The first long distance voyage made by a squadron of the Royal Navy?

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  • #11911
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

      Dear All,

      I have received this query from Richard Woodman, but am unable to help him. Can anyone offer any guidance?

      ‘Is it possible to assert that the voyage made by Admiral James Ley, third Earl of Marlborough, in command of five men-of-war, carrying General Sir Abaraham Shipman and a small garrison intended to take over from the Portuguese the island of Bombay in 1662, was the first long distance voyage made by a squadron of the Royal Navy?

      Scratching my head, I cannot discover anything comparable prior to this date, particularly as my sources say that M. was victualled by the East India Company, probably for the obvious reason of inadequacy in this field on the part of the Caroline navy, the EIC not ‘getting’ the island for some years yet.

      It would be a bonus if anyone knew the ships’ names, but they are not really of importance to me other than on a nice-to-know basis.’

      #11914
      J.D. Davies
      Participant

        I replied to Richard about this yesterday. If we’re defining ‘long distance’ as meaning ‘outside the north Atlantic and Mediterranean’, I can’t think of anything that predates the Marlborough expedition. For the record, his squadron consisted of the Dunkirk (flag, Marlborough / Captain Arnold Browne), Leopard (Richard Minors), Mary Rose (Joseph Cubitt), Convertine (John Povey), and the ketch Chestnut (John Stephens). The expedition deserves to be better known, as does Marlborough himself – a relatively rare example in this period of a titled aristocrat, rather than a younger son (and rather than a sea officer who was subsequently ennobled) who made a career at sea. He was killed at the battle of Lowestoft, 3 June 1665, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

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