The Tudor Navy is a subject which is very unevenly known. The last significant general histories were written at the end of the last century. Since then much detailed research has been undertaken, particularly on the Armada, the end of Henry VIII's reign and the early Elizabethan period. As a result, it has been generally thought that the navy went through a series of booms and slumps during the sixteenth century. Further research on the intervening periods now presents a much more even picture of development, although the pace of advance was uneven. At the same time naval history has tended to be seen in isolation, presented by special naval experts. It is better understood as a part of the general administrative, political and above all financial history of the period. This book is designed to present a whole story, set in its proper contemporary context.