Built in 1765, Chatham DY.
Rebuilt in 1801.
Harbour service in 1824.
Dry docked at Portsmouth in 1924.
- 1778 Rear Ad. John CAMPBELL (1st. Capt.) Capt. Jonathan FAULKNOR (2nd Capt.), with the flag of Ad. the Hon. Augustus KEPPEL.
KEPPEL put to sea from Spithead on 9 July 1778 with a force of 30 ships of the line and, on the 23rd., sighted a French fleet of 29 sail 100 miles west of Ushant.
The French Admiral, the Comte d'Orvilliers, who had orders to avoid battle, was cut off from Brest but retained the weather gage.
Two of his ships to windward escaped into port leaving him with 27.
The two fleets manoeuvred during shifting winds and a heavy rain squall until a battle became inevitable with the British more or less in column and the French in some confusion.
However the French managed to pass along the British line to windward with their most advanced ships.
At about a quarter to twelve VICTORY opened fire on the BRETAGNE (110), followed by the VILLE DE PARIS (90).
The British van escaped with little loss but Sir Hugh PALLISER's rear division suffered considerably.
KEPPEL made the signal to wear and follow the French but PALLISER did not conform and the action was not resumed.
KEPPEL was court-martialled and cleared and PALLISER criticised by an enquiry before the affair turned into a party political squabble.
- 1779 Capt. Richard KEMPENFELT, Captain of the fleet under Sir Charles HARDY and his successors, Adm. GEARY and Vice Adm. DARBY.
At the end of 1781 he was appointed to the command of a squadron of twelve ships of the line and some frigates which was ordered to sea for the purpose of intercepting a French fleet bound for the West Indies. He fell in with the enemy and was fortunately able to pass between the enemy ships of war and their convoy, in which fifteen of the later were taken and three or four sunk. The prizes were laden principally with naval and military stores and more than a thousand soldiers. He continued in VICTORY till after the change in ministry in the following March when he removed to the ROYAL GEORGE.
- 1780 Admiral GEARY,C. in C. of the Channel Fleet.
- On 2 December 1781 Rear Ad. Richard KEMPENFELDT sailed in VICTORY, Capt. Henry CROMWELL, with 11 other ships of the line, a 50 and five frigates, to intercept a convoy which sailed from Brest on the 10th.
Ignorant of the fact that the French Comte de Guichen had twenty-one ships of the line, KEMPENFELDT ordered a chase when they were sighted on the 12th.
When he noted the French superiority he contented himself with capturing 15 sail of the convoy.
The French were dispersed in a gale and forced to return home.
- 1782 1st. Capt. Hon. H. C.GOWER, 2nd Capt. H. DUNCAN, Flagship of Adm. Lord Vis. HOWE, re-fitting at Portsmouth for home service
On 20 April 1782 Lord Howe hoisted his flag in VICTORY in command of the Channel Fleet.
- 1784 Out of commission.
- Following the rupture with Spain 1790 Capt. John KNIGHT was invited by Lord HOOD to be his flag captain VICTORY.
- December 1795 the flag of Vice Admiral LINZEE.
- 1796 Capt. CALDER, 2nd Captain Capt. George GREY, with Ad. Sir John JERVIS' flag.
Sir John sailed from from the Tagus on 18 January 1797 and after being reinforced on 6 February by five ships from England, his fleet consisted of 15 sail of the line and 6 frigates.
On the 14th. a Portuguese frigate CARLOTTA, commanded by a Scotsman named Campbell with a Portuguese commission, brought news that a Spanish fleet was close.
The leading ship of the Spanish lee division tried to break through ahead or astern of VICTORY but that ship poured such a tremendous fire into the PRINCIPE DE ASTURIAS followed by several raking broadsides that the whole Spanish division wore round and bore up.
(See CAPTAIN for more details of the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.)
- August 1797 Capt. T. SOUTHEBY.
In September Capt. W. CUMING, Sir John posted Capt. William CUMING in to VICTORY as a reward for his service in the Mediterranean.
- In February 1798 she was stationed as a prison ship at Chatham under Lieut. J. RICKMAN.
- 1799 Lieut. BUSBRIDGE.
