English ship Vanguard (1586)

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English FlagEngland
Name: Vanguard
Launched: 1586
Fate: Broken up, 1630
General characteristics as built
Class and type: 32-gun galleon
Tons burthen: 500
Armament: 32 guns of various weights of shot
General characteristics after 1599 rebuild
Tons burthen: Unknown
General characteristics after 1615 rebuild[1]
Class and type: Great ship
Tons burthen: 665 tons
Length: 102 ft (31 m) (keel)
Beam: 35 ft (11 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship

Vanguard[Note 1] was a 32-gun galleon of the English Tudor navy, launched in 1586 from Woolwich, and was the first ship of the navy to bear the name.

She played a key part in the action against the Spanish Armada in 1588. She was commanded by Martin Frobisher in 1594 and by Sir Robert Mansell in 1596.

She was taken to pieces in 1599 and rebuilt for the first time. In 1615 she was rebuilt for a second time, at Chatham, as a great ship.[1]

During actions against Algerian pirates in 1620, Vanguard flew the flag of Sir Richard Hawkins.

Vanguard was broken up in 1630. Some of her timbers were used in the construction of the next Vanguard, launched the following year, and officially recorded as a rebuild of the first Vanguard.[1]


  1. ^ The 'HMS' prefix was not used until the middle of the 18th century, but is sometimes applied retrospectively



  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p158.


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.