HMS Gloucester (1654)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Gloucester.
Career (England) Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Gloucester
Builder: Graves, Limehouse
Launched: 1654
Fate: Wrecked, 1682
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Speaker-class frigate
Tons burthen: 755 long tons (767.1 t)
Length: 117 ft (35.7 m) (keel)
Beam: 34 ft 10 in (10.6 m)
Depth of hold: 14 ft 6 in (4.4 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Full rigged ship
Armament: 50 guns (at launch); 60 guns (1677)

HMS Gloucester was a 50-gun third rate Speaker-class frigate built for the navy of the Commonwealth of England at Limehouse, and launched in 1654.[1] By 1677 her armament had been increased to 60 guns.[1]

Gloucester was wrecked in 1682[1] off Great Yarmouth, while carrying the Duke of York (the future James II) to Leith. Victims of the sinking included Robert Ker, 3rd Earl of Roxburghe and Donough O'Brien, Lord Ibrackan.

Battle Honours[edit]

Engagements in which HMS Gloucester took part include:[2]

The sinking of the Gloucester[edit]

At around 5.30am on 6 May 1682 HMS Gloucester ran in to a sand bank off Yarmouth. In a strong Easterly gale the ship was pounded against the sand until the rudder broke off and the ship was holed. The Duke of York and John Churchill (the future Duke of Marlborough) were rescued in the ship's boat. Boats from the accompanying fleet managed to save many of the crew, but around 120 sailors and passengers lost their lives.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p159.
  2. ^ "HMS Gloucester Royal Navy". 5 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Hyde Rochester, Laurence. The Correspondence of Henry Hyde, earl of Clarendon and of his brother Laurence Hyde, earl of Rochester. pp. NARRATIVE FROM SIR JOHN BERRY, KNIGHT, LATE COMMANDER OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP GLOUCESTER. 


  • 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.