Empire of the Seas. 2/4 HD

Empire of the Seas. 2/4 HD



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on a summer's day in 1690 a Sussex merchant called Samuel cheek looked out towards the channel from his home here in Rye what he saw filled him with dread English warships fleeing pell-mell across the horizon the country been at war with France for two years and people in this town knew that just a few days before the Royal Navy had been badly defeated 25 miles up the coast not beachy head so the sight of those English ships on the run could mean just one thing the French were coming with the Navy beaten the English could do nothing to prevent a French invasion the result was inevitable church bells rang out in panic Zeke wrote about what happened next in his diary a terrible alarm in the town of rye the French is coming to land their intentions were to fire and plunder the town in desperation people seized hold of their valuables and attempted to flee the town this gate was the only way in and out of Ryan soon his narrow street was clogged with people clinging to their possessions their panic increased but a terrible sight that was now smouldering down on the beach below the town if ever there was a vision to terrify the people of Rye it must have been that of England's first line of defense in flames lying here on the beach within sight of rye Harbor was began a 70 gun Royal Naval warship which had been terribly damaged in the fighting at beachy head a hundred of her crew have been killed or wounded unable to sail on any further her captain ran her aground on this very spot and then fearing that the French would capture her he set her alight her remains are under my feet now sometimes when these sands shift shiri emerges like a ghostly reminder of a forgotten moment in our history a moment of terror chaos and defeat Rule Britannia and I think so in 1690 there could have been no doubt in anyone's mind France ruled the waves and England was at her mercy the English this disaster was a turning point they had no choice if they were to survive they would have to build a navy capable of resisting the greatest power in Europe but to do that would require a national effort unlike anything that had been seen before it would transform the country revolutionize agriculture lay the foundations of Industry and most of all unleash the power of money if they start with midships the Battle of beachy head in 1690 still ranks as one of the Royal Navy's most humiliating defeats but then in 1693 came an even more terrible loss England was a nation of traders utterly dependent on the wealth generated by her huge merchant fleet a fleet which unless it was properly protected was terribly vulnerable to enemy attack on the 30th of May 1693 400 merchant ships gathered at a huge fleet and set out from England to the town of Smyrna in the eastern Mediterranean this giant trade flotilla was described as the richest that ever went for Turkey on board was a year's worth of trade wool tin spices and silver the lifeblood of the economy which had been accumulating in port for fear of being captured or destroyed at sea the convoy was such a vital national interest that it was given an escort of 102 warships convoy it moved down the channel and out into the Atlantic but this route took them past Brest home of the French Navy which is where the accompanying English Admirals were expecting trouble 0-8 so as they passed without incident had entered the Bay of Biscay the English escort ships turned round and headed home thinking the convoy would be safe this was a disastrous decision the French had found out about the convoy and the time of its departure and they were repairing ships further down here to intercept it as the convoy reached Lagos Bay on the southern tip of Portugal they found 93 French warships waiting for almost a hundred merchant vessels carrying a year's worth of trade were captured or destroyed when news of the disaster reached England it sent the business community into a paroxysm of despair for his house here in Rye the merchant Samuel jeek wrote in his diary news of the miscarriage of the turkey fleet has put a great stop to trade and this was an understatement the losses suffered by the Smyrna convoy were as bad as those in the Great Fire of London of 1666 and there followed a wave of bankruptcies among insurers and merchants the Secretary to King William the third said that he had never seen his majesty so sensibly affected with any accident as this this commercial disaster coming just three years after one of the Navy's worst military disasters served as a brutal reminder for England a powerful Navy was not a luxury it was a central pillar of state without it the country was doomed William desperately needed more ships and to build them money but the Treasury was empty then in 1690 for a completely new kind of financial institution was created in London one offering a unique investment opportunity anyone willing to person at least 25 pounds would receive a guaranteed return of 8% the savvy merchants from rye Samuel Drake thought this sounded like a chance that was too good to miss and he instructed his agent in London to invest 200 pounds but any sign of gap earth gather all this spare cash and head into London himself he wrote in his diary I made myself ready for my journey kind a hundred pounds with me at 7 p.m. I took horse for London now that was a 15 hour ride so it's fair to suggest that by the time he met up with his agent the following afternoon in the city mr. cheek would have been quite saddle-sore so keen was jeek to take advantage of the 8% interest being offered if he even scraped together a further 200 pounds while he was here in London to take his total stake up to five hundred pounds five hundred pounds a lot of money for anyone even jeek but it turns out was a pretty investment that exciting new financial institution that launched in 1694 still exists it's called the Bank of England