Battle of Camperdown
The Battle of Camperdown was a major naval action fought on 11 October 1797, between the British North Sea Fleet under Admiral Adam Duncan and a Dutch Navy fleet under Vice-Admiral Jan de Winter. In 1795, the Dutch Republic had been overrun by the army of the French Republic and had reorganised into the Batavian Republic. In early 1797, after the French Atlantic Fleet had suffered losses in a disastrous winter campaign. The rendezvous never occurred, the continental allies failed to capitalise on the Spithead and Nore mutinies that paralysed the British Channel forces, by September, the Dutch fleet under De Winter were blockaded within their harbour in the Texel by the British North Sea fleet under Duncan. At the start of October, Duncan was forced to return to Yarmouth for supplies, when the Dutch fleet returned to the Dutch coast on 11 October, Duncan was waiting, and intercepted De Winter off the coastal village of Camperduin. Attacking the Dutch line of battle in two groups, Duncans ships broke through at the rear and van and were subsequently engaged by Dutch frigates lined up on the other side.
The loss of their flagship prompted the surviving Dutch ships to disperse and retreat, en route, the fleet was struck by a series of gales and two prizes were wrecked and another had to be recaptured before the remainder reached Britain. The Dutch fleet was broken as an independent fighting force, losing ten ships, in the winter of 1794–1795, forces of the French Republic overran the neighbouring Dutch Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars. The French reorganised the country as a client state named the Batavian Republic, one of the most important Dutch assets of which the French gained control was the Dutch Navy, which had been captured in its frozen harbour in the Texel by French cavalry advancing across the ice. Standing at 64 he was noted for his physical strength and size. In late 1796, after prompting from representatives of the United Irishmen and this too ended in disaster, with twelve ships lost and thousands of men drowned in fierce winter gales. A plan was formulated to merge the French and Dutch fleets, for the Royal Navy, the early years of the war had been successful, but the commitment to a global conflict was creating a severe strain on available equipment and financial resources.
Wages had not been increased since 1653, and were usually months late, rations were terrible, shore leave forbidden and discipline harsh. For a month the fleet remained at stalemate, until Lord Howe was able to negotiate a series of improvements in conditions that enabled the strikers to return to regular service. The mutiny had achieved almost all of its aims, increasing pay, removing unpopular officers and improving conditions for the men serving in the Channel Fleet and, the whole navy. While the upheaval continued at Spithead, Duncan had retained order in the North Sea Fleet at Yarmouth by the force of his personality. Calmed by his subordinates, he assembled his officers and the Royal Marines aboard his ship. Despite his initial success, Duncan was unable to control in the face of a more widespread revolt on 15 May among the ships based at the Nore
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established as a sovereign state on 1 January 1801 by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. The growing desire for an Irish Republic led to the Irish War of Independence, Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, and the state was consequently renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Britain financed the European coalition that defeated France in 1815 in the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire thereby became the foremost world power for the next century. The Crimean War with Russia and the Boer wars were relatively small operations in a largely peaceful century, rapid industrialisation that began in the decades prior to the states formation continued up until the mid-19th century. A devastating famine, exacerbated by government inaction in the century, led to demographic collapse in much of Ireland. It was an era of economic modernization and growth of industry and finance.
Outward migration was heavy to the colonies and to the United States. Britain built up a large British Empire in Africa and Asia, India, by far the most important possession, saw a short-lived revolt in 1857. In foreign policy Britain favoured free trade, which enabled its financiers and merchants to operate successfully in many otherwise independent countries, as in South America. Britain formed no permanent military alliances until the early 20th century, when it began to cooperate with Japan and Russia, and moved closer to the United States. A brief period of limited independence for Ireland came to an end following the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the British governments fear of an independent Ireland siding against them with the French resulted in the decision to unite the two countries. This was brought about by legislation in the parliaments of both kingdoms and came into effect on 1 January 1801, King George III was bitterly opposed to any such Emancipation and succeeded in defeating his governments attempts to introduce it.
