Sir William Monson

(c. 1568—1643) naval officer

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(1568–1643), English admiral chiefly remembered for his Naval Tracts (1682), which provide a detailed account of the English war with Spain at sea between 1585 and 1603. A volunteer at sea during the Armada, Monson was taken prisoner for a year by the Spanish during a raid against their treasure ships in 1591. He was knighted for accompanying Essex on the Cádiz raid of 1596. In 1604 he became admiral of the ‘Narrow Seas’, or home waters, where, as was revealed in 1614, he was in the pay of the Spanish, and hence adopted a neutral attitude to their ships. He was briefly imprisoned for this in 1616, but later returned to service, becoming vice-admiral of the summer fleet in 1635.

From The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700).

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