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who have joined since the publication of last catalogue. (55)
ALGER, P. R., C.-MID'N. “Richmond,” Asiatic Station.
ROHRBACKER. J. N., C.-Mrd'N, Western University, Pittsburg, Pa.
ARTHUR, W., CAPT. R. N. Naval Attaché to British Legation, Washington.
Royal United Service Institution, England.
ADDITIONAL BRANCH, formed Oct., 1880.
Memoires et Compte Rendu des Travaux de la Société des Ingeniéurs Civils,
Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Nos. 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106.
UNITED STATES NAVAL INSTITUTE.
Wol. WI. 1880. No. 14.
NAVAL INSTITUTE, A N N A POLIS,
REAR-ADM. G. B. BALCH, U. S. N., in the Chair.
THE FLEETS OF THE WORLD-THE SAIL PERIOD.
By the late CoMMO. Fox HALL A. PARKER, U. S. N.
After the defeat of the Spanish Armada, with which, as the close. of the galley period, our first volume necessarily ended, England fitted out many expeditions against the possessions and commerce of Spain, which, if not always successful, served, nevertheless, to foster a spirit of maritime enterprise among her people, and to impress foreign nations with exalted ideas of the daring and resolute character of British seamen, who, even when overpowered, ten to one, disdained to strike their colors, while they had a shot in the locker, or an ounce of powder in the magazine. A notable instance of this obstinate courage occurred in 1591, when Vice-Admiral Greenville, in the Revenge—a vessel famous from having borne the flag of Drake—withstood, for sixteen hours, the attack of “a whole Spanish fleet of fifty three sail and ten thousand men.” Finding it impossible to resist longer, the heroic admiral prepared to set fire to the magazine; but, being prevented from so doing by his crew, he was forced to surrender, after having received three wounds, two of which were mortal. He expired calmly, a few days after the action, his last words being, “Here die I, Richard Greenville, with a joyful and quiet mind; for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, fighting for his Country, queen, religion, and honor; my soul willingly departing from my body.”
Depending more and more on sails for propulsion, the man-of-war of the sixteenth century had undergone a gradual transformation, in model, armament, mastage, and rigging, until it had become such as is made known to us by Charnock, in his description of the Great Harry. In Protestant England a change had taken place, too, in the names of vessels, and in the habits and customs of seamen; the saintly appellations, in vogue in Queen Mary's time, having given place to such names as The Dreadnaught, The Defiance, The Water-Sprite, and The Mermaid, while the coaster, no longer lowering his sails nor dipping his flag to the shrine of Our Lady of Bradestow, seemed disposed to rely rather upon himself than upon Our Lady, or even his Patron Saint, for protection, when buffeted by the waves and winds of the tempestuous British channel.
In 1603, when James the First ascended the throne, and peace was concluded with Spain, British merchants, who, until then, had been in the habit of transporting their wares to and from foreign countries in English bottoms, began to hire vessels from all nations for this service, and, notwithstanding that the Corporation of the Trinity, in 1615, in a petition to the king, showed that such had been the decline of British shipping, in consequence of this impolitic custom, that there were not then more than ten ships belonging to the port of London of over two hundred tons burthen, it was unable, through the opposition of the mercantile community, to get an act passed prohibiting it. On a certain day, however, two London merchants, “more observant than their brethren,” while walking along the banks of the Thames, chanced to see two Dutch ships, “laden with coffee and cotton (the property of Hollanders resident in Great Britain”), dropping their anchors off the city. The vessels were of large size, and, being well manned and armed, presented a formidable appearance; and the idea seemed to seize the two Englishmen, at the same moment, that, while the Flemish traders, by their wise conduct, were creating a powerful merchant marine, which, besides serving as a nursery for their seamen, must prove a most valuable acquisition to the Navy of Holland, in time of war, they, by their unwise course, were actually exposing their coast, in the event of a rupture with one of the great maritime powers, to blockade, and perhaps even to invasion.
“The idea spread like wild fire: ” and such was the change of opinion, among the whole body of the merchants, that “the nation, with one accord, sedulously applied itself to the creation of a civil Navy;” so that, in 1622, there were belonging to Newcastle alone one