The Making of the Elizabethan Navy 1540-1590

October 2009
254 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843834922
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

The Making of the Elizabethan Navy 1540-1590

From the Solent to the Armada

David Loades

An account of the development of the English navy showing how the formidable force which beat the Spanish Armada was created.
When Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509 the English Navy was rather ad hoc: there were no warships as such, rather just merchant ships, hired when needed by the king, and converted for military purposes, which involved mostly the transport of troops and the support of land armies. There were no permanent dockyards and no admiralty or other standing institutions to organise naval affairs. Throughout the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary, and the early part of the reign of Elizabeth, all this changed, so that by the 1580s England had permanent dockyards, and permanent naval administrative institutions, and was able to send warships capable of fighting at sea to attack the Spanish in the Caribbean and in Spain itself, and able to confront the Spanish Armada with a formidable fleet. This book provides a thorough account of the development of the English navy in this period, showing how the formidable force which beat the Spanish Armada was created. It covers technological, administrative and operational developments, in peace and war, and provides full accounts of the various battles and other naval actions. David Loades is Honorary Research Professor, University of Sheffield, Professor Emeritus, University of Wales, Bangor, and a member of the Centre for British and Irish Studies, University of Oxford. He has published over 20 books, including "The Tudor Navy" (1992).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The King's Ships
Operations, 1544-1547
The Council for Marine Causes
The Navy of Edward VI
The Navy of Mary, and of Philip and Mary
The First Decade of Elizabeth
The Navy and the Maritime Community
Towards War


A welcome addition to the historiography of maritime Britain. [It] is characteristic of Loades - well researched and very detailed. An impressive knowledge of the subject is evident throughout. [...] The indefatigable David Loades continues to form our understanding of Tudor England on land and at sea. JOURNAL FOR MARITIME RESEARCH

The author has produced a work soundly based on manuscript and printed primary sources, as well as on numerous secondary studies. He masterfully weaves both together in framing the narrative. THE NORTHERN MARINER

[An] informative and valuable study. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY

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