Her name is as old as the British navy itself. The next HMS Glasgow will be the ninth called after Britain’s greatest shipbuilding city. The first - like the latest, a frigate - was commissioned in to the Royal Navy of the fledgling and fragile British state in 1707.

That HMS Glasgow had been launched a decade earlier on the Thames - not the Clyde - as Scottish ship Royal Mary, sister to independent Scotland’s flagship Royal William.

The old Scottish navy had named its frigates after the victors in the last successful invasion of the British mainland, the bringers of the Glorious Revolution. William of Orange and his co-ruler Queen Mary.

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The new united Royal Navy chose more prosaic names, HMS Glasgow and HMS Edinburgh, and they stuck.

When Perth-born Defence Minister Michael Fallon cut the steel for what will become the ninth HMS Glasgow at the Govan shipyard he and his advisors will have been more than aware of the historic significance of the name.

Cynics will be quick to see spin in calling a frigate, or a new Global Combat Ship, to use the modern jargon, after Scotland’s biggest city. After all, shipbuilding, specifically warshipbuilding, has been been at the centre of big politics since before the independence referendum.

Pro-UK politicians such as Mr Fallon like to point to the industry as a visual example of the union dividend. An HMS Glasgow launched at a Scottish yard is good PR, especially as a £200m frigate factory mooted before the 2014 referendum fails to materialise and the size and timings of promised orders slip.

But there is more to this name that politics. Shipbuilders - who can take decades to plan and deliver a fleet - think long-term, like few other workers. So too to mariners. When the ninth HMS Glasgow goes in to active service, some time in the middle of the coming decade, its men and women will share three centuries of heritage and some incredible stories.

The last HMS Glasgow was a destroyer, launched in 1977 at Swan Hunter in North East England. It saw service in the Falklands alongside sister ships Coventry and the tragically lost Sheffield.

HMS Glasgow had a luckier fate. She was scrapped in 1999 but only after thousands welcomed her home to the Clyde after the Falklands.

Previous HMS Glasgows had even more illustrious histories. The seventh ship to carry the name was a Greenock-built cruiser with a crew of hundreds which saw action in the Atlantic, Norwegian Sea and Indian Ocean during World War Two before helping in the invasion of Normandy.

Her predecessor was also a cruiser, built at the same Fairfield or Govan yard where her steel was cut this week. The sixth HMS Glasgow, like the eighth, fought in the Falklands but against Germany.

The new ship is far smaller than some of predecessors. New D-class destroyers are not named after cities - navy snarks say they have stripper names like Diamond or Daring. So, perhaps in a sign of the Royal Navy’s long-term decline, the newest HMS Glasgow is again a mere frigate not a cruiser or a destroyer.