HMS Bellerophon nicknamed ‘Billy Ruffian’ by her crew, was a 74-gun ship of the line launched at Frindsbury on the River Medway in October 1786, just three years before the start of the French revolution. She fought in all the major naval battles of the Napoleonic wars and crowned her well-deserved reputation when she prevented Napoleon’s escape to the United States after the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was detained on board for twenty-four days until his transfer in Torbay to HMS Northumberland for the voyage to St Helena.
The talk will review Bellerophon’s construction, long naval service, and eventual retirement to become a prison hulk in Plymouth. Her hull design and sea-keeping characteristics will be briefly analysed using the original 1:48 scale drawing of her lines. There will be a review of her armaments followed by descriptions of her participation in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar. The talk will conclude with some detail of Napoleon’s surrender to Bellerophon’s Captain Maitland at Ile-d’Aix off Rochefort.
This presentation will be held at 19.00 as a Zoom webinar , click the link below to register in advance:
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