When the Treaty of Amiens ended the war, Britain agreed to return most of the territories it had seized, in May 1803, war was declared again. In 1806, Napoleon issued the series of Berlin Decrees, which brought into effect the Continental System and this policy aimed to eliminate the threat from the British by closing French-controlled territory to foreign trade. Frances population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of the British Isles, Napoleon expected that cutting Britain off from the European mainland would end its economic hegemony. The Spanish uprising in 1808 at last permitted Britain to gain a foothold on the Continent, after Napoleons surrender and exile to the island of Elba, peace appeared to have returned. The Allies united and the armies of Wellington and Blucher defeated Napoleon once, simultaneous with the Napoleonic Wars, trade disputes, arming hostile Indians and British impressment of American sailors led to the War of 1812 with the United States. The war was little noticed in Britain, which could devote few resources to the conflict until the fall of Napoleon in 1814, American frigates inflicted a series of defeats on the Royal Navy, which was short on manpower due to the conflict in Europe
The quarterdeck is a raised deck behind the main mast of a sailing ship. Traditionally it was where the captain commanded his vessel and where the colours were kept. This led to it being used as the ceremonial and reception area on board. Many such facilities have areas decorated like shipboard quarterdecks, in the 20th century the word came to be applied to the area at the stern of the ship, often used for secondary weapons and seaplane catapults. There are ancient traditions of offering special deference to the quarterdeck, greek and Carthaginian warships all carried shrines which were given special respect. This continued into Christian times, and in medieval British warships, all hands were required to salute it by taking off their hats or caps. This led to the habit of saluting whenever one entered the quarterdeck, quarterdeck refers not to a specific deck, but to a ceremonial area designated as such by the captain, often used as the ships reception area while in harbour. As in the days of sail, it is a place where the captain has special control, in port, the quarterdeck is the most important place on the ship, and is the central control point for all its major activities.
Underway, its importance diminishes as control of the ship is transferred to the bridge, the quarterdeck is normally on the main deck, but may be elsewhere in some types of ship. It is usually marked off by lines, deck markings, decorative cartridge cases. Special attention is paid to the cleanliness and physical appearance. Those standing watch on the quarterdeck must be in the uniform of the day, personnel not in the uniform of the day generally avoid crossing the quarterdeck unless their work requires it. On ships with a well-defined quarterdeck area, uniformed personnel should salute when they enter it, smoking and recreational activities are prohibited on the quarterdeck unless specially authorised by the commanding officer. The starboard gangway to the quarterdeck is used by officers and their visitors. In bad weather, all use the lee gangway. On smaller ships with only one gangway, it may be rigged to either side and is used by everyone, flagships sometimes have an additional starboard gangway for the flag officer and officers of his staff.
In Medieval times, warships had a deck, with raised structures at each end. Later the halfdeck was extended the length of the ship, becoming the main deck
Battle of Cape Finisterre (1805)
The fragile Peace of Amiens of 1802 had come to an end when Napoleon formally annexed the Italian state of Piedmont and on 18 May 1803 Britain was once again at war with France. Napoleon planned to end the British blockade by invading and conquering Britain, by 1805 his Armée dAngleterre was 150,000 strong and encamped at Boulogne. If this army could cross the English Channel, victory over the poorly trained and equipped militias was very likely. The plan was that the French navy would escape from the British blockades of Toulon and Brest and threaten to attack the West Indies, Villeneuve sailed from Toulon on 29 March 1805 with eleven ships of the line, six frigates and two brigs. He evaded Admiral Nelsons blockading fleet and passed the Strait of Gibraltar on 8 April, at Cádiz he drove off the British blockading squadron and was joined by six Spanish ships of the line. The combined fleet sailed for the West Indies, reaching Martinique on 12 May, Nelson was kept in the Mediterranean by westerly winds and did not pass the Strait until 7 May 1805.