the funds required to build a new Navy were vast but the Bank of England delivered in just 12 days it raised 1.2 million pounds and on August the 1st 1694 it made its first loan to the government the national debt was born and the Royal Navy was saved England would build now and pay later this is a list of all the original investors in the Bank of England and as subscribers at the time the top of each page here is the date and their names neatly written out here with their occupations next to them right at the bottom of this page is Samuel cheek of Ryan Sussex a merchant this is a remarkable document because it allows us to get a kind of investor profile of this extraordinary new venture at the very top of the list appropriately enough are their Majesties the king and queen who invested ten thousand pounds but lots of other people from the very pinnacle of society as well men like Edward Russell the First Lord of the Admiralty invested two thousand pounds but it wasn't just the bigwigs that subscribed there are nine people listed here as being in domestic service and here I found Thomas Day of London who's a blacksmith he's invested 200 pounds while over the page Joseph's cake is a bricklayer the national debt created a virtuous circle of funding the government borrowed money from the people which it spent on the Navy which protected trade which brought in taxes which allowed the government to pay the people back it was a financial revolution which uniquely would allow England to spend its way to greatness more than half of that first loan over 600,000 pounds went on building up the Navy and that huge injection of cash the first of many had a transforming effect on whole areas of the economy all over the country the northeast of England soon had Europe's largest ironworks thanks the Navy's spending spree and one enterprising industrialist called Ambrose Crowley iron ran in Ambrose Crowley's blood his father and grandfather and both had a steady business in the Midlands in the iron trade but young Ambrose crying the third wanted more he wanted to expand and he realized that to do so he'd have to up sticks and move closer to his most precious raw material not iron but coal that's why he ends up here on the south bank of the time he set up series of blacksmith's shops up there about a mile away and brought the goods down here to the river where they could be shipped south South was where England's shipyards were embarked on a massive building program and it was this that made Ambrose Crowley's ironworks so successful because wooden ships need lots of iron nails and in those days every single one had to be made by hand blacksmith mark fern still uses exactly the same techniques this is the traditional setup it is the double-acting bellows and every time you press that down it's feeding air into the fire how hot is that do you reckon about 1,300 see 1,300 degrees centigrade it's hard to believe that a packet males that we buy in the shop we're actually made individually like this isn't it remarkable right so here we go and then we're going to be ready to put it in the heading tool then you see that Wow and then beat your head on to it into the quench bucket that should it's not a bad nail well do you do you reckon I could have a go I've reckon you could there you go pinkie Maidan okay fine yes okay ready for one nail yes indeed first of all give it some of this by 1700 the industrialist Ambrose Crowley was providing 40% of all the Navy's iron orders he created a factory system with hundreds of workshops like this one and built iron mills and steel furnaces alongside it turned what had been a cottage industry right into mass production into the heading tool after the financial revolution here were the first shoots of the Industrial Revolution and driving it all was the Navy in only a decade English dock yards built over a hundred and fifty new naval ships but since England was at war many of those ships were of course destroyed or captured by the enemy nevertheless by the end of the decade the English Navy number a hundred and seventy-six warships and each of them contained over five tons of iron nails first name and you should be able to knock that out look at that in fact it's just sliding out hey how good is that look at that congratulations your first nail that's fantastic I can imagine that going through a piece of planking onto the hull of a ship of course the Navy didn't just need nails each new ship typically contained the wood of more than 2,000 trees over 7,000 square yards of canvas and ten miles of rope wearing 19 tons the sailing ship was the most complex man-made machine on earth a glorious piece of wooden architecture driven entirely by the wind but it relied most of all on manpower in ten years the number of men serving in the Royal Navy quadrupled to over 44,000 that's more people than lived in any city outside London and feeding them all transformed England's agriculture the Navy was the single largest consumer of produce in the country and it awarded huge contracts to a handful of suppliers who bought up vast quantities of food from small farmers all over the country agricultural output went up by a third but because this was a competitive market prices stayed low once again the Navy's insatiable demand was driving the economy forward it had become the engine of English Commerce a national enterprise it took the work of thousands on land to build the ships of the Royal Navy and keep them supplied but once at sea survival depended most of all on the skill fortitude and raw strength of the crew and to feel all those men required by the Navy was actually quite a generous allocation of food the central part of the diet was of course meat salt 'its and it survived for long ocean voyages this is the weekly ration six pounds of meat four pounds of beef two pounds of pork now the beef was typically and eaten in some kind of stew with soot apparently very salty let's do it if you think salty