The Master Shipwright's Secrets

How Charles II built the Restoration Navy

The Master Shipwright's Secrets cover

The Master Shipwright's Secrets

How Charles II built the Restoration Navy


A magnificent illustrated history of HMS Tyger, a fourth-rate ship of the Navy of Charles II.

Inspired by the recent discovery of mathematically calculated digital plans for a fourth-rate ship, written by the Deptford master shipwright, John Shish, The Warship Tyger is an illustrated history of the HMS Tyger, one of the smaller warships of the Restoration period.

Tyger was originally built in the middle of the 17th century and served in the Anglo-Dutch Wars. It was sent to Deptford for rebuilding at the end of the wars in 1674, but the ship was left to deteriorate over the next few years and ended up as a sunken wreck at the bottom of the great double dock. Eventually, the yard officers at Deptford wrote that there was “no such thing as the Tyger” and wanted to pay off the last warrant officers belonging to her. However, King Charles II decided otherwise and kept her on the books to eventually reappear as a “rebuilt” but in fact, entirely new ship in 1681.

This book is replete with beautiful and detailed illustrations of the construction of the Tyger and explores both its complicated history and its complex rebuilding, complete with deck plans, internal sections, and large scale external shaded drawings. The title also explores associated ships including another fourth-rate ship, the Mordaunt, which was purchased into the navy and had a dimensional survey made of her at the time by John Shish. A rare contemporary section drawing of another fourth-rate English ship and constructional drawings of Shish's later fourth-rate ship, St Albans are also included.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Charles Berkeley
Introduction: The Master Shipwright's Secrets in Relation to the Tyger
1: The Master Shipwright's Considerations
2: Inventions and Innovations
3: No Such Thing as the Tyger
4: Planning a New Tyger
5: John Shish's Account of the Dimensions of a Ship
6: The Draught of the New Tyger
7: Building the New Tyger
8: The New Tyger Commissioned
9: The Tyger's Guns
10: Contemporary Shipbuilding Contracts Unveiled
Appendix 1: The Medway Warrant
Appendix 2: The Mordaunt Survey

Product details

Published Mar 10 2020
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 304
ISBN 9781472838384
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations More than 150 ships' plans, and colour illustrations.
Dimensions 300 x 253 mm
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Richard Endsor

Richard Endsor is an engineer by profession, but h…


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