Thursday, March 09, 2006

The original Ark Royal, built in 1587

The original Ark Royal was built for Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587 as the Ark Raleigh. She was built by Peter Pett at Deptford Dockyard. She was a galleon with dimensions of 100ft on the keel, a 37ft beam, and a depth of hold of 15ft. Her burden was 555 tons. Her "tons and tonnage" was 692 tons. She had a crew of nominally 400 men. During the Armada campaign, she served as Lord Howard's flagship. She was rebuilt in 1608 as the Anne Royal. Certain people were scandalized by renaming a proud ship after James I's French wife. James was not popular, at least partly due to his "lifestyle choices". We know her armament at several dates:
                              1599   1603
demi-cannon    (32pdr)         4      4
cannon perrier (24pdr)         4      -
culverin       (18pdr)        12     14
demi-culverin  (9pdr)         12     16
saker          (5-1/4pdr)      6      6
port piece     (9pdr, stone)   4      2
fowler         ?               4      2

Port Pieces and Fowlers were breach loaders. Originally, they were built up iron. They fired stone shot. Peter Kirsch writes that port pieces fired a 9 pound shot. Fowlers often were used to fire small pieces of metal, in scatter shot fashion, as they were used to fire against borders. Fowlers originally fired a solid stone shot, perhaps as big as 5 pounds. The bore was smaller than a port piece, which was about 5.5 inches in diameter. Sources:
  1. E. H. H. Archibald, The Fighting Ship in the Royal Navy AD897-1984, 1987
  2. J. J. Colledge, Ships of the Royal Navy, 2nd Ed., 1987.
  3. Peter Kirsch, The Galleon: Great Ships of the Armada Era, 1990
  4. John Knox Laughton, State Papers Relating to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada Anno 1588, Vol.I, 1894
  5. Michael Oppenheim, History of the Administration of the Royal Navy, 1896

Google SiteSearch


Lotto System


James Cary Bender's Facebook profile

Amazon Ad

Amazon Ad

Amazon Context Links