:: FAMOUS SHIPS OF THE AGE OF SAIL ::

Santa Marķa (1480)

The nau Santa Marķa was the flagship of Christopher Columbus when in 1492 he crossed the Atlantic to discover the continent of America.

Nau Santa Marķa

HMS Revenge (1577)

An English gallion of the Elizabethan period, the HMS Revenge was about 130 feet in overall length. She won fame for her part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Later, under command by Sir Richard Granville, she was attacked by fifteen Spanish galleons and forced to surrender, after having sunk two of them and crippled another two.

Gallion Revenge
Gallion HMS Revenge

Golden Hind (1577)

The Golden Hind is the famous gallion in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the world during his voyage of exploration and discovery, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Famous in history as the first English ship to sail round the world, she became the symbol of English sea power in the 16th century. Commanded by Sir Francis Drake, this 110-ton ship took three years for the voyage and on arrival back at Plymouth it is recorded she was carrying 30 tonnes of treasure plundered mainly from Spanish ships and possessions.

Golden Hind gallion
Gallion Golden Hind

Mayflower (1609)

The Mayflower was the small merchant ship which in 1620 made her famous sixty-seven-day voyage from Plymouth to America carrying the Pilgrim Fathers.

Gallion Mayflower
Gallion Mayflower

Saint Louis (1626)

The impressive Saint Louis, built in Dutch shipyards, was one of five similar warships ordered by Cardinal Richelieu in an effort to modernize the French Navy. With a displacement about 1200 tonnes and carrying 60 guns, this was one of the ships which marked the transition from the gallion to the future ship of the line.

Ship of the line Saint Louis

Wasa (1626)

The Wasa was the most powerful but also ill-fated warship of the Swedish Navy in the 17th century. Sunk shortly after departing for her maiden voyage, her hull was salvaged in 1961 and exposed in a museum in Stockholm after extensive restoration works.

Ship of the line Wasa

HMS Royal Sovereign (1637)

The HMS Sovereign of the Seas, as this ship was also known, was designed by Phineas Pett and built at Woolwich. She was the most decorated and armed ship of her time, and had a long and useful career as flagship of the English Navy, seeing service in four wars.

Ship of the line HMS Royal Sovereign

HMS Prince (1670)

Designed by Phineas Pett II, the 100-gun HMS Prince was launched at Chatham. In 1672 she played a major part in the defeat of the Dutch at the Battle of Solebay.

Ship of the line Prince

HMS Victory (1765)

Best known of all British ships is the first-rate ship of the line HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar. She is still today preserved in the Royal Naval Dockyard at Portsmouth, where she can be visited and admired by thousands of visitors each year.

HMS Victory ship of the line
HMS Victory ship of the line

HMS Shannon (1806)

The HMS Shannon was a typical frigate of the early 19th century armed with 38 guns, which served in the Napoleonic Wars and achieved distinction when she captured the United States frigate Chesapeake during the infamous War of 1812.

HMS Shannon frigate

Great Western (1837)

Considered a great feat of enginnering, the Great Western was used on regular Atlantic crossings between 1838 and 1846. When launched, she was the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic and the largest passenger ship in the world.

Great Western steamship

Cutty Sark (1869)

The most famous of all clipper ships and one of the last that were built. The Cutty Sark was dedicated to tea trading between China and England until this task was carried more effectively by steamships; then she was used for wool trading with Australia. After a more or less succesful career under different owners, she ended her days in a permanent dry-dock at Greenwich where she can be visited and admired by thousands of visitors each year.

Cutty Sark clipper
Cutty Sark clipper

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