HMS 'Prince', 1670.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
During the mid 17th century, the practice was introduced of making an official scale model of each important warship built in Britain at the same time as the actual ship was laid down. This contemporary dockyard model (scale 1:48) of a First-Rate of the reign of Charles II is one of the finest still in existence. Designed by Phineas Pett the younger, she was launched at Chatham in 1670 and two years later flew the flag of the Duke of York (later King James II), Lord High Admiral of England, at the battle of Sole Bay, against the Dutch. HMS 'Prince' was so badly damaged in the battle that the Duke had to temporarily transfer his flag to another ship. The ship carried a crew of 780 men and an armament of 100 guns. She was provided with nine anchors and three boats.