Irish Guard Naval Squadron
|Irish Guard Naval Squadron|
Blue Ensign of the English Navy (1625-1707)
|Active||1642 - 1653|
|Allegiance||Commonwealth of England|
|Role||Convoy Protection, Transportation, Patrol|
|Garrison/HQ||Milford Haven, Wales|
The Irish Guard Naval Squadron  originally known as the Irish Squadron was a series of temporary naval formations assembled for specific military campaigns of the the Commonwealth Navy from 1642 to 1653.
English Monarch's formed temporary naval formations for particular naval campaigns off west coast of England in the Irish Sea from the thirteenth to seventeenth century. An Irish Fleet was in operation from 1297 to 1415. In sixteenth a naval formation for the Irish Sea was reformed the Irish Squadron of the Navy Royal this was raised during Anglo-Scottish Wars (1539-1545). In 1571 the Irish Squadron operated during Desmond Rebellions (1569–1573) and again in (1579–1583), its commander during these periods was Admiral Sir William Wynter in 1579 he was authorized to cut off all sea routes into Ireland and seize all ships of the pending papal invasion force. In 1616 it was formed again under the command of Sir Thomas Button.
At the start English Civil War in 1642 the Navy Royal came under the control of Parliament of England its squadron operating from Milford Haven was renamed the Irish Guard Naval Squadron of new Commonwealth Navy (1642-1653) it was active during Oliver Cromwell's expedition to Ireland in 1649. It operated only during two specific time periods three months during the summer and three months during the winter. The strength of the squadron varied in size but did reach a peak of 56 ships in 1645 making it the navy's second largest squadron. In July 1689 the Irish Squadron of the now Royal Navy was engaged at the Battle of Bantry Bay under the command George Rooke he remained in control of the squadron until early 1690. The squadron then reformed in June 1690 when it took part in the Capture of Waterford under the command of Rear-Admiral Cloudesley Shovell until June 1690. In 1691 it was part of a larger naval force assembled to transfer King William III to Ireland.
Into the eighteenth century the the Royal Navy's Irish Squadron was reformed in July 1727 and again in July 1731 but it was gradually wound down in terms of ship numbers assigned to it before being disbanded. It would not be until 1758 that the British Admiralty established a permanent naval formation for the Irish Sea known as the Cork Station.
The squadrons operating base for the majority of its existence was from Milford Haven, Wales for operations in the Irish Sea and off the Coast of Ireland. By the end of the 1680s it was stationed at Greenock, Scotland.. Its repair and resupply bases in Ireland included Kinsale Dockyard in County Cork.
Note:Incomplete list of post holders include.
|1.||Vice-Admiral||Sir John Pennington||1642–1643||Admiral of the Irish Guard|||
|2.||Vice-Admiral||William Smith||1643 summer||Vice-Admiral, Commander Irish Guard|||
|3.||Vice-Admiral||Richard Swanley||1643–1647||Admiral of the Irish Seas/Commander Irish Guard|||
|4.||Vice-Admiral||Thomas Rainsborough||1647–1648||Admiral of the Irish Seas/Commander Irish Guard|||
|5.||Vice-Admiral||William Penn||1648–1649||Admiral of the Irish Seas/Commander Irish Guard|||
|6.||Rear-Admiral||Sir George Anscough||1649||Admiral of the Irish Seas|||
|7.||Vice-Admiral||Sir George Ayscue||1649–1650||Admiral of the Irish Seas|||
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