Figurehead of the HMS Benbow

Basic Information

FigID
F0202
InstID
Figurehead type
Figurehead
Title
Figurehead of the HMS Benbow
Vessel name
HMS Benbow
Type (Naval/Merchant)
Naval
Copyright owner
© National Museum of the Royal Navy
Copyright notes
Photo: © National Museum of the Royal Navy
Current location
Main entrance, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Location date

Physical Information

Description
The figurehead is of the bust of Vice Admiral John Benbow, the commander-in-chief of the West Indies during the War of Spanish Succession, who died of wounds sustained in a battle with a French squadron in 1702. He wears a brown curly wig and white cravat as shown in contemporary portraits. The figure wears armour and the lower part is draped in red cloth.
Maker
Unknown
Date made
Unknown
Place made
Unknown
Size
Materials
Wood
Object history
The armour on the figurehead was originally painted black and then in the 1950’s it was painted metallic silver and at some point was returned its original colour.
Vessel history
The ship, a 3rd rate, 72 gun vessel, was built at John Brent of Rotherhithe’s private yard and was launched from the same location in 1813. HMS 'Benbow' took part in the Syria Campaign in 1840 as part of an Anglo-Austrian-Turkish fleet. In 1848 the ship became a marine barrack vessel, then later in 1854 accommodation for Russian war prisoners and finally in 1859 a coal hulk at Sheerness. She was broken up by Castles of Woolwich in 1895.
Bibliography
David Pulvertaft ‘The Warship Figureheads of Portsmouth’ (Stroud, 2009) p.36
Admiralty Catalogue(1911) No 184

Ownership Information

Owner type
Public Institution
Owner name
National Museum of the Royal Navy
Contact details
National Museum of the Royal Navy, HM Naval Base (PP66), Portsmouth PO1 3NH
Ownership can be cited online
Yes
Accessible to public
Yes
Data verified by owner
No
Date verified

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