T.G.Dutton colour lithograph of HMS Royal Alfred

In the 1860s rapid changes were taking place in the 
technology of armament production, and calibres 
were increasing by about an inch per year. It was 
therefore distinctly possible that a ship designed to 
carry a specific armament fit would be already out-
classed on completion by other ships already on 
the stocks, at home or abroad, designed for the 
next generation of gun. As a battleship normally 
took not less than three years to progress from 
laying-down to launch, and as at that time warship 
gun designs were being upgraded approximately 
annually, this was a real and serious problem. With 
this in mind, completion of Royal Alfred was delayed 
until a suitable heavy gun became available. Her 
armament was placed amidships in a "box battery", 
an enclosure armoured on all four sides, with the 
guns places as close together as possible while 
allowing for their efficient working. Lighter guns 
were placed outside the box, near the bow and 
the stern, to provide fore and aft fire. Unlike many 
Victorian warships, she carried the same ordnance 
throughout her active career. She was the last 
wooden-hulled battleship to be built at Portsmouth.
She was commissioned in January 1867 as flagship 
on the North America station; she arrived at Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, after steaming through a major North 
Atlantic gale, with only one day's coal supply in her 
bunkers. She remained on this station for six years, 
moving between Nova Scotia and the West Indies, 
broken only by a short relief by HMS Defence for 
docking. She returned to pay off in January 1874, 
and was in Portland reserve until the following year.
Colour lithograph published by Griffin & Co Portsmouth 
1st Jul 1872. A group of naval officers commissioned the 
marine artist Thomas Goldsworth Dutton.1819-1891 to 
draw a set of lithographs portraying the ships of the 
British Navy. This is one of the illustrations from the 
set. Only 348 sets were published
Image size 182x124mm  Mount size 290x240mm
Price: £42.00
Artist : 
SKU: N02206