The British Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653

April 2018
6 black and white, 3 line illustrations
239 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781783272297
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037040, HIS027150

The British Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653

Richard J. Blakemore, Elaine Murphy

A comprehensive overview of the subject, demonstrating that the maritime aspects of the civil wars were much more important than has hitherto been acknowledged.

The civil wars in England, Scotland and Ireland in the period 1638-1653 are usually viewed from the perspective of land warfare. This book, on the other hand, presents a comprehensive overview of the wars from a maritime perspective. It considers the structure, organisation and manning of the parliamentarian, royalist, and Irish confederate navies, discussing how these changed over the course of the wars. It also traces the development of the wars at sea, showing that the initial opting for parliament by seamen and officers in 1642 was a crucial development, as was the mutiny and defection of part of the parliamentarian navy in 1648. Moving beyond this it examines the nature of maritime warfare, including coastal sieges, the securing of major ports for parliament, the attempts by royalists to ship arms and other supplies from continental Europe, commerce raiding, and the transportation of armies and their supporters in the invasions of Scotland and Ireland. Overall the book demonstrates that the war at sea was an integral and important part of these dramatic conflicts.

RICHARD J. BLAKEMORE is a Lecturer in the History of the Atlantic World at the University of Reading. ELAINE MURPHY is a Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History at the University of Plymouth and author of Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653 (Boydell Press, 2012).

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Table of Contents

Warfare at Sea in the Early Modern Period
The Outbreak of War, 1638-1642
The War at Sea, 1642-1646
Parliament's Navy, 1642-1646
Royalist, Confederate, and Scottish Naval Efforts, 1642-1653
Revolution, 1647-1649
Conquest, 1649-53
Appendix 1: Timeline of the Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653
Appendix 2 : Parliamentarian Fleets, 1642-1649


Not since Bernard Capp's Cromwell's Navy: The Fleet and the English Revolution, 1648-1660 (1992) has a work so thoroughly covered the war at sea as this one. . . . [A]n excellent book [that]demonstrates a great deal of careful, and moreover, thoughtful research into a subject that needs to have more attention from civil war historians, naval historians, and the historians of the illusive "military revolution." H-NET REVIEWS [Martyn Bennett]

This timely study presents a comprehensive analysis..It fills a significant void in the understanding of the British Civil Wars, and as such is a valuable contribution to the military history of the period. MILITARY HISTORY MONTHLY

"A very clearly written and convincingly argued book . deeply researched and effectively constructed. It fills a significant historiographical gap with much new research; it does so from an archipelagic rather than an Anglocentric perspective; and it is an important contribution to the maritime and military histories of mid-seventeenth-century Britain and Ireland." - David Smith, Selwyn College, Cambridge

"This is going to be a very important and well-received book." - J D Davies, author of numerous books on the seventeenth century navy

"An excellent book . extremely well written, with a clear set of aims and objectives, a strong narrative and a staggering range of detailed footnotes - enough detail to hook academics, but general enough to make it extremely applicable to a student and non-specialist audience." --Annaleigh Margey, Dundalk Institute of Technology

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