50-gun ship of the Establishment of 1733, 1736-1742.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Contemporary rigged model (scale 1:48). At this time 50-gun ships, with two decks and a poop, were considered particularly suitable for prolonged voyages. This model probably represents HMS 'Gloucester'. She was the first of the clas of 9 ships proposed in the 1733 Establishment, built between 1736 and 1742. The 'Gloucester' was one of a squadron of vesels which, under Commodore George Anson (1697-1762) in HMS 'Centurion', sailed in 1740 on an expedition to the Pacific, which culminated in a voyage round the world. Having completed a large part of the voyage, 'Gloucester' was severely damaged in a storm off China in July 1742 and was later destroyed by fire on Anson's orders.