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Monday, August 15, 2005

Great Harry's Navy : How Henry VIII Gave England Seapower

Has anyone read this book by Geoffrey Moorehouse? Henry VIII has always been a fascinating character, or should I say, force, and now it appears that he was the man who set England on its course to becoming a major sea power. According to the publisher, Orion Books:

It was Henry VIII who began the process of making England a first-rate sea-power. He inherited no more than seven warships from his father King Henry VII, yet at his own death the King's Navy had 53 seaworthy ships afloat (much the same size as the Royal Navy today) manned by almost 8,000 sailors. Here was the springboard for Queen Elizabeth's captains (such as Francis Drake) a decade later.
As G R Elton has commented (in 'England Under he Tudors') Henry VIII originally needed a navy to hold the English Channel and blockade the enemy while he invaded France. Later when invasion from the continent grew serious Henry's navy fought in many actions. complete article

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