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THE BELLEROPHON
As a man-of-war HMS Bellerophon distinguished herself in the first van of Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar. The picture above depicts a later noteworthy mission, the last she was to undertake as a British naval vessel. Only a year after taking the defeated French emperor aboard for the first leg of his voyage to final exile at St. Helena, Bellorophon was decommissioned, retrofitted and put into service as a hulk for "boy convicts" at Sheerness. The boys, some of them not more than eleven years of age, were soon moved to a smaller (less suitable) vessel. Bellerophon took adult convicts aboard, many of whom went ashore each day to work on Sheerness harbor projects. Bellerophon continued as a prison hulk at Sheerness for nine years, usually having aboard about 480 convicts.