HMS Benbow There have been a series of three ships in the British Royal Navy named HMS Benbow in honor of Admiral John Benbow. The first HMS Benbow (1813) was a wooden-hull, 72-gun Vengeur "third class ship of the line." The Royal Navy's rating system was devised to classify ships according to guns, gun decks, men, and displacement. Under that system, a "third rate" ship had 74 or less guns, two gun decks, 500 to 650 men, and displaced about 1750 tons. She used sails for propulsion. There are records indicated that HMS Benbow served in the Mediterranean from 1839 to 1842, including operations off the coast of Syria in 1840. She was used predominantly for harbor service from February 1848 until August 1859, but she served as a prison ship for Russian prisoners of war at Sheerness in 1854. In 1859 she was converted to a coal hulk. In 1892, after 79 years of service, the first HMS Benbow was sold out of the Navy, and was broken up in 1895 at Castle, Woolwich.
HMS Benbow (1885) was an Admiral-class battleship. A 12-gun twin-screw battleship with 11,500 horsepower and top speed of 17.5 knots, her largest guns were two 16.25-inch Barbette guns in single fittings. She measured 330 feet in length and displaced 10,600 tons. Her crew complement was 525 men. Launched in 1885 and commissioned on 14 June 1888 for the Mediterranean Fleet, she served until October 1891. She was then held in the Reserve until March 1894, with two short commissions to take part in maneuvers. Until April 1904 she served as guardship at Greenock, and thereafter remained in the Reserve until sold and broken up in 1909.
HMS Benbow (1913) was an Iron Duke-class battleship, the third ship of that particular class, which was the last group of Dreadnought battleships. She measured over 622 feet in length and displaced 25,000 tons. Propulsion was by four shaft Parsons steam turbines, driving four propellers. Top speed was 21.25 knots. Her crew complement was 995-1022 men. Her largest guns were ten 13.5 in/45 guns in five twin turrets, and she had four torpedo tubes. The third HMS Benbow was launched in 1913, and commissioned in October 1914 after the outbreak of World War I. She served as part of the Grand Fleet, and led one of the squadrons of the Fleet in the major naval engagement of that war, the Battle of Jutland in 1916. She spent the rest of the war in home waters, but was dispatched to the Mediterranean after the end of the war, and then into the Black Sea. Here she carried out a number of shore bombardments in support of the White Russians in the Russian Civil War, until their collapse in 1920. She remained with the Mediterranean Fleet until 1926, when she returned to the Atlantic Fleet. She was decommissioned in 1929, disarmed under the terms of the London Naval Treaty in 1930, and was sold for scrapping in 1931.