Royal George

Nominal Guns100BWAS-1714
NationalityGreat Britain
OperatorRoyal Navy
PreviouslyBritish First Rate ship of the line 'Royal Anne' (1704) (100)
Keel Laid Down8.1.1746/47BWAS-1714
How acquiredPurpose builtBWAS-1714
ShipyardWoolwich Dockyard - Woolwich BWAS-1603
Ship ClassRoyal Anne GroupBWAS-1603
ConstructorWilliam LeeBWAS-1603
CategoryFirst RateBWAS-1714
Ship TypeShip of the Line BWAS-1714
Sailing RigShip RiggedBWAS-1714


DimensionMeasurementTypeMetric EquivalentBWAS-1714
Length of Gundeck178' 0"Imperial Feet54.2544 
Length of Keel143' 5 ½"Imperial Feet43.5991 
Breadth51' 9 ½"Imperial Feet15.5575 
Depth in Hold21' 6"Imperial Feet6.5532 
Draught Forward14' 8"Tons BM 
Draught Aft16' 1"Tons BM 
Burthen2,046 8194Tons BM 


10.1755Broadside Weight = 1140 Imperial Pound ( 516.99 kg)BWAS-1714
Lower Gun Deck28 British 42-Pounder
Middle Gun Deck28 British 24-Pounder
Upper Gun Deck28 British 12-Pounder
Quarterdeck12 British 6-Pounder
Forecastle4 British 6-Pounder

Crew Complement

Date# of MenNotesSource

15 Commanding Officers

13.2.1756 - 12.5.1756CaptainRichard Dorrill (d.1762) ADM 6/18/236BWAS-171412.5.1756 - 5.11.1756CaptainJohn Campbell (1719-1790) ADM 6/18/263BWAS-17145.11.1756 - 15.11.1756CaptainSir Peircy Brett (c.1710-1781) ADM 6/18/319BWAS-171415.11.1756 - 17.12.1756CaptainPeter Denis (c.1713-1778) ADM 6/18/324ADM 6/1817.12.1756 - 30.1.1758CaptainMathew Buckle (1716-1784): on board from 21.12.1756 ADM 6/18/332BWAS-171427.1.1758 - 4.6.1759CaptainRichard Dorrill (d.1762) ADM 6/18/478BWAS-17144.6.1759 - 21.2.1760CaptainJohn Campbell (1719-1790) ADM 6/19/69BWAS-17145.3.1760 - 10.1.1761CaptainWilliam Bennett (d.1790) ADM 6/19/143BWAS-171410.1.1761 - 18.12.1762CaptainWilliam Bennett (d.1790) ADM 6/19/229BWAS-171413.7.1778 - 19.11.1778CaptainThomas Hallum (1721-c.1804) ADM 6/21/434BWAS-171419.11.1778 - 7.10.1779CaptainJohn Colpoys (1742-1821) ADM 6/21/476BWAS-17147.10.1779 - 26.11.1779CaptainWilliam Lockhart (d.1800) ADM 6/22/35ADM 6/2226.11.1779 - 4.4.1782CaptainJohn Bourmaster (1736-1807) ADM 6/22/54BWAS-17144.4.1782 - 6.4.1782CaptainHenry Cromwell (c.1739-1814) ADM 6/22/443BWAS-17146.4.1782 - 29.8.1782CaptainMartin Waghorn (d.1788) ADM 6/22/446BWAS-1714

9 Flag Officers

8.1756 - 7.2.1758Vice-Admiral of the WhiteThe Hon. Edward Boscawen (1711-1761)BWAS-17141758 - 1759Admiral of the WhiteLord George Anson (1st Baron Anson) (1697-1762)BWAS-171429.8.1759 - 9.1759Rear-Admiral of the WhiteFrancis Geary (1709-1796)E-WIKI14.11.1759 - 11.3.1761Admiral of the Blue Edward Hawke (1704/5-1781)BWAS-171427.4.1762 - 3.9.1762Admiral of the Blue Edward Hawke (1704/5-1781)BWAS-171411.1778 - 6.1779Vice-Admiral of the RedSir Robert Harland (1st Baronet of Sproughton) (c.1715-1783) ADM 107/2/228BWAS-17146.1779 - 8.1779Vice-Admiral of the BlueGeorge Darby (c.1720-1790)BWAS-17148.1779 - 12.1781Rear-Admiral of the BlueSir John Lockhart (6th Baronet Lockhart-Ross of Carstairs) (1721-1790) ADM 107/3/274BWAS-171411.3.1782 - 29.8.1782Rear-Admiral of the BlueRichard Kempenfelt (1715-1782)BWAS-1714

2 Commissioned Officers

13.6.1779 - 2.12.1779Sixth LieutenantWilliam Carnegie (1756-1831): on board from 16.6.1779 ADM 6/21/570NAO2.12.1779 - 3.2.1780Fourth LieutenantWilliam Carnegie (1756-1831) ADM 6/22/58NAO

