HMS Sapphire (1651)

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For other ships with the same name, see HMS Sapphire.
Royal Navy EnsignEngland
Name: Sapphire
Builder: Peter Pett I, Ratcliffe
Launched: 1651
Fate: Wrecked, 1670
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: Fourth-rate frigate
Tons burthen: 442 BM
Length: 100 ft (30.5 m) (keel)
Beam: 28 ft 10 in (8.8 m)
Depth of hold: 11 ft 9 in (3.6 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 140 originally, by 1666 had 160 (wartime).
Armament: Originally 38, later 36 guns in war (30 only in peacetime)

Sapphire was a 38-gun fourth-rate frigate of the English Royal Navy, originally built for the navy of the Commonwealth of England by Peter Pett I at Ratcliffe, and launched in 1651.[1]

Unlike many of her half-sisters, Sapphire seems to have never had additional guns added to her after completion; indeed by 1666 she carried just 36 in wartime (and 30 in peacetime), with 12 culverins and 10 demi-culverins on the lower deck, and 14 sakers on the upper deck. Sapphire was wrecked on 31 March 1670 when she was deliberately run aground at Sicily to escape from what her captain, John Pearce, thought were four Algerian corsairs. They weren't, and Pearce and his lieutenant, Andrew Logan, were shot for cowardice at Deptford on 26 August 1670.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p159.