quatuor maria

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An old term, dating from the reign of Queen Mary I (1553–8), for the four British seas surrounding Great Britain. The term arose when there was trouble with France over the salutes at sea demanded by English ships in these waters, now known as the North Sea, English Channel, Irish Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean bordering the Scottish west coast. Quatuor was the Tudor way of spelling quattuor, which is the better Latin.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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