English Oared Vessels of the Sixteenth Century Part I

By J.E.G. Bennell, published February 1974

Abstract

Large fleets of fast manoeuvrable oar-powered naval galleys were maintained in the 16th century in the Mediterranean by the Turks, Venetians, French and Spanish. Being oar-powered they needed to be of light construction necessitating docking afloat. Despite being most unsuited to northern waters and no match for vessels with a broadside, there is record of eleven galleys being operated by the English at one time or another during the period. Four of these were French built and four constructed on the Thames in 1601-2. The article details each vessel, its crew and deployment. Only one is known to have seen action and they were used mostly for ancillary purposes such as charting and towing.

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Filed under: Tudors | The Armada | Other (location)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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