Sans Pareil Class Battleship (1887)

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The Sans Pareil Class of two battleships was constructed for the Royal Navy in the 1880s. They were the last British battleships to mount their main armament in one turret, and the first to have triple-expansion engines. Victoria famously sank after collision with another battleship in 1893, and Sans Pareil had an uneventful career, being shortly rendered obsolescent by other battleships coming into service.

Overview of 2 vessels
Citations for this data available on individual ship pages
Name Builder Laid Down Launched Completed Fate
Sans Pareil Thames Ironworks, Shipbuilding and Engineering Company 21 Apr, 1885 9 May, 1887 8 Jul, 1891 Sold 9 Apr, 1907
Victoria Armstrong, Whitworth & Company, Elswick 23 Apr, 1885 9 Apr, 1887 Mar, 1890 Rammed 22 Jun, 1893

Design History

As noted by naval architect and historian D. K. Brown, the design history of this class is "obscure."[1] Parkes suggests that the Director of Naval Construction, Nathaniel Barnaby, had little input into the designs and worked from instructions issued by the Board of Admiralty.[2] Brown comments that this is somewhat strange since the First Naval Lord, Sir Astley Cooper Key, was an advocate of the layout of the "Admiral" class, which the Sans Pareil and her sister contradicted with their single turret arranged for end-on fire.[3]


  1. Brown. p. 99. However, in the Admiralty Library, Portsmouth is, "A file of draft manuscript and printed papers of 2 memoranda written by Admiral Sir Arthur Hood (1824-1901) as First Sea Lord in support of proposals to build two new improved battleships, July-August 1885." MSS 171.
  2. Parkes. p. 331.
  3. Brown. Loc. cit.


Sans Pareil Class Second Class Battleship
  Sans Pareil Victoria  
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