Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Navy that sank on time

The other day, I was looking through some old newspapers, trying to find contemporary material about the ownership of the Falkland Islands, when I saw this statement read out in 1774 in the House of Commons.

The Hon. Constantine Phipps said, "in the year 1771, [when Spain attacked a British garrison on the Falklands], instead of having a navy fit to curb our enemies insolence, we had no navy at all; that, what was still worse, we had no timber in our dockyards, [...] in the hurry of the last war, we were obliged to contract for ships to be built in the Merchants yards; they were to last three years, and so well did the Merchants mind their contract, that many of the ships sunk at the expiration of three years and four months"

Jackson's Oxford Journal, Sat 26 Feb 1774

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