Danish naval administration and shipbuilding in the reign of Christian IV (1596-1648).
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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In the early 17th century Christian IV of Denmark created a highly impressive navy. This thesis investigates the uses to which the navy was put, and assesses the ships that were built to meet these needs. It shows that the Danish navy was for a time the largest state-owned navy in Europe and that the dockyard used to build and maintain these ships was one of the finest in Europe.
The administration of the navy is analysed in detail. It is shown that the lower administration of the dockyards and the seagoing navy was highly organised, but Christian IV's failure to reform the higher levels of administration seriously hampered the effectiveness of the navy. The navy grew beyond the bounds of what the state of Denmark-Norway could afford and naval finance became a highly contentious issue in the modernisation of the state.
To build the navy's ships Christian IV brought in master shipwrights from England and Scotland. The organisation of naval ship-building is examined in detail and the design of Danish warships is analysed. The Scot David Balfour is shown to be one of the most innovative and successful shipwrights of the early modern period.
The figure of Christian IV dominates the Danish navy in the early 17th century. He was involved in all aspects of its organisation from its use as a political force to the design of specific vessels. He created a highly impressive navy in terms of ships and dockyards but failed to see that it also needed an efficient administration to operate effectively.
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