HMS Renown (1798)

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Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Renown
Ordered: 10 June 1795
Builder: Dudman, Deptford Wharf
Laid down: November 1796
Launched: 2 May 1798
Renamed: HMS Royal Oak, 1814
Fate: Broken up, May 1835
Notes: Harbour service from 1814
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: America class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1899 tons (1929.5 tonnes)
Length: 182 ft (55 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 48 ft 7½ in (14.8 m)
Depth of hold: 21 ft 7 in (6.58 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship

74 guns:

  • Gundeck: 28 × 32 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 30 × 18 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 12 × 9 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 4 × 9 pdrs

HMS Renown was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy.[1] She was to have been named HMS Royal Oak, but the name was changed to Renown on 15 February 1796.[citation needed]

She was launched at Deptford Wharf on 2 May 1798[1] and served in 1800-1801 as the flagship of Sir John Borlase Warren, initially in the English Channel and then notably at the abortive attack on Cadiz. Armed en flute, she transferred to the Mediterranean in 1801, still as Warren's flagship. During this time Charles John Napier, the future admiral, was a midshipman in her. In 1803 she was at Malta and in 1805 was under repair at Plymouth. After a further spell in the Channel Fleet, 1807-8, she transferred again to the Mediterranean.[citation needed]

Renown was laid up at Plymouth in 1811 and hulked in 1814. She was broken up in May 1835.[1]

Renown in fiction

In the Horatio Hornblower novels of C. S. Forester, a ship of the line named the Renown (unrelated to the historical Renown of this period), is featured in the novel Lieutenant Hornblower. In the story, the ship's mad captain is injured after falling through a hatch, and the junior officers must take over on adventures in the West Indies. The mysterious circumstances of the Captain's fall become of great importance to the court martial panel later on in the story. In Hornblower (TV series) this story was related in the fifth and sixth episodes, Mutiny and Retribution.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p185.


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