HMS Thunderer (1783)

Engraving of Thunderer under reduced sail in a storm off Crookhaven, Ireland. c.1812, featured in the Naval Chronicle.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

The second Culloden-class ship of the line, HMS Thunderer was a 74-gun third-rater laid down in 1782 and completed in 1784. She began her career ignominiously, laid up until 1792, and did not enter service until 1793. This was common practice at the time, having ships built and ready to be activated, but without needing the crew required to man them until needed. In 1794, Thunderer was present at the Glorious First of June, but only played a minor role during the battle. She was deployed to the West Indies from 1796 to 1801, seeing some success in operations against the French. She returned to Europe, and fought in the Battle of Cape Finisterre, and the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. At Trafalgar, it was one of Thunderer's lookouts who first spotted the Franco-Spanish fleet. Thunderer went on to serve in the Anglo-Turkish War of 1807-09, and on the Alexandria expedition of 1807. Thunderer was decommissioned in 1808, and broken up in 1814.

Bonus Information

Fun Fact: There is an unconfirmed rumor that some of her leftover timbers were used in the construction of two churches, one on the Island of Wight, and one near Eastleigh.