Gorgas’ Seafight

By contributed by Tom Glasgow, Jr, published May 1973


This documentary note presents a transcription of one of four works on nautical subjects by the minor Elizabethan writer, Sir Arthur Gorgas (1557-1625). Although not a naval person, Gorgas grew up in a family with substantial senior naval service during the second half of the 16th Century. His father was an admiral in the fleet confronting the Armada; thus he was exposed to naval affairs of the period. Based on a copy from the PRO and comprising portions dealing with nautical matters, Gorgas’ Seafight is a useful commentary on the Royal Navy, its competence in seamanship and gunnery, and its natural strategic and tactical superiority in defending its home waters. It discusses the importance of skilled navigation in storms, discipline in gunnery, proper carriage of lights at night, and the challenge of combating galliasses in a calm, among other matters.

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Filed under: Tudors | English Channel | The Armada | Other (location)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies

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