FROM TIIE ACCESSION OF JAMES I. TO THE CLOSE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTER Y".
NE of the most lucrative, if exciting, professions which was far from unpopular during Elizabeth's reign was that of tit ting out a small set of two or three sli ps, roving about the seas, especially off the coast of Spain, attacking and, when fortunate, capturing a ship homeward bound with treasure from the West Indies. In spite of the distinguished Englishmen who were engaged m this, in spite of the excellent training it afforded to our seamen, ii can only be condemned as illegal and piratical, although for a long time it was winked at. James I., however, on his accession determined to take away from i t any semblance of approval. He did his best to b/ing an end to these marauding expeditions, but for all that they went on persistently ough not overtly. Captain John Smith, a distinguished sailor of this time, who was also the first Governor of Virginia, has left us a lively account depicting an maginary engagement to illustrate the work .ng of a ship of this date It is to be found n " An Accidence or The Pathway to Experience necessary for all young 222
sea-men . . . written by Captaine John Smith sometimes Governour of Virginia and Admiral! of New England," printed in London in 1626. As it shows in actual use the very details of the ship and equipment we mentioned in the last chapter, I cannot refrain from quoting at length the following grt ihio description. I give it just as it was printed, substitut ing only modem spelling and punctuation: " A sail! How stands she ? To windward, or leeward ? Set him by the compass. He stands right ahead, or on the weather bow, 01 lee bow. Out w ith all your sails : a steady man to the helm. Sit close to keep her steady. Give chase or fetch him up. He holds his own. No: we gather on him. Out goeth his Hag and pennants or streamers, also his colours, his waist-cloths and top armings. He furies and slings hi;; mainsail. In goes bis sprit sail and mi/zen. He makes ready his close fij its * fore and after : well, we shall reach him by and by. lat ? Is all ready? Yea, yea. Every man to his charge. Dowse your topsail. Salute him for the sea—hail him. ' Whence your ship? ' 'Of Spain : whence is yours ?J 'Of England.' 'Are ou merchants or men or' war?' 'We are of the sea.' lie waves us to leeward for the King of Spain and keeps his luff. Give him a chase piece, a broad side and run ahead. Make ready to tack about, give him your stern pieces, lie yaref at helm: iiail him with a noise of trumpets.
" We are shot through and through, and between wind and water. Try the pumps. Master, let us breathe and refresh a little. Sliib. a man overboard to stop the leak. Done, done! Is alI ready again ? Yea, yea. Bear up close with him. With all your great and small shot t large him. Board him on his weather quarter. Lash
* That is to say he not merely covers with the canvas-cloth the whole tr.igth of the deck to prevent boarding, but the nettings would also be dran n over the waist to catch the falling wreckage of spars (See Fig. 53.) t Dexterous.
fast your grappling irons and sheer off. Then run stem-lines the midsh ps. Board and board* or thwart the hawse. We are /-ml on each other. The ship's on fire. Cut anything to get clear, and smother the fire with wet cloths. We are clear, and the fire out. God be thanked. The day i>> spent, let us consult. Surgeon, look to the wounded, wind up the slain. Wilh each a weight or bullet at h:s head and feet. Give three pieces for their funerals. Swabber, make clean the si p. Purser, record th< ir names. Watch, be vigilant to keep your berth to windward, and that we lose him not in the night. Gunners, spunge your ordinances. Soldiers, scour your pieces. Carpenters, about your leaks. Boatswain and the rest, repair the sails and shrouds. Cook, see you observe your directions against the morning watch. Boy! Hulloa, master, hnlloa! Is the kettle boi'ed ? Yea. Boatswain, call up the men to prayer and breakfast.
" Boy, fetch my cellar of bottles. A health to you all fore and aft. Courage, my hearts, for a fresh charge. Mast er, lay him aboard luff for luff. Midshi] >men, see t ti; tops and yards well manned with stones an >. brass balls. To enter them at shrouds and every squadron else at th'ilr best advantage, sound drums and trumpets and St. George for England. They hang out a flag of truce. Stand : 11 w ith him, haul hito am: n, abaft, or take in his flag. Strike their sails and come aboard, with the captain, purser and gunner, with your commission, cocket or bills of loading. Out goes t eir boat. They are launched from the ship s ide. Entertain them with a general cry. God save the captain, and all the company, with the
• " Boord and booid"—i.e., when two ships touch each other.
