West, Jenny.


The Royal Historical Society / The Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1st.ed., 1991. Xii + 242 pp., 17 tables & a sketch map. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. The Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) was the first truly global war ; geographically the extent of its operations was on a scale not seen before. During the course of this bitter conflict when England fought for supremacy over France, particularly in Europe and North America, the army and navy required an unprecedented quantity of gunpowder for its cannon. The author provides the first detailed study of the gunpowder trade, describing how this vital commodity was supplied by watermills in south-east England and shipped to the main magazine at Greenwich. The entire procedure was extremely hazardous for all concerned ; mills exploded, ships blew up and sank, trade fluctuation was a constant worry, so too was the effort to meet the high standard required. The government began the war with dangerously low stocks in its magazines, due mainly to the competing needs of the African slave trade and the North American fur trade - in addition to mines and quarries at home. In this fascinating book Dr. West examines four main aspects of the gunpowder trade : supply, distribution, legislation and trade, and manufacture – with special attention to the needs of the navy and army. FINE copy.

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