Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

'Superguns' of Elizabeth I's navy

Expand Messages
  • Michael Robinson
    The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving revolutionary new tactics, according to new research. Tests on cannon recovered from an
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 20, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving
      revolutionary new tactics, according to new research.

      Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest she
      carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard
      ammunition.

      "This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war," says
      naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.

      "The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn't before."

      Marine archaeologist Mensun Bound from Oxford University adds:
      "Elizabeth's navy created the first ever set of uniform cannons,
      capable of firing the same size shot in a deadly barrage.

      "[Her] navy made a giant leap forward in the way men fought at sea,
      years ahead of England's enemies, and which was still being used to
      devastating effect by Nelson 200 years later."

      Deadly artillery

      Until now, it was thought Queen Elizabeth was using the same cannon
      technology as her father, Henry VIII. His flagship, the Mary Rose, was
      ultra-modern for its day.

      However, it carried a bewildering variety of cannons - many designed
      for land warfare. They were all of different shapes and sizes, fired
      different shot at different rates with different killing power.

      It is known that during Elizabeth's reign, English sailors and gunners
      became greatly feared. For example, at the beginning of Henry VIII's
      reign, the English fleet was forced to run away from heavily armed
      French galleys.

      By the time of Elizabeth, even Phillip of Spain was warning of the
      deadly English artillery. But no-one has ever been able to clearly
      show why this was.

      The new research follows the discovery of the first wreck of an
      Elizabethan fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands, thought
      to date from around 1592, just four years after the Spanish Armada. ...

      ... "What we have shown is that the English navy and its gun founders
      were almost 50 years ahead of their time technologically," concludes
      Mensun Bound. This made Elizabeth I the mother of British naval
      dominance lasting three centuries.

      Continued -- with BBC i player links etc.:-
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7899831.stm
    • Hugh Yeman
      I find myself particularly inclined to shout The Emperor has no clothes! That the English, by 1588, had developed uniform gunnery that was decades ahead of
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 20, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        I find myself particularly inclined to shout "The Emperor has no clothes!" That the English, by 1588, had developed uniform gunnery that was decades ahead of other navies, is hardly new knowledge. After Drake and Hawkyns made their way back from San Juan de Ulua in 1563, their hatred of the Spanish helped drive two revolutions in the English navy: Drake's imperiousness helped change the command structure, and Hawkyns's innovations helped change not only the guns, but the whole concept of how a gun was to be used at sea. I'm no authority, but anyone who's read Mattingly, Martin and Parker, and Howarth would be unsurprised to "discover" that English gunnery in 1588 was radically different than it was in old Henry's day.

        -Hugh Yeman  

        On Feb 20, 2009, at 9:12 AM, "Michael Robinson" <robinsonrepepys@...> wrote:

        The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving
        revolutionary new tactics, according to new research.

        Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest she
        carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard
        ammunition.

        "This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war," says
        naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.

        "The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn't before."

        Marine archaeologist Mensun Bound from Oxford University adds:
        "Elizabeth's navy created the first ever set of uniform cannons,
        capable of firing the same size shot in a deadly barrage.

        "[Her] navy made a giant leap forward in the way men fought at sea,
        years ahead of England's enemies, and which was still being used to
        devastating effect by Nelson 200 years later."

        Deadly artillery

        Until now, it was thought Queen Elizabeth was using the same cannon
        technology as her father, Henry VIII. His flagship, the Mary Rose, was
        ultra-modern for its day.

        However, it carried a bewildering variety of cannons - many designed
        for land warfare. They were all of different shapes and sizes, fired
        different shot at different rates with different killing power.

        It is known that during Elizabeth's reign, English sailors and gunners
        became greatly feared. For example, at the beginning of Henry VIII's
        reign, the English fleet was forced to run away from heavily armed
        French galleys.

        By the time of Elizabeth, even Phillip of Spain was warning of the
        deadly English artillery. But no-one has ever been able to clearly
        show why this was.

        The new research follows the discovery of the first wreck of an
        Elizabethan fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands, thought
        to date from around 1592, just four years after the Spanish Armada. ...

        ... "What we have shown is that the English navy and its gun founders
        were almost 50 years ahead of their time technologically, " concludes
        Mensun Bound. This made Elizabeth I the mother of British naval
        dominance lasting three centuries.