Manwayring advises against boarding the enemy at the qua? ter, which is the worst place, because it is high. The best plací: for entering was at the bows, but the best point for the play of the guns was to come up to her "athwart her hawes"—i.e., across her bows. By this m, ins you could then bring al) your broadside to play upon her, while -11 the tiire the enemy could only usr her chase and prow pieces. &2i trumpets sounding. Examine them in particular, and then conclude your conditions with feasting, freedom or punishment, as you find occasion. Otherwise if you surprise him or enter perforce, you may stow the men, rifle, pillage or sack am cry a pr'/e."
Perhaps we may he allowed to add a word further in explanation of the duties of the officers taken also from this I ittle book. The captain was not necessarily a seaman. His authority was to command the whole company and keep them n order. The lieutenant was to assist the captain and—hence the word—in his absence to take his place. The captain also directed a fight, while the mastei was really the sailing master and gave orders to the sailors, taking charge of the ship as long as she was on the high seas: but " when they make land " the pilot " doth tal ; charge of the ship till he bring her to harbour." The duties of the sailors included loisting sails, getting the tacks aboard, hauling the bowlines an steering the ship. The Yonkers were the young men whose work was to take in the topsails, furl and sling the mainsail, to do all the bowsing or tricing, and take their turn at the helm. In the setting of watches, the master chose one and the mate the other.
As to the ship herself we find that the planking of a vessel of 400 tons was to be four nclies thick, ships of 300 tons to have three-inch planking, and small ships two-inch, but never less tbau this. Between the beams of the deck and the orlop there were to be six feel of headroom, and ten ports on each side upon the lower orlop. A flagstaff was over the poop. A <eer-eapstan was only to hoist the sails of big ships, being raised by hand 011 small vessels. Smith mentions using n a "faire gaile your studding sayles," and confirms the use of the mizzen topsail. One interesting item that he enumerates is obviously what we now know b; the name of drogue or sea-anchor. Smith calls it a "drift sail." Man way ring describes the drift sail
as " a sail used under water, being veered out right ahead, haying sheets to t, the use whereof is to keep a ship's head right upon the sea in a storme. Also it is good, where a ship drives in fast with a current, to hii ider her driving in so fast, but t -s most commonly used by fishermen in the North Seas." Smith mentions also the cross-jack yard as being now in use.
During James I.'s reign the East India Company, encouraged by the King, endowed w:th a new charter, began to flourish considerably. An important new vessel was built for them called the Trade's Increase, but she was careened whilst abroad at the end of her first voyage, in order to have some repairs made to her hull. She ?11 over 011 to her s;de and was burnt by the Javanese. Her size was 1100 tons, and the loss of so large a vessel in those days was a severe blow. This was not the only occasion in which an English ship was thrown away in this manner. Manwayring, writing of the contemporary practice of careening, says that f a ship wanted attention below the waterline, as for nstance her seams to be caulked, when the vessel could not be conveniently put ashore and m ports where the tide does not dry right out, the method was to take out most of the ballast and guns. Then by her side was brought a lower ship to which tackles were attached, by means of which the larger vessel was hauled down on to her side, care being taken at the same t ¡me not to strain the masts too much. Some ships which were not naturally top-heavy did not careen without difficulty, but English ships, havin. still fairly high decks, careened somewhat easily. The utcli. tlirou^ ;1 l the shallowness of the water off their coasts, could not have a deep draught, and in consequence their decks were not built high. And because t ey wTere the reverse of top-heavy it was with great difficulty that a Dutchman was careened.
