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HMS Bellerophon

At least two ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Bellerophon, after the Greek hero Bellerophon.

The first HMS Bellerophon was a 74-gun ship of the line launched in 1786 on the River Medway near Chatham.

She fought at the battle of The Glorious First of June, the Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Trafalgar, becoming one of the most famous British ships of the Napoleonic Wars.

Sailors on board the Bellerophon found the name difficult to pronounce and called her the Billy Ruffian. She achieved further fame in 1815 when she carried Napoleon from the Ile d'Aix to Plymouth before he was transferred to the HMS Northumberland and taken into exile on St Helena.

A later HMS Bellerophon was a Dreadnought battleship built in about 1908 which fought at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.