The British fleet of ten ships reached Antigua on 4 June, Villeneuve waited at Martinique for Admiral Ganteaumes Brest fleet to join him, but it remained blockaded in port and did not appear. Pleas from French army officers for Villeneuve to attack British colonies went unheeded — except for the recapture of the fort of Diamond Rock — until 4 June when he set out from Martinique. While in the Antilles, the Franco-Spanish fleet ran into a British convoy worth 5 million francs escorted by the frigate Barbadoes,28 guns, Villeneuve hoisted general chase and two French frigates with the Spanish ship Argonauta,80 guns, captured all the ships but one escort. On 30 June the combined squadron captured and burned an English 14-gun privateer, the privateer was burned and the merchant was taken in tow by the French frigate Sirène. The fleet sailed back to Europe, and on 9 July the French ship Indomptable lost its main spar in a gale that damaged some other vessels slightly, the Atlantic crossings had been very difficult according to Spanish Admiral Gravina who had crossed the Atlantic eleven times.
So with some ships in bad condition, tired crews and scarce victuals, news of the returning French fleet reached Vice Admiral Robert Calder on 19 July. He was ordered to lift his blockade of the ports of Rochefort and Ferrol, the fleets sighted each other at about 11,00 on 22 July. After several hours of manoeuvring to the south-west, the action began at about 17,15 as the British fleet, with Hero in the vanguard, in poor visibility, the battle became a confused melee. After a fierce engagement in which Malta suffered five killed and forty wounded the British ship battled it out, at about 20,00 Buller forced the Spanish 80-gun San Rafael to strike, and afterwards sent the Maltas boats to take possession of the Spanish 74-gun Firme. Calder signalled to break-off the action at 20,25, aiming to continue the battle the next day, in the failing light and general confusion some ships continued to fire for another hour. Daybreak on 23 July found the fleets 27 kilometres apart, accordingly, he declined to attack and headed northeast with his prizes.
Villeneuves report claims that at first he intended to attack, but in the very light breezes it took all day to come up to the British and he decided not to risk combat late in the day
Ship of the line
However, the introduction of the ironclad frigate in about 1859 led swiftly to the decline of the steam-assisted ships of the line. The term ship of the line has fallen into disuse except in historical contexts, after warships, the heavily armed carrack, first developed in Portugal for either trade or war in the Atlantic Ocean, was the precursor of the ship of the line. Other maritime European states quickly adopted it in the late 15th and these vessels were developed by fusing aspects of the cog of the North Sea and galley of the Mediterranean Sea. Over time these castles became higher and larger, and eventually were built into the structure of the ship and this aspect of the cog remained in the newer-style carrack designs and proved its worth in battles like that at Diu in 1509. The Mary Rose was an early 16th century English carrack or great ship and she was heavily armed with 78 guns and 91 after an upgrade in the 1530s. Built in Portsmouth in 1510–1512, she was one of the earliest purpose-built men-of-war in the English navy and she was over 500 tons burthen, had a keel of over 32 m and a crew of 200 sailors,185 soldiers and 30 gunners.
Although the pride of the English fleet, she sank during the battle of the Solent,19 July 1545. Henri Grâce à Dieu, nicknamed Great Harry, was another early English carrack, contemporary with Mary Rose, Henri Grâce à Dieu was 165 feet long, weighing 1, 000–1,500 tons and having a complement of 700–1,000. It is said that she was ordered by Henry VIII in response to the Scottish ship Michael, launched in 1511. She was originally built at Woolwich Dockyard from 1512 to 1514 and was one of the first vessels to feature gunports and had twenty of the new heavy bronze cannon, in all she mounted 43 heavy guns and 141 light guns. She was the first English two-decker, and when launched she was the largest and most powerful warship in Europe, but she saw little action. She was present at the Battle of the Solent against Francis I of France in 1545 but appears to have more of a diplomatic vessel. Indeed, the ships were almost as well known for their ornamental design as they were for the power they possessed.
