This is a list of ships of the line of the Royal Navy of England, and later (from 1707) of Great Britain, and the United Kingdom. The list starts from 1660, the year in which the Royal Navy came into being after the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II, up until the emergence of the battleship around 1880, as defined by the Admiralty.

The early Restoration period (1660–77)

This list includes several earlier ships which were rebuilt for the Royal Navy in this period—specifically the first-rate Prince Royal (in 1663), the second-rate Victory (in 1666), the third-rate Montague (in 1675) and the fourth-rates Bonaventure (in 1663) and Constant Warwick (in 1666). The process, which generally involved the dismantling in dry dock of the old ship and constructing it to a new design incorporating part of the materials from the old vessel, produced what were in effect substantially new ships with altered dimensions and sizes, and generally mounting a somewhat larger number of guns.

First rates

96-gun group

100-gun group

Second rates

Third rates

Fourth rates

The above list excludes two smaller fourth-rates not designed for the line of battle—the galley-frigates Charles Galley and James Galley of 1676. It also excludes four fifth-rates of 36 guns (the Falcon and Sweepstakes of 1666, the Nonsuch of 1668, and the Phoenix of 1671) which were re-classed as 42-gun fourth rates some years after their original completion, but later reverted to being fifth-rates.

The "Thirty Ships" programme of 1677 (1677–88)

New fourth rates (1683–88)

Major rebuilds (1677–88)

Captures – ex-Algerines

The Royal Navy took into service as fourth rates the following ships captured from the Algerines (Algerian corsairs)

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1688–97)

Number of main guns follows name (see rating system of the Royal Navy)
Except where stated otherwise, these ships are listed in the order of pp. 163–165 The Ship of the Line Volume I, by Brian Lavery, pub Conways, 1983, ISBN 0-85177-252-8

The "Twenty-Seven Ships" programme of 1691

This programme was approved by Parliament on 10 October 1690. While nominally it comprised 17 third rates of 80 guns and ten fourth rates of 60 guns, funds for three third rates of 70 guns were provided at virtually the same date as the Programme, which should thus strictly speaking refer to Thirty Ships.

These four were originally intended to be two-deckers, like the other 13, but were completed as three-deckers.

Other third rates

Second rates of 90 guns, ordered 1695

Fourth rates of 50 guns

The split between 123 ft groups and 130 ft groups is not in Lavery, but in the previous version of this list on Wikipedia. However the split is supported by data in The 50-Gun Ship and in British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603–1714.

Major rebuilds

Captured ships, War of 1689–1697

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1697–1719)

Number of main guns follows name (see rating system of the Royal Navy)
Except where stated otherwise, these ships are listed in the order of pp. 165–169 The Ship of the Line Volume I, by Brian Lavery, pub Conways, 1983, ISBN 0-85177-252-8

First rates of 100 guns, rebuilt 1697–1719

New ships, pre-Establishment, 1697–1706

Rebuilds, pre-Establishment, 1697–1706

1706 Establishment

The 1706 Establishment established a desired set of principal dimensions for each group (i.e. size) of warship from the 40-gun fifth rate up to the 90-gun second rate (first rates and ships of less than 40 guns were not covered by the 1706 Establishment). As only the principal dimensions were specified, the design of individual ships remained with the Master Shipwright in each Dockyard; thus ships of the same number of guns built to this Establishment did not constitute a class in the modern sense of all being built to one design.

The seven Second rates of this Establishment were ordered as 96-gun vessels under the ordnance specification of the 1703 Guns Establishment, but the subsequent 1716 Guns Establishment reduced this armament to 90 guns.

The ten three-decker third rates of this Establishment were ordered as 80-gun vessels under the ordnance specification of the 1703 Guns Establishment, while the subsequent 1716 Guns Establishment retained this total (while making slight adjustments).

The first nineteen of the following vessels were ordered between 1706 and 1714 as 54-gun vessels, armed under the 1703 Guns Establishment with a main battery of 12-pounder guns. Under the 1716 Guns Establishment, the 54-gun ship was superseded by a 50-gun ship with a main battery of 18-pounder guns. The last ten ships listed below were ordered from 1715 onward which were established and armed to the 1716 Guns Establishment, and the existing 54-gun ships were re-armed to this standard as each came into a dockyard for refitting and opportunity allowed.

