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Shipping the Medieval Military


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During the fourteenth century England was scarred by famine, plague and warfare. Through such disasters, however, emerged great feats of human endurance. Not only did the English population recover from starvation and disease but thousands of the kingdom's subjects went on to defeat the Scots and the French in several notable battles. Victories such as Halidon Hill, Neville's Cross, Crécy and Poitiers not only helped to recover the pride of the English chivalrous class but also secured the reputationdward III and the Black Prince.
Yet what has been underemphasized in this historical narrative is the role played by men of more humble origins, none more so than the medieval mariner. This is unfortunate because during the fourteenth century the manpower and ships provided by the English merchant fleet underpinned every military expedition. The aim of this book is to address this gap. Its fresh approach to the sources allows the enormous contribution of the English merchant fleet to the wars conducted by Edward II and Edward III to be revealed; the author also explores the complex administrative process of raising a fleet and provides career profiles for many mariners, examining the familial relationships that existed in port communities and the shipping resources of English ports.

Craig L. Lambert is Research Assistant at the University of Hull.


An excellent contribution to medieval, military, and maritime history. NAUTICAL RESEARCH JOURNAL

An extremely thorough study of the topic, based on impressively extensive archival research. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

An important study of a transformational period in English military history. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY

This is a fine piece of scholarship in that mould-solid documentary research matched by sound writing. [...] It will appeal to all those interested in maritime history, especially in the field of naval logistics, as well as scholars of the medieval world. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY

[A] comprehensive and ground-breaking study. [...] Expertly presented on an aspect of fourteenth-century western European warfare whose scholarly coverage has long been overdue [the book] is highly recommended. MEDIEVAL WARFARE

Opens an intriguing window into the medieval merchant navy in a well-thought-out and organized fashion that is easy for the layman to read. PIRATES AND PRIVATEERS


First Published: 16 Jun 2011
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843836544
1 black and white illustrations
Pages: 260
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: Boydell Press
BIC Class: HBW

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Introduction
  • 2  Raising a Fleet
  • 3  The Supply of Armies and Garrisons by Sea, 1320-1360
  • 4  The Transportation of English Armies to France, 1324-1360
  • 5  Maritime Resources and the Kings' War
  • 6  Conclusion
  • 7  Appendix 1: Ports that Supplied Ships to the Fleets
  • 8  Appendix 2: Reconstructing the Merchant Fleet, a Methodology
  • 9  Bibliography

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Edward III and the War at Sea

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