        Continued -- with BBC i player links etc.:-
        http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/science/ nature/7899831. stm


      • Michael Robinson
        Well, neither am I an expert, but they do seem to be overstating a little. I think the question is the discovery of an actual armament in place that is of
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 20, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Well, neither am I an expert, but they do seem to be overstating a
          little. I think the question is the discovery of an actual armament
          'in place' that is "of uniform size, firing standard ammunition" --
          they don't seem to be discussing the question of standard powder
          charge and standard fuse, introduced much later, that would be
          necessary to get such weapons to produce anything approaching
          consistently ranged temporally simultaneous 'broadside.'

          NAM Rodger, 'Safeguard of the Sea,' 1997/8, certainly credits Hawkyns
          with the crucial introduction of the dry-dock (p. 336) but says
          nothing of Hawkyns having any role in his detailed discussion of
          developments, under the supervision of the Ordinance, in gun casting
          and changes in canon, powder, and shot c. 1543-1602. (pp. 213 - 219.)
          He would attribute the changes in use at sea, from a few principal
          heavy weapons being carried in the bow, to broadside gun-decks, i.e.
          solving the problem of a draft and hull form sufficiently strong and
          with sufficient draft to carry the greater weight of a heavy broadside
          armament accurate at greater than pistol range while also possessing
          maneuverability, not to the introduction of the galleon hull
          (traditionally attributed to Hawkyns, though as Roger points out, @ p.
          329, he had reservations about the ships built in the 1570'a and
          '80's) but to Phineas Pett, starting with the hull design of the
          Prince Royal of 1610; but Rodger explains also that with a full weight
          of provisions the lower deck of guns was insufficiently high out of
          the water to be usable in a seaway. (p. 386-7)


          --- In pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com, Hugh Yeman <hughyeman@...> wrote:
          >
          > I find myself particularly inclined to shout "The Emperor has no
          clothes!" That the English, by 1588, had developed uniform gunnery
          that was decades ahead of other navies, is hardly new knowledge. After
          Drake and Hawkyns made their way back from San Juan de Ulua in 1563,
          their hatred of the Spanish helped drive two revolutions in the
          English navy: Drake's imperiousness helped change the command
          structure, and Hawkyns's innovations helped change not only the guns,
          but the whole concept of how a gun was to be used at sea. I'm no
          authority, but anyone who's read Mattingly, Martin and Parker, and
          Howarth would be unsurprised to "discover" that English gunnery in
          1588 was radically different than it was in old Henry's day.
          >
          > -Hugh Yeman
          >
          > On Feb 20, 2009, at 9:12 AM, "Michael Robinson"
          <robinsonrepepys@...> wrote:
          >
          > The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving
          > revolutionary new tactics, according to new research.
          >
          > Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest she
          > carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard
          > ammunition.
          >
          > "This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war," says
          > naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.
          >
          > "The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn't before."
          >
          > Marine archaeologist Mensun Bound from Oxford University adds:
          > "Elizabeth's navy created the first ever set of uniform cannons,
          > capable of firing the same size shot in a deadly barrage.
          >
          > "[Her] navy made a giant leap forward in the way men fought at sea,
          > years ahead of England's enemies, and which was still being used to
          > devastating effect by Nelson 200 years later."
          >
          > Deadly artillery
          >
          > Until now, it was thought Queen Elizabeth was using the same cannon
          > technology as her father, Henry VIII. His flagship, the Mary Rose, was
          > ultra-modern for its day.
          >
          > However, it carried a bewildering variety of cannons - many designed
          > for land warfare. They were all of different shapes and sizes, fired
          > different shot at different rates with different killing power.
          >
          > It is known that during Elizabeth's reign, English sailors and gunners
          > became greatly feared. For example, at the beginning of Henry VIII's
          > reign, the English fleet was forced to run away from heavily armed
          > French galleys.
          >
          > By the time of Elizabeth, even Phillip of Spain was warning of the
          > deadly English artillery. But no-one has ever been able to clearly
          > show why this was.
          >
          > The new research follows the discovery of the first wreck of an
          > Elizabethan fighting ship off Alderney in the Channel Islands, thought
          > to date from around 1592, just four years after the Spanish Armada. ...
          >
          > ... "What we have shown is that the English navy and its gun founders
          > were almost 50 years ahead of their time technologically," concludes
          > Mensun Bound. This made Elizabeth I the mother of British naval
          > dominance lasting three centuries.
          >
          > Continued -- with BBC i player links etc.:-
          > http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7899831.stm
          >
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.