By David Childs

For the entire romantic mythology surrounding the courtroom of Queen Elizabeth I, the monetary underpinning of the reign of 'Gloriana' was once decidedly sordid. Elizabeth's coverage of seizing international resources made her renowned at domestic yet drew her right into a public/private partnership with pirates who preyed at the state's foes and pals alike, being rewarded or punished reckoning on how a lot of a lower the Queen got, instead of the legitimacy in their motion. hence the guideline of legislation at sea was once arbitrary, and virtually non-existent. Even these, comparable to the Lord Admiral and the court docket of Admiralty, who have been tasked with policing the seas and removing piracy, controlled their very own pirate fleets. whereas sincere retailers may rail and fail, the worth to the exchequer of this doubtful source of revenue was once huge, immense, frequently equalling, on an annual foundation, the enter from all different assets akin to taxation or customs dues.
However, the perform of piracy taught English seamen how you can struggle and, while the country used to be at its maximum peril, in 1588, it was once pirates who stored the Armada clear of the coast. Effingham, Grenville, Ralegh and Drake, turned 'admirals inquisitive about England's sake', yet this hugely unique publication argues that their deeply ingrained piratical method of naval war nearly allowed the Armada to prevail. this is often just one of a couple of startling insights into the truth of Elizabethan naval coverage provided by way of this sincere and eminently readable reappraisal.

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