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A Short History of H.M.S. Victory by Wharton



"Whose life was England's Glory." _Shakespeare._

Sold for the benefit of the Seamen and Marines' Orphan School and Female Orphan Home.

Portsmouth: GRIFFIN & CO., 2, The Hard, (_Publishers by Appointment to H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh_). 1884.

[_All rights reserved._]


[Illustration: {THE "VICTORY" IN BATTLE.}]

History of H.M.S. "Victory."

[Illustration: _The "Salvador del Mundo" striking to the "Victory" at St. Vincent._]

Every Englishman, we imagine, knows that the "VICTORY" was the ship which bore Lord Nelson's flag, and on board of which he received his death wound in the moment of triumph over the combined fleets of France and Spain, off Cape Trafalgar; but as very few are aware of her numerous and distinguished services, extending over many years, and preceding that sad yet glorious climax, this memoir of her career has been drawn up, with the hope of making her history from her launch to the present time better known; and that the hundreds who yearly visit her may carry away a record of their visit, to remind them of the classic ground they have been treading, and recall to their recollections some of the splendid deeds of the past, which gained for England the proud title of "Mistress of the Seas."

There have been "VICTORY'S" in the English navy ever since the year 1570, and as each successive ship, from old age or misfortune, has disappeared from the list, another has soon after appeared to take her place.

The ship immediately preceding the existing "VICTORY," was, like her, a first-rate three-decker, carrying 110 guns, and was accounted the finest ship in the service. In 1744 she was the flagship of Admiral Sir J. Balchen, a venerable officer of 75 years of age, who had been called from the honourable retirement of Greenwich Hospital to command a fleet destined to relieve Sir Charles Hardy, then blockaded in Lisbon by a superior French force, under the Count de Rochambault. On returning from the successful performance of this service, the fleet was dispersed in the chops of the Channel by a tremendous gale, on October 4th. The rest of the ships, though much shattered, gained the anchorage of Spithead in safety, but the "VICTORY" was never more heard of, though from the evidence of fishermen of the island of Alderney, she was believed to have run on to the Caskets, some dangerous rocks lying off that island, where her gallant crew of about a thousand perished to a man.

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