built at Buckler's-hard, near Portsmouth, to be called the Victorious ...... "

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:57 am
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Post Re: Ship building programme
No sign of ships there now, but Buckler's Hard is certainly worth a visit.

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:05 pm
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Post Re: Ship building programme
Mil Goose wrote:
The Times, November 1st, 1804:

" ........... A new ship, of 74 guns, is ordered to be built at Buckler's-hard, near Portsmouth, to be called the Victorious ...... "



And she was ! (victorious, I mean) -

http://www.ashmolean.org/php/makepage.p ... =25#image0



There is an even better painting of this fight in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich but they seem to have mislaid it for the moment.


Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Ship building programme
IONIA wrote:
Mil Goose wrote:
The Times, November 1st, 1804:

" ........... A new ship, of 74 guns, is ordered to be built at Buckler's-hard, near Portsmouth, to be called the Victorious ...... "



And she was ! (victorious, I mean) -

http://www.ashmolean.org/php/makepage.p ... =25#image0



There is an even better painting of this fight in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich but they seem to have mislaid it for the moment.



Thanks, Peter. Before making the original post I had a look at the NMM site, so I am doubly grateful for your contribution. Here is Susan's entry for the vessel.

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:47 pm
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Post Re: Ship building programme
The Times, October 31st, 1785:

" ........... Extract of a letter from Chatham, Oct. 17.......'This day the shipwrights employed upon the Prince George, of 110 guns, building in this dock-yard, completed her frame, and she is now to remain in her present state for a twelvemonth, for her timbers to season.' ....... "

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Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:40 pm
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Post Re: Ship building programme
Mil Goose wrote:
The Times, October 31st, 1785:

" ........... Extract of a letter from Chatham, Oct. 17.......'This day the shipwrights employed upon the Prince George, of 110 guns, building in this dock-yard, completed her frame, and she is now to remain in her present state for a twelvemonth, for her timbers to season.' ....... "



This may refer to the ROYAL GEORGE 100, ordered 1782 as UMPIRE (renamed ROYAL GEORGE in 1783), launched 1788, commissioned 1790. Broken up at portsmouth 1822. (Details from Rif Winfield).


Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Ship building programme
The Times, December 12th, 1795



" ...... The Lords of the Admiralty have just commissioned the Peregrine, a new sloop of 16 guns, at Portsmouth, and appointed Capt. Pulling to command her. ....

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Sun May 08, 2011 10:00 am
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Post Re: Ship building programme
The Observer, February 15th, 1787:


" ...... Two thousand tons of shipping have been taken up by the Navy Board, to fetch timber and naval stores from the Baltick, for the supply of the dock-yards. ...."

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Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:41 am
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