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Sir Robert Mansell and the Algiers Expedition, 1620-1

Posted by David Davies, on December 6th, 2012


Sir Robert Mansell was one of the most prominent naval officers of the early Stuart era. In 1620-1 he commanded a fleet ordered to Algiers to suppress the corsair base there and to free British captives. This expedition is particularly important despite its relative lack of success because it was the first time an English/British fleet ever appeared in the Mediterranean. The letter, written to Mansell’s nephew, provides a clear and detailed account of the difficulties he faced, notably the incompetence and corruption of the victuallers and his concerns about court factions.

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