Pirate Nation: Elizabeth I and Her Royal Sea Rovers

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9781848321908: Pirate Nation: Elizabeth I and Her Royal Sea Rovers
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For all the romantic mythology surrounding the court of Queen Elizabeth I, the financial underpinning of the reign of 'Gloriana' was decidedly sordid. Elizabeth's policy of seizing foreign assets made her popular at home but drew her into a partnership with pirates who preyed on the state's foes and friends alike, being rewarded or punished depending on how much of a cut the Queen received, rather than the legitimacy of their action.

For this reason the rule of law at sea was arbitrary and almost non-existent. Even those, such as the Lord Admiral and the Court of Admiralty, who were tasked with policing the seas and eliminating piracy, managed their own pirate fleets. While honest merchants could rail and protest, the value to the exchequer of this dubious income was enormous, often equaling, on an annual basis, the input from all other sources such as taxation or customs dues. Moreover, the practice of piracy taught English seamen how to fight and, when the nation was at its greatest peril, in 1588, it was pirates who kept the Spanish Armada away from invading the English coast.

Charles Howard, commander of the British forces, Richard Grenville, Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake, were all pirates who became 'admirals all for England's sake', and were well rewarded by the Queen for their exploits. This highly original book argues that the deeply ingrained piratical and self-interested approach to naval warfare by these English captains almost allowed the Armada to succeed. A radical reassessment of Elizabethan maritime history, Pirate Nation makes this and a number of other startling revelations about the myth and the reality of Elizabethan naval policy. A highly readable work, this radical reappraisal of Elizabethan maritime practice offers provocative insights about some of the most cherished events in British history.

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About the Author:

David Childs is a retired Royal Navy officer, who worked as the Development Director of the Mary Rose Trust, where he became interested in Tudor maritime history. He has since published three major works in the field, The Warship Mary Rose, Tudor Sea Power and Invading America.

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Childs, David
Published by Naval Institute Press (2015)
ISBN 10: 1848321902 ISBN 13: 9781848321908
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Book Description Seaforth, 2014. 1-82. Condition: New. Describing the long Tudor century as ¿an age of avarice in which the Crown led by example¿, David Childs examines the ways in which the seizing of foreign assets by privateers underpinned the reign of Elizabeth. He describes how the ¿pirate queen¿ condoned the activities of ¿her wayward, and always disownable, pirates¿, but also considers the legacy of piracy in Elizabethan naval policy as erstwhile privateers, men such as Grenville, Ralegh and Drake, became ¿admirals all for England¿s sake¿. Seller Inventory # 503053

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Book Description Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, 2014. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 279 pages, contents and index pages. Black and white photographs and illustrations.For all the romantic mythology surrounding the court of Queen Elizabeth I, the financial underpinning of the reign of 'Gloriana' was decidedly sordid. Elizabeth's policy of seizing foreign assets made her popular at home but drew her into a public/private partnership with pirates who preyed on the state's foes and friends alike, being rewarded or punished depending on how much of a cut the Queen received, rather than the legitimacy of their action. For this reason the rule of law at sea was arbitrary, and almost non-existent. Even those, such as the Lord Admiral and the Court of Admiralty, who were tasked with policing the seas and eliminating piracy, managed their own pirate fleets. While honest merchants could rail and fail, the value to the exchequer of this dubious income was enormous, often equalling, on an annual basis, the input from all other sources such as taxation or customs dues. However, the practice of piracy taught English seamen how to fight and, when the nation was at its greatest peril, in 1588, it was pirates who kept the Armada away from the coast. Effingham, Grenville, Ralegh and Drake, became 'admirals all for England's sake', but this highly original book argues that their deeply ingrained piratical approach to naval warfare almost allowed the Armada to succeed. This is only one of a number of startling insights into the reality of Elizabethan naval policy offered by this honest and eminently readable reappraisal. Seller Inventory # 343407

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