HMS Defiance (1783)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Defiance
Ordered: 11 July 1780
Builder: Randall, Rotherhithe
Laid down: April 1782
Launched: 10 December 1783
Honours and

Participated in:

Fate: Broken up, 1817
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Elizabeth-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1685 bm
Length: 168 ft 6 in (51.36 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 46 ft (14 m)
Depth of hold: 19 ft 9 in (6.02 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship

74 guns:

  • Gundeck: 28 × 32 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 28 × 18 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 14 × 9 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 4 × 9 pdrs

HMS Defiance was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Randall and Co., at Rotherhithe on the River Thames, and launched on 10 December 1783.[1]


Her crew mutinied three times, firstly in October 1795, when she was under the command of Captain Sir George Horne. Captain William Bligh of the Calcutta was ordered to embark 200 troops and take them alongside in order for the troops to board Defiance and regain control, however the threat of the soldiers was sufficient to bring about an end to the mutiny. The crew of the Defiance mutinied for a second time in 1797 during the Spithead mutiny, and again in 1798 during the rising of the United Irishmen.[2]

She fought at the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801, as the flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves, with Captain Richard Retalick commanding. She also participated in the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805, and the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October, whilst under the command of Captain Philip Charles Durham, who claimed that 'she was the fastest 74 gun ship in the British fleet'. In the latter battle she captured the Spanish San Juan Nepomuceno and sustained casualties of 17 killed, 53 wounded.[citation needed]

In 1809, she took part in the Battle of Les Sables-d'Olonne.

After serving as a prison ship at Chatham from 1813, she was broken up in 1817.[1]


  • 1794 Captain G. Keppel
  • 1795 Captain Sir George Horne
  • 1796 Captain Theophilus Jones
  • 1799 Captain T.R. Shivers
  • 1801 Captain R. Retalick
  • 1805 Captain Philip Charles Durham
  • 1807 Captain Henry Hotham
  • 1811 Captain Richard Raggett

Trafalgar Wood Project

As a part of the Trafalgar Wood Project to commemorate the 33 Royal Navy ships that were at Trafalgar, a wood of 10 acres (40,000 m2) was planted in October/November 2005 in Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland to honour HMS Defiance.[citation needed]

Further reading

  • Trafalgar Captain: Durham of the Defiance, Hilary Rubinstein, Tempus Publishing Ltd, 2005, ISBN 0-7524-3435-7

Citations and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 179.
  2. TNA ADM 1/5346 - Court martial papers


  • 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.

External links

ja:デファイアンス (戦列艦・5代)