HMS Minden (1810)

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HMS Minden was a Royal Navy 74-gun Ganges-class third-rate ship of the line, launched on 19 June 1810.[1] She was named after the German town Minden and the Battle of Minden of 1759, a decisive victory of British and Prussian forces over France in the Seven Years' War. The town is about 75 km away from Hanover, from where the House of Hanover comes—the dynasty which ruled the United Kingdom from 1714 until 1901.

Name: HMS Minden
Ordered: 9 July 1801
Builder: Bombay Dockyard, India
Launched: 19 June 1810
Honours and
Fate: Sold for breaking up, 1861
Notes: Hulked, 1842
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Ganges-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1721 bm
Length: 169 ft 6 in (51.66 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 47 ft 8 12 in (14.5 m)
Depth of hold: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
  • 74 guns
  • Gundeck: 28 × 32 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 28 × 18 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 14 × 9 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 4 × 9 pdrs


Jamsetji Bomanji Wadia of the Wadia Group built Minden in 1814. She was launched from the Duncan Docks [2] in Bombay (now Mumbai), India,[3] and was built of teak.[4]

The Bombay Courier, 23 June 1810 wrote:

“On Tuesday last His Majesty’s Ship, the Minden built in the new docks (Bombay) by Jamsetji Bomanji Wadia was floated into the stream at high water, after the usual ceremony of breaking the bottle had been performed by the Honorable Governor Jonathan Duncan. Also In having produced the Minden, Bombay is entitled to the distinguished praise of providing the first and only British ship of the line built out of the limits of the Mother Country; and in the opinion of very competent judges, the Minden, for beauty of construction and strength of frame, may stand in competition with any man-o-war that has come out of the most celebrated Dockyards of Great Britain. For the skill of its architects, for the superiority of its timber, and for the excellence of its docks, Bombay may now claim a distinguished place among naval arsenals”.

Service historyEdit

Minden sailed from Bombay on 8 February 1811 on her first cruise,[4] under the command of Edward Wallis Hoare,[5] and manned by the crew of the Russell. In March she sailed from Madras to take part in the invasion of Java. On 29 July two of her boats, under the command of Lieutenant Edmund Lyons, with only 35 officers and men aboard, attacked and captured the fort covering the harbour of Marrack, to the westward of Batavia.[5] The Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "30 July Boat Service 1811" was issued to survivors of this action in 1848. The Dutch and French forces in Java surrendered in September. Minden then sailed for the UK and escorted convoys to the East Indies, the Cape of Good Hope, South America, and the coast of Africa.[4]

Minden saw service during the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Bay.[6] Some accounts state that Francis Scott Key was aboard Minden when he wrote the poem "Defense of Fort M'Henry", which became the lyrics for "The Star-Spangled Banner".[7]

In late July 1816 Minden sailed from Plymouth Sound, as part of an Anglo-Dutch fleet that made an attack on Algiers on 27 August.[4] The Naval General Service Medal with the clasp "Algiers" was issued to survivors of this battle in 1848.

Minden then sailed for the East Indies, and was reported to be at Trincomalee in 1819. In July 1830 Minden was at Plymouth. She was commissioned there on 19 March 1836 and sailed for the Tagus joining the British squadron. In 1839 she was at Malta, returning to Plymouth in early 1840.[4]

A typhoon destroyed the shore-based Royal Naval Hospital at Hong Kong on 22 July 1841,[8] and Minden was commissioned at Plymouth in December 1841 to serve as a hospital ship there.[4] She was stationed at Hong Kong as a hospital ship from 1842[4] until she was replaced by HMS Alligator in 1846.[8] Minden then served there as stores ship until sold for scrapping in August 1861.[4]

In memory of the ship, two streets were named after her, Minden Row and Minden Avenue, located behind Signal Hill of Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon, Hong Kong.


  1. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 185.
  2. ^ "How Mumbai is linked to America's most famous song". 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  3. ^ Excerpt from The Bombay Courier
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Benyon, P. (2011). "HMS Minden". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  5. ^ a b Phillips, Michael (2011). "HMS "MINDEN" (74) [1810]". Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  6. ^ "A brief excerpt from Roy & Lesley Adkins' "The War for All the Oceans: From Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo", concluding their discussion of the British attack upon Washington and Baltimore in the War of 1812". 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  7. ^ "Letter from William C. Noyes to Abraham Lincoln". The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. 3 January 1863. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  8. ^ a b Davis, Peter (2008). "The Royal Naval Hospital, Hong Kong". Retrieved 18 April 2011.


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 22°17′48″N 114°10′29″E / 22.29667°N 114.17472°E / 22.29667; 114.17472