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H.M.S. Royal George Miniature Cannon, 1840
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H.M.S. Royal George Miniature Cannon, 1840

Measurements: Length: 10cm (4in)

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Brass and wood. The engraved inscription on the barrel reads: ‘Relic of the / ROYAL GEORGE, / Sunk 1782. / A miniature cannon cast from metal recovered from the wreck of H.M.S. Royal George (100 guns) in 1840.

H.M.S. Royal George was a 100-gun first rate ship of the line and was launched at Woolwich on 18 February 1756. The largest warship in the world at the time of launching, she saw service during the Seven Years’ War, during which she served as Admiral Sir Edward Hawke’s flagship at the Battle of Quiberon Bay. She saw action during the American War of Independence taking part in Admiral Rodney’s victory over the Spanish squadron in the moonlight Battle of Cape St. Vincent. She sank undergoing routine maintenance work whilst anchored off Portsmouth on 29 August 1782 with the loss of more than 800 lives, one of the most serious maritime losses to occur in British waters.
Several attempts were made to raise the vessel, both for salvage and because she was a major hazard to navigation. Guns and other items were recovered using primitive diving equipment between 1839 and 1842. In 1840, the main structure of the wreck was destroyed by the Royal Engineers in an explosion that shattered windows as far away as Portsmouth and Gosport.

 

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