The History of the Third Vanguard of the Royal Navy
1678  -  1728

                                                                                               LIST OF CAPTAINS

                                                                                        2 Jan.   1691   Richard Carter
                                                                                      17 Jan.   1692   Matthew Alymer
                                                                                        2 Mar.  1692   Christopher Mason
                                                                                      16 Feb.   1693   John Bridges
                                                                                      25 May. 1694   Stafford Fairbourne
                                                                                      14 Mar.  1695   John Graydon
                                                                                        1 Feb.   1711   John Evans
                                                                                      13 Mar.  1711   Rupert Billingsly

The Third Dutch war was fought without a Vanguard, as the next ship of the name was not built until 1678. Though classed as a Second Rate also, she was a much larger ship than her predecessor, being of 1357 tons, mounting 90 guns and carrying a crew of 660 men.

The country was at peace for the first ten years of her existence, so she saw no active service during that period. She is stated to have been in commission at the end of 1688, when Prince William of Orange successfully invaded the country to become joint Sovereign of England with his English wife Mary:  but the records do not show the appointment of a captain until 1690, and she took no part in the earlier battles of the War of the English Succession - Bantry Bay (1689) and Beachy Head (1690).  She had, in fact, two weary years of war routine before being tried in action.

In May 1692, under the command of Captain Christopher Mason, she, with the Victory (100) and the Duchess (90), formed the hard core of Sir John Ashby's division of the Blue squadron in the combined English and Dutch fleets that defeated the French fleet under Tourville at the battle of Barfleur. The Allied fleet of close on 100 ships sailed from St. Helens on 18th May at 0300 on 19th, when off Cape Barfleur, the French were signalled in sight by the scouting frigates:  they were to the westward and to windward but, in spite of their two to one inferiority, gallantly accepted the challenge. It was not until 1030, however, that the fleets came within gun range.  The wind then fell light and the engagement was hot, particularly in the centre and rear, where tile Blue squadron was stationed. At 1500, when a thick fog closed down on the battle, fighting became confused and intermittent.  At 1700, a light breeze sprang up from the eastward, thinning the fog and enabling us to give chase to the French who were seen to be making off to the westward. The chase continued in very light airs for the next three days, both fleets anchoring when the tide was unfavourable;  Ashby's squadron was on the tail of a group of 20 ships which eventually saved themselves by running through the Alderney Race, but many othech ships ran ashore and were destroyed. This battle, though not particularly glorious in itself, was the last major naval activity of the war, which dragged on for another five years.
The Vanguard was laid up most winters as it was inadvisable for a three-decker of those days to face the winter gales; she was brought up to full complement for service each summer till 1697, but she saw no more action with the enemy.

1703 to 1728
On 27th November 1703, she was lying in reserve in the Medway when a great storm swept the country: a dozen ships sheltering on the south and east coasts were sunk and the Vanguard, light and riding high on the water, was overset. Seven years later she was salved and rebuilt;  she commissioned in 1711, but saw no more active service, and in 1728 she was re-named the Duke.
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