The First HMS Invincible (1747-58): Her Excavations (1980-1991) 

Bingeman, J.M. 

Hardback. 208p, 389 b/w illus (Oxbow Books 2010). 

In 1980, following the discovery of a wreck off the south coast by a local fisherman, John Bingeman applied for a Government Protection Order and subsequently identified the ship as the Royal Navy's first Invincible (1747-58).
Invincible was a 74-gun warship that came to grief on Sunday the 19th February 1758 off Portsmouth. She was sailing as part of the expedition to besiege the French Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. This was the beginning of a progressive series of military operations leading to the eventual colonisation of Canada.

The Ship, brought into British service when only three years old, was the first newly designed 74-gun warship to be captured from the French. It represented a significant step forward in ship construction and was to become the prototype for a new generation of British men-of-war. In 1758 when Invincible foundered, she was a British ship-of-the-line fully equipped for an expedition abroad. Although her guns and much of her equipment were salvaged at the time, she was subsequently abandoned with a considerable amount of equipment still onboard.

This volume includes a description of Invincible's building as a French warship; her capture in 1747 by the Royal Navy, her foundering in the Solent, and the 1979-1990 excavations of the wreck site. Particular attention is paid to the artefacts recovered, which have provided naval archaeologists and historians with a time capsule of equipment aboard a warship in the mid-18th century. In addition, because Invincible was carrying troops to Canada, the wreck site contained regimental equipment, including army buttons that pre-dated previously accepted dates and are therefore of great significance to army historians.
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