Original British Napoleonic Wars Naval Powder Bucket HMS ACHILLE
Original Item: Only One Available. The HMS Achille was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built by Cleverley Bros., a private shipyard at Gravesend, and launched on 16 April 1798. Her design was based on the lines of the captured French ship Pompée. She was the fourth Royal Navy ship to be named after the Greek hero Achilles in the French style.
Achille at Trafalgar
On 21 October 1805, under the command of Captain Richard King, Achille was in Admiral Collingwood's column at the Battle of Trafalgar, seventh in the line, between Colossus and Revenge. Achille opened fire on the rear of the French and Spanish fleet at 12.15, engaging the Montanes of 74 guns, for fifteen minutes, before sailing on to meet the Argonauta of 80 guns, which had already been battling with other British ships. After hours of fierce fighting, Argonauta fell silent and closed her gunports, but before Achille could accept her surrender, her French namesake Achille of 74 guns, moved in to engage the British ship. After exchanging broadsides, the French ship sailed on and was replaced on the starboard side by the 74-gun French ship Berwick, and for the next hour and a quarter she lay close alongside Achille, receiving a pounding that eventually forced her to surrender with over 250 casualties - almost half her crew. Achille took possession, and transferred some of her crew back on board as prisoners. Achille suffered 13 killed and 59 wounded in the battle, in stark comparison to the heavy losses she inflicted on her French and Spanish adversaries.
On 17 July 1812, boats from Achille and Cerberus captured or destroyed 12 enemy trabaccolos off Venice.
She continued in active service until 1815, when she was decommissioned at Chatham, and laid up at Sheerness. She survived in this state until 1865, when she was sold for £3,600 to be broken up.
This is an original or bucket constructed of oak and brass that was for carrying bags of gunpowder aboard a Man-O-War at the time of the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France 1794 to 1815. Constructed from wood with brass mounts and copper nails there was no iron included to avoid the possibility of creating a spark that could have detonated the load.
The pail has been branded with the ship name ACHILLE along with a broad arrow surrounded by B.O. (for Board of Ordnance). The vessel is 14" in diameter and 10" tall and comes complete with all brass folding handle and mounts.
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