HMS Rodney (1884)

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British battleship HMS Rodney
Career RN Ensign
Namesake: Admiral George Brydges Rodney
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Laid down: February 6, 1882
Launched: October 8, 1884
Completed: June 1888
Fate: Broken up, 1909
General characteristics
Displacement: 10,300 tons
Length: 325 ft (99 m) pp
Beam: 68 ft (21 m)
Draught: 27 ft 10 in (8.48 m)

Two-shaft Humphreys compound inverted

I.H.P.= 7,500 normal, 11,500 forced draught
Speed: 15.7 knots (29.1 km/h) normal,
17.4 knots (32.2 km/h) forced draught
Complement: 530

Four BL 13.5-inch (342.9 mm) guns
Six BL 6-inch (152.4 mm) guns
Twelve 6 pounders

Four above-water torpedo tubes
Armour: Belt 18 inches tapering to 8 inches
Barbettes 11.5 inches to 10 inches
Bulkheads 15 inches to 7 inches
Conning tower 12 inches to 2 inches
Battery screen 6 inches
Upper deck 3 inches
Lower deck 2.5 inches

HMS Rodney was a battleship of the Victorian Royal Navy, a member of the Admiral class of warships designed by Nathaniel Barnaby.

She was a development of the design of Collingwood, but carried 13.5 inch calibre main armament as against 12 inch in the earlier ship. This necessitated an increase of some 800 tons in displacement, and an increase of some 18 inches in draught. This in turn produced a significant increase in the immersion of the armour belt, which was further increased when the coal bunkers were full. While this meant that under full-load condition the top of the belt approached the water-line, the view was taken that combat with a heavily armed enemy was very unlikely in the immediate vicinity of a British port, and steaming to a more distant potential battleground would use enough fuel to reduce the draught and bring the top of the belt well above water.

The ship was the last british battleship to carry a figurehead although smaller ships continued to cary them.[1]


The main artillery fired a shell weighing 1,250 pounds, which would penetrate 27 inches of iron plate at 1,000 yards. They were carried some 20 feet above the water line, and each had a firing arc of 270 degrees. The manufacture of these guns took a much greater time than had been expected; this delay was the reason for the unusual prolongation of the time between the laying down of the ship and her completion.

Service history

She was commissioned on June 20, 1888 into the Home Fleet. She was held in reserve until July 1889, and after taking part in manoevres until September she served with the Channel Fleet until May 1894. She was then posted to the Mediterranean, remaining there until 1897. Thereafter she was coastguard ship at Queensferry until February 1901. She remained in reserve until being sold in 1909.


  1. Lambert, Andrew (1987). Warrior Restoring the World’s First Ironclad. Conway maritime press. p. 152. ISBN 0851774113. 
  • Oscar Parkes, British Battleships ISBN 0-85052-604-3
  • Conway, All the World's Fighting Ships ISBN 0-85177-133-5