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Nelson in the News

Who Was Nelson?


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Copyright Vicki Hassona 2013




24-gun 6th rate frigate

  • Launched in 1751.
  • Broken up in 1777.
  • As a midshipman, Nelson travelled home from India to England during March-May 1776, as he was ill.  She was commanded by Capt. James Pigot.


  • 20th May 1756: Fought at the Battle of Minorca, the first naval battle of the Seven Years' War in Europe.  The British lost to the French, which meant that the French were able to take Minorca.  The British commander, Admiral John Byng, was executed for not doing enough to save the island's garrison.
  • From 1764, she was used as a survey ship, for the purpose of finding a place for a British base in the south Atlantic, and general discovery of new lands, and so the Dolphin became the first ship to circumnavigate the world twice.  The first was between June 1764 to May 1766, under Commodore John Byron.  During the voyage, he took possession of the Falkland Islands, but this nearly caused a fall-out between Britain and Spain as each claimed that the strategically-important islands had been discovered by their own explorers.  He later discovered some islands in the south Pacific. 
  • From 1766 until May 1768, Dolphin went around the world again, this time under Samuel Wallis, a navigator.  In June 1767, Wallis took possession of Tahiti, an island in the Pacific, and called it 'King George III Island'.  While there, the sailors discovered that the local women would exchange sex for iron, and this happened so regularly that the loss of iron nails began to weaken the Dolphin's structure! Wallis then went to Batavia and then went round the Cape of Good Hope and back to England.  Some of the Dolphin's crew later went with Captain James Cook on his voyage to the Pacific.



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