Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Frigate

Frigate, a vessel of war carrying all her guns on her main-deck, quarter-deck, and forecastle, commanded by a post-captain, and rigged as a ship. She mounted from 20 to 50 guns. The modern equivalent of frigates, which were the eyes and scouts of a fleet, are cruisers. The first frigate, properly so-called, in the English navy was the Southampton, 32, built in 1757; but vessels loosely named frigates were common from the time of the Dutch wars. The term then signified merely a light, fast type of cruiser.