On the 19th of July, we made a short excursion to Rochester, and having seen the cathedral went to Chatham to see the Royal Sovereign, a glorious vessel of burden lately built there, being for defense and ornament, the richest that ever spread cloth before the wind.

Sovereign of the Seas

She carried an hundred brass cannon, and was 1,200 tons; a rare sailer, the work of the famous Phineas Pett, inventor of the frigate-fashion of building, to this day practiced.

But what is to be deplored as to this vessel is, that it cost his Majesty the affections of his subjects, perverted by the malcontent of great ones, who took occasion to quarrel for his having raised a very slight tax for the building of this, and equipping the rest of the navy, without an act of Parliament; though, by the suffrages of the major part of the Judges the King might legally do in times of imminent danger, of which his Majesty was best apprised.

But this not satisfying a jealous party, it was condemned as unprecedented, and not justifiable as to the Royal prerogative; and, accordingly, the Judges were removed out of their places, fined, and imprisoned.