HMS Namur (1756)

HMS Namur IMG 4822.jpg
HMS Namur at the Battle of Lagos
Royal Navy EnsignUK
Name: HMS Namur
Ordered: 12 July 1750
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Launched: 3 March 1756
Fate: Broken up, 1833
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 1750 amendments 90-gun second rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1814 bm
Length: 175 ft (53.3 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 48 ft 6 in (14.8 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 6 in (6.2 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
  • 90 guns:
  • Gundeck: 26 × 32 pdrs
  • Middle gundeck: 26 × 18 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 26 × 12 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 10 × 6 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 2 × 6 pdrs

HMS Namur was a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Chatham Dockyard to the draught specified by the 1745 Establishment as amended in 1750, and launched on 3 March 1756.[1] HMS Namur’s battle honours surpass even those of the more famous HMS Victory.[2]


HMS Namur figurehead, Naval Museum of Halifax, CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Namur was the flagship of Vice-Admiral Edward Boscawen in the capture of Louisburg in 1758. General James Wolfe had sailed across the Atlantic in Namur on this occasion before his capture of Quebec. Also on this journey was 6th Lieutenant Michael Henry Pascal, with his slave and servant Olaudah Equiano (called Gustavus Vasser at the time - this was the slave name given him by Pascal[3]). In his book,[4] Equiano wrote that the ceremony of surrender was "the most beautiful procession on the water I ever saw", and gives more detail of the occasion.[5] In 1758, fifteen Namur sailors were tried and condemned to death by hanging for mutiny; they had protested to be replaced aboard another ship. The King's grace reprieved them from death penalty, except for one sailor.[6]

Namur was the flagship of Admiral Sir George Pocock in the Battle of Havana (1762).

Namur fought in the Battle of Cape St Vincent (1797) under the command of Captain James Hawkins-Whitshed. Namur was astern of HMS Captain, under the command of then Commodore Horatio Nelson, at the beginning stages of the battle.[7]

Namur was razeed to a 74-gun ship in 1805, and took part in the naval engagement of 4 November 1805 (the Battle of Cape Ortegal), when the remnants of the French and Spanish fleet which had escaped from Trafalgar was engaged by Lord Strachan's squadron; she took on and captured the French warship Formidable.[8] She was placed on harbour service in 1807 and remained in this role until 1833, when she was finally broken up.[1]

Some of Namur's timbers were used to support the floor of the wheelwright's workshop at Chatham Dockyard. They were rediscovered there in 1995 and identified in 2003.[9][10] The restored timbers form the centerpiece of the "Command of the Oceans" gallery at the Chatham Historic Dockyard museum opened in 2016.[11]

Notable crewmembers


  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Brian0 (1983). The Ship of the Line – Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650–1850. London: Conway Maritime Press. p. 174. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.
  2. ^
  3. ^ TNA ADM 36/6252
  4. ^ Equiano, Olaudah (2003). The Interesting Narrative, and Other Writings. Penguin. ISBN 9780-142437162.
  5. ^ Baines, Stephen (2015). Captain Cook's Merchant Ships; Freelove, Three Brothers, Mary, Friendship, Endeavour, Adventure, Resolution and Discovery. The History Press. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9780-750962148.
  6. ^ (Leonard F- Gutteridge: Mutiny - a list of naval insurrection", 1992 Annapolis USA)
  7. ^ Adkin, Mark (2005). The Trafalgar companion: a guide to history's most famous sea battle and the life of Admiral Lord Nelson. London: Aurum Press. p. 163. ISBN 978-1845130183.
  8. ^ Clowes, William. Naval History.
  9. ^ "Fighting ship's identity revealed in Chatham Dockyard". BBC News. 17 August 2012.
  10. ^ Atkinson, Daniel Edward (2007). Shipbuilding and timber management in the Royal Dockyards 1750–1850: an archaeological investigation of timber marks (Ph.D. thesis). University of St Andrews. hdl:10023/472.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Maev (25 May 2016). "Shiver me timbers! Remains of fabled warship HMS Namur dock in museum". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Spilman, Rick (20 August 2012). "Timbers from Jane Austen's Brother's Ship, HMS Namur, Found under Floorboards at Chatham Historic Dockyard". Old Salt Blog.
  13. ^ Reuben, Paul P. "Olaudah Equiano (1745–1797)". PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide.[permanent dead link]

Further reading

External links


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