Powley, Edward B.


1st.ed., 1972. 392 pp., frontis., + 12 other plates & 7 charts. D.j., 22 x 14cm. Slightly chipped dust-jacket but Nr.FINE. A scholarly account of the naval operations during the reign of King William of Orange, including the siege and relief of Londonderry. Dr. Powley throws light on the beginning of the long sea-duel for command of the seas between Great Britain and France that would last until Napoleon was defeated in 1815. The Londonderry affair is still for the Protestant people of Ulster the supreme moment in their history, but the significance is very different for the Catholic population and has been a flash-point for trouble in recent decades. The author examines Ulster’s volatile history through the naval aspects of King William’s war during the late 17th century. Sir Arthur Bryant provides the foreword and the work contains extensive footnotes and appendices, including operational signals used at sea hitherto unpublished. The book also deals with James’s descent on Ireland, the Battle of Bantry Bay, the 1689 first cruise of an Anglo-Dutch fleet – former enemies – the successful command of the Channel, Irish Sea and North Sea ; and the failure to intercept the squadron that Tourville, two months out of Toulon, led into Brest. The author also describes Schomberg’s passage to Carrickfergus, the return to Torbay of the Grand Fleet in 1689 stricken with scurvy, and the sailing of the squadrons escorting convoys to the Mediterranean and West Indies. These and other topics are considered in this classic study.

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