An Armada Pilot’s Survey of the English Coastline, October 1597

By Albert J. Loomie, SJ, published November 1963

Abstract

This provides an English translation of part of a pilot’s survey prepared for the abortive 1597 Spanish Armada, together with a commentary. The venture’s failure obscures intelligent planning including an indeterminate approach – with flexible orders and a comprehensive coastline survey. The latter shows the pilot’s familiarity with the western and south-western ports of England and Wales and his primary interest in the deep ones. He also sees little difficulty in obtaining fresh supplies in most places if paid for. The author discerns a reluctance by the pilot to share the totality of his knowledge on paper, fearful of diminishing his usefulness.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Tudors | English Channel | North Sea | Irish Sea
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Ship Handling & Seamanship

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