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Nelson in the News

Who Was Nelson?


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Copyright Vicki Hassona 2013




Theseus in a hurricane, 1804

74-gun 3rd rate ship-of-the-line

  • Launched in 1786.
  • Broken up in May 1814.
  • Nelson commanded her as Commodore from May - August 1797.

Presence at Nelson's battles:

  • Nile: Captain Ralph Miller


  • 1797: Nelson's flagship during the disastrous attack on Santa Cruz in which he lost his arm.  Theseus' captain was Ralph Willett Miller.
  • June 1798: Joined Nelson's fleet for his chase across the Mediterranean in search of Napoleon's French fleet.  Fought at the Battle of the Nile.  (Capt. Ralph Miller)
  • 14th Aug 1798: Went with Orion, Bellerophon, Minotaur, Defence, Audacious and Majestic to Gibraltar with prizes Franklin, Tonnant, Aquilon, Conquerant, Peuple-Souverain and Spartiate, then sailed to England after repairing.  (Capt. Ralph Miller)
  • Feb 1799: Joined Thomas Troubridge's blockade of Alexandria, sent to assist with the defence of Acre under Sir Sidney Smith.  (Capt. Ralph Miller)
  • 14th May 1799: During the siege, French shells fell into the Theseus but didn't explode, and Captain Ralph Miller had the crew collect them and fire them back.  A pile of shells were being refilled with gunpowder when one was accidentally ignited, and they all exploded.  More than 40 men, including Miller, were killed.
  • 1803: Present at the blockade of Saint-Domingue under Capt. John Bligh.  In September, bombarded the fort at Port Dauphin and then captured the French 28-gun frigate Sargesse along with 2 brigs and 3 schooners.
  • March 1809: Fought in the Battle of Basque Roads, under Captain John Beresford, with Lord Gambier's fleet, where the anchored French fleet were attacked by fire ships and many ran aground.