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Historic Welsh Ships (Welsh History Post Glyndwr)

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This page is dedicated to the fleet lists of the Welsh Navy since its inception. The Welsh Navy was instituted by King Hywel I in 1508 with the launch of the first Welsh warship the LPM Dewi Sant. Following that launch the Welsh Navy would grow and retract as all navies would over the course of their histories.

The prefix LPM is short-hand for Llong Prydeinig ei Mawrhydi or in English "His Brythonic Majesties Ship". In English speaking countries Welsh ships are known by the English abbreviation HBMS or occasionally HWMS, His Welsh Majesties Ship).

The dates next to the ships names shows the period of service seen by that particular vessel. Where required the English translation of the ships name appears next to the Welsh name. Only new ships in each fleet is mentioned. Where ships continue between periods they are not repeated in the ships list.

Warships - Pre 1630

As was common in this period the names of ships reflect both Christianity and the Royal House

  • LPM Dewi Sant (Saint David) 1508-55
    Welsh Galleon LPM Y Ddraig Aur 1530's

    Model of the LPM Y Ddraig Aur

  • LPM Teilo Sant (St Teilo) 1522-49
  • LPM Y Ddraig Aur (Golden Dragon) 1522-65
  • LPM Y Llew Du (Black Lion) 1525-88
  • LPM Trindod Brenhiniol (Royal Trinity) 1536-95
  • LPM Elen Brenhiniol (Royal Elen) 1556-1600
  • LPM Marc 1575-98
  • LPM Pedr (Peter) 1576-1608
  • LPM Pawl (Paul) 1579-1612
  • LPM Andreas Sant (St Andrew) 1595-1621
  • LPM Gogoneddus (Glorious) 1600-1628
  • LPM Twysog Brenhiniol (Royal Prince) 1601-35
  • LPM Stuart Brenhiniol (Royal Stuart) 1605-31
  • LPM Gwenllian Rhad (Gwenllian Grace) 1629-45

The Ten Ships of the 1632-53 Navy

The navy had shrunk by the begining of the 1630's to just two ships (the Twysog Brenhiniol and the Gwenllian Rhad). Maredudd ap Dafydd Powys-Fadog, Prince of Powys was appointed by King Dafydd IV to look at the navy and to re-build. Prince Maredudd decided on a ten ship navy and ordered ships to be built at the Welsh docks. This phase of the navy's history would last until the events of the 1st Anglo-Dutch War. Text in brackets indicates how many times the ships name has been used. Translations of the ships names appear next to the Welsh text.

  • LPM Dewi Sant (2nd) 1632-53
  • LPM Teilo Sant (2nd) 1632-53
  • LPM Samson Sant 1639-69 - Would see service up until the 3rd Fleet
  • LPM Y Ddraig Aur (2nd) 1632-53
  • LPM Y Llew Du (2nd) 1633-53
  • LPM Dafydd Brenhiniol - Royal Dafydd 1634-53
  • LPM Hywel Brenhiniol 1635-64 - Would serve in the 26 Navy
  • LPM Maredudd 1635-60 - Would serve in the 26 Navy
  • LPM Asaph Sant 1636-53
  • LPM Derfel Sant 1640-67 - Would serve in the 26 Navy

The Twentysix Ship Navy 1654-1667

Following the disastorous showing of the Welsh navy during the 1st Anglo-Dutch War the order was given to rebuild the fleet. The period of the navy's history would take it up to the conclusion of the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War in 1667.

