HMS Invincible was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 9 March 1765 at Deptford. Invincible was built during a period of peace to replace ships worn out in the recently concluded Seven Years' War. The ship went on to serve in the American War of Independence, fighting at the battles of Cape St Vincent in 1780, the Chesapeake in 1781 and St Kitts in 1782.
She survived the cull of the Navy during the next period of peace, and was present at the Glorious First of June in 1794, where she was badly damaged and lost fourteen men, and the capture of Trinidad from the Spanish in 1797.
The admiral and 195 sailors escaped the wreck, either in one of the ship's boats or were picked up by a passing collier and fishing boat, but over 400 of their shipmates drowned in the disaster, most of them once the ship began to sink in deeper water.
The compulsory court martial investigating the incident, held on HMS Ruby in Sheerness, absolved the admiral and the captain (posthumously) of culpability in the disaster, posthumously blaming the harbour pilot and the ship's master, both of whom had been engaged to steer the ship through the reefs and shoals of the dangerous region, and should have known the location of Hammond Knoll, especially since it was daytime and in sight of land.