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3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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Poems and Songs relating to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, edited by Mr. Fairholt for the Percy Society, in 1850. One ironically sets forth the expectations excited when the Lord High Admiral put to sea in 1627 :
' He'll cool France and Spain, and quiet the main,
The Dunkirkers passage he'll stop ; To stay all commotion he'll plough up the ocean: God send him a good harvest crop . . . And then he will meet with the West India fleet,
And of them will take fast hold, And bring them away for England a prey, And choke us with silver and gold.
(Fairholt, p. 13.)
Buckingham's part in the reorganisation of the navy
was forgotten by satirists, but the king's panegyrists
exaggerated the effort of Charles I. to strengthen
the fleet. His attempts to assert the sovereignty of
the seas furnished them with a theme. Between
1632 and 1640 Charles built about a dozen new
ships, eight of which were a considerable size. The
greatest of them was the Sovereign of the Seas,
which was over 1,500 tons in size, carried a hundred
guns, cost 40,000/. to build and 25,000/. to arm.
Mr. Oppenheim describes her as ' the largest, most
ornate and most useless ship afloat,' but after being
cut down by the navy board of the commonwealth
she did good service. (Oppenheim, p. 252 ; Clowes,
ii. 6.) Launched in October 1637, she was intended,
as her name shows, to assert the sovereignty of the
British seas, which since 1634 Charles had been
endeavouring to maintain against the French and
the Dutch. Selden's Mare Clausum was published
in 1636, to prove his claim ; the Earl of Lindsey's
fleet in 1635, and the Earl of Northumberland's in
1636, were sent forth to enforce it. (Gardiner,