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This novel is based in the 1650s when Cromwell and the Roundheads were in power. It's background is the exploits of Robert Blake (1599-1657) He was appointed Admiral in 1649, destroyed Prince Rupert's fleet and and captured the Scilly Isles and Jersey. In the first Dutch War (1652-54) he defeated Tromp at the battle of Portland and shattered Dutch supremacy at sea. He destroyed the Barbary Coast pirate fleet off Tunis (1655) and in 1657 destroyed a Spanish treasure fleet at Santa Cruz off Teneriffe. He died as his ship entered Plymouth, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, but his body was removed at the Restoration. He is considered one of the greatest of English admirals, second only to Nelson.
(Acknowledgement to Chamber's Biographical Dictionary)