is as could bear them, had been allowed four sixes for then quarterdecks; which made them also 44-gun ships, although of a weaker description. The remaining 40s were few in number ; and, by the year 1755, the class became extinct. In 1748 a 28-gun ship was added, measuring about 585 tons, and constructed to carry twenty-four 9-pounders on the main deck, and four 3-pounders on the quarterdeck. This was a decided improvement on the 24, as well as on the old 30 gun class: moreover, the 28 is the first ship that, in the arrangement of her guns, conveys any idea of the modern frigate.
In the year 1757 the following five frigates of the 28-gun class were built of fir instead of oak, as had hitherto been the general practice:
So that the four of these fir-built ships, not cut off by capture, lasted, upon an average, nine years.
In the year 1757, also, were added two classes, of no mean importance ; one a 32, the other a 36 gun ship. The first of these merits a particular account. On the 29th of March, 1756, the Navy Board agreed with Mr. Robert Inwood, of Rotherhithe, at the rate of £9. 17s. per ton, to build a fifth-rate ship, according to a draught proposed by Sir Thomas Slade, one of the surveyors of the navy. The ship was to measure 671 tons, and to mount twenty-six 12-pounders on the main deck, four 6-pounders on the quarterdeck, and two 6-pounders on the forecastle. She began building in the succeeding April ; and, after being named the Southampton, was launched on the 5th of May, 1757. Another ship from the same draught, named the Diana, and built by Messieurs Batsons, on the Thames, was launched in August of the same year: she was sold out of the service in 1793.
The Southampton may be considered as the first genuine frigate, built in England; that is, as the first English ship, constructed to carry her guns on a single whole deck, a quarterdeck, and a forecastle, the characteristic, in the opinion of all the maritime nations, of the proper frigate. A naval writer of France, M. Lescallier, thus describes the frigate : "Frégate navire de guerre, grée de même que les vaisseaux de ligne, qui leurs ressemble en tous dans ses manoeuvres, et qui ne diffère d'eux qu'en ce qu'il est plus petit, et qu'il n'a qu'une batterie de long era long. Les frégates ont le plus souvent depuis vingt-six jusqu'à quarante canons, dont les calibres sont de 12 ou de 18, pour ceux en batterie, et du 6 ou du 8 sur les gaillards." * The
* Vocabulaire des Termes de Mariner
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