HMS Victory is a first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765, most famous as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar. She is the oldest naval ship still in commission, and now sits in dry dock in Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom as a museum ship.
In December 1758, the commissioner of Chatham Dockyard was instructed to prepare a dry dock for the construction of a new first-rate ship. This was an unusual occurrence at the time as the Royal Navy preferred smaller and more manoeuvrable ships, and it was unusual for more than two to be in commission simultaneously; during the whole of the 18th century only ten were constructed.
The outline plans arrived in June 1759 and were based on HMS Royal George which had been launched at Woolwich Dockyard in 1756. The naval architect chosen to design the ship was Sir Thomas Slade who, at the time, was the appointed Surveyor of the Navy. She was designed to carry at least 100 guns and was established with that number of guns; in practice, her armament varied from 104 to 106 guns and carronades. In January 1808 the Victory was reduced to a 98-gun Second rate, but was reclassed as a 104-gun First Rate in February 1817.