HMS Foudroyant was launched on 31 March 1798. She had an active career with the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars being involved in many actions and the capture of several enemy ships. Her exploits during that time included serving in Admiral Nelson's squadron at Palermo in 1799, in the Channel fleet under Rear Admiral of the Red Thomas Graves in 1805, and in 1807 was part of the escort of the Portuguese Royal Family. However with Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo in 1815 peace came to Europe and she became a guardship in Plymouth.
In 1862 it was decided to transform her into a training ship, and she was attached to HMSCambridge in 1879. Unlike the various ships that made up HMSImpregnable Foudroyant was actually physically attached with a wooden bridge between the two like Britannia and Hindustan. These vessels took about 500 men and 300 lads at a time.
Foudroyant was replaced by HMS Calcutta in 1894 and sold to George Wheatley Cobb for £20000. His idea was to take her around various seaside resorts as a tourist attraction, while also using the ship for training boys for service at sea. The scheme didn't last long as only three years as she was wreaked off Blackpool during a violent storm on the 16th June 1897. There was an attempt to re-float her, but it was unsuccessful and she was eventually broken up and her timbers turned into furniture. Mr Cobb was not deterred by the loss of his ship and quickly snapped up HMS Trincomalee to replace the Foudroyant, renaming her to Foudroyant in the process.
HMS Trincomalee had been a 38 gun frigate built at Bombay for the British navy, but too late for use in the Napoleonic wars. On arrival in Britain she was immediately mothballed until 1845 when she finally got a chance to do what she had been built for. She served in the Caribbean on anti-slavery patrols, and later in the Pacific until 1856 when she was taken out of active service. She was towed to Sunderland as tender for the training ship HMSCastor, and was then moved to West Hartlepool in 1862. In 1877 she was moved to Southampton as a drill ship before finally being sold off to Mr Cobb in 1897 who took her a first to Falmouth as a training ship, and then to Milford Haven in 1927.
In 1932 Mr Cobb died and the ship was presented to the Society for Nautical Research by his widow in order to continue his. The Society for Nautical Research relocated he to Portsmouth together with HMSImplacable and administered both ships via Implacable Committee of the SNR. During World War II both Foudroyant and Implacable were requisitioned for war service. At first they were just used as storage ships, but in 1943 they were commissioned as one unit, HMS Foudroyant. Together they were used to training new-entry Hostilities Only Ratings, including especially entered Bounty Boys. After the war the ships were returned to the SNR, but Implacable was found to be unsafe and scuttled leaving them with only the Foudroyant which they continued for train young sailors until 1986 under the control of the Foudroyant Trust. By 1986 there were simply not enough people wanting to be trained as sailors for her to continue in that role, but as the second oldest ship in the world that was still afloat the Foudroyant Trust decided that they could not just scrap her and had her towed to Hartlepool to be restored back to how she had been as HMS Trincomalee were she can still be visited today.