Books

This year naval historians are becoming increasingly excited about the Dutch raid on the Medway in the summer of 1667, one of the England’s worst naval disasters, in which thirteen ships were either destroyed or towed away including two ships of the line. With so much focus now falling on English shores it is important to consider the broader context of the war. In this book, the hypochondriac and accident-prone Admiral Sir Thomas Allin records his service in the Mediterranean against the Dutch and also Algerian corsairs.

The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin, 1660-1678, Volume II, 1660-1678

Vol 80 (1940), R.C. Anderson

Thomas Allin was a Lowestoft ship owner who subsequently spent both Civil Wars and the Commonwealth period as a successful Royalist privateer and commander, leading a charmed life through to the Restoration.

After 1660, he commanded or flew his flag in twelve different ships and was extensively employed in peace and war, although his only participation in major fleet action was on the fourth day of the Four Days’ Battle.

He was an evident hypochondriac, a stickler for protocol and had his fair share of accidents at sea, including a fire and a major grounding, as well as the wreck of two ships of his group on the eastern side of Gibraltar.

Volume II deals with the period 1667-70, when Allin was mostly serving as an admiral in the Mediterranean, in operations against shipping operating out of Algiers and, on occasions, operating with the Dutch. He records plenty of topographical and weather detail, as well as giving insights into the daily problems of remaining on station and sufficiently supplied so far from home.

The volume also includes a short, incomplete account of daily routine off Portsmouth in 1678 and a useful collection of letters and orders that passed between politicians, officials (including Pepys) and commanders 1644-78.

 

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About R.C. Anderson

His publications include

Naval Wars in the Baltic during the Sailing Ship Epoch, 1522-1850 (Gilbert-Wood, 1910).

The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720 (Salem Marine Research
Society, 1927).

Journal of Edwin Montagu, First Earl of Sandwich, 1659-1685 (Navy Records Society, 1929).

Journals of Thomas Allin 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1939 and 1940).

Journals and Narratives of the 3rd Dutch War (Navy Records Society, 1946).

Catalogue of Ship Models (National Maritime Museum, 1952).

Naval Wars in the Levant 1559-1853 (1953).

A Memoir of James Trevenen (Navy Records Society, 1959).

Oared Fighting Ships: From Classical Times to the Coming of Steam (Percival Marshall, 1962).

The Navy Records Society