HMS Woolwich (1675)

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HMS Woolwich may have been most decorated 4th rate ship ever in English navy.

HMS Woolwich was a 54-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Phineas Pett III at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1675. She underwent a rebuild in 1702.[1] Woolwich was broken up in 1747.

Service Career

She was built by Phineas Pett III at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1675. She was in commissioned April 1677 and first assigned to the Mediterranean Squadron under the command of Captain Sir John Ernie.[1] Woolwich remained in the Mediterranean until January 1681 when she was paid off.[1] She was recommissioned in 1681 under and placed under the command of Captain Anthony Smith.[1] On 11 May 1689 HMS Woolwich took part in the Battle of Bantry Bay commanded by Captain Ralph Sanderson.[1] On 10 July 1690 she was assigned to the Red Squadron taking part in the Battle of Beachy Head, Captain James Gother commanding.[1]

On 19 May 1692 HMS Woolwich was next serving with the Blue Squadron taking part in the Battle of Barfleur, Captain Christopher Myngs commanding.[1] On 27 June 1693 she took part in the Battle of Lagos of Portugal as part of Rear-Admirals George Rookes fleet on protection duties of the Smyrn convoy.[1] In 1694 she was next on cruising duties off the Orkney's Islands, Scotland.[1] In 1696 HMS Woolwich was assigned to Rear-Admiral of the Blue John Benbow's squadron on cruising duties off the coast of France.[1] In 1697 she was serving on the Thames Station stationed at Blackstakes, a roadstead in the river Medway, above Sheerness, in Kent. In 1702 she was put into Woolwich Dockyard for a rebuild.[1]

In 1705, when Thomas Ekines was in command, she was involved in the seizure of a Dutch ship which Ekines claimed was trading with Britains enemies of the War of the Spanish Succession. Although Ekines right to seize the ship was upheld, his further seizure of the bulk of the cargo for his personal gain caused major problems for his ongoing naval career.[2]

On 10 June 1736 she was ordered to be taken to pieces at Deptford Dockyard, and rebuilt to the lines of a 50-gun fourth rate according to the 1733 proposals of the 1719 Establishment. She was relaunched on 6 April 1741.[3] Woolwich was broken up in 1747.[4]

Captain of HMS Woolwich

  1. Captain Sir John Ernie, 26 March 1678 – 12 April 1678.[1]
  2. Captain Richard Dickenson, 12 April 1678 – 9 July 1679.[1]
  3. Captain Sir John Wetwang, 21 October 1679 – 20 November 1680.[1]
  4. Captain Anthony Smith, 1681 – 18 April 1682.[1]
  5. Captain William Holden, 18 April 1682 – 14 April 1683.[1]
  6. Captain Thomas Fouler, 14 April 1683 – 29 April 1685.[1]
  7. Captain Anthony Hastings, 12 October 1688 – 1 May 1689.[1]
  8. Captain Ralph Sanderson, 1 May 1689 – July 1689.[1]
  9. Captain James Gother, July 1689 – 30 June 1690.[1]
  10. Captain Richard Kempthorne, 30 June 1690 – May 1692.[1]
  11. Captain Christopher Myngs, May 1692 – June 1693.[1]
  12. Captain Thomas Hamilton, June 1693 – November 1695.[1]
  13. Captain Charles Wager, December 1695 – March 1696.[1]
  14. Captain Robert Stapleton, 11 April 1696 – 6 April 1697.[1]
  15. Captain Thomas Lyell, 6 April 1697 – 31 December 1697.[1]
  16. Captain Thomas Ekines, 1703 – 1707.

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 Winfield, Rif (2009). "Chapter 4 The Fourth Rates – 'Small Ships' (C) Vessels acquired from 2 May 1660". British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603 - 1714: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848320406.
  2. "1119 August 3 Admiralty Office". Calendar of State Papers 1705-1706 (1119, 3 August 1705): 194. 1705. ISBN 9781843832515.
  3. 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. p.171.
  4. Lavery. p.171.