Sunday, 4 July 2010

13th July 1761 Monday Proclimation for the King's Coronation to be 22 Sept next Spent 6

A Royal Proclamation has legal force (did you know that? I didn't).

28th July Went to Blackwall to see a 64 Ship of Warr called the Affrican and spt. 12

Here comes the sort of detail which makes me love doing this blog - HMS Africa was a 64 gun 3rd rate ship of the line launched at Blackwall Yard on 31st January 1761.

"Third Rate" is not in any way a perjorative term. It refers to a ship mounting between 64 & 80 guns and typically with two decks. It represented a good compromise between firepower, cost and sailing ability. HMS Victory is the only surviving ship of the line. Here is a diagram showing a third rate ship of the line ("ships of the line" are for fighting set piece battles as opposed to unrated, more manoeuvrable ships such as frigates).

The whole rating system is explained here. HMS Victory is a first rate ship of the line. I can't find a picture of a third rater but if you have visited HMS Victory, still the flag ship of the Royal Navy you will know that it seems very small today.

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