6 Warrant Officers

1758BoatswainRichard Hamilton ADM 6/19/6ADM 6/191759 - 30.7.1759SurgeonWilliam Taylor ADM 6/19/83ADM 6/191764 - 2.3.1764BoatswainAndrew Jefferys ADM 6/20/9ADM 6/201767 - 29.4.1767MasterWilliam Hammond ADM 6/20/167ADM 6/201769 - 7.9.1769BoatswainThomas Brown ADM 6/20/253ADM 6/201776 - 29.3.1776CarpenterJohn North ADM 6/21/173ADM 6/21

Service History

1.5.1756building at Woolwich Dockyard - Woolwich at a cost of £65274.8.2dBWAS-1714
20.11.1759Battle of Quiberon Bay
18.12.1762Paid offBWAS-1714
5.1765Began large repair at Plymouth - Devon BWAS-1603
2.1768Completed large repair at Plymouth - Devon at a cost of £41979.9.9dBWAS-1603
5.1778Began fitting at Portsmouth - Hampshire BWAS-1603
4.1779Completed fitting at Portsmouth - Hampshire at a cost of £11745.3.11dBWAS-1603
8.1.1780Attack on the Caracas Convoy
16.1.1780Battle of Cape St. Vincent


Previous comments on this page

Posted by F.F. on Thursday 22nd of June 2017 16:07

According to some sources, the Royal George was “The largest warship in the world at the time of launching [1756]”. Was it true ?
Neither France nor Spain still had three-deckers in 1756, so the Royal George was, for sure, the largest three-decker in the world in 1756.
The largest Spanish ships of the line were then the Rayo and the Fénix, two eighty-gun two-deckers sisterships, the Fénix having a slightly larger beam (but her keel may have been a bit shorter). The dimensions of the Fénix, according to the Royal Navy, were: gun-deck, 178'10¾" (54,53 m); keel, 144'6" (44,04 m); beam, 53'3⅔" (16,25 m); depth of hold, 22'4" (6,81 m); 2184 tons burthen (6184 ㎥ of hold).
Source: The Royal Navy : a History from the Earliest Times to the Present, volume ⅲ, William Laird Clowes, Clements Robert Markham, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Herbert Wrigley Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Leonard George Carr Laughton. Londres, S. Low, Marston & Co, Ltd, 1897, p 335.
I assume that such a ship might have a displacement of some 3500t.
The Royal George wasn't as large (178' ≈ 54,25 m; 143'5½" ≈ 43,73 m;  51'9½" ≈ 15,79 m; 21'6" ≈ 6,55 m; 2047 tons burthen ≈ 5796 ㎥ of hold). As the Victory launched in 1765 had almost the same beam and exactly the same depth of hold, but was 186' long, and had a displacement of 3500/3600t (some 3500 long tons), the displacement of the Royal George might have been c. 3400t.
From 1749 the largest French ship of the line was the third the Soleil-Royal, a eighty-gun two-decker. Her dimensions were, according to Duhamel du Monceau (P= “pied”, French foot; p= “pouce”, French inch; m = meter), 182P× 48P ×  23P ≈ 59,12 m × 15,59 m × 7,47 m (Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau, Éléments de l'architecture navale, Paris, Jombert, 1752, paged 27, 31 & 47. Other sources give to her slightly larger dimensions). The French Navy measured ships differently than did the British Navy, but from such measurments we may assume that, in the British Navy, her dimensions would have been given as some 190 or 194' in lenght, her beam, some 53'6" or 53'10", and her depth of hold, some 22'6" to 22'10". Anyway she was somewhat bigger than les Deux-Frères, to which the British Navy gave 2143 tons burthen, and had almost the same size than Jacques-Noël Sané's Tonnant-class eighty-gunners, ships which had currently 2250/2280 tons burthen according to the Royal Navy, and whose displacement was 3787t (“3868 tonneaux de poids”) according to admiral Édouard Burgues de Missiessy.
Either the Soleil-Royal, in France, and the Fénix - and maybe her sistership, the Rayo -, all of them launched in 1749, were larger than the Royal George was.
On the 20th of November 1759, at the battle of Quiberon Bay (“bataille des Cardinaux” in French), 24 British ships of the line, under Edward Hawke (flagship: the Royal George) totally defeated 21 French ships of the line in poor conditions (lack of experienced sailors and officers on most of the ships) under Hubert de Conflans (flagship: the Soleil-Royal; wrecked to avoid being taken, later burnt by her own crew).
On the 16th of January 1780, at the battle of Cape Saint Vincent, the Royal George was one of the 18 ships of the line of George Rodney (flagship: the Sandwich, 90 guns) which defeated a smaller Spanish fleet. Among the prizes was the Fénix.

Posted by Brian on Wednesday 17th of February 2016 00:38

The Royal George ship of war, at Spithead, on the 29th of August, 1782. This ship was heeled on her side for the purpose of some repair, when on a sudden a violent gust of wind struck her, the water rushed into her lower port holes and sunk her almost instantaneously. She went down in 14 fathoms of water, and fell upon her side, as was evident from the top-masts which remained above water in an inclined direction. By the muster roll of this unfortunate ship, which floated out of her cabin, and was afterwards taken up, it appeared that at least 495 souls must have perished between decks, being at their last dinner at the time she upset. (Burton's Gentleman's Magazine)

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