The Gloucester Project

The Gloucester and the Restoration

In May 1660 Charles II was restored to the throne. The Commonwealth Navy was renamed The Royal Navy and to emphasize the importance of England as a maritime power, the king’s brother James, Duke of York, was established in the office of Lord High Admiral. At the Restoration the royal family renamed many of the fleet’s ships, but the name the Gloucester, which referenced the Commonwealth’s triumph at the Siege of Gloucester in 1643, remained the same, probably as a compliment to Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of Charles I.

The Gloucester did not immediately benefit from royal patronage, however. The frigate remained stored at Portsmouth and did not see active service until 1664 under the command of Captain Chrisopher Myngs.

The Embarkation of Charles II at Scheveningen by Willem van de Velde the Younger, c. 1661
The Embarkation of Charles II at Scheveningen by Willem van de Velde the Younger, c. 1661

© Wallace Collection, London, UK/ Bridgeman Images

press to zoom
King Charles II and his Two Brothers Take Ship to Sail Back to England From Holland, 1660.
King Charles II and his Two Brothers Take Ship to Sail Back to England From Holland, 1660.

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

press to zoom
Vice-Admiral Sir Christopher Myngs by Peter Lely, c. 1666
Vice-Admiral Sir Christopher Myngs by Peter Lely, c. 1666

© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

press to zoom
The Embarkation of Charles II at Scheveningen by Willem van de Velde the Younger, c. 1661
The Embarkation of Charles II at Scheveningen by Willem van de Velde the Younger, c. 1661

© Wallace Collection, London, UK/ Bridgeman Images

press to zoom
1/4