24 :: Sovereign of the Seas (1637)

This vast and lavish triple-decker, built under commission from Charles 1st of England, was known as the Golden Devil. The King entrusted Van Dyck, the famous Flemish painter in his employ, with the design of the decorations, which were carried out by Gerald Christmas. Phineas Pett was her architect.

 

Seventeen years later, Peter Pett, Phineas’ son, was mandated to take out one of the decks of the 71 m long vessel of the first rank. She however retained her formidable armament of over 100 guns.

 

In 1690, newly renamed Royal Sovereign somehow managed to survive battle with the French fleet by retreating, which profoundly offended the English. The ship was destroyed by fire in 1696.