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Watchful and King William IV

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2014

Ministry of Defence Police launch WATCHFUL seen passing William IV at Mutton Cove in Devonport Dockyard viewed from the Cremyll on May 29, 2014. The statue known as "King Billy", is of William IV who reigned between 1830 and 1837. The original wooden statue was a figurehead on the 120 gun first rate warship, HMS ROYAL WILLIAM. The ship was converted to steam in 1859/60 and the figurehead was replaced with a smaller one. The original being placed in this position until it was replaced by a fibreglass replica a few years ago.   HMS ROYAL WILLIAM later became the reformatory ship CLARENCE operating for the Liverpool Catholic Reformatory Society which was moored on the Mersey until her destruction by fire in 1899.  


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