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Reforms to the army's marine regiments were more successful after they were transferred to Admiralty control in 1747, and while the regiments continued to be disbanded at the end of hostilities, Anson managed to implement a permanent corps made up of independent companies in 1755.

Anson's successes with the Western Squadron at the two battles of Finisterre in 1747 provided a large number of captured French vessels which, in turn, prompted developments in the design and construction of British warships. French ships of the line tended to be much larger than their British counterparts, and French frigates were often much faster and better adapted to their role as scouts and escorts. 

Much of the difference was a matter of underlying philosophy. The larger French vessels were expensive to build and maintain, and while the smaller and more economic British ships punched above their weight but the borrowing of French techniques would allow the construction of larger, stronger,  better balanced, more seaworthy vessels. 

Existing construction was halted while a committee of admirals met to come up with new specifications for each rate, while a committee of shipwrights worked towards new standard designs, but progress was slow, largely due to navy surveyor Sir Jacob Acworth's resistance to innovation and reluctance to retire. 

Joseph Allin, a joint surveyor after 1746, proved to be less innovative than adventurous a designer than Anson hoped, and when Acworth died in March 1749 progress in improving the design of British ships of the line was limited.

The relatively smaller, cheaper frigates were a slightly different story. They were often designed by shipwrights or private builders, rather than by the surveyor. Benjamin Slade, the master shipwright in Plymouth naval yard, investigated French designs, sent the Admiralty plans, models, and proposals. French vessels were faster, but they were cramped, unseaworthy, and relatively flimsy, so the British designers adapted the best aspects of French designs. 

Slade went on to achieve a harmonious synthesis of design elements in what later came to be regarded as the classic classes of first rates, including the famous 100-gun Victory.

© Ian Hughes 2017