boot leather that's about right that's the most famous part of the sailing Navy's diet was the key staple standing in for bread the ships biscuit a subtle combination flour water and salt baked for hours until it was rock-hard it's like a particularly disgusting and tasteless version of rye bread an added complication was this became a home of little weevils almost like tiny worms that used to live in them and feed off them now some people like to bang them until the weevils fell out you get rid of them others used to go to the dark corner simply eat the biscuit weevils and all what this diet does show is that the Navy's high command understood just how much physical effort was required to sail a ship effectively sailors were constantly climbing up and down masts and adjusting sails with no protection from the elements and in battle there were cannons weighing three tons each to maneuver little wonder then that the Navy's rations provided sailors with 5,000 calories a day that's twice the recommended intake for an active man today boys feels a little bit precarious up here it takes a special kind of head for Heights to spend your time as a Topman up in the up in the masthead and for my fear of course you also get a much better view so they're the ones with the sharpest eyesight they can spot enemy sails when they saw them on the horizon one bad thing about being up here though is that the movement on deck is magnified quite a lot up here we go through quite a big angle when you rock around sailors in this period were a breed apart the average age would have been about 27 but they'd have looked much older their faces lined and weathered from a lifetime at sea their hands would have been calloused and scarred and their vocabulary was almost indecipherable to landlubbers a mixture of swearing and nautical terms lined out most noticeable of all was their peculiar rolling gait more suitable for the pitching deck of a ship walking on dry land and all of this made them very recognizable to the naval press gangs who patrolled the ports looking for experienced recruits that's quite tiring in the amazing part about that process is that every time the wind changes in strength you gotta go back up there and alter the sails there are some written accounts that tell us what life was like for ordinary sailors one of the most remarkable is by Edward Barlow he first went to sea at the age of 13 he came ashore for the last time in 1703 at the age of 61 a total of 48 years at sea which was an amazing feat of survival throughout that time he kept an incredible Illustrated diary I've got it here and it paints his life at sea in the most vivid terms that leaves you in no doubt as to how tough it was he says often we were called up before we had slept half an hour and forced to go into the main top of or talk to taking our top CIL's half awake and half asleep there we must haul and pull to make fast the sail seeing nothing but the air above us and the water beneath us and that's so raging as though every wave would make a grave for us the Royal Navy rebuilt and renewed with borrowed money was able to avenge the defeats of the early 1690s it even captured gibraltar menorca two important bases in the mediterranean the english navy was now a global weapon it ships opening up the wealth of the world to the merchant fleet thousands of miles across the ocean and no part of the world was more important than the one that had first fired the dreams of England's Mariners the island of Jamaica was the largest English colony in the Caribbean the most hotly contested and dangerous region in the world in the autumn of 1708 a 23 year old naval captain called Edward Vernon arrived here in Port Royal the nerve center of the Navy's operations Merlin's father was an MP he disapproved of his sons career choice but such was the drawer of the sea on the minds of young men in that period that Edward had always had his heart set on joining the Royal Navy he was just a kind of aggressive bold commander that would thrive an environment like this where courage and initiative were key requirements Merlin served in the Caribbean for four years during which time the country was at war with France and Spain it was the job of men like him to defend the merchant fleet on which England's prosperity depended the Caribbean was the center of world trade because of what was grown here so this is raw sugarcane juice made from pressing the sugarcane I'm a bit of a taste wow that's disgusting that just tastes of mud grass and sugar which is not wholly surprising that's basically what it is but of course when this is boiled down and crystallized you get sugar imported into Europe in vast quantities to liven up the rather dull European diet added things like pastries also other imports like tea and coffee over here we have another drink made from sugarcane and that of course is rum much more recognizable become synonymous with the Navy in this period favored drink of sailors that's much more drinkable but still a bit rough this became synonymous with Edward Vernon who's Vernon returns out here to the Caribbean as a senior commander and he discovers that rum has become a staple among the Royal Navy ships companies out here they drink half a pint per man per day so they're in danger of getting quite drunk and falling out of the mast and rigging when they go aloft so he insists that the rum ration is mixed with water now because his nickname is old grog am thanks to a coat he used to wear made out of a material called raagam this new mixture of rum and water that's introduced on his watch is known as grog sugar cane was cultivated by slaves as was the tobacco which was grown in the American colonies the slave trade was a lucrative sideline but the English did not have a monopoly on all these commodities the Caribbean was a pressure cooker of competing nations all jostling over a few small islands the Dutch the French and the Spanish were all here each of them