In the rating system of the British Royal Navy used to categorise sailing warships, a first rate was the designation for the largest ships of the line, equivalent to the 'super-dreadnought' of more recent times. Originating in the Jacobean era with the designation of Ships Royal capable of carrying at least 400 men, the size and establishment of first-rates evolved over the following 250 years to eventually denote ships of the line carrying at least 80 guns across three gundecks.[1] By the end of the eighteenth century, a first-rate carried not less than 100 guns and more than 850 crew, and had a measurement (burthen) tonnage of some 2,000 tons.

HMS Victory in 1884


The concept of a rating system for British naval vessels dates to the accession of James I of England, following which the fleet was formally divided into "great", "middling" and "lesser" craft. A 1618 commission of enquiry added a further designation of "Ships Royal" for the largest and most prestigious vessels in the fleet, each capable of carrying at least 400 men.[2][3]

The first Ships Royal – Elizabeth Jonas, Triumph, White Bear, Merhonour, Ark Royal and Victory – were all converted galleons and included three very old vessels that had fought against the Spanish Armada in 1588. Their condition was generally poor, with Elizabeth Jonas and Triumph already completely unserviceable and White Bear so unseaworthy that she was sold for scrap in 1627.[2][4]

The Navy's rating system was later modified to differentiate ships considered suitable for various functions within the naval tactics of the age of sail. Lower numbers indicated larger and more capable ships. By the mid-18th century ships suitable for the line of battle were first-rate ships carrying at least 100 guns, second-rate ships carrying 84 to 98 guns, and larger third-rate ships carrying 70 to 80 guns. Smaller third-rate ships carrying about 60–64 guns, and fourth-rate ships of around 50 guns, had earlier been considered suitable, but were being phased out. Fifth-rate and sixth-rate ships were frigates usually maneuvering independently of the line of battle.[5]


Loss of the Royal George, at Spithead (1871)
The first-rate Royal George sank at anchor in 1781 after she was flooded through her lower gunports.

Early first rates had as few as 60 guns, but by the mid-1660s they generally carried between 90 and 100 guns. By the early years of the 18th century, it had become accepted that 100 guns was the standard criterion for a first rate in wartime (while 90 guns, later 98 guns, became the standard wartime ordnance for a second rate). (In peacetime, all ships of the line carried a reduced complement of guns.) Towards the close of the century, ships were built with more than 100 guns, and they too were classed as first rates.

In addition to the rated number of carriage-mounted guns (which included the heaviest calibre available mounted on their lower decks, with smaller guns on the decks above), first rates also carried a number of anti-personnel guns, initially swivel-mounted weapons. From the invention of the slide-mounted carronade in the later 1770s, first rates (like other warships), could mount a number of these weapons on their quarterdecks and forecastles to augment their short-range firepower, but they were not included in the ship's rating until 1817 except where they replaced carriage-mounted guns.

Although very powerful, the Navy's first-rates were of limited utility at sea. For stability their lowest gundeck had to be very close to the waterline and its gunports could not be opened in anything but the calmest of seas. To do otherwise was to risk swamping the entire vessel, as occurred in 1781 when the first-rate Royal George sank at anchor at Spithead after the lower gunports were opened to air the ship.[6] Early first-rates had little storage space to stow provisions for their large crews on long voyages, and the ships themselves routinely proved unseaworthy in winter weather; as a consequence the first-rates were restricted to summer cruising, and then only in the English Channel and nearby waters.[7] By the mid-1700's, however, improved design had removed these limitations.

Ships of this size were extremely expensive to operate. As a result, the few first rates (the Royal Navy had only five completed in 1794) were typically reserved as commanding admirals' flagships. First rates were typically kept out of commission ("in Ordinary") during peacetime and only activated ("commissioned") during times of conflict. This had the added advantage of preserving them from the wear and tear that smaller ships experienced in spending long periods at sea. Spending time in Ordinary could considerably extend a first rate's lifespan; for instance, by the time she fought in the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Victory had been in service for 40 years, although a portion of this time was spent in Ordinary.

With first rates being the most powerful ships of the navy, it was common to compare them with the navies of other nations; frequently one sees the largest ships of those navies being referred to as first rates. Other nations had their own rating systems, notably the French Navy with its system of five formal rates or rangs.


Due to their unique importance as prestige warships, only a small number of first rates could be built and maintained at any one time.[8] Thus over the 250 years (approximately) that the rating system of the Royal Navy was used, only a relatively small number of these ships saw service.

