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Connecting centre and localityPolitical communication in early modern England$
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Chris R. Kyle and Jason Peacey

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526147158

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526147165

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The Lord Admiral, the Parliament-men and the narrow seas, 1625–271

The Lord Admiral, the Parliament-men and the narrow seas, 1625–271

(p.44) Chapter 3 The Lord Admiral, the Parliament-men and the narrow seas, 1625–271
Connecting centre and locality

Thomas Cogswell

Manchester University Press

While most historians analysing the 1620s have focused on Buckingham’s great expeditions – Mansfelt, Cadiz and the Ile de Re – contemporaries, particularly along the east coast, had their eyes on Dunkirkers, comparatively small Spanish warships then eviscerating English shipping. Indeed between late 1625 and early 1628, these Flemish corsairs captured no fewer than 522 English vessels. Several dozen Parliament-men in 1626 loudly and repeatedly complained about this situation, but aside from periodic bland reassurances, Buckingham apparently did nothing. Yet thanks to Add. MSS 37,816-7, we can see that Buckingham did respond to the complaints. In addition to repositioning naval assets to guard coastal shipping, he repeatedly exhorted his captains to try harder, rewarding those who did and punishing those who did not. He also pressed for the acquisition of small, more manageable warships which had some hope of catching Dunkirkers, and he organised relief schemes for those Britons imprisoned in Flemish jails. Furthermore, he constantly harped on these and many other counter-measures, all in the hope of soothing parliamentary critics. What makes this blizzard of orders so astonishing is that they effectively ended with the parliamentary dissolution.

Keywords:   Parliament, Dunkirkers, Duke of Buckingham, Impeachment

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