greedily protecting their own interests but also looking for opportunities to conquer New Territories and then there were the Pirates it's not hard to see what attracted those men to the Caribbean it was the job of officers like Edward Vernon to hunt them down and provide a violent deterrent many of those pirates were of course state-sponsored known as privateers because they carry licenses issued to them by the French and Spanish governments to prey on British shipping not the British government was above using the profit motive either in 1708 the year that Vernon arrived out here in the Caribbean Parliament passed the prize act this gave Captain officers and ships company of any Royal Navy ship a portion of the value of any enemy vessel they captured at a time when a Royal Navy captain typically earned about 20 pounds a month and an ordinary seaman less than a pound a month these prizes represented a significant salary bonus while he was out hit vernon took full advantage he captured several prizes one was a Spanish ship laden with tobacco another was French with 400 slaves on board he brought them back in here to Port Royal to have them valued then as captain he was entitled to a quarter share it was the most brutal form of incentive patriotism was now bolstered by prize money Vernon embodied the naval revolution rich confident and supremely professional he was the product of a navy and a country that had come a long way since those dark early years of King William's ray in the 1690s after 25 years of almost continual warfare the strategy laid down by William the third finally paid off France and Spain couldn't match the vast resources being poured into the Royal Navy and after a series of defeats in 1713 they made peace on this side of the channel it felt like time to celebrate this is the painted Hall of the old Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich and the magnificent ceiling tells you everything you need to know about how the British saw themselves start of the 18th century and I use the word British deliberately because after 1707 England and Scotland were joined together by active union to form the Kingdom of Great Britain and this is the image of that new nation rich confident and filled with a sense of destiny the central character is William sitting in all his majesty bringing peace and harmony to Europe and if you notice he's sitting on the defeated figure of the king of France the terrible louis the xiv the overwhelming theme is of course navel and at the end of the painting here you see this vast British man-of-war towering out of the water with its cannons run out ready for battle the decks of the ship are crowded with the spoils of victory stuff booty stolen off the French and Spanish but fascinatingly the ship is resting on the shoulders of a figure representing the City of London all that financial wealth that she generated and she in turn is above figures representing the great rivers of England Isis and a man representing the Thames and even the time bringing an offering of coal the message couldn't be clearer this vast awesome military machine is totally dependent on the wealth created by the City of London in 1726 just as the finishing touches were being put to this hall the French philosopher Voltaire visited Britain and was very struck by what he described as the grandeur of state he wrote trade raised by insensible degrees the naval power which gives the English a superiority over the seas and they are now masters of very near 200 ships of war posterity will very probably be surprised to hear that an island whose only produce is a little LED tin Fuller's earth and coarse wool should become so powerful by its Commerce Voltaire saw instantly that Commerce and naval power were linked it was a formula for success that was tied up with the creation of the Bank of England and now Britain was reaping the rewards Britain in the 1720s was a changed country thanks to the Navy she had resisted the combined might of the French and Spanish alliance but the coming of peace brought an end to 25 years of naval expansion with no enemies to engage at sea a generation of aggressive naval commanders took their fight to Westminster where they argue the British ship of state should stick to its natural course war in 1722 the country held a general election and former Commodore Edward Vernon became MP for Penryn in Cornwall Vernon was a fiery patriot and what really got him going was the Caribbean during his 21 years in the Royal Navy he'd served out there twice the second time as commander-in-chief of his majesty in Jamaica and while there he'd seemed ports stuffed with ships carrying the produce of Spain's American Empire and he'd seen how the Spanish Navy were all too keen to run away from a fight Vernon was convinced this was the soft underbelly of the Spanish Empire attack their settlement in America he wrote and Spain will fall and if Spain fell that would have dire consequences for her close ally France who of course was Britain's greatest rival so actually Britain would get two victories for the price of one it all sounded like a great idea but there was a problem during the 1720s and 30s the government's policy was to avoid war but at the same time British traders in the Caribbean were aggressively encroaching into the Spanish Empire and they had the backing of merchants and former naval officers at home then in 1738 something extraordinary happened a merchant captain called Robert Jenkins appeared here before Parliament he was told Parliament that day was political dynamite he said the ear had been chopped off by a Spanish naval officer what he'd been minding his own business peaceably of the coast of Cuba it unleashed a wave of xenophobia through Parliament and the public and no one's voice was louder than Edward Vernon Jenkins his mutilation was Vernon's gain he strode into the Admiralty and demanded to be given command in the Caribbean and Vernon got his wish thirty