Question regarding William Dampier, pilot of the Duke. Was it a galley?


I haven’t been able to find any description of the Duke, a ship piloted by William Dampier and captained by Woodes Rogers. Was it a galley/galleon? Were most privateers galleys? What was its tonnage and gunnage?
I look forward to your feedback

I am no expert but I think it was a frigate. Here is a picture of The Capture of the ‘Marquise d’Antin’ and ‘Louis Erasme’ by the English Privateers ‘Duke’ and ‘Prince Frederick’, 10 July 1745

And another

More information here

The ships Duke and Duchess are called frigates in Rogers’ Wiki article. And no, most privateers would not have been galleys. And galley and galleon are not synonyms.

Here’s maritime artist Montague Dawson’sdepiction of both ships.

No. A galley is a ship propelled principally by oars; such a ship could not have made a voyage anything like what the Duke did (around the world). Galleon refers to a large Spanish sailing ship (substantially larger than the Duke).


Googling says 350 tons / 36 guns.

Its letters of marque list it as “Frigott of the burthen of ab[out] three hund[re]d Tonns”

“about 300 Tons, 30 Guns and 170 men” - a sailing ship (Dampier was sailing master), probably a smallish sixth rate/frigate at 300 tons and 30 guns.

(PDF ahead - “The Cruising Voyages of William Dampier, Woodes Rogers and George Shelvocke and their Impact.”)

Somewhat similar to the HMS Surprise of the Aubry-Maturin books, probably, if somewhat earlier.

The Surprise (real and fictional) was about twice the tonnage, and carried 28-38 guns. I suspect the guns on the Duke were probably smaller though - a privateer doesn’t need particularly large guns to capture enemy cargo ships.

Probably somewhere between the Sophie and the Surprise in men, guns and tonnage, I’d guess.

I think you’re confusing displacement tonnage and tons burthen.

Thanks MrDibble. Thank you all. Very helpful.

Anyone near San Diego can see a replica of HMS Surprise at the Maritime Museum.