Only one first rate has survived to the present. HMS Victory, Admiral Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, is preserved at HMNB Portsmouth and is in commission. The hull of the 112-gun HMS St Lawrence, which was built and operated entirely in fresh water during the War of 1812, survives intact in shallow water near shore in Kingston, Ontario, and is a popular diving attraction. Two other noted first rates were HMS Royal Sovereign, which was broken up in 1841, and HMS Britannia, which was broken up in 1825. Both these ships had 100 guns. Later first rates such as HMS Caledonia and its several sisters had 120 guns.[9] Other navies, notably those of France and Spain, also had similar ships with more than 100 guns, the most heavily armed being the Santísima Trinidad which, following a rebuilding in 1802, carried 140 guns.

Other usage

The Royal Navy's use of the term "first-rate" to describe its largest and most powerful vessels is the origin of the modern English-language meaning of "exceptionally good" or "of the highest quality."[10]


  1. ^ Bennett 2004, p. 19
  2. ^ a b Winfield 2010, p. 8
  3. ^ Winfield 2009, p. 1
  4. ^ Winfield 2009, pp. 1–4
  5. ^ Keegan 1989, pp. 277–278
  6. ^ Winfield 2007, p. 5
  7. ^ Winfield 2009, p. xii
  8. ^ Winfield 2010
  9. ^ Winfield 2014, p. 8
  10. ^ Winfield 2010, p. 6


  • Bennett, G. (2004). The Battle of Trafalgar. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Seaforth. ISBN 1844151077.
  • Keegan, John (1989). The Price of Admiralty. New York: Viking. ISBN 0670814164.
  • Winfield, Rif (2009). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603–1714:Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Seaforth. ISBN 9781848320406.
  • Winfield, Rif (2007). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714–1792: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Seaforth. ISBN 9781844157006.
  • Winfield, Rif (2014). British Warships in the Age of Sail 1817–1863: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates. Barnsley, United Kingdom: Seaforth. ISBN 9781848321694.
  • Winfield, Rif (2010). First rate: The Greatest Warships of the Age of Sail. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute press. ISBN 9781591142645.

Further reading

  • Rodger, N. A. M. (2004). The Command of the Ocean, a Naval History of Britain 1649-1815. London: Allan Lane. ISBN 0713994118.
18-pounder long gun

The 18-pounder long gun was an intermediary calibre piece of artillery mounted on warships of the Age of sail. They were used as main guns on the most typical frigates of the early 19th century, on the second deck of third-rate ships of the line, and even on the third deck of late first-rate ships of the line.

Baseball Almanac

Baseball Almanac is an interactive baseball encyclopedia with over 500,000 pages of baseball facts, research, awards, records, feats, lists, notable quotations, baseball movie ratings, and statistics. Its goal is to preserve the history of baseball.It serves, in turn, as a source for a number of books and publications about baseball, and/or is mentioned by them as a reference, such as Baseball Digest, Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, and Baseball's Top 100: The Game's Greatest Records. Dan Zachofsky described it in Collecting Baseball Memorabilia: A Handbook as having the most current information regarding members of the Hall of Fame.David Maraniss, author of Clemente, the Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, described it as an absolutely reliable and first-rate bountiful source, that supplied accurate schedules and box scores. Glenn Guzo, in The New Ballgame: Baseball Statistics for the Casual Fan, described it as having a rich supply of contemporary and historic information. Richard Roeper described it in Sox and the City: A Fan's Love Affair with the White Sox from the Heartbreak of '67 to the Wizards of Oz as "one of the beauteous wonders of the Internet". Harvey Frommer, Dartmouth College Professor and sports author, said of Baseball Almanac: "Definitive, vast in its reach and scope, Baseball Almanac is a mother lode of facts, figures, anecdotes, quotations and essays focused on the national pastime.... It has been an indispensable research tool for me."

Battle of Cape St Vincent (1797)

The Battle of Cape St Vincent (14 February 1797) was one of the opening battles of the Anglo-Spanish War (1796–1808), as part of the French Revolutionary Wars, where a British fleet under Admiral Sir John Jervis defeated a larger Spanish fleet under Admiral Don José de Córdoba y Ramos near Cape St. Vincent, Portugal.

HMS Charles (1668)

HMS Charles was a 96-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Christopher Pett at Deptford Dockyard until his death in March 1668, then completed by Jonas Shish after being launched in the same month. Her name was formally Charles the Second, but she was known simply as Charles, particularly after 1673 when the contemporary Royal Charles was launched.The Charles was renamed HMS St George in 1687 and reclassified as a second rate in 1691. In 1699-1701 she was rebuilt at Portsmouth Dockyard as a 90-gun second rate. In 1707, she belonged to Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell's fleet. Under the command of Captain James Lord Dursley, she saw action during the unsuccessful Battle of Toulon and was present during the great naval disaster off the Isles of Scilly when Shovell and four of his ships (Association, Firebrand, Romney and Eagle) were lost, claiming the lives of nearly 2,000 sailors. St George also struck rocks off Scilly, but got off.

