The first Temeraire, a 3rd rate, was captured from the French at Lagos by Boscowan in 1759. She saw action at Belle Isle in 1761, and was at Martinique and Havannah in 1762.

The second Temeraire, a 2nd rate, saw action at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 when she went to the assistance of Admiral Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory. She is however better remembered as 'The Fighting Temeraire' the subject of Turner's famous picture, which shows her being taken up the Thames to Rotherhithe to be broken up in 1838.

Then followed a battleship of 8540 tons built at Chatham in 1876. She served in Hornbey's passage of the Dardanelles in 1878, and the bombardment of Alexandria in 1882. She later landed a Naval Brigade for action in Tel-el-Kebir and at Khartoum.

The last warship to carry the name was an 18,600-ton battleship launched in Devonport in 1907 and which saw service at Jutland in 1916.

The name Temeraire remained unused until 1955 when the Upper Yardman's Training College at Port Edgar, Scotland was established. In 1960 the College closed and a Temeraire Division was established at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

When that Division closed, the name remained unused until 1971 when the Royal Navy School of Physical Training was re-commissioned as HMS Temeraire. Situated then in Pitt Street, Portsmouth, a new complex was completed in 1988 in Burnaby Road and in June 1988 HMS Temeraire was moved to its present location. Housing the Royal Navy School of Physical Training, a Fleet Recreation Centre and the staff of Captain Naval Physical Development, HMS Temeraire is now the centre of Naval Sporting Activity.