Private ship is a term used in the Royal Navy to describe that status of a commissioned warship in active service that is not currently serving as the flagship of a flag officer (i.e., an admiral or commodore). The term in no way implies any type of private ownership of the vessel, but is more akin to private soldier.
- A straightforward definition of the term "private ship" used in the sense is difficult to find in common naval history literature, but see individual ships' operational histories in R. A. Burt's British Battleships 1889-1904, among other books, for numerous uses of the term in the manner described here.
Burt, R. A. British Battleships 1889-1904. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0-87021-061-0.