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In December 1758, the commissioner of Chatham Dockyard was instructed to prepare a dry dock for the construction of a new 106-gun first-rate ship.
The outline plans arrived in June 1759 and were based on HMS Royal George which had been launched at Woolwich Dockyard in 1756. Once the frame had been constructed it was normal to cover the ship up and leave it for several months to season.
In March 1778 John Lindsay was appointed her very first captain, but he was transferred to captain HMS Prince George in May 1778 when Admiral the Honorable Augustus Keppel decided to raise his flag in Victory. In March 1780 the hull below the waterline was sheathed with 3,923 sheets of copper to protect it against shipworm. On December 2, 1781, Victory, now commanded by Captain Henry Cromwell and bearing the flag of Rear Admiral Richard Kempenfelt, sailed with eleven other ships of the line, a 50-gun fourth-rate, and five frigates, to intercept a French convoy that sailed from Brest on December 10.
In 1796 Captain Robert Calder (First Captain) and Captain George Grey (Second Captain) commanded Victory under Admiral Sir John Jervis's flag.
However on October 8, 1799 HMS Impregnable was lost off Chichester, having run aground on her way back to Portsmouth after escorting a convoy to Lisbon. Extra gun ports were added, taking her from 100 guns to 104, and her magazine lined with copper. Lord Nelson hoisted his flag in Victory on May 16, 1803 with Samuel Sutton as his flag captain and sailed to assume command in the Mediterranean on May 20.
On May 28 Captain Sutton captured the French Embuscade of 32 guns, bound for Rochefort from San Domingo. Victory was passing the island of Toro on April 4, 1805, when HMS Phoebe brought the news that the French fleet under Pierre-Charles Villeneuve had escaped from Toulon.
The Franco-Spanish fleet was involved in the indecisive Battle of Cape Finisterre in fog off Ferrol with Admiral Sir Robert Calder's squadron on July 22 before taking refuge in Vigo and Ferrol to land wounded and abandon three damaged ships.
When Admiral Villeneuve learned that he was to be removed from command he took his ships to sea on the morning of October 19, first sailing south towards the Mediterranean but then turning north towards the British fleet, beginning the Battle of Trafalgar. Victory took Nelson's body to England where, after lying in state at Greenwich, he was buried in St. Victory bore many Admirals' flags after Trafalgar, and sailed on numerous expeditions, including two Baltic campaigns under Admiral Sir James Saumarez. It is said that when Thomas Hardy was First Sea Lord, he told his wife on returning home, that he had just signed an order for Victory to be broken up. Over the last few years the ship has undergone another very extensive restoration to bring her appearance to as close as possible to that which she had at Trafalgar for the bicentenary of the battle in October 2005. HMS Victory is still in commission as the flagship of the admiral for the time being acting as Second Sea Lord in his role as Commander in Chief of the Royal Navy's Home Command (CINCNAVHOME). The Victory's foretopsail was severely damaged during the battle of Trafalgar, perforated by upwards of 90 cannonballs and other projectiles.


The name is also used to refer to the westernmost entrance (Victory Gate) to the Royal Navy's facility in Portsmouth, HMS Nelson.
The Naval Architect to design the ship was Sir Thomas Slade who, at the time, was the appointed Surveyor of the Navy. However, the end of the Seven Years' War meant that she remained in this condition for nearly three years, which helped her subsequent longevity. She was commissioned in May 1778 under the command of Rear Admiral John Campbell (1st Captain) and Captain Jonathan Faulknor (2nd Captain), with the flag of Admiral Keppel. The French Admiral, Louis Guillouet, comte d'Orvilliers, who had orders to avoid battle, was cut off from Brest but retained the weather gage. Ignorant of the fact that the convoy was protected by twenty-one ships of the line under the command of Luc Urbain de Bouexic, comte de Guichen, Kempenfelt ordered a chase when they were sighted on December 12 and began the Second Battle of Ushant.
Sir John Jervis sailed from the Tagus on January 18, 1797, and after being reinforced on February 6 by five ships from England, his fleet consisted of fifteen sail of the line and six frigates. Her figurehead was replaced along with her masts and the paint scheme changed from red to the black and yellow seen today. Victory rejoined Lord Nelson off Toulon on July 30 when Captain Sutton exchanged commands with the captain of the Amphion, Thomas Masterman Hardy. While Nelson made for Sicily to see if the French were heading for Egypt, Villeneuve was entering Cádiz to link up with the Spanish fleet.
Nelson had already made his plans: to break the enemy line some two or three ships ahead of their Commander in Chief in the centre and achieve victory before the van could come to their aid.
Her active career ended on November 7, 1812, when she was moored in Portsmouth Harbour off Gosport and used as a depot ship. It soon became a proper Signal School, and signal ratings from ships paying off were sent to Victory instead of the barracks, for a two-month training course. A campaign to save her was started in 1921 with the Save the Victory Fund under the aegis of the Society for Nautical Research, by which time she was in very poor condition. She is the oldest commissioned warship in the world, although the USS Constitution, launched 30 years later, is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. It was replaced after the battle but was preserved, and eventually came to be displayed in the Royal Naval Museum. They are built according to scale of the original ships through original plans or pictures using the plank on frame construction method.
When he noted the French superiority he contented himself with capturing fifteen sail of the convoy. On February 14, the Portuguese frigate Carlotta, commanded by a Scotsman named Campbell with a Portuguese commission, brought news that a Spanish fleet was close.
On December 8, unfit for service as a warship, she was ordered to be converted to a hospital ship to hold wounded French and Spanish prisoners of war. Nelson continued to England in Victory leaving his Mediterranean fleet with Cornwallis who detached twenty of his thirty-three ships of the line and sent them under Calder to find the combined fleet at Ferrol. Though this story may be apocryphal, the page of the duty log containing the orders for that day is missing, having been torn out.
The School remained on Victory until 1904, when training was transferred temporarily to HMS Hercules, and in 1906 the whole School was moved to a permanent establishment at the Royal Naval Barracks. The outcome of the campaign was that the British Government agreed to restore and preserve her to commemorate Nelson, the Battle of Trafalgar and the Royal Navy's supremacy during and after the Napoleonic period.


In 1928 King George V was able to unveil a tablet celebrating the completion of the work, although restoration and maintenance still continued under the supervision of the Society for Nautical Research.
The sail is laid out across a large chamber, illuminated by alternating lowlight projectors.
The ship was designed by Sir Thomas Slade and built between 1759 and May 1765 at Chatham Shipyard. In that year of the Seven Years' War, land victories had been won at Quebec, Minden and naval battles had been won at Lagos and Quiberon Bay. The two fleets manoeuvred during shifting winds and a heavy rain squall until a battle became inevitable with the British more or less in column and the French in some confusion.
Work started in 1800 but as it proceeded an increasing number of defects were found and the repairs developed into a very extensive reconstruction.
The work was completed on April 11, 1803 and the ship left for Portsmouth on May 14 under her new captain, Samuel Sutton. The British fleet completed their stores in Lagos Bay, Portugal, on May 10 and two days later sailed westward with ten ships and three frigates in pursuit of the combined Franco-Spanish fleet of 17 ships. For five hours after Nelson's last manoeuvring signal the two columns of British ships slowly approached the French line before Royal Sovereign, leading the lee column, was able to open fire on Fougueux. Materials are from plantation woods such as acacia, eucalyptus similar to poplar, rubber wood, jack wood to build the models.
There were some doubts whether this was a suitable name since the previous first-rate Victory had been lost with all on board in 1744. Principe de Asturias, leading the Spanish leeward division, tried to break through the British line ahead or astern of Victory but that ship poured such a tremendous fire into her, followed by several raking broadsides, that the whole Spanish division wore round and bore up.
They arrived in the West Indies to find that the enemy was sailing back to Europe where Napoleon Bonaparte was waiting for them with his invasion forces at Boulogne. On the evening of Saturday, September 28, Lord Nelson joined Lord Collingwood's fleet off Cádiz, quietly, so that his presence would not be known. Twenty five minutes later Victory broke the line between Bucentaure and Redoutable firing a double shotted broadside into the stern of the former from a range of a few yards. At about a quarter to twelve Victory opened fire on the Bretagne of 110 guns, which was being followed by the Ville de Paris of 90 guns.
At 25 minutes past one Nelson was shot, the fatal ball entering his left shoulder and lodging in his spine. The British van escaped with little loss but Sir Hugh Palliser's rear division suffered considerably. Keppel made the signal to follow the French but Palliser did not conform and the action was not resumed.
Such killing had taken place on Victory's quarter deck that Redoutable attempted to board her, but the marines and small arms men repelled them. Keppel was court martialled and cleared and Palliser criticised by an inquiry before the affair turned into a party political squabble.
Nelson's last order was for the fleet to anchor but this was rejected by Vice Admiral Collingwood.



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