HMS Renown (1895)

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British battleship HMS Renown
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Renown
Builder: Pembroke Dockyard
Laid down: 1 February 1893
Launched: 8 May 1895
Completed: January 1897
Decommissioned: 31 January 1913[1]
Nickname: "The Battleship Yacht"
Fate: Sold for scrapping 2 April 1914[1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Centurion class battleship
Displacement: 12,390 long tons (12,590 t) (full load)
Length: 402 ft (123 m)
Beam: 72 ft (22 m)
Draught: 26.75 ft (8.15 m)
Propulsion: eight cylindrical boilers, triple expansion steam engines, 2 screws 12,900 hp (9.6 MW)
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h)
Range: 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 674

4 × BL 10-inch (254 mm) guns
10 × QF 6-inch (152 mm) guns
12 × QF 12-pounder guns
12 × 3-pounders
2 × machine guns

5 × 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes (1 above water, 4 underwater)
Armour: Harvey armour
8-inch (200 mm) side belt
3-inch (80 mm) deck
10-inch (250 mm) barbettes

HMS Renown was a predreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. Third and last of the lightly armed, long-range Centurion class, she had an upgraded design compared to her two sister ships HMS Centurion and HMS Barfleur.

Technical Characteristics

HMS Renown was designed by Sir William White and laid down at Pembroke Dockyard on 1 February 1893 and launched on 8 May 1895.[2] She was completed in January 1897 at a cost of 709,000 pounds (55 million pounds in 2006 value), but then underwent lengthy sea trials that included the changing of her propeller blades and lasted until June 1897.[3]

She was armed with four 10-inch (254-millimeter) guns in two barbettes and had a secondary 6-inch (152-millimeter) battery. She had five torpedo tubes, as opposed to three on the earlier ships. She also carried twelve 12-pounders, eight 3-pounders and two Maxim machine guns. Her armour was made of superior Harvey, rather than compound steel, and she carried an 8-inch (203-millimeter) belt with 10-inch (254-millimeter) bulkheads. She was the first British battleship to be built with a French-style inclined armoured deck behind the main belt.

She carried 1,760 tons of coal, an improvement of 500 tons on her classmates, which afforded a range of 8,500 nautical miles at 15 knots (15,700 km at 28 km/h). She proved her worth by maintaining an average speed of 17 knots (31 km/h) over four days at sea in 1895, a remarkable achievement in that day.

Operational history

HMS Renown commissioned on 8 June 1897 for unappropriated service, soon making a short cruise. On 26 June 1897, she served as flagship for the Commander-in-Chief, Vice Admiral John A. "Jackie" Fisher, at the Fleet Review at Spithead for the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, with the Prince of Wales aboard. Renown was attached to the 1st Division, Channel Fleet, from 7 July 1897 to 12 July 1897 for maneuvers off the south coast of Ireland.[3]

On 24 August 1897 she once again became Vice Admiral Fisher's flagship, relieving protected cruiser HMS Crescent as flagship of the North America and West Indies Station. She continued in this service until undergoing a refit from May to July 1899.[4]

Upon completion of her refit, she transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet, once again becoming Vice Admiral Fisher's flagship. A strong proponent of the design of Renown, Fisher also found her highly desirable for the hosting of the social events required of a flagship in peacetime, even going to the length of having the flash plates of her 10-inch (254-mm) guns removed so they would not interfere with women's shoes on dance nights. Renown also underwent a special refit at Malta from February to May 1900 to meet Fisher's requirements for her.[5]

Renown recommissioned to continue her service as Fisher's Mediterranean flagship on 19 November 1900, and served as flagship until Fisher ended his tour as Commander-in-Chief on 20 May 1902, after which she continued to serve in the Mediterranean Fleet as a private ship. During combined maneuvers of the Mediterranean Fleet, Channel Fleet, and Cruiser Squadron off Cephalonia and Morea between 29 September 1902 and 6 October 1892, she served as a unit of "X Fleet."[6]

After the maneuvers ended, she was detached from the Mediterranean Fleet and returned to the United Kingdom to be specially fitted out at Portsmouth to carry the Duke and Duchess of Connaught on a royal tour of India. After the modifications, she was nicknamed the "Battleship Yacht." Renown carried the Duke and Duchess on their royal tour of India from November 1902 to March 1903.[1] On her return voyage, she brought home the unusual present of a baby elephant, presented by an Indian Rajah to the Duke of Connaught.