The St George was taken to pieces at Portsmouth in 1726 to be rebuilt again. On 4 September 1733, St George was ordered to be rebuilt to the 1733 proposals of the 1719 Establishment. She was relaunched on 3 April 1740.She was eventually broken up in September 1774.

HMS Royal Sovereign (1701)

HMS Royal Sovereign was a 100-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in July 1701. She had been built using some of the salvageable timbers from the previous Royal Sovereign, which had been destroyed by fire in 1697.She was Admiral George Rooke's flagship in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Royal Sovereign formed the basis for the dimensions for 100-gun ships in the 1719 Establishment, being a generally well-regarded vessel. In practice, only Royal Sovereign herself was affected by this Establishment, being the only first rate ship either built or rebuilt to the Establishment in its original form, but the Royal William and Britannia had been rebuilt to the same dimensions (approximately) when both were re-launched in 1719. She underwent her rebuild to the 1719 Establishment at Chatham after an order of 18 February 1724, being relaunched on 28 September 1728.The rebuilt Royal Sovereign remained in service until she was broken up in 1768, ending her career with a total of 67 years' service in the Royal Navy.

HMS Sovereign of the Seas

Sovereign of the Seas was a 17th-century warship of the English Navy. She was ordered as a 90-gun first-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, but at launch was armed with 102 bronze guns at the insistence of the king. It was later renamed Sovereign, and then Royal Sovereign. The ship was launched on 13 October 1637 and served from 1638 until 1697, when a fire burnt the ship to the waterline at Chatham.

HMS Victory

HMS Victory is a 104-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, ordered in 1758, laid down in 1759 and launched in 1765. She is best known for her role as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

She additionally served as Keppel's flagship at Ushant, Howe's flagship at Cape Spartel and Jervis's flagship at Cape St Vincent. After 1824, she was relegated to the role of harbour ship.

In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world's oldest naval ship still in commission with 240 years service in 2018.

HMS Victory (1737)

For the museum ship at Portsmouth on which Admiral Nelson was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar, see HMS Victory.HMS Victory was a 96-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built to the dimensions of the 1733 proposals of the 1719 Establishment at Portsmouth Dockyard, and launched on 23 February 1737.although commonly misconstrued to be a first rate ship, HMS victory (1737) is in actuality a second rate due to its broadside being 96 guns a side, this would be most likely be the leader of the vanguard of a fleet

Hannah Mancini

Hannah Leah Mancini (born 22 January 1980), also known as Stella Mercury or simply Hannah, is an American singer and songwriter who works and lives in Slovenia. She has been heavily involved in dance, nu disco and electronic scenes, there, and has had the opportunities to work with a diverse group of first-rate artists and producers in these genres. Hannah's first music industry experiences had her on multiple soundtracks for Disney films and the opportunity to collaborate with Grammy winning producer, Larry Klein. She also performed at Radio City Music Hall, Universal Amphitheatre and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Mancini was the Slovene representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö, Sweden and co-wrote the Slovene entry, "Round and Round" in the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Isla Magueyes

Isla Magueyes (Isle of Maguey) is a 7.2 hectares (0.028 sq mi; 0.072 km2) island 50 metres (160 ft) from the southwest coast of the island of Puerto Rico. It is encircled with mangrove and has an interior of dry scrub habitat, where it gets its name. It is named for the presence of many century plants or maguey (Agave americana). The surrounding shelf of the island is mostly coral reef. There are buildings on the western end of the island associated with the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. UPR- Mayagüez is the most important center in the Atlantic region for the study of tropical marine science due to its location, facilities, and first-rate researchers. The research facilities includes the Puerto Rico Water Resources and Environmental Research Institute, the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI), the Research and Development Center, the Agricultural Research Station and the Caribbean Atmospheric Research Center (ATMOSCarib).

Krasnokamensk Airport

Krasnokamensk Airport (Russian: Аэропорт Краснокаменск) (ICAO: UIAE) is an airport in Zabaykalsky Krai, Russia located 7 km south of Krasnokamensk. Services prop transports. It contains a single utilitarian tarmac but is well-maintained, with first-rate construction, and can easily service jets.