- VICTORY was rebuilt in 1801
- Lord NELSON hoisted his flag in VICTORY in May 1803 with Samuel SUTTON as his flag captain. His Lordship sailed to assume command in the Mediterranean on 20 May but removed into the AMPHION frigate.
On 28th. Captain SUTTON captured the French EMBUSCADE (32) bound for Rochefort from San Domingo. VICTORY rejoined Lord NELSON off Toulon on 30 July when Capt, SUTTON exchanged with Capt. Thomas HARDY into AMPHION.
- VICTORY was passing the island of Toro on 4 April 1805 when PHOEBE brought the news that the French fleet under Villeneuve had escaped from Toulon. While NELSON made for Sicily to see if the French were heading for Egypt, Villeneuve was entering Cadiz to link up with the Spanish fleet.
On 7 May NELSON reached Gibraltar and received his first definite news.
The British fleet completed their stores in Lagos Bay, Portugal, on 10 May and two days later sailed westward with ten ships and three frigates in pursuit of the combined Franco/Spanish fleet of 17 ships. They arrived in the West Indies to find that the enemy was sailing back to Europe where Napoleon was waiting for them with his invasion forces at Boulogne.
- The combined fleet were involved in an indecisive action in fog off Ferrol with Ad. Sir Robert CALDER's squadron on 22 July before taking refuge in Vigo and Ferrol to land wounded and abandon three damaged ships. CALDER on the 14 August, and NELSON on the 15th. joined Ad. CORNWALLIS's Channel Fleet off Ushant. NELSON continued to England in VICTORY leaving his Mediterranean fleet with CORNWALLIS who detached 20 of his 33 ships of the line and sent them under CALDER to find the combined fleet at Ferrol.
On 19 August came the worrying news that the enemy had sailed from there, followed by relief when they arrived in Cadiz two days later.
- On the evening of Saturday 28 September Lord NELSON joined Lord COLLINGWOOD's fleet off Cadiz, quietly, so that his presence would not be known.
When the French Admiral, Villeneuve, learned that he was to be removed from command he took his ships to sea on the morning of 19 October, first sailing south towards the Mediterranean but then turning north towards the British fleet. NELSON had already he made his plans. To break the enemy line some two or three ships ahead of their Commander in Chief in the centre and achieve victory before the van could come to their aid. In the event fitful winds made it a slow business.
For five hours after NELSON's last manoeuvring signal the two columns of British ships slowly approached the French line before the ROYAL SOVEREIGN, leading the lee column, was able to open fire on the FOUGUEUX. Twenty five minutes later VICTORY broke the line between BUCENTAURE and REDOUBTABLE firing a double shotted broadside into the stern of the former from a range of a few yards. At 25 minutes past one NELSON was shot.
The fatal ball entering his left shoulder and lodging in his spine. He died at half past four. Such execution had taken place on VICTORY's quarter-deck that REDOUBTABLE attempted to board her but the marines and small arms men repelled them. NELSON's last order was for the fleet to anchor but this was rejected by Vice Ad. COLLINGWOOD. VICTORY lost 57 killed and 102 wounded.
- VICTORY took NELSON's body to England where, after lying in state at Greenwich, the burial took place in St. Paul's Cathedral on 6 January 1806.
- VICTORY remained at Chatham under repair.
- 1808 Capt. G. J. HOPE, Baltic Expedition.
- 1811 Capt. George HONEY, with Rear Ad.M. DIXON's flag.
- 1812 Capt. DUMARESQ, with the flag of Vice Ad. Sir J. SAUMEREZ.
- 1814 1823 Out of Commission at Portsmouth.
- 1824 Capt. Charles INGLIS, Jan.1824, Portsmouth.
- 1827 Capt. ELLIOT, April 1827.
- 1831 Capt. Hyde PARKER, Dec.
- 1833 Capt. E. R. WILLIAMS Feb 1833.
- She slowly deteriorated at her moorings in Portsmouth Harbour with almost everything about her changed since NELSON's day. A campaign to save her started in 1921 and in 1922 the fragile hull was moved into the oldest dry dock in the world. No. 2 dock at Portsmouth. Restoration continued and in 1928 King George V was able to unveil a tablet celebrating the completion of the work, which still continues.
VICTORY is still in commission as the flagship at Portsmouth.