On This Day in Trinity House History – 28 May

1652

The Navy asks Trinity House to provide fire ships

Trinity House Court Minute:

“Navy Office ask Trinity House to provide two (2) Fire Ships.”

This instruction was possibly in anticipation of the First Anglo-Dutch War (see 22 January post).

From Wikipedia:

“A fire ship, used in the days of wooden rowed or sailing ships, was a ship filled with combustibles, deliberately set on fire and steered (or, where possible, allowed to drift) into an enemy fleet, in order to destroy ships, or to create panic and make the enemy break formation. Ships used as fire ships were usually old and worn out or purpose-built inexpensive vessels. An explosion ship or hellburner was a variation on the fire ship, intended to cause damage by blowing up in proximity to enemy ships. Fireships were famously used to great effect by the English against the Spanish Armada during the Battle of Gravelines.”

Fire ships at Battle of Solebay

Fire ships at Battle of Solebay