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The RestorationA Political and Religious History of England and Wales, 1658–1667$
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Ronald Hutton

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203926.001.0001

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The Years of Ordeal

The Years of Ordeal

Chapter:
(p.220) 2 The Years of Ordeal
Source:
The Restoration
Author(s):

Ronald Hutton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203926.003.0012

Seventeenth-century naval warfare possessed characteristics which made it a particularly unpleasant experience for all directly concerned in it. For governments, it was extremely expensive. In November 1664 Charles II owned a total of ninety-five ships, but only sixty-one of these were available for duty in home waters while it was believed that to challenge the Dutch he would need 130. As he could afford to build only eight, the rest would have to be hired from merchants. The threat of epidemic disease was a constant factor of early modem English life. One infection, however, was dreaded more than all the others: bubonic plague, now known to be carried by the fleas which pasture upon black rats. The demands of these two conflicts may perhaps be expected to have diverted effort from an earlier one, the campaign of orthodoxy against religious and political dissent, but initially at least the reverse was true.

Keywords:   Dutch, Charles II, naval warfare, bubonic plague, orthodoxy

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