List of active Royal Navy ships

The Royal Navy is the principal naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. As of November 2018, there are 75 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy. 20 of the commissioned vessels are major surface combatants (six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates and one aircraft carrier), and 10 are nuclear-powered submarines (four ballistic missile submarines and six fleet submarines). In addition the Navy possesses two amphibious transport docks, 13 mine countermeasures vessels, 23 patrol vessels, four survey vessels, one icebreaker and two historic warships (Victory and Bristol).

The Royal Navy currently operates three bases where commissioned ships are based; HMNB Portsmouth, HMNB Devonport and HMNB Clyde. In addition, a number of commissioned vessels belonging to the University Royal Naval Units (URNU) are stationed at various locations around the United Kingdom. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is approximately 407,000 tonnes (641,000 tonnes including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Royal Marines).

Besides the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Royal Marines operate their own flotillas of naval vessels which complement the assets of the Royal Navy, however they are not included in this list or the above figures. In addition, the naval training vessels Brecon and Cromer can be found based at the Royal Navy shore establishment HMS Raleigh and the Britannia Royal Naval College, respectively, along with a number of P1000's and Motor Whalers. As a supporting contingent of Her Majesty's Naval Service, the civilian Marine Services operate a large number of auxiliary ships (including coastal logistics, tugs and research vessels) in support of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary operations.All ships and submarines currently in commission with the Royal Navy were built in the United Kingdom, with the exceptions of icebreaker Protector which was built in Norway and survey vessel Magpie which was substantially built in Ireland. All vessels of the Royal Navy bear the ship prefix "HMS", for Her Majesty's Ship.


A micromollusk is a shelled mollusk which is extremely small, even at full adult size. The word is usually, but not exclusively, applied to marine mollusks, although in addition, numerous species of land snails and freshwater mollusks also reach adult size at very small dimensions.

These tiny mollusks or their tiny shells are easy to overlook, as many of them are not very noticeable to the naked eye, and thus many people are not aware that they even exist. Nonetheless there are large numbers of families and vast numbers of mollusk species, in particular marine gastropods or sea snails, which are minute enough to be considered micromollusks.

Considerable numbers of marine gastropod species are only about 5 or 6 mm in adult size; many others are only about 2 or 3 mm in adult size; and a few have adult shells which are as small as one millimeter or even smaller still. Despite their tiny size, many of the shells have a good deal of elaborate sculpture. A fair number of them are even quite colorful, although many others are colorless and translucent.

Certain species of micromollusks are very common in the right habitat, and can on occasion be present in huge numbers. However, because of their minute size, micromollusks often go unnoticed by beachcombers, shell collectors and even more serious conchologists.

Micromollusks are not very popular as a subject of study, even among professional malacologists, primarily because these minute species can be very challenging to work with. It can often require great care, patience and persistence to find micromollusks, sort them, store them, and identify them correctly. Working with them usually also requires special techniques and special equipment compared with that needed for most of the larger shelled species. Discriminating the features necessary for successful identification of micromollusks to the species level almost always requires a stereo or dissecting microscope. Identifying, or adequately photographing, the smallest species may sometimes require a scanning electron microscope. Access to a first rate scientific research library is also often necessary, since many of the popular shell identification books and field guides either omit micromollusks completely, or only include a very few species for any particular area.

Because of all these various challenges, micromollusks are poorly known compared to their larger relatives, and thus there are undoubtedly numerous species which have yet to be discovered and described.

Oriental Seminary

The Oriental Seminary started in 1829 by the educator Gour Mohan Addy, was the earliest privately run, first-rate school for children of Hindu parents in Kolkata (then known as Calcutta). It was open only to boys of Hindu parents. It was possibly India’s first fully private school, as even Hindu School, then known as Hindu College,and also Hare school had to abide by certain government guidelines. In earlier days, students wanting to study English had to go to the missionary schools, where they were subject to substantial religious influence. The establishment of a school for learning English, free from religious influences was a major contribution of Addy.

Traditional Indian education centres which taught Sanskrit and/or Persian had started fading out.

Point guard

The point guard (PG), also called the one or point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position. Point guards are expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time. Above all, the point guard must totally understand and accept their coach's game plan; in this way, the position can be compared to a quarterback in American football or a playmaker in association football (soccer). While the point guard must understand and accept the coach's gameplan, they must also be able to adapt to what the defense is allowing, and they also must control the pace of the game.

A point guard, like other player positions in basketball, specializes in certain skills. A point guard's primary job is to facilitate scoring opportunities for his/her team, or sometimes for themselves. Lee Rose has described a point guard as a coach on the floor, who can handle and distribute the ball to teammates. This involves setting up plays on the court, getting the ball to the teammate in the best position to score, and controlling the tempo of the game. A point guard should know when and how to instigate a fast break and when and how to initiate the more deliberate sets. Point guards are expected to be vocal floor leaders. A point guard needs always to have in mind the times on the shot clock and the game clock, the score, the numbers of remaining timeouts for both teams, etc.

