HMS Orion (1787)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

HMS Orion (1787).JPG
Model of HMS Orion at the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Orion
Ordered: 2 October 1782
Builder: Barnard, Deptford
Laid down: February 1783
Launched: 1 June 1787
Honours and
Fate: Broken up, 1814
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Canada class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1646 (bm)
Length: 170 ft (52 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 46 ft 9 in (14.25 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 6 in (6.25 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
  • Gundeck: 28 × 32-pounder guns
  • Upper gundeck: 28 × 18-pounder guns
  • QD: 14 × 9-pounder guns
  • Fc: 4 × 9-pounder guns

HMS Orion was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the British Royal Navy, launched at Deptford on 1 June 1787 to the design of the Canada-class, by William Bately.[1] She took part in all the major actions of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars under a series of distinguished captains.

In 1794 she fought at the Glorious First of June under Captain John Thomas Duckworth.

In early 1795, Captain James Saumarez was appointed in command. Under Saumarez, Orion took part in the defeat of the French fleet at the Battle of Groix off Lorient on 22 June.

In early 1797 she was sent to join the Mediterranean Fleet and distinguished herself at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent on 14 February. She then took part in the blockade of Cadiz from March 1797 to April 1798, when she was sent into the Mediterranean as part of a small squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson. In August, Nelson finally caught up with the French fleet, resulting in the Battle of the Nile, where Captain Saumarez was wounded.

Between 31 March 1801 and 10 July 1802 the Surgeon's First Mate on board the Orion was Henry Plowman. On 15 January 1802 whilst still on board the Orion (which was anchored at Spithead and under the command of R Cuthbert) Henry Plowman wrote his will which is signed by the Captain.[2]

In October 1805, now under Captain Edward Codrington, she took part in the Battle of Trafalgar where, with Ajax, she forced the surrender of the French 74-gun ship Intrépide.

After Trafalgar, Orion continued in the blockade of Cadiz. On 25 November, Thunderer detained the Ragusan ship Nemesis, which was sailing from Isle de France to Leghorn, Italy, with a cargo of spice, indigo dye, and other goods.[3] Orion shared the prize money with ten other British warships.[4]


Orion was broken up in 1814.[1]

In popular culture

In the Patrick O'Brian novel Post Captain, Capt. Jack Aubrey says he was third lieutenant aboard HMS Orion at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p181.
  2. ^ National Archives Kew: Will of Henry PLOWMAN Rank Surgeons First Mate on HMS Orion Ships Pay Book No. 125 Dated 15 January 1802 ADM/48/73/153
  3. ^ "No. 15885". The London Gazette. 28 January 1806. p. 129.
  4. ^ "No. 16364". The London Gazette. 24 April 1810. p. 617.
  5. ^ The Patrick O’Brian Muster Book


  • Will of henry Plowman Surgeon's First Mate 15 Jan 1802
  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.

Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "HMS "; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA