HMS Prince 1788

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Date: 1788 to 1837
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The Prince was launched at Woolwich on 4 July 1788, a 98 gun second rate ship. From the first it was obvious that she would not be a handy sailor and in 1796 she was lengthened in an effort to improve her performance. Prince still remained a heavy, lumbering and dreadfully slow ship but her guns packed a punch. It was laughingly said that she "sailed like a haystack". Haystack sailing was a common sight on the River Thames, with sailing barges carrying fodder for the thousands of horses in the city. [1].

Richard Grindall was appointed her Captain on 13 April 1803 and Great Britain declared war on France on 18 May. Prince was sent to join the blockade of the Franco-Spanish fleet off Cadiz. It was tedious work. The combined fleet sailed on 20 October 1805 and was engaged by the British the following day. Prince was ordered with two other ships to proceed as best they could owing to their poor sailing qualities and was the last ship to engage when the battle was almost over. She delivered a mighty broadside to the French Achille which blew up and Grindall ordered boats launched to rescue the drowning. When the order came to take prizes Prince took the biggest prize of all, the Santissima Trinidad. The British fleet headed for Gibraltar but a great storm blew up during which all the prizes were lost or abandoned.

After the war Prince was laid up in Portsmouth harbour and was broken up in 1837.

Battle of Trafalgar 14 October 1805

Officers, Warrant Officers and crew at the Battle of Trafalgar
HMS Prince

RankFirst NameLast NamePay BookDate joinedNationalityBirth PlaceAgeWikitree
CaptainRichardGrindallSB113 April 1803BritishLondon, England55Grindall-35
1st LieutenantWilliamGodfreySB4713 April 1804----
LieutenantWilliamKellySB72121 November 1804----
Lieutenant JohnEdwardsSB76114 February 1805----
LieutenantAbelFerrisSB4819 April 1803--29-
LieutenantSamuelBurgessSB7143 September 1804--24-
LieutenantAbrahamBaldwinSB20213 April 1804----
Lieutenant JamesHallSB75717 December 1804----
Captain RMFrancisWilliamsML3613 April 1804----
Lieutenant RMEPengelly------
MasterRichardAndersonSB76013 February 1805BritishKilham, Yorkshire28Anderson-19646
Surgeon JamesFullartonSB8086 April 1805----
CarpenterWilliamJohnsonSB7189 September 1804----
BoatswainSamuelSimpsonSB26 August 1800----
GunnerThomasHawkinsSB313 April 1803----
Purser ThomasTaitSB2613 April 1804----
Midshipman AlexanderMartinSB14813 April 1804BritishHay, Brecknockshire14-
Midshipman PeregrineBowenSB18613 April 1804British---
Midshipman John HoskinsBrownSB83225 July 1805BritishKedwelly, South Wales16-
Midshipman Benjamin MortonFestingSB8113 May 1805BritishAndover, Hampshire15Festing-8
Marine PrivateJamesGrindallML1813 April 1804----


  • Benjamin Morton Festing was Richard Grindall's nephew.
  • Midshipman Alexander Martin is given by Trafalgar Ancestors as aged 14 in 1804. [2]. The British Naval Biographical Dictionary 1849 says he joined the Navy in 1795 [3]


  • The Diary of Richard Anderson 1805, Greenwich Museum (The diary is kept at Greenwich Museum and may be viewed there. It has also been photographed and a DVD is available by post)
  • Trafalgar Ancestors:[4].
  • For HMS Prince and Trafalgar " The Trafalgar Companion " Mark Adkin, Aurum Press 2005 ISBN 1 84513 0189
  • Wikipedia [5]

Images: 1
HMS Prince
HMS Prince