St. LO, George (1658–1718). England's Safety: Or a Bridle to the French King. London: Will. Miller, 1693.

$ 2,600.00

St. LO, George (1658–1718). England's Safety: Or a Bridle to the French King. Proposing a Sure Method for Encouraging Navigation, and Raising Qualified Seamen for the well Manning their Majesty's Fleet on any Occasion, in a Months Time, without Impressing; And a Competent Provision for all such as shall be Wounded in Service against the Enemy, either in their Majesties Ships of War, Privatiers, or Merchant-Men, to Encourage the better Defending them. Also. An In-sight into the Advantages may be made by the Herring and other Fisheries, in respect to the Breeding of Seamen, and otherwise. Together with a Proposal for the Maintenance and Education of the Male Children of all such as shall be Kill'd in Service, both Seamen and Officers; And a Provision for Gentlemens Younger Sons, and the Sons of Commanders Kill'd in the Service, to qualifie them for the Sea, in order to make Officers. Also. Encouragement for Commanders of Men of War, Privatiers and Seamen, in Taking any Ship, or Effects of the Enemies, and all to be done, without any sensible Charge or Burthen to the Kingdom. London: Printed for Will. Miller at the Gilded Acorn in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1693.

Small 4to., (8 x 6 inches). Woodcut self-title (a bit dusty), letterpress title-page. Modern half tan calf, blue paper boards, gilt.

St Lo achieved his first command on 11 April 1682 "when he was promoted to the command of the ageing 22-gun Dartmouth. Ordered to the West Indies in 1686, he found the acting governor of the Leeward Islands, Sir James Russell, profiting from the activities of piracy. This set the pair at odds, with St Lo openly criticizing this abuse of authority. In 1688 St Lo, then captain of the 50-gun Portsmouth, brought the declaration of the prince of Orange to the fleet in the Downs, while in the following year he was present at the action against the French off Bantry Bay on 1 May. In August 1689 he lost his ship and was taken prisoner after a seven-hour engagement with the French 58-gun Marquis. Upon his release, following a general exchange of prisoners, he published the pamphlet England's Safety, or, A Bridle for the French King (1692). As well as an account of his own treatment as a prisoner, this contained observations on the manning and management of the French navy and how these might be applied to England. He indicated his belief that 20,000 men would be sufficient to man the fleet and that these could be gained without pressing provided they were paid, rather than given tickets, each time the fleet returned. A second pamphlet, England's Interest, or, A Discipline for Seamen was published in 1694 and gave further consideration to the more effective manning of the fleet" (Philip MacDougall for DNB).

When St. Lo published this pamphlet, England was embroiled with western Europe in the Nine Year's War, or the War of the Grand Alliance, sometimes also called the War of the League of Augsburg, (1689–97). William III (William of Orange, stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands) had been on the British throne since January of 1689, intent on foiling his nemesis Louis XIV and his expansionist plans, by heading an alliance of England, the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and the Austrian Habsburgs. The "deeper issue underlying the war was the balance of power between the rival Bourbon and Habsburg dynasties. There was general uncertainty in Europe over the succession to the Spanish throne because that country’s Habsburg ruler, the epileptic and partly insane king Charles II, was unable to produce heirs. Upon Charles’s anticipated demise, the inheritance would have to be through the female line, and through marriage alliances the Bourbons of France could justly contest for the succession with the Austrian Habsburgs, headed by the Holy Roman emperor Leopold I. The aggressive foreign policy Louis displayed in the War of the Grand Alliance was thus a form of jockeying for position in anticipation of the death of the last male heir of the Spanish Habsburg line" (Encyclopedia Britannica online). Wing S341. Catalogued by Kate Hunter