Late 16th Century English Ship Names

 

Source

The source for this article is A general history and collection of voyages and travels, arranged in systematic order: forming a complete history of the origin and progress of navigation, discovery, and commerce, by sea and land, from the earliest ages to the present time, Volume 7, published in 1824 by Robert Kerr.

The book can be accessed online via Google Books, http://books.google.com/books?id=LkM9AAAAYAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s

 

On language

Robert Kerr's work relies heavily on other collections of primary sources, most notably those of 16th century author Richard Hakluyt and an 18th century collection by T. Astley. At a minimum the letters and naval accounts are translated from 16th century to modern English, but sometimes they have been translated from other languages into English, and sometimes from more than one language into another and then into English. Assume all ship names have been standardized and use modern spellings.

 

On dates

These ship names were taken mostly from first-hand accounts, often of naval battles and merchant voyages. The date of each ship is the year that the event took place and is the actual date the ship is in service. It is not the year that the account was written.

 

On multiples of ships

Some ships are mentioned several times by different sources.  Many of them, in the employ of the Royal Navy or large merchant companies, are probably the same ship. This does not necessarily mean all ship names are duplicates. The nature of the text is such that it is impossible to know from just the narrative whether two ship names mentioned several years apart are the same ship or a different one. I have listed the years that different ships are mentioned. This does not imply there is more than one ship.  The Unicorn and the Margaret are the only ship names that are specifically mentioned in the text as belonging to more than one ship.

 

 

 

Ship Name

Date

Notes

Acatice

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Advantage

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Adventure

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Advice

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Aid

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1585

 

Amity

1592

 

Answer

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Antellope

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Antilope

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada. Probably the same ship as the Antellope.

Ark Royal

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Ascension

1590

A galley belonging to Mr. Cordal.

 

1585

 

Barke Burre

1588

 

Bear

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Bonadventure

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1587

Royal Navy, captained by Sir Francis Drake. Also called the Elizabeth Bonaventure.

Bonaventure

1591

 

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I. Probably the same ship as the Bonadventure.

Bull

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Castle of Comfort

1564

 

Catis

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Centurion

1590

A galley.

 

1591

 

Charles

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Cherubim

1591

 

Christopher

1558

 

Command

1591

Belonging to Richard Kelley of Dartmouth

Costly

1591

 

Crane

1591

 

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Crescent

1590

A galley.

Dainty

1592

Belonging to Sir John Hawkins

Defiance

1591

 

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Dolphin

1591

 

Drake

1598

 

Dreadnought

1587

Royal Navy

 

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Due Repulse

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Elizabeth

1590

A galley.

Elizabeth Bonadventure

1585

Captained by Sir Francis Drake. Also called the Bonadventure and Bonaventure.

Elizabeth-Jonas

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Falcon

1598

 

Flower de Luce

1561

 

Foresight

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

 

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Forsight

1591

 

 

1592

Royal Navy,. Probably the same ship as the Foresight.

Galion

1577

London

Garland

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

 

1592

Royal Navy

George

1564

 

George Hoy

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Golden Dragon

1592

 

Hart

1556

London

Hind

1554

 

Hope

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Hopewell

1585

 

Jesus of Lubec

1564

 

John Baptist

1564

 

John Evangelist

1550's

 

Lion

1587

 

 

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1591

 

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Make-speed

1577

 

Margaret

1589

Royal Navy

Margaret and John

1590

Galley belonging to Mr. Wats of London

 

1591

 

Mary Sparke

1586

Belonging to Sir Walter Raleigh

Mary-Rose

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

May-flower

1564

 

 

1593

 

Meg

1589

Royal Navy. Listed in one narrative as a distinct ship from the Margaret, and later as the same ship. Also called Megge.

Mere Honor

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Merlin

1564

Belonging to Mr. Gonson

Merlin

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Messenger

1564

 

Minion

1585

 

 

1558

 

 

1590

A galley.

 

1591

 

Moon

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Nightingale

1591

 

Nonparielle

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Noy

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Penny-rose Hoy

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Pilgrim

1591

 

Primrose

1561

 

Quittance

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Rainbow

1587

 

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

 

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Raliegh

1591

A barque ("bark"). This narrative written by Sir Raleigh. However it is definitely a ship, with a named Captain.

Revenge

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1591

 

Richard

1590

A galley belonging to Mr Duffield.

Richard of Arundel

1590

Hired by merchants John Bird and John Newton

Roebuck

1592

 

Rose

1558

 

Royal Exchange

1593

 

Salomon

1564

 

Salomon

1590

A galley belonging to Mr Alexander Barnam of London, and Messrs Bond and Tweed of Harwich.

Sampson

1593

 

Samuel

1590

A galley.

Saucy Jack

1589

 

Scout

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Serpent

1586

Belonged to Sir Walter Raleigh

Spy

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

St. Andrew

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

St. Matthew

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Sun

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Swallow

1564

A pinnace.

 

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Swiftsure

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Synnet

1603

This may be the Cygnet.  From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Tide

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Tiger

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

 

1556

 

 

1558

 

 

1564

A barque ("bark")

 

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Tremountain

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Tremountanny

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada. Probably the same ship as the Tremountain.

Trinity

1554

 

Triumph

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Unicorn

1558

 

 

1558

Note this is a 2nd distinct Unicorn. 150 tons, from Dantzick

Vanguard

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

Victory

1588

Royal Navy fighting the Spanish Armada

 

1589

Royal Navy

 

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

Violet

1590

A galley.

 

1593

A pinnace. Text says the ship is also called the "Why-not-I" but it is not clear if this is an official ship name or just a colloquial joke.

Warspite

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I

White Bear

1603

From a list of the Royal Navy at the time of the death of Elizabeth I