Launched in 1719, the Royal William was a English man-of-war far ahead of her time. Because ship rot caused irreversible damage to the hull structure, the useful life of ships of the era averaged only six years. To discourage rot, the builders of the Royal William charred the framing prior to laying the planking. This innovative technique assured the vessel of a longer life. Indeed, the Royal William remained in active service until 1813, nearly a hundred years after her construction!
She was the pride of the Royal Navy during the Seven Years's War against the French. She served as General Wolfe's flagship in the battle for Quebec in 1760 and the subsequent domination of Canada. The Royal William was originally the H.M.S. Prince, refitted in 1692.