Product size: 40″ x 30″ x 12″
HMS ROYAL GEORGE
HMS Royal George
She was laid down at the Woolwich Dockyard in 1746 as Royal Anne and renamed Royal George before being launched on 18 February 1756. At her launch she was the largest warship in the world. She served in the Seven Years’ War, joining the Western Squadron or Channel Fleet under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, spending most of 1759 in the blockade of the French fleet at Brest. In early November of that year, when Hawke’s flagship Ramillies went into dock for repairs, Hawke shifted his flag to the Royal George, which became his flagship just in time for the Battle of Quiberon Bay on 20 November 1759 where she sank the French ship Superbe. On 28 August 1782, Royal George, under the command of Richard Kempenfelt, was preparing to sail with a fleet commanded by Admiral Richard Howe to Gibraltar. The ships were anchored at Spithead to take on supplies.
Royal George was being heeled at an angle to allow for minor repairs to be made to the water intake for the deck wash pump which was three feet below water level, and the larboard guns had been run out and the starboard guns moved in to the centre of the deck to heel over the ship until her lowest gun ports were close to the surface of the water. A supply vessel, the Lark approached the Royal George on her low side to transfer a cargo of rum and the additional weight together with that of the crewmen unloading the cargo caused the ship to heel to such a degree that the sea washed in at her gun ports and she soon began to ship water in her hold. A sudden breeze on the raised side of the ship forced her further over and the water rushed in. It is believed that during these operations the lower deck gunports were not properly secured, causing an inrush of water. The ship rolled on to her side and sank before any distress signal could be given, taking with her around 900 people, including up to 300 women and 60 children who were visiting the ship in harbour. About 230 people were saved, some by running up the rigging while others were picked up by boats from other vessels. Kempenfelt was writing in his cabin when the ship sank; the cabin doors had jammed due to the ship heeling and he perished with the rest.