HMS Impregnable on 17 August 1789, when King George III visited the ship
Great Britain
Name: HMS Impregnable
Ordered: 13 September 1780
Builder: Deptford Dockyard
Laid down: October 1781
Launched: 15 April 1786
Fate: Wrecked 18 October 1799
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: London-class ship of the line
Tons burthen: 18864794 (bm)
Length: 177 ft 6 in (54.10 m) (gundeck)
Beam: 49 ft (15 m)
Depth of hold: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
  • 98 guns:
  • Gundeck: 28 × 32 pdrs
  • Middle gundeck: 30 × 18 pdrs
  • Upper gundeck: 30 × 12 pdrs
  • Quarterdeck: 8 × 12 pdrs
  • Forecastle: 2 × 12 pdrs
The plan of Impregnable
The plan of Impregnable

HMS Impregnable was a Royal Navy 98-gun second rate ship of the line launched on 15 April 1786 at Deptford Dockyard.[1] She was wrecked in 1799 off Spithead.


In 1794, Impregnable served as Rear-Admiral Benjamin Caldwell's flagship at the Glorious First of June.


Impregnable was lost off Chichester on 18 October 1799.[1] She had escorted a convoy of 12 merchantmen from Lisbon to the Isle of Wight and her master, Michael Jenkins, was anxious to get into Spithead that night.[2] The result was that she ended up on the Chichester Shoals. Captain Jonathan Faulknor ordered the ship be lightened by cutting away the masts, and an attempt was made to anchor for the night.[3] At dawn the crew discovered that she had beaten a mile and a half over the shoals and now lay in mud flats near the entrance to Langstone Harbour.[2] The following day she was found to have bilged.

Faulknor determined that the ship could not be saved. A small flotilla of vessels from Langstone and Spithead dockyards was put to sea to assist, and successfully removed the crew, the ship's guns and other valuables.[3] Admiralty later sold Impregnable's remains to a Portsmouth merchant, A. Lindenegren.[2]

A court martial on 30 October 1799 dismissed Master Jenkins from the service.[2]

Citations and notes

  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p179.
  2. ^ a b c d Gossett (1986), pp. 23-4.
  3. ^ a b Grocott 1997, p.81


  • Gossett, William Patrick (1986). The lost ships of the Royal Navy, 1793-1900. Mansell. ISBN 0-7201-1816-6.
  • Grocott, Terence (1997). Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Eras. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1861760302.
  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.