English ship Rainbow (1586)
|Fate:||Sunk as a breakwater, 1680|
|General characteristics as built|
|Class and type:||Galleon|
|Length:||100 ft (30 m) (keel)|
|Beam:||32 ft (9.8 m)|
|Depth of hold:||12 ft (3.7 m)|
|General characteristics after 1617 rebuild|
|Class and type:||40-gun great ship|
|Length:||112 ft (34 m) (keel)|
|Beam:||36 ft 3 in (11.05 m)|
|Depth of hold:||13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|
|Armament:||40 guns of various weights of shot|
Rainbow[Note 1] was a galleon of the English Tudor navy, built at Deptford Dockyard by Peter Pett (the first of that name in this extensive family), and launched in 1586. Commanded by Lord Henry Seymour, a younger son of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset by his second wife Anne Stanhope, she fought against the Spanish during the Singeing the King of Spain's Beard and the Spanish Armada, including the Battle of Gravelines in 1588.
In 1617 Rainbow was rebuilt at Deptford as a great ship (now described as a "second rate"), mounting 34 major and 6 smaller guns. She was again reconstructed in 1628-29 at Chatham, although the work was classed as a "repair" rather than as an official rebuilding. By 1660 her armament had increased to 56 guns.
- The 'HMS' prefix was not used until the middle of the 18th century, but is sometimes applied retrospectively
- Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p158.
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