Ships of Private Origin in the Mid-Tudor Navy: the Lartigue, the Salamander, the Mary Willoughby, the Bark Aucher and the Galley Blanchard
These five ships, not Royal-built nor always in Royal service, illustrate the readiness of the Tudor navy to embrace diversity. Lartigue was engaged in Franco-Scottish diplomacy and English espionage. Salamander transported royalty and took part in the Channel battles. Mary Willoughby, when captured by the Scots, became a successful merchant raider, before being recaptured. Bark Aucher, named after the enterprising owner, was in the navy for three years, afterwards trading to the Levant and elsewhere. Galley Mermaid, a French prize famously captured in mid-Channel, doubled the navy’s oared vessels, re-igniting a debate as to their utility in northern waters.