These small two-decker warships were not ships of the line as they were not powerful enough to stand in the line of battle. They were informally described as frigates and are included in the article on that topic.

Captured ships, War of Spanish Succession

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1719–41)

Number of main guns follows name (see rating system of the Royal Navy)
Except where stated otherwise, these ships are listed in the order of pp. 169–171 The Ship of the Line Volume I, by Brian Lavery, pub Conways, 1983, ISBN 0-85177-252-8

1719 Establishment

These small two-decker warships were not ships of the line as they were not powerful enough to stand in the line of battle. They were informally described as frigates and are included in the article on that topic.

Non-Establishment 60-gun ships

1733 Proposals

Smaller ships (fifth rates)

These small two-decker warships were not ships of the line as they were not powerful enough to stand in the line of battle. They were informally described as frigates and are included in the article on that topic.

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1741–55)

Number of main guns follows name (see rating system of the Royal Navy)
Except where stated otherwise, these ships are listed in the order of pp. 171-175 The Ship of the Line Volume I, by Brian Lavery, pub Conways, 1983, ISBN 0-85177-252-8

1741 proposals

None built

1745 Establishment

None built

1745 Establishment, as amended in 1750

1745 Establishment, as amended in 1752

1745 Establishment, as amended in 1754

1745 Establishment, as amended in 1756

Captured ships, War of 1739–48

Other captured ships

Other ships

Two ships of 74 guns were ordered in January 1748 from Chatham and Woolwich Dockyards, but with the end of the War of Austrian Succession both were cancelled in 1748.

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1755–85)

By or soon after the appointment of Baron George Anson as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1751, the system of establishments that covered the design of British warships was abandoned, and with the appointment of Thomas Slade and William Bately as joint holders of the post of Surveyor of the Navy in 1755, new principles governed the composition of the battle fleet. The Navy Board stopped building any further three-decker 80-gun ships. Production of the 70-gun and 60-gun ships also ceased. Instead, new 74-gun and 64-gun ships replaced these classes. Although 50-gun and 44-gun two-deckers continued to be built for cruising duties, the Navy no longer considered the 50-gun ships powerful enough to serve as ships of the line.

Number of main guns follows name (see rating system of the Royal Navy)

First rate of 100 guns (three-deckers)

Second rates of 90 guns [later 98 guns] (three-deckers)

Third rates of 80 guns (two-deckers)

Third rates of 74 guns (two-deckers)

Third rates of 64 guns (two-deckers)

Fourth rates of 60 guns (two-deckers)

Fourth rates of 50 guns (two-deckers)

Note that from 1756 onward the 50-gun ships were no longer counted as ships of the line as the Navy no longer considered them powerful enough to stand in the line of battle.

Captured ships

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1785–1830)

First rates of 120 guns (three-deckers)

First rates of 112 guns (three-deckers)

First rates of 110 guns (three-deckers)

First rates of 100/104 guns (three-deckers) – later rated as 110 guns

Second rates of 98 guns (three-deckers)

Second rates of 90/92 guns (two-deckers)

Second rates of 84 guns (two-deckers)

Third rates of 80 guns (two-deckers)

Third rates of 74 guns (two-deckers)

Third rates of 72 guns (two-deckers)

Fourth rates of 50 guns (two-deckers)

Converted East Indiamen

Captures of the Revolutionary War

French ships

Dutch ships

Captured at the Capitulation of Saldanha Bay, 17 August 1796
Captured at the Battle of Camperdown, 11 October 1797
Captured at the Vlieter Incident, 30 August 1799
Captured Dutch fourth-rate two-deckers

Note the six Dutch ships above were 54-gun ships, so the British Navy as classed them as Fourth rate two-deckers, and not as ships of the line.

