PhD Studentship: A Comparative History of the Supply and Maintenance of the English Navy c1650-85
University of East Anglia – School of History
Based on archival research, including the examination of maritime records held at regional and national archives, including The National Archives and The National Maritime Museum, the thesis will explore how issues of supply and maintenance affected the service of, in particular, the Third-Rate frigates built in the 1652 Programme Gloucester, Essex, Plymouth, Torrington, Newbury, Bridgewater, Lyme, Marston Moor, Langport, Fairfax, Tredagh. The proposed PhD will explore, document, and analyse data relating to the supply and maintenance of a number of mid-seventeenth-century warships across an important period of naval administrative reform and of political and regime changes. Given the naval administrative reforms of the mid-seventeenth century led by Samuel Pepys as clerk of the acts to the navy board and later secretary to the Admiralty, and the political turbulence of the period leading to alterations in key personnel, an important question is how dynamic were these economic processes in this period? The work undertaken by the studentship will add to the understanding of distinctive areas of early modern naval and maritime history and will begin to redress the imbalance of traditional accounts which underplay the role of economic history and administrative reform. It will be the first study to bring detailed analysis to the ways economics and the politics of supply lines determined the working and resting lives of seventeenth-century ships, explored in the context of the transition between the Cromwellian regime and Stuart rule and the history of naval reform.