HMS 'Royal Sovereign', 1864.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plate from the Illustrated London News (Vol 64/1 p 480). HMS 'Royal Sovereign', an iron-clad warship with turret-mounted guns. Iron-clads had begun in the late 1850's and the 1860's saw a race among the navies of Europe and the US to expand their fleets. HMS 'Royal Sovereign' was steam powered, and carried three lifeboats. The warship's firing power was tested at Spithead in 1866.