  • LPM Dewi Sant (3rd) 1654-69
    LPM Macsen 1655-67

    The LPM Macsen

  • LPM Teilo Sant (3rd) 1654-67
  • LPM Asaph Sant (2nd) 1654-67
  • LPM Dafydd Brenhiniol (2nd) 1657-81 (Continue to the 3rd Fleet)
  • LPM Y Ddraig Aur (3rd) 1657-67
  • LPM Y Llew Du (3rd) 1654-1666
  • LPM Macsen 1655-67
  • LPM Hebog - Falcon 1655-67
  • LPM Rhonabwy 1656-67
  • LPM Caerodor -Bristol 1658-67
  • LPM Taliesin 1659-73 (Continues to the 3rd Fleet)
  • LPM Abertawe - Swansea 1661-67
  • LPM Amwythig - Shrewsbury 1662-67
  • LPM Penfro - Pembroke 1666-74 (Continues to the 3rd Fleet)
  • LPM Rhodri Mawr - Rhodri the Great 1658-67
  • LPM Mihangel Sant - St Michael 1667
  • LPM Hydd Gwyn - White Hart 1657-67
  • LPM Baedd Du - Black Boar 1659-67
  • LPM Llamrai 1660-67
  • LPM Caerfilli - Caerphilly 1667-73 (Continues to the 3rd Fleet)
  • LPM Mortimer 1667-74 (Continues to the 3rd Fleet)
  • LPM Grey 1663-72 (Continues to the 3rd Fleet)

The Third Fleet 1667-1688

This fleet was built between the 2nd Anglo-Dutch war and the second "birth" of the Welsh Navy with the reign of Hywel IV.
LPM Rhonabwy 1669

The LPM Rhonabwy in 1669

  • LPM Samson Sant (2nd) 1672-1689 (Continues to the 4th Fleet)
  • LPM Dewi Sant (4th) 1667-1690 (Continues to the 4th Fleet)
  • LPM Rhonabwy (2nd) 1669-1688 (Continues to the 4th Fleet)

The Second Modernisation 1688-1718 - The Fourth Fleet

During the reign of Hywel IV the navy would receive funds to enable it to rebuild and expand the fleet. This attention would continue under his son, Dafydd V (1706-18). The resultant fleet would prove instrumental in the evacuation of Wales during the 3rd Anglo-Welsh war of 1718-19. Mnay of these ships would serve into the reign of King Rhys and would see action in his attempts to regain the Welsh throne.

  • LPM Mortimer (2nd) 1690-1718
  • LPM Teilo Sant (4th) 1690-1759 (Refitted several times)
  • LPM Y Ddraig Aur (4th) 1690-1718
  • LPM Y Llew Du (4th) 1690-1719
  • LPM Derfel Sant (2nd) 1690-1718
  • LPM Caerfilli (2nd) 1691-1718
  • LPM Grey (2nd) 1692-1718
  • LPM Hebog (2nd) 1692-1718
  • LPM Rhys Brenhiniol 1692-1718
  • LPM Henrietta 1692-1722
  • LPM Pritchard 1692-1725
    LPM Pritchard (1708) 76 Guns

    LPM Pritchard (76 gun ship of the line) 1708 Refit

  • LPM Marged Brenhiniol 1692-1725
  • LPM Taliesin (2nd) 1692-1725
  • LPM Llamrai (2nd) 1692-1725
  • LPM Caledfwlch -Excalibur 1693-1730
  • LPM Penfro (2nd) 1693-1730
  • LPM Anorchfygol - Indomitable 1693-1730
  • LPM Awdurddol - Imperious 1694-1730
  • LPM Diflin - Indefatigable 1695-1736
  • LPM Daionus - Beneficial 1695-1739
  • LPM Mael Sant 1700-1739
  • LPM Dyfrig Sant 1701-1759
  • LPM Asaph Sant (3rd) 1705-1760
  • LPM Abertawe (2nd) 1708-1761
  • LPM Amwythig (2nd) 1712-1762
  • LPM Pedr (2nd) 1712-1773
  • LPM Rhodri Mawr (2nd) 1715-1778
  • LPM Mihangel Sant (2nd) 1718-1785

Planned - Not Built: Ships of the 4th Fleet

These ships were planned to be commissioned but were cancelled due to the English invasion and conquest of Wales in the 3rd Anglo-Welsh war.