Carracks fitted for war carried large-calibre guns aboard, because of their higher freeboard and greater load-bearing ability, this type of vessel was better suited than the galley to gunpowder weapons. Because of their development for conditions in the Atlantic, these ships were more weatherly than galleys, the lack of oars meant that large crews were unnecessary, making long journeys more feasible. Their disadvantage was that they were reliant on the wind for mobility. Galleys could still overwhelm great ships, especially when there was wind and they had a numerical advantage. Another detriment was the forecastle, which interfered with the sailing qualities of the ship
A full-rigged ship or fully rigged ship is term of art denoting a sailing vessels sail plan with three or more masts, all of them square-rigged. A full-rigged ship is said to have a ship rig or be ship-rigged, the ship-rig sail plan, differs drastically from the large panoply of one and two masted vessels found as working and recreational sailboats. Alternatively, a ship may be referred to by its function instead, as in collier or frigate. In many languages the word frigate or frigate rig refers to a full-rigged ship, only one five-masted full-rigged ship had ever been built until recent years, when a few modern five-masted cruise sailing ships have been launched. Even a fourth mast is relatively rare for full-rigged ships, ships with five and more masts are not normally fully rigged and their masts may be numbered rather than named in extreme cases. If the masts are of wood, each mast is in three or more pieces and they are, The lowest piece is called the mast or the lower. Topmast Topgallant mast Royal mast, if fitted On steel-masted vessels, note that even a full-rigged ship did not usually have a lateral course on the mizzen mast below the mizzen topmast.
Instead, the lowest sail on the mizzen was usually a fore/aft sail—originally a lateen sail, the key distinction between a ship and barque is that a ship carries a square-rigged mizzen topsail whereas the mizzen mast of a barque has only fore-and-aft rigged sails. The cross-jack yard was the lowest yard on a ships mizzen mast, unlike the corresponding yards on the fore and main mast it did not usually have fittings to hang a sail from, its purpose was to control the lower edge of the topsail. In the rare case that the yard did carry a square sail. Above the course sail, in order, Topsail, or Lower topsail, Topgallant sail, or Lower topgallant sail, if fitted. The division of a sail into upper and lower sails was a matter of practicality, since undivided sails were larger and, larger sails necessitated hiring, and paying, a larger crew. Additionally, the size of some late-19th and 20th century vessels meant that their correspondingly large sails would have been impossible to handle had they not been divided.
Jibs are carried forward of the foremast, are tacked down on the bowsprit or jib-boom and have varying naming conventions, staysails may be carried between any other mast and the one in front of it or from the foremast to the bowsprit. In light winds studding sails may be carried on either side of any or all of the square rigged sails except royals and skysails and they are named after the adjacent sail and the side of the vessel on which they are set, for example main topgallant starboard stunsail. One or more spritsails may be set on booms set athwart, one or two spankers are carried aft of the aftmost mast, if two they are called the upper spanker and lower spanker. A fore-and-aft topsail may be carried above the upper or only spanker, to stop a full-rigged ship except when running directly down wind, the sails of the foremast are oriented in the direction perpendicular to those of the mainmast. Thus, the masts cancel out of their push on the ship and this allows the crew to stop and quickly restart the ship without retracting and lowering the sails, and to dynamically compensate for the push of the wind on the masts themselves and the yards
In the British Royal Navy, a third rate was a ship of the line which from the 1720s mounted between 64 and 80 guns, typically built with two gun decks. Years of experience proved that the third rate ships embodied the best compromise between sailing ability and cost, so, while first rates and second rates were both larger and more powerful, the third-rate ships were in a real sense the optimal configuration. By the 1660s, the means of classification had shifted from the number of men to the number of carriage-mounted guns, by the latter half of the 18th century, they carried between 500 and 720 men. This designation became especially common because it included the seventy-four gun ship and it was an easier ship to handle than a first- or second-rate ship, but still possessed enough firepower to potentially destroy any single opponent other than a three-decker. It was cheaper to operate, the Command of the Ocean, a Naval History of Britain 1649-1815, London. ISBN 978-1-84415-717-4, British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1817-1863, Barnsley ISBN 978-1-84832-169-4
Forecastle refers to the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors living quarters. Related to the meaning is the phrase before the mast which denotes anything related to ordinary sailors. The syncope of the word, focsle or focsle, is common among nautical terms, the positioning of the apostrophes represents silent letters, thus focsle. In medieval shipbuilding, a ship of war was usually equipped with a tall and it served as a platform for archers to shoot down on enemy ships, or as a defensive stronghold if the ship were boarded. A similar but usually much larger structure, called the aftcastle, was at the aft end of the ship, having such tall upper works on the ship was detrimental to sailing performance. Sailors stationed on the forecastle, or forecastle men, were responsible for handling the headsails, in the Royal Navy of the 17th and 18th centuries, these roles were reserved for older seamen who lacked the agility to go aloft or take other more strenuous duties aboard.
