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Shipping the Medieval Military

Shipping the Medieval Military: English Maritime Logistics in the Fourteenth Century

Craig L. Lambert
Volume: 34
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 260
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  • Book Info
    Shipping the Medieval Military
    Book Description:

    During the fourteenth century England was scarred by famine, plague and warfare. Through such disasters, however, emerged great feats of human endurance. Not only did the English population recover from starvation and disease butthousands of the kingdom's

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-845-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-ix)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. x-x)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The two passages above suggest that maritime travel during the middle ages was a dangerous affair, and indeed it could be, as Edward III’s return journey from his campaign in Brittany in 1343 amply shows; sea journeys could be perilous.³ Nevertheless, by the time Edward III crossed the Channel on 28 October 1359 English forces had already achieved many successful sea journeys to launch campaigns in France.⁴ If the numerous flotillas of the diplomatic embassies and trading vessels were added to these major expeditions, one could safely say that the English had, by this period, developed a safe and secure...

  7. 1 Raising a Fleet
    (pp. 11-51)

    Raising a fleet of ships for either transportation of troops or delivery of victuals was a complex operation. Although in the past the procedure for assembling a fleet of requisitioned merchantmen has been described as relatively straightforward a more detailed examination of the process provides evidence of an underlying sophistication. Not only was a large team of clerks required but also sergeantsat-arms, bailiffs, sheriffs and shipmasters. These groups would work separately or together in order to supply the required numbers of ships demanded by the crown. Yet the workings of this procedure and the sheer scale of the task is...

  8. 2 The Supply of Armies and Garrisons by Sea, 1320–1360
    (pp. 52-100)

    Logistical preparation was one of the most important and complicated aspects of any campaign. Indeed, ensuring that an army would be fully supplied with foodstuffs has been described as one of the most difficult problems faced by any medieval government.¹ And once that army had made inroads and established garrisons, as the English did in Scotland, it was necessary also to make sure that those islands of occupation were fully supplied.² Without adequate provender the intended strategy of an invading force would collapse within weeks. Once food ran out and soldiers became hungry discipline would suffer and desertions increase. This...

  9. 3 The Transportation of English Armies to France 1324–1360
    (pp. 101-155)

    In Chapter 1 the discussion centred on the underlying bureaucratic procedures employed by the clerks, and the varying methods available to the kings of the period, when it came to raising a fleet. It was found that Edward II and Edward III had nine methods that they could exploit to raise a supply or transport armada. But the analysis did not investigate the time-scale involved in these operations. In short, how long did the government take to assemble a feet of ships from the issue of the first requisition order to the arrival of the last vessel at the port...

  10. 4 Maritime Resources and the King’s War
    (pp. 156-206)

    This book has set out to investigate the involvement, whether voluntary or unwillingly, of England’s maritime communities to the war effort of Edward II and Edward III. The analysis so far has shown the numbers of ships, mariners and ports that were involved in the maritime dimension of the wars. The origins of the participation of so many ports, and their resources, in the wars of the period can be traced back to the campaigns conducted under Edward I, especially those of the 1290s in Scotland and Flanders.¹ Although Edward II’s Scottish campaigns were punctuated by long periods of truce...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 207-210)

    This study has investigated the maritime involvement in the wars conducted by Edward II and Edward III between 1320 and 1360, a 40-year period that certainly witnessed England’s greatest military endeavours of the middle ages.¹ The kings of England were, for much of this time, engaged in two inter-related wars against two other kingdoms. The militarisation of sections of England’s population had been gathering pace since the wars initiated by Edward I in the 1280s.² This study has aimed to demonstrate that it was not only the English landed community that felt the impact of these wars, but also the...

  12. APPENDIX 1: Ports that Supplied Ships to the Fleets
    (pp. 211-214)
  13. APPENDIX 2: Reconstructing the Merchant Fleet: A Methodology
    (pp. 215-222)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 223-236)
  15. Index
    (pp. 237-244)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 245-247)