Benjamin Darnell

Benjamin Darnell’s DPhil thesis focuses on the administration of the navy under Louis XIV, 1701-1710. He is interested in the Louisquatorzian state’s response to its increasingly complex naval commitments in a rapidly deteriorating fiscal environment. His thesis investigates the funding and logistical arrangements underpinning the French navy and sheds light on the state’s dependence on an array of private contractors and suppliers. The construction and deployment of a large fleet was a major undertaking, and exploring how the crown mobilised money and military resources for naval warfare yields important insights into early-modern French society and economy.