Torbay (80)

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Torbay (80)

Origin and History

The ship was built by Fisher Harding at Deptford Dockyard and launched on 16 December 1693.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the ship was under the command of:

  • from 1701: Captain Archibald Hamilton
  • from 1702: Captain Andrew Leake
  • from 1703: Captain William Caldwell
  • from 1705: Captain Robert Fairfax
  • from 1706: Captain Samuel Whitaker
  • from March 1707: Captain William Faulkner
  • from 1708: Captain Robert Arris
  • from 1711: Captain James Moody

In July 1716, the ship underwent a rebuild at Deptford Dockyard and was relaunched on 23 May 1719 as a three-decker. She was finally broken up in 1749.

Service during the War

In August 1702, the ship was part of the powerful combined fleet assembled for the unsuccessful expedition against Cádiz. On its way home, this fleet captured the largest part of the plate-fleet in the Battle of Vigo Bay where the ship, which lay nearest to the enemy, making all sail, bore up for the boom, under a heavy fire from the foe. The boom gave way at the first shock, and, passing within it, Vice-Admiral Hopsonn anchored between the Bourbon and the Espérance and resolutely engaged both of them. After a while, the Zeven Provincien found her way to the opening which the Torbay had made, and laid herself on board the Bourbon, which she soon forced to strike. Vice-Admiral Hopsonn, who for some time had had a formidable opponent on each side of him, and had been practically alone, was somewhat relieved by the capture of the Bourbon but he was still in a perilous situation. Indeed, he was attacked by a vessel which the French had improvised as a fireship and he soon found his rigging in flames. It chanced that this vessel was laden with snuff and when at length she blew up, although she did a great amount of damage, her cargo was thrown in such dense masses over the Torbay that it had the effect of partially extinguishing the fire. Hopsonn was further relieved by the covering fire of the Association (96), which had by that time brought her broadside to bear upon the land works on the north side. Yet the Torbay, which had lost 115 men, killed or drowned, was so battered and burnt as to be almost helpless. Hopsonn had subsequently to transfer his flag to the Monmouth (64), which entered the harbour when the fight was nearly over.

On 24 August 1704, the ship took part in the Battle of Málaga.

In 1706, the ship underwent important repairs at Chatham.

In 1707, the ship served in the Mediterranean and, in August, took part in the siege of Toulon. On her way to Great Britain in October, she was present at the great naval disaster off the Isles of Scilly but suffered only light damage and managed to reach Portsmouth.

In May 1708, the ship sailed to Lisbon.

In 1711, the ship served in the Channel.


Technical specifications
Guns 80 (in 1703)
Lower gundeck 26 x 24-pdrs
Upper gundeck 28 x 12-pdrs
Quarterdeck 16 x 6-pdrs
Forecastle 6 x 6-pdrs
Roundhouse 4 x 3-pdrs
Crew 476 men
Length at gundeck 156 ft (47.55 m)
Width 41 ft 11 in (12.78 m)
Depth 17 ft 4 in (5.28 m)
Displacement 1202 Tons (Builder's Old Measurement)


Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail

Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy


N.B.: the section Service during the War is partly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.