English ship Prince Royal (1610)

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Prince Royal arriving at Flushing in 1613
Royal Navy EnsignEngland
Name: Prince Royal
Ordered: November 1607
Builder: Phineas Pett I, Woolwich Dockyard
Laid down: 20 October 1608
Launched: 25 July 1610
Fate: Burnt, 3 June 1666 by the Dutch
General characteristics as built[1]
Class and type: 55-gun royal ship
Tons burthen: 1200
Length: 115 ft (35 m) (keel)
Beam: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Armament: 55 guns (in 1624) of various weights of shot including 51 carriage-mounted heavy guns and 4 light port-pieces (anti-personnel weapons)
General characteristics after 1641 rebuild[2]
Class and type: 70-gun ship
Tons burthen: 1187 tons
Length: 115 ft (35 m) (keel)
Beam: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Armament: 70 guns of various weights of shot, increased to 88 in 1653 (wartime) then back to 80 in 1660 (peacetime)
General characteristics after 1663 rebuild[3]
Class and type: 92-gun first-rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1432 tons
Length: 132 ft (40 m) (keel)
Beam: 45 ft 2 in (13.77 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft 10 in (5.74 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Armament: 92 guns of various weights of shot

Prince Royal was a 55-gun royal ship of the English Royal Navy, built by Phineas Pett I at Woolwich and launched in 1610.[1] The ship's fittings were carved by Sebastian Vicars, and painted and gilded by Robert Peake and Paul Isackson between Easter and Michaelmas 1611.[4]

She was the first ship of the line with three complete gun decks, although when first completed the upper deck carried no guns in the waist, and was stepped down aft because of the large amount of sheer (the manner in which the decks rose towards the stern and bow). In 1621 a refit saw the removal of this step-down, with all three gun decks now being continuous.

From 1639 to 1641 she was rebuilt by Peter Pett at Woolwich as a 70-gun first-rate ship.[2] During the time of the Commonwealth of England, she was named Resolution and fought in most battles of the First Anglo-Dutch War. By 1660 she was carrying 80 guns, and with the English Restoration of King Charles II she resumed the name Royal Prince. In 1663 she was rebuilt again at Woolwich Dockyard by Sir Phineas Pett II as a 92-gun first-rate ship of the line.[3]

The surrender of Prince Royal at the Four Days Battle, 3 June 1666, by Willem van de Velde the Younger

In 1665, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, she served as the flagship of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich at the Battle of Lowestoft on 3 June. A year later in 1666, she was Vice-Admiral George Ayscue's flagship in the Four Days Battle, on the third day of which (3 June by the Julian calendar then used in England) she ran aground on the Galloper Sand. When Dutch fireships surrounded the stranded ship, the crew panicked and Ayscue was forced to surrender to Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp who was aboard the Gouda. The Dutch managed to free the ship from the shoal, but found her steering to be irreparably damaged. In accordance with standing orders issued by the States-General of the Netherlands, Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter ordered the Prince Royal to be burned, to prevent her recapture.

See also[edit]

  • HMS Victoria, the last three-decked ship of the line commissioned by the Royal Navy.


  1. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p158.
  2. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p159.
  3. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p161.
  4. ^ Perrin, W. G., The Autobiography of Phineas Petit, NRS (1918), p.77, Appendix v., pp.207–210, painting & carving account


  • 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.
  • Winfield, Rif (2009) British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603–1714: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-040-6.

Coordinates: 51°43′59″N 1°56′36″E / 51.73306°N 1.94333°E / 51.73306; 1.94333