In April 1903, Renown rejoined the Mediterranean Fleet. In August 1903, she relieved battleship HMS Venerable as flagship of the fleet so that Venerable could undergo a refit. From 5 August 1903 to 9 August 1903, Renown served as a unit of "X Fleet" in combined Mediterranean Fleet, Channel Fleet, and Home Fleet maneuvers off the coast of Portugal.[1]

Renown left the Mediterranean Fleet without relief and paid off into reserve at Devon on 15 May 1904, becoming a unit of C Division. While in reserve, she participated in maneuvers in June 1904 and on 21 February 1905 began a special refit at Portsmouth to configure her as a royal yacht. During the refit, almost all of her secondary armament was removed to allow room for increased accommodation. The modifications were completed early in October 1905.[1]

On 8 October 1905, Renown left Portsmouth bound for Genoa, Italy. At Genoa, the Prince and Princess of Wales -- the future King George V and Queen Mary -- embarked for a royal tour of India. First-class protected cruiser HMS Terrible escorted Renown during the tour. At the conclusion of the tour, Renown departed Karachi on 23 March 1906, arriving at Portsmouth on 7 May 1906 and commissioning into reserve on 31 May 1906.[1]

In May 1907, Renown was attached to the Home Fleet as a "subsidiary yacht" for special service. Between October and December 1907, Renown carried King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain on an official trip to and from the United Kingdom.[1]. At this time her captain was Frederick Hervey, 4th Marquess of Bristol.

On 1 April 1909 Renown transferred to the 4th Division, Home Fleet, at Portsmouth. She paid off on 25 September 1909 for refit as a stoker's training ship.[1] She served as a tender to HMS Victory in October 1909.[7] Her refit completed, she commissioned at Portsmouth in November 1909 as a stoker's training ship. She interrupted this duty to serve as an accommodation ship moored at Portsmouth for visitors during the Coronation Review at Spithead for King George V on 24 June 1911.[1]

On 26 November 1911, Renown suffered slight damage when water tanker Aid[7] rammed her at Portsmouth.[1]

Renown was outclassed by the new dreadnought battleships that began to appear in 1906. She ended her service as a stoker's training ship and was transferred to the sale list on 31 January 1913. She was stripped. In April 1913, Renown was proposed for use as an accommodation ship at the new naval base at Cromarty, but this plan proved uneconomic. In December 1913, she was moored at the Motherbank, awaiting disposal, and on 2 April 1914 she was sold for scrapping. She was scrapped at Blyth.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Burt, p. 110
  2. Burt, p. 107
  3. 3.0 3.1 Burt, p. 108
  4. Burt, p. 108-109
  5. Burt, p. 109-110
  6. Burt, pp. 110
  7. 7.0 7.1 Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921, p. 7


  • Burt, R. A. British Battleships 1889-1904. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0870210610.
  • Chesneau, Roger, and Eugene M. Kolesnik, eds., Conway's All The Worlds Fighting Ships, 1860-1905, (Conway Maritime Press, London, 1979), ISBN 0-85177-133-5
  • Gray, Randal, ed. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1985. ISBN 0870219073.
  • Pears, Randolph. (1979). British Battleships 1892-1957: The great days of the fleets. G. Cave Associates. ISBN 978-0906223147
  • Archibald, E.H.H.; Ray Woodward (ill.) (1971). The Metal Fighting Ship in the Royal Navy 1860-1970. New York: Arco Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-6680-2509-3.

External links

ja:レナウン (戦艦)