More accurately, the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII: this prints two books of accounts of successive Clerks of the Kings Ships; Thomas Roger’s for 1485-88 and Robert Brygandyne’s for 1495-97. They present a detailed picture of naval administration, ships and their equipment at the end of the Middle Ages.
Michael Oppenheim was born in 1853 and brought up in London. He qualified as a surgeon and served as such in merchant ships for a number of years, an experience that seems to have engendered his interest in maritime and naval history. Between 1891 and 1894 he wrote a series of articles for The English Historical Review which were subsequently consolidated into his ground breaking book on The History of the Administration of the Royal Navy…From 1509 to 1660, published in 1896. In the same year, he edited a volume on the navy under Henry VIII for the Navy Records Society, later editing the five volume of Monson Tracts. He also wrote substantial chapters on maritime history for eight volumes of the Victoria County Histories. Despite having had no formal training as a historian, Oppenheim became a remarkably shrewd analyst and critic of historical sources. However, criticism of his work, and his being denied access to Pepys’ papers at Magdalene College, Cambridge, caused him to abandon plans for a continuation of the history of administration to 1714, and in 1914 he abandoned writing altogether. He died in Italy in 1927.