Northern Fleet

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Northern Fleet
Animated-Flag-England.gif
Active1294-1407
AllegianceRoyal Arms of England.png Kingdom of England
BranchFlag Kingdom of England.gif English Navy
TypeNaval Fleet
RoleExpeditionary Force, Patrolling
Size212 ships (1337-1360)
Part ofNorthern Admiralty
Garrison/HQGreat Yarmouth, England
Commanders
Commanding OfficerAdmiral of the Northern Fleet
Second in CommandVice-Admiral of the Northern Fleet
First CommanderAdmiral Sir John de Botetourt
Last CommanderAdmiral Sir Nicholas Blackburn

The Northern Fleet also known as the Northern Squadron was a series of temporary naval formations that were raised for particular military campaigns and expeditions of the Kingdom of England from the late 13th century until the beginning of the 15th century.[1] The Northern Fleet was controlled and directed by the Admiral of the North.

History

The main military and naval conflict of later medieval Europe was the Hundred Years’ War. It began in 1337 and continued until 1453 and involved most of the country's of western Europe though the two principal states at war with each other were the Kingdoms's of England and France. During the medieval period England did not possess a standing royal navy in the modern sense. There was no permanent fleets at this point; assigned for continual defensive and offensive operations at sea. Fleets were formed for military campaigns on an temporary basis according to the strategic interests of the Monarch of England.[2] At this point the closest thing England had to a navy in modern terms were the ships that the monarchy owned directly or they held shares in, these were known as the Kings Ships or Royal Squadron.[3]

English fleets (such as the Northern Fleet) were not permanently maintained and for much of the medieval period (with the exception of the reigns of Edward III and Henry V) were modest in size. The raising and financing of fleets by the Crown was administered by royal officials called commissioners in co-operation with local officials of the maritime counties and ports of England called Wardens of the Coast, possessed much larger naval forces than the monarch such as the Cinque Port Fleet. Additionally Regional Admiralties were created overseen by an admiral to raise fleets in their designated regions.[4]

During the phase one of the Hundred Years’ War from 1337 to 1360, the English Navy included the Northern Fleet, Southern Fleet and Western Fleet numbered approximately 467. The Northern Admiralty was established in 1294 to raise fleets in its designated geographic region, as one of its responsibilities, it was overseen by an Admiral of the North. The Northern Admiralty controlled the East Coast of England from the river Thames, London to Berwick, Scotland.[5] Between 1337 and 1360 the Northern Fleet was raised from ports only running along the North Sea coast from East Anglia to Yarmouth and consisted of 143 ships from the main ports with a further 70 ships other smaller ports who supplied 1 or occasionally 2 ships.[6]

On the North Sea coast along East Anglia to the Humber, Great Yarmouth built and supplied 50 ships, the largest number from a single port. The port of King’s Lynn supplied 30 ships, Kingston-upon-Hull 29 ships, Ipswich 18, Harwich 11 and Little Yarmouth 4, This totalled 142 ships in all from the main ports. These 142 ships when combined with the 153 from main ports of the Western Fleet, totalled 295 ships of the 467, or about 63 percent of the total. The remaining 37 percent or 172 ships came from the smaller ports of both the Northern Admiralty and Western Admiralty each building and supplying one to two ships each.[7]

In Command

Admiral of the Northern Fleet

Main Article: Admiral of the North

Vice Admiral of the Northern Fleet

  • Sir Thomas Drayton, 28 July 1338, (appointed Vice-Admiral of the North).[8]

Fleet composition

The Northen Fleet 1337-1360.[9]

# Port Ships ref
1. Great Yarmouth 50 [10]
2. King’s Lynn 30 [11]
3. Kingston-upon-Hull 29 [12]
4. Ipswich 18 [13]
5. Harwich 11 [14]
6. Little Yarmouth 4 [15]
Sub total main ports 142.[16]
7. Other Northern Ports 70 [17]
Total Approx. 212 Ships.[18]

Footnote

  1. Runyan, Timothy J. (1987). "The organisation of Royal Fleets in Medieval England". Ships, Seafaring, and Society: Essays in Maritime History. Detroit, Michigan, United States: Wayne State University Press. pp. 37–53. ISBN 9780814319918.
  2. Runyan, Timothy. (1986). "Ships and Fleets in Anglo-French Warfare, 1337-1360". American Neptune. Volume 46. p.91-99.
  3. Rose, Susan (2013). England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 9781848321373.
  4. Archives, The National. "Medieval maritime personnel and ships". The National Archives. Kew, England: National Archives UK. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  5. Faulkner, Ann E. (2002). Historical Dictionary of Late Medieval England, 1272-1485. Westport, Connecticut, United States: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 372. ISBN 9780313291241.
  6. Runyan. p.91-99.
  7. Runyan. p.91-99.
  8. Tucker, St George (2004). "Introduction". Blackstone's commentaries : with notes of reference to the constitution and laws, of the federal government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with an appendix to each volume, containing short tracts upon such subjects as appeared necessary to form a connected view of the laws of Virginia as a member of the federal union. Vol. 1 (5 ed.). Clark, New Jersey, United States: Lawbook Exchange Ltd. p. xxxii. ISBN 9781886363168.
  9. Runyan. p.91-99.
  10. Runyan. p.91-99.
  11. Runyan. p.91-99.
  12. Runyan. p.91-99.
  13. Runyan. p.91-99.
  14. Runyan. p.91-99.
  15. Runyan. p.91-99.
  16. Runyan. p.91-99.
  17. Runyan. p.91-99.
  18. Runyan. p.91-99.

Bibliography

  • Archives, The National. "Medieval maritime personnel and ships". The National Archives. Kew, England: National Archives UK. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  • Faulkner, Ann E. (2002). Historical Dictionary of Late Medieval England, 1272-1485. Westport, Connecticut, United States: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313291241.
  • Runyan, Timothy. (1986). "Ships and Fleets in Anglo-French Warfare, 1337-1360". American Neptune. Volume 46.
  • Runyan, Timothy J. (1987). "The organisation of Royal Fleets in Medieval England". Ships, Seafaring, and Society: Essays in Maritime History. Detroit, Michigan, United States: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 9780814319918.
  • Tucker, St George (2004). "Introduction". Blackstone's commentaries : with notes of reference to the constitution and laws, of the federal government of the United States, and of the Commonwealth of Virginia; with an appendix to each volume, containing short tracts upon such subjects as appeared necessary to form a connected view of the laws of Virginia as a member of the federal union. Vol. 1 (5 ed.). Clark, New Jersey, United States: Lawbook Exchange Ltd. ISBN 9781886363168.