HMS Bellona (1760)
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The ships of the Bellona-class were the typical 74s of the British fleet during the second half of the 18th century. Almost 40 ships in total owed their design origins to that penned by the famous Surveyor of the Navy, Thomas Slade, who was responsible for a great many ships, including HMS Victory and HMS Agamemnon. HMS Bellona had a most unusally long career for a ship of her time, surviving an impressive 54 years after launching, when in 1814 she was finally broken up in Chatham - the very same place she was originally built.
HMS Bellona was laid down in Chatham on the 10th of May, 1758, and was built fairly quickly, being launched on the 19th of February, 1760. She first saw action on 14th of August, 1761, when, in company with the frigate HMS Brilliant, she encountered a French 74, Courageux, with two frigates. Brilliant engaged the frigates, and Bellona engaged Courageux, eventually capturing her after a fierce battle. Her only major fleet action was the Battle of Copenhagen, in 1801, when she grounded on a shoal and was unable to take any real part in the action. She did, however, have a very active and useful career. HMS Bellona was also one of the first ships to be coppered, which took place in the March of 1780.