years after he first sailed to Jamaica Edward Vernon returned this time as a vice admiral he arrived in Port Royal on the 12th of October 17:39 and began his preparations a week later British government finally made up his mind and declared war against Spain Vernon was now given official license to commit all hostilities against the Spaniards in such manner as you shall judge most proper Britten's belligerent naval officers and her merchant class had got their war the war of Jenkins is ear and it began when Vernon launched an attack on the Spanish colonial base at Portobello on November the 21st Vernon sailed into Portobello with six Royal Navy warships I opened up a massive bombardment he gave the Spanish defenders the lead ship fired four hundred shot in just 25 minutes the Spanish were powerless to resist partly because much of their gunpowder was damp when Vernon's men stormed ashore only 40 of the original 300 Spaniard were able to resist they'd surrender within 24 hours Britain rejoiced the Navy had delivered on its promise projecting British forced thousands of miles away from home and Admiral Vernon the scourge of Spain was a hero heir to Drake and the embodiment of a new imperial mission a Scottish poet James Thompson really caught the national mood of celebration by penning a poem that became wildly popular it contained the lines to thee belongs the rural reign and thy cities shall with Commerce Shine in case you haven't guessed what it is yet a few lines later account raw Britannia rule the waves Britons never will be slaves these words have become part of our cultural DNA liberty Commerce and mastery of the seas all rolled in ex trick ibly together it was a defining moment in the creation of Britishness buoyed by his success Vernon decided to attack Catalina the largest and richest city in Spanish America he took a massive force of eight and a half thousand troops in 124 ships the public at home anticipated another easy victory but Vernon had overreached himself the attack was an uncoordinated disaster and soon stalled exposed to the extremes of the Caribbean climate and running low on water the British were killed in horrifying numbers not by the Spanish but by disease were still Vernon was out of range of reinforcements and so after almost six weeks of fighting he was forced to withdraw cata Haena was a wake-up call to a nation drunk on patriotism the limits after all to what the Navy could achieve problem wasn't so much ships and men with organization if Britain wants to realize her dream of global domination than the Navy's internal structures running things like logistics and strategic thinking had to be of the same quality as her awesomely powerful ships and had tough sailors the man who would take on that challenge was another veteran of the Caribbean captain George handsome following Vernon's victory at Portobello Anson had been ordered to take a squadron of six warships to attack the Spanish in the Pacific but his mission quickly turned into a nightmare Anson's root may look like the trail of a drunken spider but as he attempted to round Cape Horn his squadron was so battered by storms that he lost half his ships and after so long at sea a third of his men had succumbed to scurvy typhus and dysentery yet by the time he arrived back here in Britain in 1744 he become a national hero why because on his way home as he passed the Philippines he'd managed to capture a Spanish galleon than Westeros and yura the Covadonga and in her hole was over thousand kilos of virgin silver and more than 1 million pieces of eight solid silver coins she was one the most valuable prizes ever captured by a British ship the public had a new hero to cheer and the treasure was paraded in 32 wagons through the streets of London to cap it all off just six months later the age of 47 Anson was appointed to the board of the Admiralty George Anson arrived here just after Christmas 17:44 with a reputation as a man of action and he was shocked by the bureaucratic lethargy he found the organization needed a shake-up from top to bottom so this is it the Admiralty boardroom the beating heart of Anson's Navy I'll tell you what it feels like a long way from the pitching quarterdeck of a man of war going around Cape Horn but in a way of course Anson's experiences on that epic circumnavigation had prepared him well for these seats at this table on that voyage he hadn't just been the commander of a naval squadron he'd had to become a shipwright a teacher a judge even a diplomat and of course he'd seen the terrible effects of diseases like scurvy at first hand Anson was the most experienced sailor in the Navy he was the perfect man to lead a complete overhaul of the service incredible as it may sound at the time the Navy had no formal system of rank it didn't even have a uniform Anson introduced both this is him in full dress he also made the Navy more of a meritocracy officers were to be promoted on the basis of ability instead of time served Anson literally rewrote the rulebook of the Royal Navy so-called Articles of War this was partly in response to a manpower shortage increasing numbers of inexperienced men were being recruited as sailors but he also wanted to stiffen the resolve of his officer corps from now on the penalty for negligence disaffection or cowardice would be death iron discipline and organization would be the keys to success in Anson's Navy Anson was not prepared to rely on the natural talent of a few good men he wanted to ensure that the correct mindset and skills were perpetuated throughout the Navy he was institutionalizing the qualities needed to guarantee victory and he was doing it with a clear enemy in mind over the previous three decades France had been rebuilding her Navy and massively expanding her trade and her empire in places like North America and India by the middle of the century the two great rivals Britain and France were evenly matched their relationship was a powder keg of