From the end of the 17th century until well into the 20th, it was the single largest and most powerful navy in the world, playing a key part in establishing the British Empire as the dominant world power, and patrolling its colonial waters.
Many of those who would later join a life of piracy during the early 18th century, such as Benjamin Hornigold, Edward Kenway, and Edward Thatch had served in the Royal Navy as privateers, until the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, which had ended hostilities between Britain and Spain. Following the conversion of most privateers into pirates, they frequently targeted the vessels of the Spanish Navy, and occasionally the Royal Navy, throughout the West Indies.
Later, Great Britain was at war with France at the 1730's where they often clashed near Saint Domingue, a French colony. The Assassin Adéwalé would occasionally attack Royal Navy ships who were attacking French Slave ships during this time.
During the Seven Years' War, the British Royal Navy fought the French Navy during the early years of the war at the North Atlantic and European waters. The British suffered heavy losses and setbacks at the hands of the French Navy, especially during a disastrous battle near St. John's where the British lost a Man O' War and several brigs to the French. As a result, British naval strength was weak as the French controlled several forts and settlements while the British only had Halifax as its only stronghold. By 1756, few Royal Navy ships patrolled the seas despite being vastly outnumbered by the French. The defection of Shay Cormac from the Assassins, however, changed the tide of the war and the Royal Navy regained its strength. All forts and settlements under French control in the North Atlantic and River Valley were captured by Shay, now operating as a Privateer, using his ship the Morrigan, further establishing their power at Canada. Later, British ships under the command of Generals Jeffrey Amherst, Charles Lawrence, Edward Whitmore and Colonel James Wolfe besieged the Fortress of Louisbourg under the command of the Chevalier de Drucour, where the Royal Navy officer James Cook lent Shay the use of the HMS Pembroke in destroying French reinforcements under the command of Adéwalé aboard the Experto Crede. The British succeeded in capturing Louisbourg, thus turning the tide of the war in their favour. Later the Royal Navy was again victorious over the invading French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay through the efforts of Shay, ensuring safety from French invasion until the end of the war at 1763. The Royal Navy became the most powerful navy in the whole world, ensuring the expansion of Britain's empire through Shay Cormac's manipulations and the use of his fleet to assist both the navy and the Templars throughout the world, including Manila and Java.
During the American Revolutionary War, the Royal Navy was responsible for the transportation of Loyalist troops to and from the theatre of war, and played a significant part in the final outcome of the conflict.
During the Battle of the Chesapeake, a British fleet under the command of Sir Thomas Graves was engaged and strategically defeated by a French fleet, led by Admiral de Grasse, supported by an Assassin vessel, the Aquila. The ship also participated in several smaller campaigns against the British up and down the colonial coastline.
Below is a list of Royal Navy warships, not including privateer vessels:
- Devil's Due
- HMS Courage
- HMS Defiance
- HMS Drake
- HMS Fearless
- HMS Intrigue
- HMS Jersey
- HMS Pembroke (1710)
- HMS Pembroke (1757)
- HMS Prince
- HMS Vulture
- King George
- Royal Sovereign