Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653

November 2012
5 line illustrations
268 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933181
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Royal Historical Society
BISAC HIS037040, HIS018000, HIS027000

Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653

Elaine Murphy

An examination of the mid-seventeenth century maritime battles between Ireland, England, and Scotland, showing them to have had a dramatic impact on the overall conflict.
The conflict on the Irish seaboard between the years 1641 and 1653 was not some peripheral theatre in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. As this first full-length study of the war at sea on the Irish coast from the outbreak of the Ulster rising in 1641 to the surrender of Inishbofin Island, the last major royalist maritime outpost, in April 1653, shows, it was instead the epicentre of naval conflict with important consequences for the nature and outcome of the land conflicts in Ireland and elsewhere. The book provides a clear and comprehensive narrative account of the war at sea, accompanied by careful contextualisation and a full analysis of its Irish, British and European dimensions. This includes the strategic importance of Irish ports, conflict between organised navies and formidable bands of privateers and pirates, the adoption of new naval technologies and tactics and the relationship between conflict on land and sea. Moving beyond traditional accounts of naval campaigns, it integrates warfare at sea into the wider dimension of political and economic developments in Ireland, England and Scotland. Extensive use is made of a wide range of archival material, in particular the High Court of Admiralty papers held in the National Archives at Kew.

Dr Elaine Murphy is Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History, Plymouth University.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782040569), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

The outbreak and spread of the rebellion, October 1641-September 1643
'Weathering the storm', September 1643-July 1646
'Infested with pirates', August 1646-August 1649
The support of the navy, September 1649-April 1653
A job done well enough? The parliamentary naval effort in Ireland, 1641-1653
For the defence of the coasts of this realm: the confederate naval effort, 1641-1653
Fighting the war at sea in Ireland, 1641-1653
Appendix 1. Parliamentary summer and winter guards for Ireland, 1642-53
Appendix 2. Identified Confederate/Irish privateers, 1642-52
Appendix 3. Parliamentary prizes in Ireland, 1641-53
Appendix 4. Confederate and Irish prizes, 1642-52
Appendix 5. Parliamentary warships lost on the Irish coast, 1641-53
Appendix 6. Prominent parliamentary shipowners on the Irish coast


Murphy contributes to our understanding of what occurred at sea on a daily basis during the civil wars, and is to be commended further for squeezing as much information as possible from difficult source material. NORTHERN MARINER

This book would be particularly useful to those interested in the politics, economics, and logistics of maritime conflict in mid-seventeenth century Ireland. Murphy's scholarly contribution, though, can be appreciated by anyone with an interest in maritime history. NAUTICAL RESEARCH JOURNAL

Presents, in a very readable fashion, thorough and useful research on a previously neglected topic. JOURNAL OF IRISH AND SCOTTISH STUDIES

A very welcome addition to the historiographies of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and of privateering. FORUM NAVALE

A refreshingly complex analysis of the maritime aspects of the conflict in Ireland, a seriously neglected topic that warrants, and has finally received, serious academic attention. [...] I strongly recommend this book for those who are interested in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, in naval warfare, and Irish history amongst others. HISTORY

A solid work on an important aspect of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (in Great Britain and Ireland, 1639-53). It will serve as the foundation for those wanting to learn more. SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY NEWS

A clear and convincing narrative of the war at sea [and] a valuable addition to our understanding of the naval aspects of this complicated conflict. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY

Author Bio

Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History, Plymouth University

Also by Author

Also in Series