Royal Sovereign

Standing on the north side of Pembroke Street, Devonport, just yards from the junction with Canterbury Street, the Royal Sovereign was named, in all probability, soon after the launch of HMS Royal Sovereign, a first rate ship of the line built in the Dockyard and plunged into the Hamoaze on 11 September 1786.

The third Royal Naval ship to carry this name, the 100-gun Royal Sovereign was, famously, the first British ship in action at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805. The flagship of Admiral Collingwood, she led one column of ships into the encounter and Nelson’s Victory led the other. Severely pounded in the battle she nevertheless survived and it wasn’t until 1825 that she ceased active service and became, firstly a receiving ship and then a harbour hulk the following year. The Royal Sovereign was eventually broken up in Plymouth in 1841.


1798 - Stephen Hendry
1822 - Thomas Picken
1830 - J Cuddleford
1864 - William Welsh
1873 - J Hollingsworth
1880 - J Felland
1882 - Timothy Donovan
1885 - Mrs Manuel
1888 - G Maddick
1890 - John Perkin
1890 - John Cowling
1893 - Frederick Lewis
1895 - John Goodman
1898 - C Feeney
1903 - C Sparaway