HMS Dragon (1647)

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History
Royal Navy EnsignGreat Britain
Name: HMS Dragon
Ordered: 9 January 1647
Builder: Henry Goddard, Chatham Dockyard
Launched: 1647
Fate: Wrecked, 1712
General characteristics as built[1]
Class and type: 38-gun fourth rate frigate
Tons burthen: 414 72/94 bm (470 after broadening)
Length: 96 ft (29.3 m) (keel)
Beam:
  • 28 ft 6 in (8.7 m) (initially)
  • 30 ft 0 in (9.1 m) (after broadening)
Depth of hold: 14 ft 3 in (4.3 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 150 (160 in 1666, 230 later)
Armament: 38 guns (at launch); 46 guns (1677)
General characteristics after 1689-90 rebuild[2]
Class and type: 46-gun fourth rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 479 (530 after broadening)
Length:
  • 118 ft 11 in (36.2 m) (gundeck)
  • 99 ft 0 in (30.2 m) (keel)
Beam:
  • 30 ft 0 in (9.1 m) (initially)
  • 31 ft 9 in (9.7 m) (after broadening)
Depth of hold: 12 ft 2 in (3.7 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 220
Armament: 46 guns of various weights of shot
General characteristics after 1707 rebuild[3]
Class and type: 46-54-gun fourth rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 719 71/94 bm
Length:
  • 131 ft 8 in (40.1 m) (gundeck)
  • 108 ft 5.25 in (33.1 m) (keel)
Beam: 33 ft 3.75 in (10.2 m)
Depth of hold: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Complement: 185 (peacetime) - 280 (wartime)
Armament:
  • 46 (peacetime) - 54 (wartime) guns comprising:
  • Lower deck: 20 - 22 x 12-pounder guns
  • Upper deck: 18 - 22 6-pounder guns
  • Quarter deck: 6 - 8 x 6-pounder guns
  • Forecastle: 2 x 6p-pounder guns

HMS Dragon was a 38-gun fourth rate frigate of the Royal Navy, built by the Master Shipwright Henry Goddard at Chatham and launched in 1647.[1] She was the first frigate to be built at Chatham (the term 'frigate' during this period referred to a vessel designed for fast sailing, with a low superstructure, rather than a role which did not develop until the following century).

Service history[edit]

Her first commission was in the Irish Sea where she served from 1647 to 1650. She took part in the First Anglo-Dutch War from 1652-4 and was engaged in the naval battles of Dungeness, Portland, the Gabbard, and Texel.

From June 1655 to July 1656, Dragon served in the Mediterranean Fleet, and then in the English Channel.

In the Second Anglo-Dutch War, she took part in the Battle of Lowestoft and then in the Four Days' Battle. Following the end of the War, she is known to served in the Mediterranean once more, from 1669-1672. In May 1672 she took part in an engagement with Algerine pirates.

The Third Anglo-Dutch War saw Dragon back in home waters, engaging two Dutch ships off Bury Head at some time during this period. In 1674-7 1682-7, and 1686-9 she is again known to have been in the Mediterranean, on the last occasion serving as flagship for Henry Killigrew.

By 1677 her armament had been increased to 46 guns.[1] In 1690, during the Nine Years' War, Dragon was rebuilt at Deptford Dockyard by Fisher Harding as a 46-gun fourth rate ship of the line.[2] In 1691 and 1692 she is recorded in the Irish Sea and the Channel, and went to the West Indies in 1693. On 12 May 1694 she captured the French ship Diligente. Later in the Nine Years' War, she served in the Mediterranean (1696) and at Dunkirk (1697).

The War of the Spanish Succession also involved Dragon, the ship seeing action in 1702 as part of a fleet under Cloudesley Shovell, then serving in the Channel Fleet from 1703-6.

She was rebuilt for a second time in 1707 at the Nelson Dock as a fourth rate of 46-54 guns.[3] She went on to serve on the Dutch Coast in 1708, and Newfoundland in 1709.

Wreck[edit]

Dragon was wrecked on 15 March 1712 on Les Casquets, rocks to the west of Alderney.[4]

Captains[edit]

  • 1647-8 Anthony Young
  • 1650-2 John Stoakes
  • 1653-5 Edmund Seaman
  • 1656-60 Richard Haddock
  • 1664 Valentine Pyend?
  • 1665 John Lloyd
  • 1665-6 Daniel Helling
  • 1666 Thomas Roome Coyle
  • 1668 Richard May
  • 1669-72 Arthur Herbert
  • 1672-3 Thomas Chamberlaine
  • 1673 David Trotter
  • 1674-7 Sir Roger Strickland
  • 1682-3 Thomas Hamilton
  • 1686-9 Henry Killigrew
  • 1691 William Wright
  • 1692 - Nov. 1694 William Vickars
  • 1695-7 Edward Rigby
  • 1701-2 Robert Holliman
  • 1702-3 Charles Fotherby (acting)
  • 1703-6 Henry Maynard
  • 1707-11 George Martin

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 159.
  2. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 165.
  3. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line, vol. 1, p. 167.
  4. ^ "1712 Wreck of HMS Dragon". 

References[edit]

This article includes data donated from the National Maritime Museum Warship Histories project