The English Navy in an Irish War: Captain George Rooke’s Squadron and the Jacobite War in Ireland, Summer 1689

By Jon Meredith, published May 2009


The article aims to highlight the important role played by the English Navy, in particular about Captain George Rook and his squadron to counteract the dramatic situation faced by King William III during the Jacobite war in Ireland, after the landing of James II in the summer of 1689 from Scotland. By October, the English troops had recovered the lost territory. This success was achieved firstly by analysing the indirect consequences involved in his mission, such as an increase in French presence in the Irish Sea. Secondly, Rook needed to consider the logistical problems of keeping a large fleet at sea ensuring a continued control of the Irish shores. Finally, the efficient use of resources, such as increasing the percentage of lighter and faster ships for escort and fighting, therefore preventing a great deal of Jacobite intercommunication and supporting the advance of King William III troops through Ireland.

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Filed under: English Channel | Irish Sea | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Strategy & Diplomacy | Weapons

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