  • Macsen (Planned – Not Built)
  • Dafydd Brenhiniol (Planned – Not Built)
  • Dug Y Mers (Planned – Not Built)
  • Dug Gwent (Planned – Not Built)
  • Dug Dyfed (Planned – Not Built)
  • Twysog Gwynedd (Planned – Not Built)
  • Twysog Morgannwg (Planned – Not Built)
  • Twysog Powys (Planned – Not Built)
  • Twysog Brenhiniol (Planned – Not Built)
  • Herfeiddiol (Defiant) (Planned – Not Built)
  • Celeste (French Loan Ship – Flagship of Rhys’s Fleet in 1750)

The 19th Century Fleet - The Fifth Fleet (Pre-Dreadnought Fleet - Sail to Steam/Ironclads - 1759-1830)

This era was the era of the 2nd War of Independance and the slow re-building of the fleet. To start with the fleet was equipped with ships remaining from the Fourth Fleet

  • LPM Dyfrig Sant
  • LPM Asaph Sant (3rd)
  • LPM Abertawe (2nd)
  • LPM Amwythig (2nd)
  • LPM Pedr (2nd)
  • LPM Rhodri Mawr (2nd)
  • LPM Mihangel Sant (2nd)

The last of these ships, the Mihangel Sant was sunk in 1785 and for around 10 years Wales was in the odd position of having a Naval Department and an Admirality but no ships of the line to command. Then in 1797 the first new ship of the Welsh Navy was launched. This would be the last time that the Welsh Admiralty would commission wooden sail powered ships of the line. The last ever such ship commissioned by the Welsh in this fashion was the Y Wladfa, launched in 1810.

  • LPM Dewi Sant (5th) 1791-1801
    Battle of Navarino 1827

    Battle of Navarino (1827) - Engaging the Ottoman Fleet

  • LPM Rhodri Mawr (3rd) 1797-1801
  • LPM Rhisiart Brenhiniol 1798-1815
  • LPM Macsen (3rd) 1798-1805
  • LPM Dug y Mers 1798-1805
  • LPM Dug Gwent 1798-1805
  • LPM Anorchfygol -Indomitable (2nd) 1798-1827
  • LPM Awdurddol - Imperious (2nd) 1799-1830
  • LPM Diflin - Indefatigable (2nd) 1800-1835
  • LPM Daionus - Beneficial (2nd) 1801-1834
  • LPM Twysog Gwynedd 1803-1836
  • LPM Twysog Gwynedd (2nd) 1804-1865
  • LPM Twysog Powys 1805-1840
  • LPM Y Wladfa - Patagonia 1810-1855

The Steam & Ironclad Era - Continuation of the Fifth Fleet Period

As the 1830's began, the Admiralty, under the Morlys Un Arglwydd (1st Lord Admiral), Prince-Admiral Syr Gruffyd ap Tomos Bennett, entered into a form of Naval Race with the British. Experimentation with steam powered ships began in earnest and as the decade progressed the first steam powered ships entered service. The early steam paddle frigates (Ffrigad Padl) were soon heavily outdated and by the 1850's in common with other European navies and especially the British Navy, the Admiralty (Morlys) authorised the transition to screw driven steam warships (Ffrigad stem). By the end of the century the Welsh Navy had begun the final transition to true steel built, coal fired ships. - The Dreadnought Era.

Ships belonging to this first, earlier era contain

LPM Defiant (1841)

Ffrigad Padl LPM Herfeiddiol (1841)

Ffrigad Padl

  • LPM Herfeiddiol (Defiant) 1840-1865
  • LPM Ymerodraeth (Empire) 1844-1869
  • LPM Awdurddol (3rd) 1850-1878

With the launching of the Awdurddol in 1850 the era of the paddle steamer frigate was already over. The weakness of the ship type (the paddle wheel) was by then patently obvious. With that design issue the worlds Naval engineers stepped up to come up with an alternative. That alternative was the screw propelled ironclad ship.

