Admiral Sir John Norris and the British naval expeditions to the Baltic Sea 1715-1727.
This study is an investigation, essentially from a
viewpoint of naval history, of seven expeditions to the Baltic
Sea carried out by squadrons of the Royal Navy under the command
of Admiral Sir John Norris between 1715 and 1727. It is
also an attempt to evaluate Norris both as a commander and an
executor of his government's policies in these years. Two other
British expeditions at this time, though not commanded by Norris,
are nevertheless touched upon in the interests of continuity.
The period covers the entire reign of George I, and, because
the circumstances behind the despatch of each of the aquadrons
are illustrative of the fashion in which, Hanoverian foreign
policy first impacted upon, and then increasingly coalesced
with, British foreign policy, the study necessarily has a
marked bias towards the diplomatic history of the time. In
this respect it has some claim to be a re-examination of British
policy in northern Europe as it was exercised by James, Ist
Earl Stanhope, between 1716 and 1721.
After the death of Charles XII of Sweden in December
1718 the study attempts to show how there was soon an improvement,
not only in Hanover's relations with Sweden, with
which the Electorate had been in a formal state of war since
October 1715, but also in Anglo-Swedish relations, themselves
strained, though not to the point of war, by Swedish disruption
of Baltic commerce and evident association with Jacobite agents.
It was, in fact, due to the-ravages on British merchant shipping
by Swedish privateers that the Royal Navy passed beyond the
Sound of Copenhagen and into the Baltic itself in 1715, for the
first time ever so far as can be determined; and the volume of
British merchant traffic entering and leaving the Baltic under
Norris's convoy receives due treatment.