Friday, April 22, 2005

English Captain: Richard Blythe (or Blith)

There were actually two captains named Richard Blythe (Blith). The less prominent of the two, Richard Blythe, Jr., commanded the Mary Rose (38 guns) from 1642 to 1643, and then is not mentioned further. He was assigned to the Summer Guard for 1643. The more prominent was captain of the Leopard in 1641, in King Charles' navy. In 1642, he commanded the 2nd Rates Vanguard and Rainbow. In 1643, he was flag captain to the Earl of Warwick on the Prince Royal (70 guns). The Earl was admiral of the Summer Guard in 1643. From 1644 to 1645 (at least), Richard Blythe commanded the 2nd Rate James (50 guns). Powell credits him as being the Earl of Warwick's flag captain in 1644. The James was he Earl's flagship for the Summer Guard in 1644. In 1645, apparently the James was a private ship and was assigned to William Batten's squadron in the Summer Guard. Richard Blythe, Sr. is also listed as commanding hte James in the Summer Guard for 1646. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. J. R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

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