competing interests it was only a matter of time for someone lit the fuse on the 8th of June 1755 a French squadron was heading for Canada when through the murk of a North Atlantic morning they caught sight of royal naval ships as the two fleets converged a French captain shouted across to his opposite number on the British ship are we at peace or at war the words came back at peace at peace but it was followed seconds later by a crashing broadside the British Admiral Edward bas Cohen had loaded all his cannon with two cannonballs and the French ships were pulverized of this naked act of aggression a formal declaration of war was an inevitability the Seven Years War as it became known was also the first world war wherever British or French flags flew from North America to the Caribbean West Africa to India the two sides launched themselves at each other but perhaps surprisingly the first real test for the Navy came in defending their own base in the Mediterranean in the spring of 1756 Admiral John Bing set sail from England he was to take a squadron of thirteen warships to protect the island of Menorca but by the time he arrived he found the French had already landed and had the British garrison under siege from land and sea despite enjoying a small advantage in terms the number of ships Bing decided not to risk a full-scale battle and retreated to Gibraltar this meant the French captured menorca back in Britain the news of the loss of such an important naval base in the Mediterranean was greeted with outrage Bing was ordered back to England to meet his fate he was court-martialed according to the new articles of war and found guilty of failing to do his utmost to take or destroy the enemy ships the sentence was death on the 14th of March 1757 Admiral John Bing was executed on the quarterdeck of his own ship he's been allowed to direct his own firing squad when he was ready for them to fire he dropped a handkerchief once again the great French philosopher Voltaire put it most succinctly in this country he wrote it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others well it worked from then on royal naval officers were aggressive to a fault relentless aggression became a hallmark of the Royal Navy a psychological weapon just as important as the quality of its ships and guns but victory in this war would require more than just aggression the Navy needed a strategy back at the Admiralty the First Lord Anson was wrestling with the challenges of fighting war on this global scale even though British naval expenditure was twice that of France that still weren't enough ship to send in sufficient numbers to all the different theatres of war and so instead Anson seized on a very simple idea it first been conceived by Admiral Edward Vernon in a previous war now Vernon's idea was keeping a fleet of battleships here to the southwest of the British Isles here they could keep an eye on the French naval base Brest blockading the French ships in there but also protect the trade coming back in here from North America in the Caribbean and up here from the Mediterranean but it was one key problem any fleet of ships being kept at sea for that long would inevitably come up against the two deadliest enemies of the sailor malnutrition and disease 18th century naval rations were based around salted meat and sea biscuits any food that couldn't be dried or salted would quickly rot so a balanced diet was almost impossible and that's where the problems began even on the navy's most modern warship maintaining food supply vic lling as it's known is still a prime consideration on HMS daring it's the responsibility of petty officer Neal Moggridge come through this way afternoon this is a this is the main freezer compartment right oh it's freezing this gets about minus 22 in here so quite cold I see some frozen chips down there is it is everything chips no no we keep your basic meats on board chicken mince beef in see down here stuff like gammon bacon sausages no it's literally everything you go down supermarket for you pretty much find on fine down here so if we just steamed off into the horizon now how many days can we last forward it with a full hold of food what we call endurance on this ship is a maximum in 90 days so the ship can actually stay at sea and sustain itself for 90 days on a balanced diet of the ship coming but that must represent koala of money so what's a full hold cost you'll probably look in and a maximum endurance probably between about one hundred and fifty two hundred thousand pounds off a food online so how much that per sailor per day at the moment we get a massive two pound thirty one to feed per man per day keeping the crews well-fed was the greatest challenge Admiral Anson faced back in the 1750s as he tried to maintain his Western squadron at sea if this had been an eighteenth-century ship within a few weeks of leaving harm that these sailors would be reduced eating rock-hard stale biscuits crawling with weevils and water polluted with algae and bacteria with about six weeks typically diseases like dysentery typhus and scurvy would spread no one knew what caused these diseases but Anson did know that fresh produce seemed to prevent them therefore in order for the Western squadron to become an effective weapon they had to work out a proper way re Vick lling it this was the challenge of Anselm's set to the man he placed in command of the western squadron the appropriately named Admiral Edward Horner Hawk had over 20 years of command experience in the Navy and had earned a reputation for great tactical skill and single-minded aggression he was the personification for new Navy he was given 30 ships and 14,000 men his orders were to position his squadron just outside the French naval base at breast and to stay there realizing the implications of this Hulk set up a supply chain from Plymouth to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables and even live cattle directly to his squadron ship