HMS Victory is the oldest commissioned warship warship in the world.
She dates back to July 1759 when her keel was laid.
She cost £63,176 when launched in May 1765, but was not commissioned and put to sea until 1778.
Those thirteen years made her wood well seasoned and is the reason she lived so long.
She was constructed from approximately 600 trees, 90% of which were English Oak. This equates to 100 acres of woodland.
Through her 110 years of active service she became a favourite of the admirals and was generally used as their flagship. Through her years she has seen nearly 100 admirals walk her decks.
Throughout her lavish career the H.M.S. Victory is the only surviving warship that fought in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. In the later she served as Lord Nelson's flagship at the decisive Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
As day broke on Monday 21st October 1805 off Cape Trafalgar, Nelsons fleet of 27 ships formed into 2 columns and sailed towards the enemy. Battle commenced at 11.45 with Collingwoods division breaching the rear of the enemy fleet. Nelson in Victory with her 104 guns followed shortly driving into the centre and opening a devastating fire into the stern of Villeneuve's flagship Bucentaure. Victory then engaged and grappled the Redoutable. At about 13.15 when fighting was at its fiercest, Nelson was shot by a French marksman and taken below where he died at 16.30. By this time the enemy had been beaten and a great victory won. Seventeen ships had been captured. The French battle fleet was never again a threat.
Much damaged the Victory was towed to Gibraltar and finally returned to Portsmouth on the 4th December 1805 bearing her dead Admiral. After repairs at Chatham she was recommissioned in March 1808. For the next 4 years she was in active service in the Baltic and off the coast of Spain. In 1812 now 47 years old she finally returned to Portsmouth on the 4th December, ending her long and historic sea life.
In 1824 she became the flagship for Port Admiral.
In 1831 she was listed for disposal but Hardy the First Sea Lord, at his wife's request declined to sign the warrant.
In 1889 H.M.S. Victory became the flagship for the Commander-in-Chief and still remains so today.
H.M.S Victory remains now as the embodiment of the spirit and the fine traditions of Royal Navy.
A great video showing renovation work and a tour of the mighty ship HMS Victory
In preparation for the bicentenary celebrations in 2005, HMS Victory underwent a major refit which involved replacing some of her timbers, copper rivets, and copper sheathing plates.
Nauticalia who specialise in maritime memorabilia bought all the salvaged material after her refit.
We feel very privileged and honoured to have been offered by Nauticalia some of the last oak to make a range of unique commemorative pens.
So now it is possible to own a true piece of naval history and contribute towards her future preservation.