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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