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HMS Archer, and the Archer-class of gun-brigs From 1793 to 1813, the Royal Navy demanded large numbers of small armed brigs for coastal warfare. These were smaller than the brig-sloops or man-of-war brigs, with a complement of 50 men under the command of a Lieutenant. Some were converted from merchant ships, while most were built to order - the most common design of these gun-brigs was the Archer-class by William Rule, consisting of 58 ships. These ships were workhorses, most with individually undistinguished careers or a supporting role apart from some colourful exceptions; HMS Staunch, f