Who was Blake
 
   
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Who was Robert Blake?


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In Memoriam
 

A solitary, shy man, who only relaxed in the presence of a few familiar friends, Blake's letters reveal a man of action obsessed with getting things done. He could not play the courtier, but could write with authority to kings. He never married and was uneasy in the presence of women. A devoted public servant, his work was his testament. He never betrayed the confidence his various public masters placed in him. His relationship with his wayward captains was sometimes tempestuous but he wore them down and made them obey him. His men adored him. A devout, if rather austere, Christian, he died at peace with his God.

Blake's body, together with those of twenty or so others of the great and good of the English Republic, was not destined to remain in the Abbey. After the Restoration of the Monarchy, King Charles II had them disinterred and reburied in an unmarked common grave in St. Margaret's Churchyard, Westminster. So began a deliberate attempt to bury the achievements of the English Republic and to wipe out the memory of Robert Blake.

Regrettably this almost succeeded, for Blake has never achieved the recognition he deserves. But in the end his achievements, and those of his colleagues, do shine through, for during the Interregnum the English Navy established itself as a world power. The organisation of the Navy that Nelson was to inherit was laid; the traditions were set. And central to all that was Robert Blake.

 
 

Who was Robert Blake?

 
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Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Robert Blake
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Robert Blake
  
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