Ffrigad Stem

These ships were pioneered by the French and Anglo-Scottish navies incorporating wooden ships with steam powered screw propulsion. In common with the smaller navies of Europe, Wales was not in a position to adopt the fleets of fully wooden screw driven ships, but did build a small number to complement the ffrigad padl's already in the fleet.

'E' Class Ffrigad Stem

LPM Engiriol - Steam powered warship

LPM Engiriol 1856

  • LPM Edifer (Penitent) 1852 - 1875
  • LPM Edliw (Reproach) 1853 - 1859
  • LPM Efengylwr (Evangelist) 1853 - 1863
  • LPM Engiriol (Cruel) 1853 - 1871

With the launching of the Engiriol in 1853 the time of the wooden steam ships as ships of war was already over. The French and Anglo-Scottish navies continued to press ahead with new and more deadly designs.

With the launch in 1858 of the French ship Gloire and the Anglo-Scottish response with the launch of HMS Warrior, the ffrigad padl and ffrigad stem were both rendered completely obsolete. The Morlys launched an investigation into both the French and Anglo-Scottish navies to look at these new ironclad warships.

The result was in 1865 the launch of the first Welsh ironclad, the LPM Samson Sant 

Ironclad Warships

LPM Samson Sant

The first Welsh ironclad

With the resources needed to build an ironclad ship, the numbers of Welsh ships did decrease with the move into the more advanced ships.

Over the next decade the Morlys build several ironclad warships to replace the older ships of the navy.

Starting with the Samson Sant, the Welsh shipyards of Caerodor, Aberdaugleddau and Penfro turned their production to these new types of war ships.

Samson Class (Broadside Ironclads)

  • LPM Samson Sant (3rd) 1865 - 1886
  • LPM Twysog Gwynedd (3rd) 1866 - 1884
  • LPM Twysog Powys (2nd) 1866 - 1872

Non-Classed (Broadside Ironclads)

  • LPM Rhodri Mawr (4th) 1868-1876
  • LPM Rhisiart Brenhiniol (2nd) 1868-1891
  • LPM CatrinBrenhiniol 1869-1889

Dosbarth Rhyfelog (Belligerent Class - Central Battery Ironclads)

  • LPM Rhyfelog (Belligerent) 1872 - 1896
  • LPM Taliesin (3rd) 1873 - 1894
  • LPM Awdurddol - Imperious (4th) 1874- 1888

Dosbarth Macsen (Macsen Class - Central Citadel Turret-ship)

  • LPM Macsen (4th) 1879 - 1899
  • LPM Emrys Wledig (Aurelius Ambrosius) 1879 - 1897 
  • LPM Riothamus 1880 - 1901
  • LPM Vortigern 1880 - 1900

Pre-Dreadnought Ships

As the ship designs of the 1860's and 70's progressed they moved from wooden hulls coated in iron to true iron build warships. With the launch of the Riothamus and Vortigern in 1880 there followed a decade where the Welsh Morlys relaxed in terms of rushing to copy the latest French or Anglo-Scottish ship design. With the Anglo-Scottish launch of the Admiral class in 1888 Welsh interest in advanced ship design was re--ignited. The Welsh Navy was aided at this point in the expansion of the Welsh heavy industries in South Wales. The iron and steel works of Merthyr Tydful and the monies that they brought into the Welsh Treasury allowed the Welsh navy to compete with the Anglo-Scottish Navy in terms of ship design if not in terms of hulls available.

