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Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653

Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653

by Elaine Murphy




The conflict on the Irish seaboard between the years 1641 and 1653 was not some peripheral theatre in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. As this first full-length study of the war at sea on the Irish coast from the outbreak of the Ulster rising in 1641 to the surrender of Inishbofin Island, the last major royalist maritime outpost, in April 1653, shows, it was instead the epicentre of naval conflict with important consequences for the nature and outcome of the land conflicts in Ireland and elsewhere. The book provides a clear and comprehensive narrative account of the war at sea, accompanied by careful contextualisation and a full analysis of its Irish, British and European dimensions. This includes the strategic importance of Irish ports, conflict between organised navies and formidable bands of privateers and pirates, the adoption of new naval technologies and tactics and the relationship between conflict onland and sea. Moving beyond traditional accounts of naval campaigns, it integrates warfare at sea into the wider dimension of political and economic developments in Ireland, England and Scotland. Extensive use is made of a wide range of archival material, in particular the High Court of Admiralty papers held in the National Archives at Kew.

Dr Elaine Murphy is Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History, Plymouth University.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780861933181
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 11/15/2012
Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series , #85
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History, Plymouth University

Table of Contents

List of figures, maps and tables vi

Acknowledgements vii

Abbreviations viii

Glossary ix

Introduction 1

Part I The War at Sea, 1651-1653

1 The outbreak and spread of the rebellion, October 1641-September 1643 13

2 'Weathering the storm', September 1643-July 1646 35

3 'Infested with pirates', August 1646-August 1649 53

4 The support of the navy, September 1649-April 1653 69

Part II Navies and the Conduct of the War at Sea

5 A job done well enough? The parliamentary naval effort in Ireland, 1641-1653 89

6 For the defence of the coasts of this realm: the confederate naval effort, 1641-1653 106

7 Fighting the war at sea in Ireland, 1641-1653 125

Conclusion 143


1 Parliamentary summer and winter guards for Ireland, 1642-53 151

2 Identified Confederate/Irish privateers, 1642-52 172

3 Parliamentary prizes in Ireland, 1641-53 179

4 Confederate and Irish prizes, 1642-52 201

5 Parliamentary warships lost on the Irish coast, 1641-53 219

6 Prominent parliamentary shipowners on the Irish coast 220

Bibliography 223

General index 233

Index of ships 247

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