Wednesday, December 08, 2004

English Captain: Roger Martin

Roger Martin (or Mostin) served both the Parliamentarian and Commonwealth navies. From 1644 to 1645, he commanded the hired merchantman Providence (16 guns and a crew of 54 men). He served in the Summer Guard and Winter Guard for 1644. From 1651 until 1653, he commanded the 4th Rate Diamond (42 guns). Immediately prior to the Battle of Portland, Captain Martin, in the Diamond, was stationed off of Land's End. He was recalled to the fleet before he was able to provide any useful information. That was a mistake made in the run up to the battle: the English recalled all their scouts from the Western Approaches. At the Battle of Portland, he was Rear-Admiral of the White, with his flag on the Diamond. In 1653, he commanded the Speaker (56 guns) and then the Bristol (46 guns). In the Speaker, he was William Penn's flag captain. After the Battle of the Gabbard, Blake and Monck recommended Captain Martin for command of one of the new ships, the Bristol. In late June 1653, he was also given command of a squadron that would ply the Channel, protect English shipping, and interfere with Dutch shipping. In December 1653, the squadron was 6 ships, the Bristol now carrying 50 guns. They were to operate between the Lizard and the Scilly Isles. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol.VI, 1930.
  3. Michael Baumber, General-At-Sea, 1989.
  4. James C. Bender, unpublished manuscript "English Ships 1652-1654", 2004.
  5. J. R. Powell, Ed., The Letters of Robert Blake, 1937.
  6. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

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