century, were, as we are informed, hired from the merchant, to serve in the British navy. Accordingly, in a list of 1588, we find, among the "ships serving with Sir Francis Drake," the "frigat Elizabeth Fonnes," of 80 tons and 50 men; but how armed does not appear. A merchant-vessel, requiring the greater part of her hull for the stowage of her cargo, would carry her guns in a single tier; and there can be no doubt that the merchant-ships of those days were far better sea-boats than the men-of-war; the tier-upon-tier of cannon and lofty upper works of which rendered them fitter to be gazed upon in harbour, than to withstand the rough weather they must have been expected to encounter on the ocean.
Towards the close of the sixteenth century, Sir Robert Dudley, commonly called the Duke of Northumberland, prepared draughts of seven distinct classes of ships of war: the Galleon; Rambargo, Galizabra, Frigata, Gallerone, Galerata, and Passa-volante. The accounts are not very satisfactory, as to the number and nature of guns which it was intended for each to mount.* Among them was a ship, measuring 160 feet in length, and 24 in breadth, and constructed to carry a tier of guns on a single whole deck, besides other guns on two short decks, that resembled the quarterdeck and forecastle, or rather, not being united by gangways, the poop and topgallant-forecastle. Here, the disposition of the guns is the same precisely, as that which characterizes the modern frigate; and it is a singular fact, that this ingenious nobleman named his vessel, thus constructed and armed, Frigata. Sir Robert, early in the ensuing century, submitted his draughts to government; but, although some beneficial hints may have been taken, it does not appear that his proposition met a favourable reception. To prove his own confidence in his plan, Sir Robert, in the year 1594, caused a vessel to be built at Southampton, of a similar form to his intended Galleon, but measuring only 300 tons. With this vessel, which mounted 30 guns (of small calibers, no doubt), the inventor made a voyage to India; and, according to his report, the vessel fully answered his expectations. †
The author of the " Dictionnaire de la Marine" states, that the English were the first to name as frigates, upon the ocean, ‡ long vessels, armed for war, having the deck much lower than that of galleons and ordinary ships. § This undoubtedly refers to single-decked vessels ; but it is not clear whether, by "bâtimens armés en guerre," is meant regular king's ships, or armed ships hired of the merchants, and to which, as we have
* For the draughts, see Charnock, vol. ii., p. 177.
† See Charnock, vol. ii., p. 177.
‡ As distinguished from the Mediterranean sea.
§ " Les Anglais sont les premiers qui aient appelé frégates, sur l'océan, les bâtimens longs, armés en guerre, qui ont le pont beaucoup plus bas que celui des galions et des navires ordinaires." -Dict. de la Marine, p. 498
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