HMS 'Royal George', 1773-1775.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Perspective painting of a whole hull model by Joseph Marshall, commisioned by King George III. In 1773, George III directed that plans for one of each clas of His Majesty's ships should be prepared for him. 'Royal George' was a First Rate 100-gun ship built (commencing as 'Royal Anne') at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, and launched in 1756. In 1782, she foundered at Spithead, off the Isle of Wight, when whilst being heeled over for repair, water entered through her gunports. Some 900 lives were lost in the disaster. The wreck was the site of some of the earliest underwater salvage work using diving equipment in the 1830s and 1840s.