The prestige ships of the British Navy were the three-deckers, carefully and lavishly built by the Royal Dockyards and requiring many years of work. Rarely commissioned in peacetime, and preserved with expensive overhauls and rebuilding, the few First Rates served as flagships, as they were the strongest units of the line of battle. Each 100-gun ship had an established complement of 850 men in addition to extras assigned when used as flagships. HMS Royal George was ordered under the name Umpire, and was built to counter the much enlarged French three-deckers built during the American Revolutionary War. She was renamed in late 1783 for the Royal George lost at Spithead in 1782. HMS Royal George served as the flagship at the Battle of Groix and wore the flag of Admiral Alexander Hood at the Glorious First of June. In 1807 she served as the flagship of Admiral Sir John Duckworth during the Alexandria expedition of 1807.
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