Spanish ships

Captures of the Napoleonic Wars

Danish ship captured at the Battle of Copenhagen (1801)

Danish ships captured at the Battle of Copenhagen (1807)

List of ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1830–47)

Captain Sir William Symonds served as Surveyor of the Navy from 1832 to 1847. Captain Symonds was a naval officer and yacht designer, "who had risen to prominence by his success in competitive sailing trials between small warships. His selection implied a criticism of the dockyard-trained architects of the preceding 200 years".[26] Symonds attempted a revolution in warship design. His ships were designed to be faster under sail, and have more room for the gunners to work the guns (improving ergonomics). To achieve this, his ships were larger, and used a different hull form to provide stability without needing large amounts of ballast. Unfortunately the Surveyor's department was understaffed for the amount of work they were undertaking, and mistakes were made. Symonds' designs had more stability than was desirable, with the result that they rolled excessively and therefore were poor gun platforms. Another problem with Symonds' ships was that they were very sensitive to the distribution of weights on board ship, such as the stores carried and consumed on a voyage.[26][27]

Symonds worked very closely with John Edye, an experienced and well-educated shipwright officer. Edye was responsible for the details of structure and construction. The ships that Symonds and Edye designed had far more iron in their structure than the previous generation of ships designed by Seppings.[27]

First rates of 120 guns (three-deckers)

First rates of 110 guns (three-deckers)

Second rates of 90 guns (two-deckers)

Second rates of 80 guns (two-deckers)

Third rates of 70 guns (two-deckers)

List of unarmoured steam ships-of-the-line of the Royal Navy (1847–61)

Ships have been listed by class as in Lambert.[42]

Ships converted to steam ships-of-the-line

Wooden-hulled ships built (or at least laid down) as steam ships-of-the-line

List of ironclad warships of the Royal Navy (1860–82)

Sea-going ironclads (1860–82)

Coastal service ironclads

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Rif Winfield's British Warships in the Age of Sail: 1714–1792. p. 33
  2. ^ a b p76, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  3. ^ Colledge, p. 67
  4. ^ Quoted as 14 May 1747 (i.e. [Gregorian calendar]) p. 175 Lavery The Ship of the Line Volume I
  5. ^ pp. 62–63 Lyon The Sailing Navy List, p. 175 Lavery The Ship of the Line Volume I, HMS Victory.com
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Gossett (1896)
  7. ^ p. 64 Lyon The Sailing Navy List
    The date of breaking up quoted in Lavery is wrong. p. 175 Lavery The Ship of the Line Volume I, HMS Victory.com
  8. ^ Winfield, Rif British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714–1792
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l p. 115, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  10. ^ p. 111, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  11. ^ a b c d e f p. 109, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k p. 110, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  13. ^ p. 110, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List calls this the Kent class
  14. ^ pp. 110–111, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k p. 112, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p. 113, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at pp. 113–115, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  18. ^ a b p. 188, Lavery, The Ship of the Line, Volume I
  19. ^ a b sold 1904 according to p139, Lambert, Battleships in Transition
  20. ^ p191, Lavery, The Ship of the Line, Volume I
  21. ^ a b c p292, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w p. 186, Lavery, The Ship of the Line, Volume I
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h p189, Lavery, The Ship of the Line, Volume I
  24. ^ a b c d p190, Lavery, The Ship of the Line, Volume I
  25. ^ Winfield (2008), p.106.
  26. ^ a b p15, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  27. ^ a b p66-87, Lambert The Last Sailing Battlefleet
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p p. 170, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  29. ^ a b p128, Lambert, Battleships in Transition
  30. ^ a b c d e f g pp. 127–28, Lambert, Battleships in Transition
  31. ^ a b c d p135-6, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  32. ^ a b c d e p129, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i p171, Lyon, The Sailing Navy List
  34. ^ p72, Lambert The last Sailing Battlefleet
  35. ^ a b c p. 135, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  36. ^ a b p131, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m p172, Lyon The Sailing Navy List
  38. ^ a b p130, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j p137, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  40. ^ a b c d e f g p173, Lyon The Sailing Navy List
  41. ^ p. 138, Lambert Battleships in Transition
  42. ^ Lambert, Andrew Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815–1860, published Conway Maritime Press, 1984. ISBN 0-85177-315-X

References

(Also: *Lavery, Brian (1984). The Ship of the Line, Vol. 1: The Development of the Battlefleet 1650-1850. Vol. I (1st ed.). Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. p. 224. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.)

For subsequent capital ships of the Royal Navy, please see List of pre-dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy and List of dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy.