royal naval

History Fact 4/100 - HMS Dreadnought

The HMS Dreadnought was a 98 gun second rate ship of the line in Nelson’s Navy.

Dreadnought was present at the Battle of Trafalgar, the eighth ship in the lee division to enter battle. She began firing at two o'clock, and forced the surrender of the San Juan Nepomuceno after her Commodore was killed.

During the battle, Dreadnought lost seven seaman and a further 26 suffered wounds.

She was a quarantine ship until 1857, when she was towed away and broken up.

The Navy Wants Men
Color lithograph
Published by The Mortimer Co., Limited (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Archaeologists discover ruined remains of Henry VIII’s birthplace

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of Greenwich Palace, the birthplace of Henry VIII and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth I.

A team working on a development underneath the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, southeast London, discovered two rooms belonging to the old Tudor palace.

The rooms are believed to have been used as kitchens, a brewhouse or laundry areas.

One of the rooms featured a lead-glazed tiled floor and the other contained what experts believe are “bee boles” - wall cavities which housed beehive baskets or “skeps” during the winter months, when bee colonies hibernate.

The cavities may also have been used to store food and drink to keep it cool, when the hive baskets were kept outside in the summer. Read more.


First World War M-Class destroyer HMS Opal, is prepared for launch at the East Yard of William Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland, September 1915.

Opal and her sister ship HMS Narborough both ran aground in January 1918 on the Pentland Skerries. The ships were wrecked returning to port at night and all 188 crew were lost with the exception of one man, found several days later on a small islet.

anonymous asked:

So I plan to have my character capture a ship, stumble upon a signal book, and use said book to her advantage during a future confrontation. With that in mind, I was wondering what you could tell me about signal books, specifically from the 1700s. I'm not sure if they were widely used during that time (if at all) and how standardized the information was. I've done some digging but I can't find any solid material to work with. Can you help?

Signal books in the early days were highly dependent upon which organization’s signals were being used at the time.  The Commercial Code of Signals didn’t come into existence until created by the British Board of Trade in 1857, and it didn’t become the International Code of Signals until 1870.  Nowadays, it’s used world-wide, but back then it was mostly the Brits and anyone who followed their maritime lead (which, to be fair, was a lot of the world).

So, back to the 1700s.  There were dedicated signal books back then, but they were independent of one another, which means that in order for our character to make good use of a signal book, she would have to be using it with the right ships.  Using a British signal book against the French, for example, would probably do nothing for her.  Additionally, remember that raising signals wasn’t as easy back then as it is now, so she’d need help to sail and raise signals at the same time.

Height of eye is also important to consider; if she’s using a small boat that she can sail by herself, the signals wouldn’t be seen very far away, since the height of the mast wouldn’t be too great.  Additionally–and most importantly–navy ships only accept tactical commands from a ship that is in command of them, so although she might be able to create some confusion as a ship sailing into the battle at the last minute, you’ll have to create the situation with care.  It’s possible, though.

Here are some good resources for you:

Signaling at Sea (a good history of signal flags with some good links)

Royal Navy Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 (full text)

Signal Flags (includes a list of various nations historical flag code)

Good luck writing!


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Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1795-1812

This uniform, which belonged to Admiral Sir William Cornwallis (1744-1819) illustrates the principal changes to uniform regulations for the year 1795. These include the change in colour of the lapels and cuffs from white to blue and the inclusion of epaulettes. Epaulettes were a military fashion that came from France, and although they were not mentioned in uniform regulations until 1795, some officers wore them anyway. In terms of contemporary fashion, this uniform reflects popular styles with its narrow sleeves, cuffs and lapels, and illustrates the leaner silhouette that was popular in male dress towards the end of the 18th century.

Likely taken during Operation Tungsten, a sailor of the Royal Canadian Navy looks aft from HMCS Algonquin’s deck, toward what would be the King George V-class battleships HMS Duke of York and HMS Anson - ca. April 1944.

Sourced from: Department of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada.