HMS 'Albion', 1842.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Contemporary unrigged model (scale 1:48). A 90-gun sailing line-of-battle ship, designed by Sir William Symonds, Surveyor of the Navy, and launched at Devonport, Plymouth in 1842. The ships of the 'Albion' clas were the largest two-decker warships built in Britain during the sailing ship period. Marked changes in the design of the sterns of warships took place in the early years of the 19th century. The older form of the square stern made men-of-war very vulnerable to attack from astern. This change in form, in which the sudden curvature on the quarter was done away with, meant greater strength and enabled guns to be mounted on each quarter. The elliptical stern, shown here, was first introduced in 1827 as a further improvement.