HMS 'Victory', 1744.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Perspective painting of a whole hull model. 'Victory' was a First Rate 100-gun ship built at Portsmouth Dockyard in Hampshire, and launched in 1737. At the time of her completion she was the largest ship in the world. In 1744, on her way back from a succesful expedition to relieve a British fleet blockaded in the River Tagus in Portugal by the French, the Victory disappeared without trace. She is thought to have struck rocks off the Casquets in the English Channel in a severe gale, with the los of Admiral Sir John Balchen and the 1100 officers and men on board.