Victory (1737); Warship; First rate; 100 guns

Scale: 1:34.3. A contemporary full hull model of the 'Victory' (1737), a 100-gun three-decker First Rate ship of the line. Built in 'bread-and-butter' fashion from horizontal layers of wood, and finished in the fully planked 'Georgian' style, the model is partially decked, fully equipped and rigged. It was once thought that this model was made for the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth Dockyard, and used for the educating of young gentlemen to the sea-service. However, it is likely that the model was commissioned in 1740 by Admiralty to stand in the boardroom; four years later they complained that it was not finished yet and on 9 February 1745 they requested to "have the assistance of the three persons from Deptford who have experience in making models" [ADM 106/1021/29]. On 11 February 1745, the Navy Board wrote that "James Edwards, John Mitchell and Adam Cooper, Shipwrights, at Deptford, may be lent to the Woolwich Yard to assist in completing the ship model for the Admiralty Boardroom." [ADM 106/1021/30]. The model is not fitted with guns, despite the Admiralty asking for this, but it is japanned, as was ordered. In fact, in February 1745 there was a request that "George Elphick be paid for japanning and varnishing a model of a first rate ship." [ADM 106/1007/147].

The 'Victory’ itself was built in the Royal Dockyard, Portsmouth and measured 174 feet along the gun deck by 50 feet in the beam and had a tonnage of 1921 (builders old measurement). In 1744, a formidable fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir John Balchen in the 'Victory’, was sent to relieve Gibraltar; broke the blockade of the river Tagus in Portugal and drove the French fleet into Cadiz. Balchen was returning to England when his fleet was scattered by a violent gale on 4 October. So much damage was done that the 'Victory’ was lost with all hands, nearly 1200 men, in the Western Approaches of the English Channel.

Object Details

ID: SLR0449
Collection: Ship models
Type: Full hull model; Georgian; Plank-on-frame; Rigged model
Display location: Display - Nelson, Navy, Nation Gallery
Creator: Unknown
Vessels: Victory (1737)
Date made: circa 1737; 1740-1745 1740-45 Possibly about 1744
Exhibition: Nelson, Navy, Nation
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Measurements: Overall model: 2037 x 2380 x 990 mm; Base: 193 x 1682 x 510 mm
Parts: Victory (1737); Warship; First rate; 100 guns

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