By the end of the 19th century, raised forecastle had become a feature on warships again, in an attempt to keep forward gun positions from getting unacceptably wet on heavy seas. In addition the forecastle may provide additional crews quarters as in the past, a disadvantage of such a design is the structural weakness at the forecastle break relative to a flush deck structure. Media related to Forecastles at Wikimedia Commons
Admiral Sir Robert Calder, 1st Baronet, KCB was a British naval officer who served in the Seven Years War, the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. Robert Calder was born in Kent, England, to Sir James Calder and Alice Hughes and his father was the 3rd Baronet Calder of Muirton, who had been appointed Gentleman Usher of the Privy chamber to the queen by Lord Bute in 1761. His elder brother, who succeeded to his fathers baronetcy, was Major General Sir Henry Calder, Calder was educated in Maidstone, before joining the Royal Navy in December 1758 at the age of thirteen. Calder initially served aboard his cousins ship, the 70-gun Nassau, en route to England, in September 1759, Nassau was dismasted in storm and arrived at her destination with nine foot of water in her hold. As a Midshipman, Calder received £1,800 in prize money for his part in the capture of the Spanish treasure ship Hermione on 21 May 1762, at that rank he served aboard HMS Essex, under Captain the Hon.
George Faulkner, in the Caribbean. In 1780 he attained the rank of Post-Captain, in 1796 he was appointed Captain of the Fleet to Admiral John Jervis, and saw action at the battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797. After the battle he was selected to carry the dispatches announcing the victory back to Britain and he received the thanks of Parliament, and was created 1st Baronet Calder of Southwick on 22 August 1798. In this he was unsuccessful, and returning home at the peace he struck his flag. In the War of the Third Coalition he was in command of the squadrons blockading the ports of Rochefort and Ferrol, Calder held his position with a force greatly inferior to that of the enemy, and refused to be enticed out to sea. The approach of the enemy was concealed by fog, finally on 22 July 1805 the fleets came into sight, the allies outnumbered the British, but Calder ordered his fleet into action. The ensuing battle was battle of Cape Finisterre, fifteen British ships had engaged twenty French and Spanish ships, the British losses were 39 officers and men killed and 159 wounded, the allies lost 158 dead and 320 wounded.
After four hours, as night fell, Calder gave orders to discontinue the action, over the following two days the fleets remained close to one another, but did not re-engage. Calder focused on protecting his newly won prizes, while the French Admiral Villeneuve declined to force another engagement, Villeneuve left the area on the 24th, sailing to Ferrol, and eventually Cádiz, instead of resuming his course to Brest. In the judgment of Napoleon, his scheme of invasion was baffled by this days action, in consequence of the strong feeling against him Calder demanded a court-martial. Nelson was ordered to send Calder home, and allowed him to return in his own 98-gun ship the Prince of Wales, Calder left in early October 1805, missing the battle of Trafalgar. The court-martial was held on 23 December 1805, and resulted in an acquittal on the charges of cowardice, Calder received a severe reprimand for not having done his utmost to renew the engagement, and never served at sea again. In the natural course of events he was promoted Admiral on 31 July 1810 and he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth in 1810.