to ship this beat scurvy for the first time allowing Hawk to stay at sea almost indefinitely it was a feat unimaginable 80 years before attractive disease eliminated hawk could concentrate on his mission and that was maintaining such a strong presence outside the French naval base that their fleet would not dare to leave it was called close blockade it was the first time in history had ever been tried successfully on this scale from May to November 1759 Hawk bottled up the French fleet in its harbor it was a massive achievement and it had a decisive impact on the outcome of the war and all of it was done without hawks big battleships firing a shot in anger not only was the French Navy rendered utterly powerless their land forces in America and India were cut off from vital supplies and reinforcements and as French forces around the world began to capitulate in Britain the church bells rang in celebration it became known as the annus mirabilis the year of wonders first of all was Guadalupe the jewel in Francis Caribbean crown then Quebec capital of her vast North American Empire was captured by the British at sea the Gibraltar squadron attacked and destroyed the French Mediterranean fleet off the coast of Portugal while in the east the Royal Navy chased the French out of the Indian Ocean allowing the British army to achieve victory on land it was the greatest year in British military history and being Brits they turned into a year of wild rejoicing one author horace walpole wrote that the church bells were threadbare with the ringing of victories but across the channel the French had one card left to play King Louie the 15th with his empire in ruins his trade destroyed and his Treasury empty ordered his brest fleet to collect an army and head to sea to invade Britain his Admiral conference hope to avoid the Royal Navy but if they did meet he promised I will fight them with all possible glory the French Navy's opportunity came in November when autumn Gale scattered the British ships that were blockading Brest immediately the french admiral conference took to sea he headed south to pick up a fleet of ships with soldiers embarked and ready to launch an invasion Admiral Hawke wasted no time in pursuing him sensing an opportunity for the decisive clash he craved he caught up with the French here in kiba on Bay that brief there but the rollers crashing onto it and all the white water around it is the reason the French thought they'd be safe because they were coming into this dangerous Bay between two reefs as you can see from the chart with an almost impenetrable barrier of rocks islands and reefs I've never seen keeper on bay before it's absolutely fascinating he's incredibly jagged reefs here ups he terrifying terrifying for me but terrifying for the British ships who had no chance of this area the British ships are charging into an unknown Bay with the wind blowing on shore on a November Twilight I'm about half my sales up today because it's so windy if you put any more up it risks kind of ripping fittings out the deck and actually doing huge damage for the ship only that incredible aggression of the kind that have been bred in the Royal Navy over the past decades and reinforced by the execution of Bing I mean that incredible aggression would have driven those men in here and on that November night Lois a bowl Gale blowing from that direction himself Hauk himself was so keen to get to grips with the French particularly the French admiral the French flagship his opposite number his captain warned him he said this too dangerous it's too dark we can't go in after those Frenchmen and Hawk say your duty was to tell me it's not safe but your duty is also to obey my orders and lay me alongside that French flagship what was not gonna make the same mistake that Bing at me he was not gonna let these French get away after six months of tedious blockading he now had his chance to destroy the flower of the French fleet he came alongside and he waited so close that his men could reach out and touch the friendship with their hands and he fired a giant broadside into them tons have led pounding into a friendship at point-blank range the wood shattered sending splinters a yard long cartwheeling through the air sizing people down and soon they see who is covered in wreckage mass survivors clean to the mass their bodies a scene of total aleykum the French lost five and till now a thousand men the British only lost two the battle fought in these waters one of most decisive in British history in an eye native French naval power and it removed any chance France had of getting back her colonies the Royal Navy in this storm-tossed Bay fought and won a battle for global supremacy the story of Britain's transformation inside 80 years is a remarkable one in 1690 England had been the sick man of Europe broke and completely at the mercy of the French Navy now in 1759 the situation was completely reversed now for the first time in history one nation dominated the world's oceans Britannia really did rule the ways behind the vanguard of its now formidable naval forces Britain had become a commercial powerhouse boosted by an explosion in credit and overseas trade at the same time mastery of the sea had helped secure the first footholds of empire around the globe the Navy had delivered victory and Britain was prosperous afloat on a golden ocean away from all celebrations something else was going on unnoticed by most in 1690 England had been part of an alliance of smaller nations together they had resisted the continental ambitions of the french king louis xiv and they'd survived but by 1759 what the british couldn't understand was at the rest of europe now regarded them as as greater threat to Liberty as Louis had been 80 years before Britannia was triumphant but alone and you can see the next chapter of the story on Saturday night's Empire on the Seas at half past seven last stop tonight on BBC HD is with Coldplay at the BBC you

