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Construction

1812

A set of plans for two new Leda Class Frigates were drawn up in England. The first ship was to be named Trincomalee, after an action in 1782 between the Royal and French navies off the Ceylon port of that name, and the second was called Amphitrite. Due to oak shortages, the vessels were to be built in Bombay from teak. During the voyage the vessel carrying the plans, HMS Java, was attacked and defeated by USS Constitution. Taken as a prize, Java sank under tow, taking the plans with her. Further plans were subsequently dispatched by the Admiralty, but only after several months delay.

1816 - May

Work finally began on HMS Trincomalee at the Wadia Shipyards at Bombay, near the teak forests of Malabar. Master shipbuilder Jamsetjee Bomanjee Wadia supervised construction, one of 14 ships he would build for the Royal navy during his life. In accordance with Zoroastrian tradition, an engraved silver nail was hammered into the keel to ensure the vessel's well-being (little did they know how well it would work!)

1817 - 12 October

Trincomalee was launched amid great celebrations. The cost of her construction was £23,000.

1817 to 1819

Temporary masts, yards and rigging were fitted, as well as four 12 pounder carronades, for the journey to England. Escorted by HMS Fowey, the ships stopped at her namesake port of Trincomalee to embark guns, ammunition and stores for the long voyage ahead, including personnel for repatriation to the UK from the British Squadron based there.

1819 - 30 April

Trincomalee arrived in Portsmouth, where the temporary fittings and armaments were removed for permanent fitting out. The journey has cost a further £6,600.

Images

Click on an image to view a larger version
USS Constitution demasts and defeats HMS Java - the captured vessel would later sink under tow, taking with her the first set of plans for HMS Trincomalee.A modern Indian teak plantation - teak is an exceptionally strong and flexible wood, which contributed to the remarkable longevity of Trincomalee, and the fact that she still retains so many of her original wooden components.Jamsetjee Bomanjee Wadia, master shipbuilder.A period map of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) - HMS Trincomalee visited her namesake during her first voyage to England, though she was actually named after a naval battle, not the town.
  • USS Constitution demasts and defeats HMS Java - the captured vessel would later sink under tow, taking with her the first set of plans for HMS Trincomalee.
  • A modern Indian teak plantation - teak is an exceptionally strong and flexible wood, which contributed to the remarkable longevity of Trincomalee, and the fact that she still retains so many of her original wooden components.
  • Jamsetjee Bomanjee Wadia, master shipbuilder.
  • A period map of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) - HMS Trincomalee visited her namesake during her first voyage to England, though she was actually named after a naval battle, not the town.

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©2010 HMS Trincomalee Trust - all information and prices correct at time of publiction. E&OE.