HMS Africa (1781)
|Ordered:||11 February 1778|
|Laid down:||2 March 1778|
|Launched:||11 April 1781|
|Fate:||Broken up, May 1814|
|General characteristics |
|Class and type:||Inflexible-class ship of the line|
|Tons burthen:||1379 tons (1401.1 tonnes)|
|Length:||159 ft (48 m) (gundeck)|
|Beam:||44 ft 4 in (13.51 m)|
|Depth of hold:||18 ft 10 in (5.74 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full rigged ship|
During the American War of Independence, she was sent out to India in early 1782 as part of a squadron of five ships under Commodore Sir Richard Bickerton, arriving too late for the battles of that year. But Africa took part in the last battle of the war, at Cuddalore in 1783. She returned to England once news of the peace arrived.
Africa was present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 under the command of Captain Henry Digby. Having been separated from the main British fleet before the battle, the Africa arrived from a different direction without knowing the battle plan that Horatio Nelson had devised. As the rest of the fleet engaged the combined Franco-Spanish fleet in a pell-mell battle, Digby sailed the Africa down the line of enemy ships in a parallel fashion, exchanging broadsides.
She was part of the British squadron commanded by Sir Philip Broke that pursued, but ultimately failed to catch, the USS Constitution early in the War of 1812. She was broken up in May 1814 at Portsmouth.
- Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 181.
- Royal Navy.org Events of 1808
- AFRICA in Not - der dänische Kanonenbootkrieg 1808 (German)
- 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.