Essex (70)

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Essex (70)

Origin and History

The ship was initially built by Johnson at Blackwall Yard and launched in 1679. From 1698, she was rebuilt by John & Richard Wells at Rotherhithe and relaunched in May 1700.

During the War of the Spanish Succession, the ship was under the command of:

  • from February 1701: Captain John Hubbard
  • from 1702: Captain Richard White
  • from October 1702: Captain John Hubbard
  • from 1706: Captain Henry Lumley
  • from 1708: Captain John Smith
  • from 1710: CaptainVincent Cutter
  • from May 1710: Captain Richard Leake
  • from 1711 till October 1711: Captain Kerrit Roffey

The ship underwent a second rebuild at Chatham Dockyard from November 1711 to 1713.

Service during the War

In August 1702, the ship was part of the powerful combined fleet assembled for the unsuccessful expedition against Cádiz. On its way home, this fleet captured the largest part of the plate-fleet in the Battle of Vigo Bay.

In July 1704, the ship took part in the capture of Gibraltar. On 24 August, she fought in the Battle of Málaga.

In 1706, the ship served with the British fleet of the Mediterranean.


Technical specifications
Guns 70 (in 1703)
Lower gundeck 24 x 24-pdrs
Upper gundeck 26 x demi-culverin
Quarterdeck 12 x 6-pdrs
Forecastle 4 x 6-pdrs
Roundhouse 4 x 3-pdrs
Crew 460 men
Length at gundeck 150 ft 4 in (45.8 m)
Width 40 ft 7 in (12.4 m)
Depth 16 ft 6 in (5.0 m)
Displacement 1090 Tons (Builder's Old Measurement)


Phillips, M., Michael Phillip's Ships of the Old Navy

Harrison, Simon and Manuel Blasco, Three Decks - Warships in the Age of Sail


N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.