Tag Archives: HMS Hotspur

HMS Hotspur

Horatio Hornblower Ship


HMS Hotspur

The HMS Hotspur

You know that Hotspur is under my command?“―Horatio Hornblower[src]

HMS Hotspur was an 20-gun, quarter-deck, ship-rigged sloop-of-war of the British Royal Navy. She was armed with 20 9-pounder long guns.


In May of 1803, with war with France under Napoleon Bonaparte imminent, Horatio Hornblower was promoted from Lieutenant to Commander and appointed to command the Hotspur. He chose Lieutenant William Bush to serve under him as First Lieutenant. The ship gave formal salute to the French frigate Loire before war is declared.

Hotspur reconnoitred the approaches to the French naval base of Brest as part of the Inshore Squadron, and narrowly avoided capture when war was declared. While in command of the Hotspur, Admiral William Cornwallis instructed Hornblower to capture a convoy of ships carrying Spanish gold. Instead, Hornblower engaged an enemy frigate sent to warn the convoy and keeps it from accomplishing its mission. Eventually, through superior seamanship and skill, he drove it away.

In the Hornblower TV seriesHotspur was originally a British ship. She was eventually captured by the French. Hornblower found the Hotspur on patrol, and felt something was not right. After Hornblower and the crew discovers that the ship has been captured, they succeed in retaking it by boarding.