Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

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Nomann
Able Seaman
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:36 pm

Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Nomann » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:08 pm

From Wikipedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... 931674.jpg

About a estimate 64 guns at least [32 guns on a side; 4 guns in stern; Bow ?]
Built prior to 1707 as the Royal Scottish Coat of arms on the sternpost

Any idea of Ships Identity?

Navclio
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Re: Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Navclio » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:55 am

The label for the graphic at Wikimedia dates the painting to 1650–74, a better clue than "before 1707." I don't have any lists of Scottish warships, although I would be surprised if there are none on the Internet anywhere. The Scottish navy was not large and might have had only one 64-gun ships at that time. Its ships might be included in the pre-1714 volume of Rif Winfield, British Warships in the Age of Sail. (There are four volumes, the first for some date up to 1713, the second for 1714–1792, the third for 1793–1817, the fourth for 1818 to the end of the sail era. They are not labeled volumes 1–4, but have to be sought in library catalogs or the publisher's catalog as, e.g., British Warships in the Age of Sail, 1714–1792. I only have the middle two volumes. All should be found under Winfield as author and with subtitle Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Publisher is Seaforth Publishing in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.)

Cy
Admiral of the Fleet
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Re: Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Cy » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:40 am

All Scottish warships of the period are already listed on Three Decks, there are no 64-gunners though.

It's possible it's a merchant ship trading to the West Indies though
OK, it was me, probably!

Navclio
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Re: Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Navclio » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:27 pm

I'm not surprised that the Scottish navy didn't have (never had?) a 64. I doubt that the ship was a merchantman because, whatever the dangers of trading to the West Indies in the second half of the 17th century, filling up the main deck with armed gunports would severely limit the cargo capacity of the ship. One thing that occurred to me when I saw this is that it is actually a painting of an English 64-gun ship of the third quarter of the 17th century that has been slightly altered to replace an English ensign with a Scottish one. Red ensigns of the pattern shown—a solid field with the Scottish St. Andrew's cross in a canton—are illustrated in Timothy Wilson, Flags at Sea. It wouldn't surprise me if a comprehensive search of engravings of English 64-gun ships didn't turn up one that looks exactly like the purported "Scottish warship" except for the flags, possibly even identified by name. Or it might just be an "aspirational" painting, what a Scottish 64-gun ship of the line would look like—if the Scottish navy had one. Perhaps this was painted for a wistful but wealthy Scot who wished that Scotland had a more powerful navy of its own.

The Wikipedia information doesn't identify an artist or provide any other provenance for the painting besides its purchase by the Aberdeen Maritime Museum in 1998. I think further information would have to come through an inquiry there.

Navclio
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Re: Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Navclio » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:29 pm

"Nomann" has posted several times but I wonder if he ever comes back and reads the answers to his questions, or if the rest of us are just wasting our time.

Cy
Admiral of the Fleet
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Re: Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Cy » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:02 pm

Interestingly Wikipedia shows the Company of Scotland founded for the Darian expedition in 1696 purchased 5 vessels. 2 54-gun Dutch Eastindiamen, 2 smaller vessels and the Unicorn a 48 gun vessel bought in Amsterdam.

The later is a possible candidate given the stern decorations, except that the dates do not match
OK, it was me, probably!

Navclio
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Re: Royal Scots Navy Ship mystery # 1

Post by Navclio » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:39 pm

Cy, unicorns rampant are the supporters for the Scottish royal arms, one on each side as holding up the shield, as lions rampant are for England; with the union of the two kingdoms, the supporters now consist of one lion and one unicorn (as with the location of the quartered arms of England and Scotland, which is on each side depends on the country you are in*). Although it is indistinct, it appears that the royal arms, "or [gold or yellow], a lion rampant gules [red], armed and langued azure [blue claws and tongue] within a tressure fleury-counter-fleury [you'll have to look at a better illustration for this] of the second [i.e., gules/red also]." Thus, the unicorns would have nothing to do with the name of the ship, and might be found on any royal Scottish ship.

I'm not sure that a private company would be allowed to display the royal arms on its ships. 1696 is before the Union, of course, so there would be no quartering and lion as a supporter. And if the date of the painting is correct, then Dutch ships purchased in 1696 would not be the model. Given that the date is range, I wonder how the beginning and end dates were determined.

*In Scotland, the royal arms have Scotland in the first (upper left to the viewer) quarter, England in the second (upper right); in England, the royal arms have England in the upper left, Scotland in the upper right; likewise, in England, the lion is in the more prestigious "dexter" position, on the left, bu in Scotland that's where the unicorn is; the other supporter in each case is on the "sinister" side, the right from our point of view.

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