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HMS Foudroyant off the Eddystone Lighthouse - John Christian

HMS Foudroyant off the Eddystone Lighthouse - John Christian

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HMS Foudroyant was an 80-gun third rate of the Royal Navy, a one-off design and one of only two British-built 80-gun ships of the period (the other was HMS Caesar). HMS Foudroyant was built at Plymouth Dockyard, (re-named Devonport in 1824) and launched on 31st March 1798.

Foudroyant had a long and successful career, and although she was not involved in any major fleet action, she did provide invaluable service to numerous admirals throughout her 17 years on active service, serving as Nelson’s Flagship from 6th June 1799 to the end of June 1800.

In 1819 she took up her role as guard ship in Plymouth dock until 1860. In 1862 she was converted to a training vessel until 1884. Thereafter she was stationed at Devonport on dockyard duties.

She was sold out of service in January 1892 and bought by philanthropist G. Wheatly Cobb to be used as a training ship for boys and restored to her original appearance. To offset the cost of restoration she was used as an exhibit at various resorts.

On June 1897 during a violent storm, she parted her anchor and went ashore on Blackpool Beach damaging the North pier. They removed her guns but could not re-float her and finally, she broke up in the December gales. The flotsam was used to make furniture and panel out the boardroom at Blackpool F.C.’s Bloomfield Road ground, and the ship's bell resides at Blackpool Town Hall.

Original watercolour on paper signed lower right.

Image size: 15.5 x 11.5 inches
Mount size: 20 x 16 inches
Frame size: 23 x 19 inches

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