- 1817 - 1901 Trincomalee
- 1902 - 1992 Foudroyant
Laid down in Wadia shipyard in Bombay in 1816, together with her sister ship HMS AMPHIRITE and launched on 12 October 1817, TRINCOMALEE was one of 47 38-gun Leda class frigates built between 1800 and 1830. Nearly all of them were of oak, but the two Bombay ships were made of Malabar teak.
Her building had been delayed by the plans being lost on HMS JAVA which was sunk by USS CONSTITUTION, a second set of plans not arriving in India until two years later.
When TRINCOMLAEE reached Britain in 1819, she went straight into 'ordinary' for 26 years in Portsmouth harbour. In 1845 she was commissioned for service in areas which lacked adequate coaling stations for the new steam vessels. Her stern was modified to an elliptical style, and she was reclassified as a 26-gun Corvette.
In 1847 she served in the West Indies and then in the Eastern Campaign of the Crimean War. After patrols in the Pacific she was again paid off into ordinary in 1857. Three years later she became a Drill Ship for Royal Naval Volunteers. Between 1860 and 1897 she was moored, mast-less and with deckhouses in Sunderland then West Hartlepool and finally in Southampton. She was sold to shipbreakers in 1897.
The philanthropist G Wheatly Cobb bought HMS TRINCOMLAEE to replace the training ship FOUDROYANT which had foundered two years earlier on its way to take up a similar role, and renamed the ship FOUDROYANT. She was moored in Falmouth and later at Milford Haven and finally at Portsmouth. On Cobb's death on 1932 she was managed by the IMPLACABLE Committee of the Society for Nautical Research.
During the war the vessel was taken over for the training of Sea Cadets. In 1947 she was given back to her owners and became an adventure training base for Sea Cadets, Sea rangers, Sea Scouts and other youth groups. From 1957 to 1987 she was moored at the entrance to Haslar Creek, Portsmouth. The Foudroyant Trust later moved her further north to avoid her being rammed by submarines. Training was discontinued due to the poor state of the ship and lack of trainees. In 1987 the Foudroyant Trust transferred the ship to Hartlepool where a private yard had just paid off after restoring HMS WARRIOR 1860.
In 1990 the Trincomalee was restored under the Trincomalee Trust. In 2016 the National Museum of the Royal Navy took responsibility for oversight of Trincomalee.
Andrew Lambert, The last of Nelson's frigates
Andrew Lambert, TRINCOMALEE, The last of Nelson's frigates
Andrew Lambert, HMS Trincomalee the last of Nelson's frigates (1994) pub: Pitkin Pictorials
Hugh Turner, HMS Trincomalee HNS Trincomalee from the Quarterdeck (1994) pub: Pitkin Pictorials
Hugh Turner, HMS Trincomalee Trimcomalee from the Quarterdeck:A second helping (1994) pub: Pitkin Pictorials
Seaforth Historic Ships series, HMS Trincomalee The frigate HMS Triincomalee 1817 (1994) pub: Pitkin Pictorials
John McIlwain, HMS Trincomalee (1994) pub: Pitkin Pictorials
Norman J Brouwer, International Register of Historic Ships (Edition 2, 1993, pp177) pub: Anthony Nelson
Dick Sullivan, Old Ships, Boats and Maritime Museums (1978) pub: Coracle Books
Classic Boat (Dec, 2001) Royal Naval Frigate Trincomalee returns to her 1817 looks
A E Thomson, Naval Review (January, 1998, pp59-61) HMS TRINCOMALEE, the ship with nine lives.
P A Vicary, Ships Monthly (July, 1972, pp345-6) Two warships named Foudroyant
Ships Monthly (October, 1975, pp31) Ships Preserved No. 9: The Foudroyant
Ships Monthly (April Volume 7, 1972, pp129-30) Wooden Walls - 1972 HMS Foudroyant
Built by the East India Company for the Admiralty at the Wadia Shipyard in Bombay as a Leda Class Frigate
Escorted back to England by HMS FOWEY calling at Trincomalee in Ceylon
Vessel decommissioned and placed ’in ordinary
Dry-docked and re-coppered
Vessel placed on reserve and modified to become a 26 gun Corvette
Re-commissioned for service in the North American and West Indies Station mainly to police the outlawed Slave Trade but also assisting British Consuls in protecting British interests in Haiti and Cuba
Crew paid off and vessel again put ‘in ordinary’
Re-commissioned, sent to join the Pacific Squadron and charged with defending British interests
War declared against Russia and vessel involved in operations to seek and destroy Russian frigates
Returned to ‘showing the flag’ duties in the Pacific
Paid off into ’ordinary’, her active service with the Fleet at an end
Served as a training vessel to train teenage Naval Volunteers in Sunderland, West Hartlepool and Southampton
Sold to shipbreakers in Portsmouth but bought by Mr Wheatly Cobb to replace HMS FOUDROYANT lost in a storm off Blackpool
After years of repair works at Cowes the vessel was towed to Falmouth for refitting and repainting and renamed TS FOUDROYANT
Served as a training vessel to introduce teenagers to basic nautical skills
On the death of Mr Cobb, his widow presented the ship to the Implacable Committee of the Society for Nautical Research and it was towed to Portsmouth and moored astern of HMS IMPLACABLE to provide additional accommodation for the ship’s youth tra
Both vessels commissioned as store hulks and later as accommodation vessels for ‘hostilities only’ Naval ratings
Vessel returned to owners and became an adventure training base for Sea Cadets, Sea Rangers and Sea Scouts
Moored at Haslar Creek, Portsmouth
Training ship role completed
Vessel moved to Hartlepool for restoration
The Foudroyant Trust became the HMS Trincomalee Trust with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as its patron
Restoration continued, completed and vessel opened to the public
Won a Silver Award in the national finals of the Excellence in England Tourism “Oscars”
Vessel is now the centrepiece of the displays at the historic quay
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £120,000 towards interpretation
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £5,000 towards the production od a 'Deck to Deck' guide and model of the vessel
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £46,000 for the final costs towards the vessel's restoration
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £116,250 for Development Study
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £4,005,000 for completion of the restoration project
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £975,000 to complete the restoration of the vessel
The National Heritage Memorial Fund awarded £300,000 for restoration works
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