Blake and the Brazil Fleets in 1650

By C. R. Boxer, published August 1950


In 1650 the Portuguese government instituted a compulsory convoy system to protect its Brazil trade from the depredations of Dutch West India company warships and privateers.  Meanwhile King John IV of Portugal had a difficult relationship with the English Commonwealth naval forces under General-at-Sea Blake, who with a potent squadron was blockading Prince Rupert’s royalist squadron in the Tagus.  This articles sheds light on the political manoeuvring, military strategy and commercial imperatives of the Portuguese crown that ultimately led to a battered merchant convoy arriving in Lisbon to sustain the battle for Portuguese independence from Spain.

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Filed under: Atlantic | English Civil War
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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