ROYAL NAVY. The Old and True way of Manning the Fleet: or how to Retrieve the Glory of the English Arms by Sea, as it is done by Land; and to have Seamen always in readiness, without Pressing. In a Letter from an Old Parliament Sea Commander, to a Member of the present House of Commons, desiring his Advice on that Subject. London: 1707.
Small 4to., (8 x 6 inches). (A little browned). Modern tan calf backed blue paper boards.
Also published as "An inquiry into the causes of our naval miscarriage", both printed in the same year that England and Scotland united to become the Kingdom of Great Britain, so making her a recognised great power and a renewed force to be reckoned with. The author proposes ways in which the British Navy can be efficiently manned and maintained in a state of readiness, without violence and with fairness, after its decline since the Restoration in 1660.
"Since her Majesty's happy Accession to the Throne, the Reputation of the English Arms by Land is advanced to so high a Pitch in the World, by the Conduct of her wise and brave Generals, who have revived the old English way of Fighting; that there seems to be nothing wanting to compleat our Military Glory, and to make it equal to that of the Greeks and Romans, but a Rectification of those things, which have hitherto obstructed our being equally Glorious in our Naval Atchievements [sic], for which our Situation, Genius, and Materials give us the Advantage over all the People of the World" (page 3).
Solutions suggested include more Religion on board, and rearranging the way that the War of the Spanish Succession is managed: "I am not of a Capacity to judg, whether it be absolutely necessary, in order to carry on the War in Spain and the West-Indies, that we should diminish the Number of our Forces in the Netherlands: but according to my poor way of Reasoning, I should think if the Emperor would redress the Grievances of the German Protestants; our Allies in Germany and the Netherlands might find the French imployment enough in that side, and leave Us and the Dutch with part of our Fleet and Forces to manage the War in Spain, and the West-Indies. And since both of them require a Naval Force, we should have the Mony for their Provisions and Pay circulate among our selves; whereas vast Sums of our Mony are now spent by our Army beyond Sea, to the enriching of our Allies, while we our selves are impoverish'd" (page 25).
British Naval operations in the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1713) were allied with the Dutch against the Spanish and French. At first the conflict was based in the Mediterranean, culminating in an alliance with Portugal and the capture of Gibraltar (1704) and Port Mahon in Minorca (1708). In addition Newfoundland and Nova Scotia became part of the empire. Successes against the Spanish did follow, and allowed for the realms of the Spanish Empire to become available to the British Slave Trade. Spanish occupation of Sicily ended in 1718 and in 1727 the British blockaded Panama. ESTC T42154. Catalogued by Kate Hunter