He died at Holt, near Bishops Waltham, in Hampshire, in 1779 he married Amelia Michell, they had no children
Woolwich is a town in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, south east London, England. Originally in Kent, it has been part of the London metropolitan area since the 19th century, in 1965, most of the former Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich became part of Greenwich Borough, of which it remains the administrative centre. Throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th and most of the 20th century, Woolwich was an important military and it is a river crossing point, with the Woolwich Ferry and the Woolwich foot tunnel crossing to North Woolwich. Woolwich is identified in the London Plan as an opportunity area as well as a centre in Greater London. Woolwich has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age, a path connected the riverside settlement with Watling Street, perhaps of Iron Age origin. Sandy Hill Road may be a remnant of this early path and it is generally believed that the name Woolwich derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning trading place for wool. It is not clear whether Woolwich was a proper -wich town, however, in 2015 Oxford Archaeology discovered a Saxon burial site near the riverside with 76 skeletons from the late 7th or early 8th century.
The absence of grave deposits indicates that this was an early Christian settlement, the first church, which stood to the north of the present parish church, was almost certainly pre-Norman and dedicated to Saint Lawrence. It was probably rebuilt in stone around 1100, from the 10th till the mid-12th century Woolwich was controlled by the abbots of St. Peters Abbey in Ghent. As a result of this tenure Woolwich is not mentioned in the Domesday Book, it is thought that the 63 acres listed as Hulviz refer to North Woolwich, medieval Woolwich was susceptible to flooding. In 1236 many were killed by a flood, Woolwich Ferry was first mentioned in 1308 but may be much older. Around Bell Water Gate some private shipbuilding or repair may have existed in the 15th century, a windmill was mentioned around 1450. Woolwich remained a relatively small Kentish settlement until the beginning of the 16th century, in 1512 it became home to Woolwich Dockyard, originally known as The Kings Yard, founded by Henry VIII to built his flagship Henry Grace à Dieu.
Many great ships were built here, such as the Prince Royal, the Sovereign of the Seas, the Royal Charles, the Dolphin, the dockyard went through many ups and downs but survived for three and a half centuries, closing down in 1869. His mansion was Tower Place, which was closed in by a ropeyard and warehouses with open-air storage known initially as Gun Wharf or Gun Yard, The Warren. The arsenal developed from a place of storage into a collection of factories, playing a central role in Britains imperial phase and its military. At wartime, tens of thousands of workers found employment here, other military establishments that were rooted in the arsenal were the Royal Artillery and the Royal Military Academy. They both moved to Woolwich Common in the late 18th century, in the 19th and 20th century several large barracks were built, as well as military schools and hospitals
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdoms naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the medieval period. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century, from the middle decades of the 17th century and through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century it was the worlds most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War. The Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the world power during the 19th. Due to this historical prominence, it is common, even among non-Britons, following World War I, the Royal Navy was significantly reduced in size, although at the onset of the Second World War it was still the worlds largest. By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the worlds largest, during the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a primarily anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines, mostly active in the GIUK gap.
The Royal Navy is part of Her Majestys Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the power in the 10th century. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Medieval fleets, in England as elsewhere, were almost entirely composed of merchant ships enlisted into service in time of war. Englands naval organisation was haphazard and the mobilisation of fleets when war broke out was slow, early in the war French plans for an invasion of England failed when Edward III of England destroyed the French fleet in the Battle of Sluys in 1340. Major fighting was confined to French soil and Englands naval capabilities sufficed to transport armies and supplies safely to their continental destinations. Such raids halted finally only with the occupation of northern France by Henry V.
Henry VII deserves a large share of credit in the establishment of a standing navy and he embarked on a program of building ships larger than heretofore. He invested in dockyards, and commissioned the oldest surviving dry dock in 1495 at Portsmouth, a standing Navy Royal, with its own secretariat, dockyards and a permanent core of purpose-built warships, emerged during the reign of Henry VIII. Under Elizabeth I England became involved in a war with Spain, the new regimes introduction of Navigation Acts, providing that all merchant shipping to and from England or her colonies should be carried out by English ships, led to war with the Dutch Republic. In the early stages of this First Anglo-Dutch War, the superiority of the large, heavily armed English ships was offset by superior Dutch tactical organisation and the fighting was inconclusive