The HMS Victory was a first-rate three-decker, carrying 110 guns, and was accounted the finest ship in the service. In 1744, she was the flagship of Admiral Sir J. Balchen, a venerable officer of 75 years of age, who had been called from the honourable retirement of Greenwich Hospital to command a fleet destined to relieve Sir Charles Hardy, then blockaded in Lisbon by a superior French force, under the Count de Rochambault. On returning from the successful performance of this service, the fleet was dispersed in the chops of the Channel by a tremendous gale, on October 4th. The rest of the ships, though much shattered, gained the anchorage of Spithead in safety, but the Victory was never more heard of, though from the evidence of fishermen of the island of Alderney, she was believed to have run on to the Caskets, some dangerous rocks lying off that island, where her gallant crew of about a thousand perished to a man
The Protecteur as a 64 gunship as a matter of fact never existed!
It seems that the Paris (France) ‘Musée de la Marine’ 64 gunship model had been wrongfully named by the admiral Pâris, keeper of the museum at the end of the 19th Century. He thus christened this model with the help of a commentary written on a time register, but whithout checking the name’s truthfulness, especially regarding the ship’s armament.
Construction of the vessel began in 1795 at Hartt Shipyard in Boston following the design of Joshua Humphrey from Philadelphia. The CONSTITUTION was launched in October 1797 and was completed in 1798. She was armed with 44 cannons, including 30 long-barrelled 24-pounders.
In the war between England and France (1812-1814) the CONSTITUTION led a successful engagement against the frigates GUERRIERE (with 38 cannons) and JAVA. Her last wartime voyage was in February 1815.