Sovereign of the Seas was the most extravagantly decorated warship
Sovereign of the Seas was launched on 13 October 1637. She was a 17th-
Sovereign of the Seas was ordered in August 1634 on the personal initiative of Charles I of England, who desired a giant Great Ship to be built. The decision provoked much opposition from the Brethren of Trinity House, who pointed out that "There is no port in the Kingdome that can harbor this ship. But the King overcame the objections with the help of John Pennington and from May 1635 she was built by Peter Pett, under the guidance of his father Phineas, the king's master shipwright, and was launched at Woolwich Dockyard on 13 October 1637, as the second three-
She was the most extravagantly decorated warship in the Royal Navy. The money spent making her, £65,586 (equal to £8,195,183 today), helped to create the financial crisis for Charles I that contributed to the English Civil War. Charles had imposed a special tax, the 'Ship Money', to make possible such large naval expenditure.
She carried 102 bronze cannon (King Charles explicitly ordered such a high number) and was thereby at the time the most powerfully armed ship in the world. The cannon were made by John Browne. The Sovereign of the Seas had 118 gun ports and only 102 guns. The shape of the bow meant that the foremost gun ports on the lower gun deck were blocked by the anchor cable. By 1642, her armament had been reduced to 90 guns. Until 1655, she was also exceptionally large for an English vessel; no other ships of Charles were heavier than the Prince Royal.
Rear Admiral Sir William Symonds noted that after the ship's launch she was "cut down" and made a safe and fast ship. In the time of the Commonwealth of England all ships named after royalty were renamed; it was first decided to change the name of the ship into Commonwealth, but in 1650 it became a simple Sovereign. In 1651 she was again made more maneuverable by reducing upper works after which she was described as "a delicate frigate. She served throughout the wars of the Commonwealth and became the flagship of General at Sea Robert Blake. She was involved in all of the great English naval conflicts fought against the United Provinces and France and was referred to as 'The Golden Devil' by the Dutch. By 1660 her armament had been changed to 100 guns. After the English Restoration she was rebuilt at Chatham in 1660 as a first-
Ship as English crown image
Pett and the Sovereign showing her gilded stern carvings depicting King Edgar as the perceived founder of English naval strength and dominion The Sovereign of the Seas was not so much built because of tactical considerations, but as a deliberate attempt to bolster the reputation of the English crown. Her name was, in itself, a political statement as Charles tried to revive the perceived ancient right of the English kings to be recognized as the 'lords of the seas.' English ships demanded that other ships strike their flags in salute, even in foreign ports.
Medal on the Sovereign of the Seas
When, during the First Anglo-
She was smaller than Naseby (later renamed Royal Charles), but she was in regular service during the three Anglo-
Sovereign became leaky and defective with age during the reign of William III, and was laid up at Chatham, ignominiously ending her days, on 27 January 1697, by being burnt to the water line as a result of having been set on fire either by accident, negligence or design.
A painting from this ship survives on the ceiling of Commissioners House Chatham, over the grand staircase. It depicts an assembly of the gods and depicts Mars being crowned by Neptune, surrounded by the goddesses -
In her honor, naval tradition has kept the name of this ship afloat, and several subsequent ships have been named HMS Royal Sovereign.
Another Sovereign ships
Don´t confuse with other Sovereign ships.
HMS Royal Sovereign launched in 1701.
She was a 100-
HMS Royal Sovereign launched in 1786.
She was a 100-
HMS Royal Sovereign launched in 1804.
She was a yacht and broken up in 1849.
HMS Royal Sovereign launched in 1860.
She has been a 110-
HMS Royal Sovereign launched in 1857.
She was a 121-
HMS Royal Sovereign launched in 1891.
She was a Royal Sovereign-