4 Annotations

First Reading

Pedro  •  Link

Robert Blake.

Blake was then stationed with 500 men at the garrison of Lyme in Dorset, which was besieged by Rupert's brother Prince Maurice in April 1644. The Royalists were powerless to prevent Parliament's navy from shipping in supplies and reinforcements, enabling the Parliamentarians to defend the town until it was relieved by the Earl of Essex on his ill-fated march into the West in June 1644. The following month Blake, now promoted to colonel, undertook a daring march from Lyme to Taunton, an important centre of communications in the heart of the Royalist-held West Country. Blake's force took Taunton and held the town for a year, surviving three sieges. Blake famously declared that he had four pairs of boots and would eat three pairs before he would surrender Taunton. The siege was finally lifted when Sir Thomas Fairfax sent a relief force in May 1645. Blake commanded at the siege of Dunster Castle, Somerset, which surrendered to him in April 1646.
Blake's defence of Lyme and Taunton made him a popular hero in the west and he was elected MP for Bridgwater in the "recruiter" by-elections of 1646


Terry Foreman  •  Link

Robert Blake (1598 – 17 August 1657) was one of the most important military commanders of the Commonwealth of England and one of the most famous English admirals of the 17th century whose successes have never been excelled, not even by Nelson. Blake is recognised as the chief founder of England's naval supremacy, a dominance subsequently inherited by the British Royal Navy[4] into the early 20th century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robe…

Second Reading

Dick Wilson  •  Link

According to a TV show just broadcast, "Who do you Think you are?", one of Blake's officers at Taunton was Thomas Towbridge, an ancestor of Cindy Crawford, the model.

Bill  •  Link

BLAKE, ROBERT (1599-1657), admiral and general at sea; entered St. Alban Hall, Oxford, 1615; removed to Wadham College; graduated; engaged in business of merchant; M.P. for Bridgwater, 1640 and 1645; took part in defence of Bristol against royalists, 1643; lieutenant-colonel of Popham's regiment; held Lyme against royalists, 1643-4; took, and held, Taunton, 1644-5; governor of Taunton, 1645; appointed admiral and general at sea, 1649; unsuccessfully blockaded Prince Rupert at Kinsale, 1649, and pursued him to Portugal, 1650; blockaded mouth of Tagus, 1650, and subsequently followed Rupert to Mediterranean and destroyed many of his ships; commanded squadron in Irish Sea, and reduced Scilly Islands, which were held by royalist privateers, 1651; assisted in reduction of Jersey, 1651; member of council of state, 1651-2; with Rear-admiral Bourne, defeated Dutch under Tromp in Downs. 1652; defeated De Witt and De Ruyter off mouth of Thames, and, later, was defeated by Tromp off Dungeness, 1652; in company with Deane, Monck, and Penn, fought indecisive battle with Tromp off Portsmouth, 1653, the advantage being slightly with the English; took part in battle of 3 June, 1653; engaged in admiralty business at London, and executive duties at Portsmouth; destroyed Turkish pirate fleet at Porto Farina, 1655; destroyed Spanish West Indian fleet at Santa Cruz, 1657; died of fever while returning to England. His body was buried in Westminster Abbey, but removed after Restoration.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Jun