Part of manuscript list of ships, headed '<...> at this present yeare 1676'.

Publication details: 
Without place or watermark.
SKU: 3293

On a piece of foxed and discoloured laid paper, dimensions roughly 12 inches by 8 inches. Edges fraying, and with loss to two corners affecting a text and a total of six entries. Cluster of small holes towards one corner, not affecting text. Bearing a circular red stamp, roughly half an inch in diameter, with a central shield surrounded by the words 'FORTE SCUTUM SALUS DUCUM'. Presumably the second of two leaves, with a total of ninety-two ships, numbered 74 to 165, arranged in three columns. The number of ship's guns is given with each entry, and the entries are arranged from the highest number ('74 Prouenow - - - 58') to lowest ('165 Leuerett 2'). A tally of the total number of guns (8628, and certainly including those from the other leaf or leaves) is included at the end. Note: Perhaps intended for the information of Pepys, appointed Secretary in that year. The New DNB states that '[t]he years 1676–7 saw the principal achievements of Pepys's first [Admiralty] secretaryship', and that among these are the regulations he devised for guns (3 November 1677). The manuscript dated 1676 appears to be the second of two pages and lists French warships of the period. They closely follow those mentioned in the SNR occasional publication No 5, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700 Part II French Ships 1935. At the time Samuel Pepys was Secretaryto the Admiralty Commission and was member of Parliament for Castle Riding. In 1677 he persuaded a reluctant Parliament to vote nearly £600,00 to build 30 new ships. The essential justification of his argument was that the English fleet was smaller than that of either the Dutch or French. The manuscript is probably related to Pepys justification to Parliament. The 30 ship building programme was Pepys greatest career achievement.