32 thoughts on “Empire of the Seas. 2/4 HD”

  1. It is both a pleasure and a big surprise to watch a BBC documentary that is not pushing a twisted anti-British and PC agenda, complete with historical revisionism, but instead a straight forward, honest and factual account of how it was.

  2. at  26:45 when  speaking about the 1713 peace treaty the backgroung music is      "Zadok the Priest "  (HWV 258) is a British anthem which was composed by George Frideric Handel for the coronation of King George II in 1727.

  3. So many falsehoods you'd think I was listening to trump. No, the British Navy did not become merit based for a century after his claims. No, Quiberon Bay was by no means a turning point, just a decent victory. The bias is extreme, and the facts loosy goosy. However, British naval might did continue to grow, but on the backs of pressed men and inept commanders due to politics. Welcome to the real world.

  4. Great series! What were you doing out on a racing sloop alone doing the grinding, the steering and etc… Then you had the beautiful ship that looked like it had diagonal wooden sides, then one that was all white. Must have been fun to sail these wonderful ships. Are they yours? Happy Trails

  5. Just was wondering why these sea Bering vessels there's no mention of potatoes, nuts,turnips rutabags.held on these ships.last time I looked that ocean is full of fish,no mention of eating fish,crabs,shrimp, maybe even a whale.

  6. I watched the complete series and overall it was pretty well made and informative (I really like BBC and Dan Snow history documentaries) however in this episode he commits several errors when he is talking about the Battle of Cartagena de Indias:
    – He said that Vernon's fleet had 8.500 men and 124 ships but this is not true, the fleet had 27.000+ men and 186 ships.
    – He said that the British were afected only by disease and not in fight, its true that disease killed several British soldiers, however there were a lot Birtish soldiers who died in battle as there were several campaings and battles during this campaing

  7. See me in comments in episode one, .. ex` cuse me` o`l spellin! >> golly here we go again, , 19.10 mins in. . . swearing an naughticle terms ok? an + + + +++ ! new words from across the world that entered the `english` language an helped it become. what is taken for granted these days. > (Sarcasm))_ . Spain and Frace were the Papal empire!?? Its not easy to work out if the presenter, is a white supremasist or a suck arse, either way cool documentaries ur promoting, an a book perhaps also, ur plugging/ selling hard o`boy. . ( or instatutionalised via education / indocrination ?? ) meanwhile telling a good novel with a "moving" picture dialoge, so classicley `our` moment in his/herstory. thumbs up (for sure), its also good for bizness mate. . lol . . small world. .>>" faster things change more they stay the same"<< ( a quote). . . navel Mercenaries? buckeners? Blackstone pivate military = US Nato China Russia Turkey ect ect plausible denieability, friendly fire takes on a whole new meaning! MSM double speak . . siver gueinie / paper / cripto. . Globalisation feading their/ its High Tech Military`s takes on Space cadets, Nuclear Monsato, nano, green revolution GMO, weather modified freedom an democracy + McDonads bla bla lol But thats/ this just one humble opinion, nail by nail tehehe

  8. Is the daily recommended calorie intake for the average active man these days really "half" of the 5,000 calories that he says the sailors consumed? If so, I'm in trouble…

  9. btw, Cartagena was brilliant defended by Blas de Lezo. an Spaniard officer and a genius un the battle field. was also Vernom's fault because he underestimate the spanish defences of Cartagena. History should recognize that.

  10. I am an American who loves Dan Snow and BBC documentaries. Dan and his Dad's series 20th Century Battlefields aired here about 5 years ago on PBS. Our much worse version of the BBC. I had a feeling it was British because of how well done it was and obviously the accents. I have been a fan of British documentaries and especially the Snow's docs ever since. You really know how to make them over there and I especially wish we had one hundreth the amount of Great World War One Documentaries as you have. Long live the Empire!

  11. England could have issued their own currency (state money rather than bank money) to fund building their navy and never go in to debt. The system of central banks only makes the bank owners more wealthy.

  12. Cuatro siglos de leyenda negra han conseguido que en España no dediquemos tiempo y dinero a la divulgación de nuestra Historia y de sus grandes héroes nacionales , marinos y científicos. Con sus luces y sombras , el saber y la memoria de quienes fuimos son indispensables para construir un futuro. Nunca más agachar la cabeza por ignorancia ¡

    En particular , sobre la historia naval de España a partir de siglo XVI recomiendo el libro " Naves mancas " de Miguel del Rey y Carlos Canales además de un libro necesario para comprender la influencia de la leyenda Negra para estigmatizar y negar la autoestima de España y los españoles, " La conjura silenciada contra España" de Alberto G. Ibáñez.

  13. Oh, that was quick about the disaster of Cartagena. It was the greatest naval invasion in history until Normandy. It was through the genious of the Spanish Admiral Blas de Leso that the British were utterly humiliated.

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