Benjamin Redding

Benjamin Redding


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Current PhD Student: Jared Butler (co-supervised by Professor Claire Jowitt). Provisional Title: 'The Supply and Maintenance of Third-Rate Warships, 1649-88'

Personal profile

Key Research Interests

Benjamin Redding was appointed Senior Research Associate in Maritime History in the School of History at the University of East Anglia in 2020. His research is currently funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Prior to his time at UEA, he was Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History at the University of Warwick (2016-2020) where he was also awarded his PhD.

Dr Redding's research and teaching interests include:

  • Early modern military history
  • The rise of state navies
  • Maritime culture and exploration
  • Politics and religion in Tudor/Stuart Britain
  • Valois and Bourbon France, especially the French Wars of Religion
  • Power and representation

Key Research Interests

Dr Redding's research is led by a passion for all things related to the sea and military enterprise c. 1500-1800. He is particularly interested in how the cultural, political, and military spheres overlap. His publications explore the rise and decline of navies, nation and state building, identity formation, international cooperation, and conflict.

His book, The English and French Navies, 1500-1650: Expansion, Organization and State-Building, published by Boydell & Brewer in January 2022, traces the advances and deterioration of the early modern English and French sea forces and relates these changes to concurrent developments within the respective states. Other publications include a chapter on warship decoration and design, published in The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds, 1400-1800 (2020), edited by Jowitt, Lambert and Mentz; and an article published in The Mariner's Mirror that concerns the interconnected histories and competitive designs of the Caroline warship The Sovereign of the Seas and its French counterpart La Couronne.

Since 2019, Dr. Redding has been supporting the finders of the Gloucester shipwreck, as well as researching the warship’s complex history. His current work is funded by a major research grant from the Leverhulme Trust (2021-24). The initial project will result in a monograph (co-authored by Professor Claire Jowitt) providing the first cradle-to-grave history of the Gloucester (1654-82). He was also co-curator of the landmark exhibition ‘The Last Voyage of the Gloucester: Norfolk’s Royal Shipwreck’ held at Norwich Castle Museum from February to September 2023. As part of the announcement of the finding of the Gloucester shipwreck, he featured on global, national, and local news, including The New York Times, BBC World Service, and BBC Look East.

His recent article 'The Western Design Revised: Death, Dissent, and Discontent on the Gloucester, 1654-1656' has been published open access in The Historical Journal. This new research explores the Gloucester's early career in the Caribbean, when it was involved in a major expedition to Barbados, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Colombia.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water