HMS Agamemnon, 1781


Agamemnon: Nelson’s favourite ship
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Full-rigged third-rate ship of the line;
Built: Henry Adams, Buckler’s Hard, Hampshire, UK;
Laid: 1777; Launched: 1781
1384 Tons;  Length: 160′ (49 m); Beam:  44′ (14 m);  Hold Depth: 19′ (6 m);
Armament: 64 Guns: 26 x 24 lb (10.9 kg); 26 x 18 lb (8.2 kg); 10 x 4 lb (1.8 kg); 10 x 9 lb (4.1 kg); 
18th century warship construction was usually undertaken in Royal Dockyards, but a few private yards were engaged, including that of Henry Adams at Buckler’s Hard on the Beaulieu in Hampshire. Plentiful supplies of local oak and a hard riverbank made good foundations for building berths. The Agamemnon was launched in 1781 and coppered at Portsmouth. She was a good sailer, a characteristic that could never be predetermined. She saw service in the American Revolutionary War, French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and fought in many of the major naval battles of those conflicts. She is remembered as being Nelson’s favourite ship, and was named after the mythical ancient Greek king Agamemnon, the first RN ship to bear the name.  The future Lord Nelson served as Agamemnon’s captain from January 1793 for 3 years and 3 months, during which time she saw considerable service in the Mediterranean. She took part in the blockade of Toulon under Hood; in 1794 she was at the siege of Calvi in Corsica (where Nelson lost the sight of an eye). Again, at Corsica the following year. After Nelson’s departure, she was involved in the infamous 1797 mutinies at Spithead and the Nore, and in 1801 was present at the first Battle of Copenhagen, but ran aground before being able to enter the action. She was with Admiral Kempenfelt (on Victory) at the interception of the French fleet in the Bay of Biscay in 1781. In 1782 she fought in the 2nd Battle of Saintes under Rodney in the West Indies. She fought at Trafalgar in 1805. On 20th June 1809 she ran aground in the River Plate in Uruguay and was wrecked.

Additional information

Weight 0.0222 kg
Dimensions 43.1 × 35.6 cm