HMS Prince of Wales (1860)
HMS Britannia, painting by Henry J. Morgan
|Name:||HMS Prince of Wales |
|Launched:||25 January 1860|
|Renamed:||HMS Britannia, 3 March 1869|
|Class and type:|
|Displacement:||6,201 tons (6,112 tonnes) (as built)|
|Draught:||25 ft 5 in (if fully stored)|
|Depth of hold:||25 ft 2 in (7.7 m)|
|Speed:||12.569 knots (23.293 km/h) Stokes Bay trials 31 Oct 1860|
|Notes:||Cost of building £134,192|
In 1869 she was renamed HMS Britannia and under that name served at Dartmouth as a cadet training ship until 1905.
The Prince of Wales was originally a 3,186 ton 120 gun design by John Edye and Isaac Watts for a modified Queen-class sailing line-of-battle ship. She was laid down at Portsmouth on 10 June 1848, though she was not formally ordered until 29 June, and the design was approved on 28 July 1848.
In 1849, the Royal Navy started ordering screw line-of-battle ships starting with the Agamemnon. It is possible that construction of Prince of Wales was suspended, as screw line-of-battle ships laid down after her, were completed before her. Prince of Wales was reordered to complete as a 121 gun screw line-of-battle ship on 9 April 1856, conversion work started on 27 October 1856. Her half-sisters Duke of Wellington and Royal Sovereign were lengthened with an extra 23 ft amidships and 8 ft in the run, and originally it was intended that Marlborough and Prince of Wales would be converted to the same plans, but they were further lengthened during construction.
Prince of Wales was completed towards the end of the unarmoured phase of a naval arms race between Britain and France. In 1860 the Royal Navy had more wooden steam line-of-battle ships than it needed to man in peacetime. The Royal Navy's first armoured line-of-battle ship, Warrior was commissioned in 1861. Unarmoured screw line-of-battle ships were still of value in the early to mid-1860s, and several new screw line-of-battle ships were commissioned in the 1860s.
In 1867, the Prince of Wales's engines were removed so they could be installed in the ironclad Repulse. In 1869 she was renamed Britannia and began service as a cadet training ship at Dartmouth, replacing the previous Britannia in that role. As Britannia, she was a hulk, and only had her foremast. Among those starting their naval careers on her were, in 1877, the future Admiral and First Sea Lord Rosslyn Wemyss, Prince Albert Victor, and his younger brother, the future King George V.
A new King Edward VII-class battleship called Britannia was launched in December 1904. The former Prince of Wales was officially hulked in September 1909, sold to Garnham on 23 September 1914, then resold to Hughes Bolckow arriving at Blyth in July 1916 for breaking up. In 1917 her "wreck" was etched by Frank Brangwyn, a print of which can be seen in Bruges' Groeningemuseum today.
- Lambert, Andrew Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815-1860 pages 122, 127-128
- Lyon, David and Winfield, Rif The Sail and Steam Navy List, All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889, page 90.
- Lyon, David and Winfield, Rif The Sail and Steam Navy List, All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889, page 183.
- Lambert, Andrew Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815-1860
- Lyon, David and Winfield, Rif The Sail and Steam Navy List, All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815-1889, page 182.
- For instance the new screw three-decker Victoria was first commissioned in 1864, and the new screw two-deckers Gibraltar and Duncan were first commissioned in 1863 and 1864 respectively. See Lambert Battleships in Transition.
- See photograph of Britannia at the turn of the century on page 127 of Lambert Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815-1860.
- Lord Tweedmouth, First Lord's Statement explanatory of Navy Estimates, 1906-7, 26 February 1906, reproduced in The Naval Annual 1906, page 370.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1806-1905, p. 38.