HMS Royal James (1658)

For other ships with the same name, see HMS Royal James.
Name: Richard
Ordered: 8 April 1656
Builder: Christopher Pett, Woolwich
Launched: 26 May 1658
Commissioned: 1658
Renamed: HMS Royal James on 23 May 1660
Honours and
Fate: Burnt by the Dutch, 14 June 1667
General characteristics [1]
Class and type: 70-gun second-rate ship of the line
Tons burthen: 1108 bm
Length: 124 ft (37.8 m) (keel)
Beam: 41 ft (12.5 m)
Draught: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Depth of hold: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Sail plan: Full-rigged ship
Complement: 400 in 1660; later 550.
Armament: 70 guns of various weights of shot, later increased to 82

The Richard was a 70-gun second-rate ship of the line of the navy of the Commonwealth of England, built by the Master Shipwright Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard, and launched in 1658. She was named after Richard Cromwell, to honour his appointment as the Protector in succession to his late father Oliver Cromwell.[1]

After the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, her name was changed to HMS Royal James, and she was re-registered with the new (English) Royal Navy, but re-classed and refitted as a first rate. This involved adding gunports in the waist on the upper deck, where previously she had carried no guns, and consequently her rating was raised to 82 guns.

She took part in all three major naval battles of the Second Dutch War. At Lowestoft on 3 June 1665, she was the flagship of Prince Rupert, a role she reprised a year later during the Four Days Battle on 4 June 1666. She also took part in the St James's Day Fight on 25 July 1666.

She was present at the raid on the Medway in 1667, where first she was sunk to prevent capture, and then those parts above water burnt by the Dutch fireships.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p160.


  • Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.

Coordinates: 51°23′5.93″N 0°31′0.07″E / 51.3849806°N 0.5166861°E / 51.3849806; 0.5166861

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