In 1003 James built three new ships for the Navy, and five years later the Ark Royal of Elizabeth's reign was *
rebuilt and renamed the Anne Royal. In 1008 the keel •was laid for the Prince Royal, a ship of 1200 tons, whose appearance will be found in Pig. 00. This illustration is from a ncture in the Trinity House, and is here reproduced by kii permission of the Elder Brethren. She was the largest and finest ship that had ever been designed for the English Navy, and was the finest man-of-war of her ti-ne. She was both built and designed under the supervision of Phineas Pett, Master of Arts of Emmanuel Cc ege, Cambridge, a distinguished member of a distinguished family wliic , from t 2 reign of Henry VIII. right down to William and Mary ept up a continuous line of naval builders and architects. An unsuccessful attempt was made to launch her on September 24, 1610, when it was found that the dock head at Woolwich was too narrow to allow her to get through. She was eventually launched successfully, however, at a later date. She was a three-decker in the sense that she had two full batteries and an upper deck armed. Gorgeously decorated with carvings ai paintings the Prince Ruyc was double-planked, and with but slight modifications, chiefly in respect of her decoration, would not be dissimilar to the ships built at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Indeed so slight, comparatively, were the developments that took place between this and the time of the Battle of Trafalgar that the ships of the early Stuarts would not have looked out of lace among the ships of Nelson's fleet. Between now an the close of the eig teenth century the similarity between men-of-war and merchantmen was so close as to make distinction ractically impossible. That, too, will account for the act of the luglish in the foregoing imaginary encounter by Smith asking whether the S anish vessel were a merchant or man-of-war. We have made so many changes between the two classes of ships since then that it is a little difficult at first to realise 'his.
In the design of the Prince Iloynl, many of the old-fashioned conventionalities went by the board, and, as is always the case with a daring innovation, hostile crificisms were not scarce. Some of these, however, were iustitied, for when a Commission was appointed to report on the design, it was found that more than double the number of loads of timber were used than had been estimated for. The Prince Royal had a figurehead representing the King's son on horseback, after whom she was named. Her dimensions were : length of keel, 114 feet; beam, 44 feet. She was pierced for 64 guns and carried 55. This number was restricted in order to guard against the excessive to;' weight. In action the vacant port-holes would be filled by guns from the opposite side of the ship. The reader will notice how close the similarity 's between the hull of this ship and that of the merchantman in Fig. 59, of this period, taken from Furttenbaeh. The disappearance of the high poop and forecastles is particularly ol>\ ious. Three Lnterns were carried at the poop, and subsequently this vessel was cut down smaller. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the lowest decks of ships carried the bread and other store-rooms, the cables, the officers' cabins as well as some of the crew. The second deck was about 6 feet above and pierced with nine ports aside.
By 1624, James' navy contained four sh:ps of the first rank, viz., the Prince Royal, the Rear, the Mer-honour and the old Ark Royal, now called the Anne Royal. Besides these there were fifteen of the second rank, nine of the third, and four of the fourth, as well as some hoys. It is curious to find, too, the existence still, in the navy, of four galleys. They were a source of constant expense, being never used now that the value of big shins had been realised, and they were eventually order to be sold out of the service.
Charles I. took the l iveliest iterest in the Navy, and
7'ftoto. % Han fstaenpl.
Fig. 71. Spitiiead : Boat's Crew recovering an Anchor. p 22s.
under him naval architecture continued its progression. The first additions he was responsible for were not of big ships, but of the sea-going pinuesses of about 50 tons and un er, equipped wit! both oars and sails. They were square-rigged, three-masted, and had two decks. They were, however, sparred and ordnaneed far too heavily. In spite of the fact that England had built a fev large ships during the last century, she had not been conspicuously active 1» this respect. Far easier and cheaper had it been to capture the pick of the enemy's fleet, and then to refit them and turn the prizes nto English men-of-war. But this lethargy was beg inr ;ng to disappear. Pett was one of the chief influences in regard to this, and it was he who, having closely studied the lines of a fine French sh:o lying in British waters, learned some of the improvements that afterwards were embodied in the ships of our country.
The Sovereign of the Seas in Fig. 63, reproduced from an engraving in the British Museum, after the picture by Van der Ve.de, owes her design to Pett also. The reader will see how much nearer his craft approaches to the old wooden walls of the eighteenth century. Built in 1637, this vessel was for the next generation the admiration and envy of foreign nations. Li :e the Prince Royal at a later date, she was cut down in 1652 to a two-decker, having been found somewhat crank. But as originally constructed, the Sovereign of the Seas was a three-decker— the first of her kind—and her measurements, probably taken on the gun-deck, were : 169 feet 9 inches long, by 48 feet 4 inches beam, the depth of her hold being 19 feet 4 inches. She had a tonnage of 1683 burthen, and her anchor weighed 60 cwt. Designed by one member of the Pete family, Phineas, she was bu;lt under the supervision of Peter l'ett. In 1684 she was practically rebuilt and then renamed the Royal Sovereign, but twelve years later had the misfortune to be burnt accidentally at Chatham,
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