HMS Defiance (1861)


HMS ''Defiance'' was the last wooden line-of-battle ship launched for the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
. She never saw service as a wooden line-of-battle ship. In 1884 she became a schoolship.


''Defiance'' was a development of the Renown class. The second pair of Renowns, and , had a modified, finer stern run. ''Defiance'' was originally laid down as to the same plan as ''Atlas'', but a new plan dated 8 October 1858 was prepared giving ''Defiance'' a lengthened bow. ''Defiance'' was the last ship to use the midsection design that Isaac Watts (naval architect), Isaac Watts created for HMS James Watt, HMS ''James Watt''.


Her trials off Plymouth on 5 February 1862 were conducted when she was neither masted nor stored. The trial speed of was worse than the similar trials of ''Atlas'' and ''Anson'' . However ''Defiance's'' lack of sea service means that there can be no certainty as to whether her design was an improvement on ''Atlas''. On 26 November 1884 ''Defiance'' became the Devonport torpedo and mining schoolship. Commander Frederick Hamilton (Royal Navy officer), Frederick Hamilton was appointed in command on 1 November 1897, and re-appointed in early January 1898 after promotion to Captain. Captain James de Courcy Hamilton was appointed in command on 1 November 1900. A special railway station to serve personnel travelling to and from the school, known as "Disused railway stations (Plymouth to Penzance Line)#Defiance Platform, Defiance Platform", was situated just west of Saltash railway station from 1905 until 1930. She was sold on 26 June 1931 to Castle's Shipbreaking Yard for dismantling at Millbay, Plymouth.Lambert, ''Battleships in Transition'', p.126
Online history HMS ''Defiance''
/ref> Doige's Annual for 1932 poignantly describes her as "the last of England's 'Wooden Walls'".


Some of the timbers, including 6 oak pillars, the captain's fire surround, two cross members and some decking was used in the renovation of Furzehatt House in Plymstock that was owned and occupied by the Castle family (this account was relayed to me by Major Bunny Castle (retired) who came over from NZ on holiday to see his childhood home.


* Andrew Lambert, Lambert, Andrew ''Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815-1860'', Conway Maritime Press, 1984.
Online history HMS ''Defiance''

External links

Photo of HMS ''Defiance''
{{DEFAULTSORT:Defiance (1861) Battleships of the Royal Navy Ships of the line of the Royal Navy Ships built in Pembroke Dock 1861 ships Victorian-era battleships of the United Kingdom