Early Royal Navy Ship

"ON the British Navy, under the good providence of God, the wealth, safety, and strength of the kingdom chiefly depend."

So runs the preamble to the Articles of War, and few Englishmen would wish to dispute the fact. But while we glory in the tale of the Armada and of a long line of brilliant victories, culminating in the supreme day of Trafalgar, we are apt to forget the means whereby these victories were assured to us. It is well that our people should study not only the triumphs of our Fleet, but its reverses also; that they should make themselves acquainted with every step in that long and often bitter struggle through which the British Navy won its way from insignificance to the mastery of the seas.

 from the Short History of the Royal Navy.


c1500 - 1700

1512. Aug. 10. Action off Brest. Burning of the Regent.
1513. Apr. 25. Fight off Brest. Death of Sir Edward Howard.
1520. May 31. Embarkation of Henry VIII. at Dover for France.
1543. July. Defeat of a French Squadron off the Forth.
1545. July 19. Action at Spithead. Loss of the Kin's Ship Mary Rose.
1568. Sept. 24. Destruction of Hawkyns' Squadron at S. Juan de Lua.
1585. Sir Francis Drake's sack of Santiago and Cartagena.
1587. Apr. 19. The Spanish Shipping in Cadiz burnt by Sir Francis Drake.
1587. June. Capture of the Carrack 'St. Philip' by Sir Francis Drake.
1588. July. Engagements with the Invincible Armada.
1590. Apr. 24. Repulse of 12 Spanish Galleys by 10 Merchant Ships.
1591. Aug. 31. The Last Fight of the HMS Revenge'.
1591. Repulse of 5 Spanish Galleys by the HMS Centurion.
1592. Aug. 3. Capture of the Madre de Dios by Sir John Burgh.
1594. June 19 to 21. (Capture of the HMS Dainty (Captain Hawkyns) by the Spaniards.
1594. Nov. Reduction of Fort Crozon. Frobiser mortally wounded.
1596. June 21. Sack of Cadiz by Howard, Essex, and Raleigh.
1602. June 3. Sir Richd. Levison and Sir Win. Monson at Cezimbra.
1612. Oct. 30 and 31. Defeat of the Portuguese Armada by Best, off Surat.
1614-5. Jan. 2O. Defeat of the Portuguese by Nic. Downton, off Surat.
1616-7. Jan. 12. Defeat of 5 Turkish Men-of-War by the HMS Dolphin.
1625. Feb. 1 and 2. Fight between the Anglo-Dutch and the Portuguese in the Persian Gulf.
1625. Oct. Expedition to Cadiz.
1650. Nov. Burning of Prince Rupert's Piratical Squadron by Blake.
1652. May 19. Blake engaged the Dutch, under Tromp, off Dover.
1652. June 12. Engagement between English and Dutch off the Lizard.
1652. June. The HMS Tiger and another Frigate engaged two Dutch Men of War.
1652. July. Capture of the Rotterdam. Re-named HMS Falmouth, July 19.
1652. Aug. 27. Defeat of the English by the Dutch, off Elba.
1652. Sept. 28. Battle of the Kentish Knock. Defeat of the Dutch Fleet.
1052. Oct. Capture of the Morning Star. Re-named HMS Plover, Oct. 30.
1652. Nov. 30. Defeat of Blake by Tromp.
1653. Feb. 18. Battle of Portland.
1652-3. Mar. 4. Defeat of Appleton by Van Galen, off Leghorn.
1653. June 3. Battle off the Coast of Essex. Death of Doane.
1653. July 31. Decisive Defeat of the Dutch. Death of Tromp.
1653. Nov. "Scuffle" between the HMS Nonsuch and a Dutch Man-of-War.
1653. Dec. Action between HMS Phaenix and a Dutch Man-of-War.
1654. Jan. Capture of the Walchtren by the HMS Sapphire.
1654. Feb. The HMS Amity captured a Dutch Man-of-War of 20 Guns.
1655. April 4. Burning of the Tunis ships in Porto Farino.
1656. Sept. 8. Capture of the Plate Fleet, off Cadiz, by Capt. Stayner.
1657. April 20. Destruction of Spanish Ships, by Blake, at Santa Cruz.
1658. Nov. Capture of "that famous rover Papachino" by Capt. Bonn.
1664. Seizure of Dutch Settlements on the West Coast or Africa.
1664. Aug. Holmes turns the Dutch out of New Amsterdam.
1664. Dec. 19. Attack on the Dutch Smyrna fleet in the Straits by Allin.
1665. June 3. Defeat of Obdam van Wassenaer by the Duke of York.
1665. Sept. 3. Lord Sandwich captures the Dutch East India Fleet.
1666. June 1 to 4. The Four Days' Fight, off the North Foreland.
1666. July 25. Engagement with the Dutch. The \"St. James's Fight.\"
1666. Aug. 8. "Sir Robt. Holmes, his Bonefire." Burning of Dutch Ships.
1666. Sept. 18. Capture of the French Ruby by Sir Thos. Allin.
1666. Dec. The HMS Pembroke (Capt. Herbert) engaged a Dutch Frigate.
1666. Dec. A British Squadron defeated the Dutch in the North Sea.
1667. June 11 to 14. The Dutch in the Medway.
1667. June 25. Burning of a French Squadron at Martinique by Harman.
1667. 'Defeat of the Franco-Dutch by Capt. Berry, off Nevis.
1669. Dec. 8. Defeat of 7 Algerine Men-of-War, off Cadiz.
1672. Mar. 12 and 13. Holmes' Action with the Dutch Smyrna Fleet.
1672. May 28. Battle of Solebay.
1673. May 15. Capture of the Island of St. Helena.
1673. May 28. June 4. Aug. 11. Three engagements between the Anglo-French fleet under Prince Rupert and the Dutch under De Ruyter.
1677-8. Jan. 19. The HMS Guernsey engaged an Algerine Corsair.
1679. Oct. The HMS Revenge engaged Selvagee's Armada.
1681. Apr. 8. Capture of the Algerine Corsair Golden Horse.
1681. May 22. The HMS Kingfisher engaged seven Algerine pirates.
1689. May. 1. Battle of Bantry Bay.
1689. May. Railleuse and Serpente captured by HMS Nonsuch.
1689. July 28. Relief of Londonderry.
1690. June 30. Battle of Beachy Head.
1691-2. Feb. 21. Commodore Wrenn engaged M. de Blenac.
1692 May 19 to 24. Battle of Barfleur, and destruction of ships at La Hogue.
1694. May 2. Capture of the Diligente by an English Squadron.
1694. June 8. Repulse of boats and landing party in Camaret Bay.
1694. July 18. Capture of the HMS Scarborough by the Comte de Revel.
1694-5. Jan. 3 and 4. Capture of the HMS Nonsuch and HMS Falcon by the Francois.
1694-5. Jan. 27. Capture of Content and Trident by an English Squadron.
1695. Apr. 16. Capture of the Hope by Duguay-Trouin.
1695. July 4 and 5.Bombardment of St. Malo.
1695. Aug. 1. Bombardment of Dunkiik. 1695. Aug. 17. Bombardment of Calais. 1697. May 28. Nevell engaged De Pointis, off Cartagena.

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