Ireland and the War at Sea, 1641-1653

Elaine Murphy

An examination of the mid-seventeenth century maritime battles between Ireland, England, and Scotland, showing them to have had a dramatic impact on the overall conflict.
Date Published :
November 2012
Publisher :
Boydell and Brewer
Series :
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Illustration :
5 line.
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9780861933181
Pages : 268
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The conflict on the Irish seaboard between the years 1641 and 1653 was not some peripheral theatre in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. As this first full-length study of the war at sea on the Irish coast from the outbreak of the Ulster rising in 1641 to the surrender of Inishbofin Island, the last major royalist maritime outpost, in April 1653, shows, it was instead the epicentre of naval conflict with important consequences for the nature and outcome of the land conflicts in Ireland and elsewhere. The book provides a clear and comprehensive narrative account of the war at sea, accompanied by careful contextualisation and a full analysis of its Irish, British and European dimensions. This includes the strategic importance of Irish ports, conflict between organised navies and formidable bands of privateers and pirates, the adoption of new naval technologies and tactics and the relationship between conflict onland and sea. Moving beyond traditional accounts of naval campaigns, it integrates warfare at sea into the wider dimension of political and economic developments in Ireland, England and Scotland. Extensive use is made of a wide range of archival material, in particular the High Court of Admiralty papers held in the National Archives at Kew.

Dr Elaine Murphy is Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History, Plymouth University.

About The Author

Lecturer in Maritime/Naval History, Plymouth University


The outbreak and spread of the rebellion, October 1641-September 1643
'Weathering the storm', September 1643-July 1646
'Infested with pirates', August 1646-August 1649
The support of the navy, September 1649-April 1653
A job done well enough? The parliamentary naval effort in Ireland, 1641-1653
For the defence of the coasts of this realm: the confederate naval effort, 1641-1653
Fighting the war at sea in Ireland, 1641-1653
Appendix 1. Parliamentary summer and winter guards for Ireland, 1642-53
Appendix 2. Identified Confederate/Irish privateers, 1642-52
Appendix 3. Parliamentary prizes in Ireland, 1641-53
Appendix 4. Confederate and Irish prizes, 1642-52
Appendix 5. Parliamentary warships lost on the Irish coast, 1641-53
Appendix 6. Prominent parliamentary shipowners on the Irish coast

More from this publisher