LPM Mileinig - Predreadnought Battleship 1897

LPM Mileinig in 1897

Dosbarth Mileinig (Ferocious Class) Battleship

  • LPM Mileinig (Ferocious) 1890 - 1907
  • LPM LPM Hebog (3rd) 1890 - 1909
  • LPM Hydd Gwyn - White Hart (2nd) 1890 - 1901
  • LPM Baedd Du - Black Boar (2nd) 1891 - 1910
  • LPM Anorchfygol -Indomitable (3rd)  1891 - 1909

Dosbarth Manticore - Battleship

  • LPM Manticore 1891 - 1910
  • LPM Griffwn (Griffin) 1891 - 1914
  • LPM Gweilch (Osprey) 1893 - 1916
  • LPM Cydyll (Kestrel) 1894 - 1915

Dreadnought Ships

In common with the other European navies, the launch of HMS Dreadnought changed all the rules about ship building for the navies. Wales rushed to follow the Anglo-Scottish examples, launching her first dreadnought class ship in 1908

Dosbarth Anferth (Colossal Class)

  • LPM Dug y Mers (2nd) 1908 - 1925
  • LPM Dug Gwent (2nd) 1908 - 1928
  • LPM Dug y Dyfed 1910 - 1935
  • LPM Dug y Penfro 1911 - 1936
  • LPM Rhonabwy (3rd) 1914 - 1931 (from 1922 as an aircraft carrier)
  • LPM Macsen (5th) 1915 - 1934 (from 1924 as an aircraft carrier)

Welsh Navy in the 20th Century

With the launch of the Anferth class ships the below ship lists are by ship type for the 20th Century

Aircraft Carriers

  • Converted Battleships to Carrier LPM Rhonabwy 1922-1931
  • Converted Battleships to Carrier LPM Macsen 1924-1934
  • LPM Bellerophon (Daedalus Class) 1930-1945
  • LPM Daedalus (Daedalus Class) 1930-1948
  • LPM Orion (Constellation Class – Light Carrier) 1938-1946
  • LPM Pegasus (Constellation Class – Light Carrier) 1938-1958
  • LPM Scorpius (Constellation Class – Light Carrier) 1939-1956
  • LPM Hydd Gwyn (Malta Class) 1954 - 2016
  • LPM Baedd Du (Malta Class) 1956 - 2016


At first the Welsh Navy attempted to produce full blown battleships, but a lack of suitable anchorage and the sheer cost of building and maintaining these ships limited their appeal to the Senate and even ultimately the Morlys.

  • LPM Griffwn (2nd) 1915-1926
  • LPM Llew Du (5th) 1917 - 1938
  • LPM Manticore (2nd) 1918 - 1937
  • LPM Rhyfelog (Belligerent) (2nd) 1918 - 1940 (Sunk)
  • LPM Llew Aur 1920 - 1943 (Sunk)


The battlecruiser was seen as a cheaper alternative to the full battleship and the Welsh navy build several of these in the interwar years, though numbers were limited by the Washington Naval Treaty

  • LPM Hydd Gwyn - White Hart (3rd) 1922 - 1947
  • LPM Baedd Du - Black Boar (3rd) 1922 - 1949
  • LPM Rhyfelog (2nd) (Belligerent) 1923 - 1952
  • LPM Taliesin (4th) 1925 - 1954

Heavy Cruisers

  • LPM Hebog (4th) (Falcon) 1913-1929
  • LPM Myrddyn (1909-1922)
  • LPM Awdurddol - Imperious (5th) 1925 - 1942 (Sunk)
  • LPM Herfeiddiol  - Defiant (2nd ) 1925 - 1943 (Sunk)
  • LPM Ymerodraeth - Empire (2nd) 1925 - 1945
  • LPM Mael Sant (2nd) 1928 - 1956
  • LPM Dyfrig Sant (2nd) 1930 - 1958
  • LPM Asaph Sant (4th) 1931 - 1957
  • LPM Pedr (3rd) 1933 - 1960

Light Cruisers

  • LPM Twysog Gwynedd (4th) 1919 - 1938
  • LPM Twysog Powys (5th) 1919 - 1940 (Sunk)
  • LPM Twysog Morgannwg 1921 - 1940 (Sunk)
  • LPM Dug y Mers (3rd) 1930 - 1945
  • LPM Dug Gwent (3rd) 1932 - 1957
  • LPM Dug y Dyfed (2nd) 1940 - 1957
  • LPM Dug y Penfro (2nd) 1942 - 1957



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