Construction of the vessel began in 1795 at Hartt Shipyard in Boston following the design of Joshua Humphrey from Philadelphia. The CONSTITUTION was launched in October 1797 and was completed in 1798. She was armed with 44 cannons, including 30 long-barrelled 24-pounders.
In the war between England and France (1812-1814) the CONSTITUTION led a successful engagement against the frigates GUERRIERE (with 38 cannons) and JAVA. Her last wartime voyage was in February 1815.
Sovereign of the Seas – The ship was designed in 1634 by Phineas Pett and was the first ship to have three full gun decks, carrying 102 guns on the orders of King Charles I instead of the 90 originally planned. No expense was spared in her construction. All her guns were made from bronze instead of cast iron which meant their construction was four times more expensive.
The construction of Sovereign of the Seas was part of Charles I's plan to overawe possible enemies, primarily the Dutch and Spanish, with England's naval power. Her first engagement was the Battle of Kentish Knock during the First Dutch War on 28 September 1652. Her career came to an abrupt end when she accidentally caught fire at Chatham on 27 January 1696.
In 1869 John Willis, a shipowner and ship’s captain from London, commissioned the building of the clipper CUTTY SARK in order to beat the THERMOPYLAE (built one year before) in the “tea race”. The name CUTTY SARK is of Scottish origin and means “short shirt”. The figurehead is a witch called Nannie.
Under 1877 the full-rig ship sailed almost exclusively as a tea dipper on the China route and she frequently achieved speeds of up to 17 knots. Then from 1877 onwards the CUTTY SARK served mainly in the Australian wool trade