Colossus, the original
The Royal Navy has counted six warships named HMS Colossus over the centuries to include– possibly the best known among modern scholars– the Colossus-class dreadnought battleship of Jutland fame. Other famous vessels with the same name are the class-leading WWII-era light aircraft carrier that went on to be the French Indochina-era flattop Arromanches (R95), and a previous early battleship of the 1880s.
Going even further back, the first Colossus in the Royal Navy was the 74-gun Courageux-class third rate ship of the line launched at Gravesend on 4 April 1787. Fighting at the Siege of Toulon and the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, the latter one of the greatest British naval victories that no one has ever heard of, she was lost in bad weather off Samson Island in the windswept Isles of Scilly in December 1798.
Extensively salvaged in the 20th Century, divers discovered eight cannons in the 1970s and brought to the surface. Five were retained by a chap named Roger Smith, who brought them to Tasmania, Australia. One was provided to Penny Royal Gunpowder Mills where it takes part in displays.
Now, three of Smith’s guns, a 32-pdr, and two 24-pdrs, just went to auction with an estimate of between $4,000 and $5,000. Too bad it was in Australia.