Royal William (100)
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Origin and History
The ship was built at Portsmouth by Naish. She was launched in 1719.
During the Seven Years' War, the ship was under the command of:
- in 1757: captain Wittewronge Taylor
- in 1758: captain Thomas Evans
- in 1759: captain Hugh Pigot
The ship was broken up in 1831.
Service during the War
In August 1757, the ship joined the fleet assembling at Spithead under the command of sir Edward Hawke. On September 8, this fleet sailed. It escorted 45 transports carrying more then 7,000 foot for an expedition against an undisclosed French port of the Atlantic coast. The raid was finally intended against Rochefort. On September 23, she was part of the ships who bombarded the works on the little island of Aix at the mouth of the river leading up to Rochefort. In half an hour the position surrendered. Despite this success the raid on Rochefort failed lamentably. On October 6, the expeditionary force, returned home with no tangible results.
At the beginning of 1758, the ship was part of the fleet who assembled at Portsmouth under the command of admiral Edward Boscawen for the expedition against Louisbourg. On February 19, this fleet set sail for Halifax and finally arrived there on May 9. On May 28, the fleet sailed from Halifax and arrived in sight of Louisbourg on June 1. Throughout the siege of Louisbourg, the fleet actively supported the British army and the fortress finally surrendered on July 26. A few weeks after the capture of Louisbourg, Boscawen sailed for Great Britain with a squadron who, on his passage, became separated. On October 27, Boscawen entered the Soundings with part of his squadron, including the Royal William. His squadron met du Chaffault's squadron which was returning from Québec but after a brief cannonade, both fleet separated. On November 1, Boscawen arrived at Spithead.
In February 1759, the ship sailed from Spithead in Great Britain as part of the fleet destined for the expedition against Québec. The voyage was long and tedious. On April 21, when the fleet finally reached Louisbourg, it was to find the harbour blocked with ice, so that the fleet made for Halifax instead. The fleet finally sailed for Louisbourg in May. From June 1 to 6, the fleet gradually left the harbour of Louisbourg and sailed for Québec. On June 23, Saunders' fleet made a junction with Durell's squadron at Isles-aux-Coudres. On June 26, the whole British fleet of vice-admiral Saunders was anchored safely off the southern shore of Isle-d'Orléans, a few km below Québec without loosing a single ship. The town finally surrendered on September 18. At the end of October, vice-admiral Saunders fired his farewell salute and dropped down the river with his fleet, carrying aboard the Royal William (100) the embalmed remains of Wolfe, to be laid by his father's body in the parish church of Greenwich.
To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763
Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 227-232
Blasco, Manuel, British 1st Rates, 3 Decks Wiki
Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, p. 171-172
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.