Rating System of the Royal Navy

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The Rating System of the Royal Navy was originally classified into five or six rates from as early as the late 16th century.[1] In 1653 the rating system was defined on the size of ships crews.[2] For the next twenty two years different rating systems based on guns were introduced then subsequently abolished. In 1677 Samuel Pepys began to standardise the system, in his 1688 classification of rates.[3]. From 1756 Fourth Rate ships were considered ships of the line only if they possessed more than sixty guns. In 1817 the rating system was abolished.[4]

1688 to 1817 Ship Rate Classification, Guns and Decks

Rate—Year 1688 1697 1714 1721 1760 1782 1801 Gun Decks Ref
First-Rate 90 — 100 94 — 100 100 100 100 100 100 — 120 three [5]
Second-Rate 64 — 90 90 — 96 90 90 90 90 and 98 90 and 98 three [6]
Third-Rate 56 — 70 64 — 80 70 and 80 70 and 80 64 — 80 64 — 80 64 — 80 two [7]
Fourth-Rate 36 — 62 44 — 64 50 and 60 50 and 60 50 — 60 50 — 62 50 — 60 two [8]
Fifth-Rate 28 — 38 26 — 44 30 and 40 30 and 40 30 — 44 30 — 44 30 — 44 one [9]
Sixth-Rate 4 — 18 10 — 24 10 and 20 20 and 24 20 — 30 20 — 28 20 — 28 one [10]

References

  1. Rodger, N.A.M. (2004). "Rates of Ships". The command of the ocean : a naval history of Britain 1649-1815. London: Allen Lane. pp. xxvi–xxvii. ISBN 9780713994117.
  2. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  3. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  4. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  5. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  6. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  7. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  8. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  9. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.
  10. Rodger. pp.xxvi-xxvii.