Among the taller players who have enjoyed success at the position is Ben Simmons, who at 6’ 10” won the 2018 National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year Award. Behind him is Magic Johnson, who at 6’ 9” (2.06 m) won the National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award three times in his career. Other point guards who have been named NBA MVP include Russell Westbrook, Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose and two-time winners Steve Nash and Stephen Curry. In the NBA, point guards are usually about 6' 4" (1.93 m) or shorter, and average about 6' 2" (1.88 m) whereas in the WNBA, point guards are usually 5' 9" (1.75 m) or shorter. Having above-average size (height, muscle) is considered advantageous, although size is secondary to situational awareness, speed, quickness, and ball handling skills. Shorter players tend to be better dribblers since they are closer to the floor, and thus have better control of the ball while dribbling.

After an opponent scores, it is typically the point guard who brings the ball down court to begin an offensive play. Passing skills, ball handling, and court vision are crucial. Speed is important; a speedy point guard is better able to create separation and space off the dribble, giving him/herself room to work. Point guards are often valued more for their assist totals than for their scoring. Another major evaluation factor is assist-to-turnover ratio, which reflects the decision-making skills of the player. Still, a first-rate point guard should also have a reasonably effective jump shot.

Reagan (film)

Reagan is a 2011 American documentary film, written and directed by Eugene Jarecki, covering the life and presidency of Ronald Reagan. The documentary was aired as part of the centennial anniversary of Reagan's birth, and screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. The film includes interviews with and commentary by several people who worked in Reagan's White House.It was reviewed favorably by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, who wrote, "Mr. Jarecki’s documentary does a first-rate job of respectfully separating the real from the mythical, the significant from the nonsense."


In the rating system of the British Royal Navy used to categorise sailing warships, a second-rate was a ship of the line which by the start of the 18th century mounted 90 to 98 guns on three gun decks; earlier 17th-century second rates had fewer guns and were originally two-deckers or had only partially armed third gun decks.

They were essentially smaller and hence cheaper versions of the three-decker first rates. Like the first rates, they fought in the line of battle, but unlike the first rates, which were considered too valuable to risk in distant stations, the second rates often served also in major overseas stations as flagships. They had a reputation for poor handling and slow sailing. They were popular as Flagships of admirals commanding the Windward and/or Leeward islands station, which was usually a Rear Admiral of the Red.

Second Military Medical University

The People's Liberation Army Naval Medical University (中国人民解放军海军军医大学), also known as the PLA Second Military Medical University (SMMU) (中国人民解放军第二军医大学), is a public university in Shanghai, China. It was founded in September 1949 and named in July 1951. It is a national key university supported by the state Project 211. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Double First Class Discipline University, with Double First Class status in certain disciplines.It was previously called People's Medical College of the East China Military Commanding Region. The building is adjacent to Fudan University and Tongji University and covers an area of nearly 1.1 square kilometres (270 acres). The premises have a total floor space of over 670,000 square metres (7,211,820 sq ft), including a complex of modern teaching buildings, a library, an experiment building and teaching hospitals of the first rate in China. The library itself covers an area over 11,000 square metres (118,403 sq ft) with a collection of over 500,000 book volumes.

Tōma, Hokkaido

Tōma (当麻町, Tōma-chō) is a town located in Kamikawa Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan.

As of September 2016, the town has an estimated population of approximately 6,662 and a density of 33 persons per km2. The total area is 204.95 km2.

Local specialties include densuke watermelons (でんすけスイカ) known throughout Japan, and imazuri mai rice, voted "Most Delicious Rice In Hokkaido 7 Years In A Row". Watermelon-flavored soft-serve ice cream, ramen noodles, senbei and more are available year-round at the town's Roadside Station or Michi no Eki (道の駅), located on National Route 39.

In the late 1990s, the town government embarked on a campaign to make Tohma the number one "sports town" in Japan. While bubble-era funding eventually dried up, a number of first rate sports facilities and tourist attractions are still in operation today. Among these are a campground, large children's obstacle course, tennis courts, soccer, baseball and softball fields, park golf course, ski slope (beginner level with 1 rope lift only) and sports center. In addition, the town is also home to the Papillion Chateau insect museum, the Tōma Shōnyūdō Limestone Cave (one of the few in Hokkaido), and Healthy Chateau, a medium-sized hot spring.

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