Swiftsure (64)

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Swiftsure (64)

Origin and History

The ship was built by Sir Anthony Deane at Harwich and launched in 1673. She initially carried 70 guns.

In 1673, during the Franco-Dutch War (1672–1678), the ship took part in the second Battle of Schooneveld and in the Battle of Texel.

In 1685, the ship was reduced to 66 guns.

During the Nine Years' War, at the end of May 1692, the ship fought in the Battles of Barfleur and La Hogue.

In 1695, the ship was rebuilt by Edward Snelgrove at Deptford and relaunched in 1696.

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

  • from 1698 to 1702: Captain William Jumper
  • from 1702 to 1705: Captain Robert Wynn
  • from 1706: Captain Richard Griffith
  • from 1707: Captain John Cooper
  • from 1711: Captain Joseph Soanes
  • in 1712: Captain George Paddon

From October 1716, the ship was rebuilt a second time at Woolwich Dockyard and relaunched on 20 November 1718 under the name of "HMS Revenge".

In 1740, the ship was rebuilt a third time at Deptford and relaunched on 23 May 1742.

The ship was finally sold out of the navy in 1787.

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 1704, she was present at the Battle of Málaga.

In 1707, the ship was part of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's fleet. From 29 July to 21 August, she took part in the unsuccessful blockade and siege of Toulon. In September, Shovell's fleet, then stationed at Gibraltar was ordered to return to England. On 22 October, on its way home, the fleet went off course and struck the rocks of the Isles of Scilly. In this disaster, the ship suffered little damage and managed to reach Portsmouth.

In July 1710, the ship escorted a Russian convoy.

In 1711, the ship, attached to the fleet of Rear Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker, took part in the expedition against Québec. She sailed from St. Helens for Boston, escorting 33 transports carrying more than 5,000 men. On 24 June, the fleet arrived at Boston. By 18 August, it was off Gaspé Bay, waiting for favourable conditions to sail upstream towards Québec. On 21 August, the fleet, sailing through a thick fog, ran into rocks and islands of the north shore of the Saint-Laurent, losing 8 transports. On 23 August, the fleet sailed back to the Spanish River in Cape Breton Island. It then sailed for St. Helens where it arrived on 9 October.


Characteristics after the rebuild of 1696.

Technical specifications
Guns 64
Lower gundeck 24 x culverin
Upper gundeck 26 x demi-culverin
Quarterdeck 10 x 6-pdrs
Forecastle 4 x 6-pdrs
Crew 440 men
Length at gundeck 148 ft (45.11 m)
Width 39 ft (11.89 m)
Depth 14 ft (4.27 m)
Displacement 987 Tons (Builder's Old Measurement)


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.