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The Admirals’ War

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Chapter Summary

The naval campaign in the Channel during the summer 1545 fittingly balanced the accidental blowing up of Admiral d'Annebault's flagship, the Philippe, with the débacle of the Mary Rose. Thomas Seymour, appointed Vice-Admiral, was charged with conveying supplies to Boulogne at the end of October and then, having found a squadron of French warships at Etaples too strong, went on to attempt to raid French ships in the Seine estuary. The Navy Board seems to become visible in the archives from about 1545 though some innovations probably go back to the late 1530s. At the beginning of Henry VIII's reign, an ad hoc network of agents received disbursements of funds from the Council for every small item of expenditure. The supply of an expeditionary force, however substantial, was bound to be problematic unless lines of communication were assured and only the elimination of the English fleet could guarantee that.

Keywords: Boulogne; French warships; Henry VIII; Mary Rose; Navy Board; Vice-Admiral



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