In the 13th century an infrastructure began to develop, with naval expenses increasing due to the fear of French invasion. However English wealth began to decline in 1370 and eventually the fleet was sold off on King Henry 5th death in 1422. Significant reconstruction of the fleet did not occur until the 1480s when ships began to regularly mount guns. The first reformation of the Royal Navy, which was then known as the Navy Royal, did not occur until the reign of King Henry 7th who funded fighting ships. Henry 8th then ordered major expansion of the fleet.
England and Scotland formed a union in 1707 and the English navy merged with the smaller Scottish navy, becoming the naval force for the Kingdom of Great Britain. However the two had operated together since 1603. During a century of general there were major technological developments which led to a race to build bigger and better battleships. This ultimately became a dead end when submarines and aircrafts became priority. After the success of the Second World War the Royal Navy, although still known as one of the world’s most capable fleets, surrendered its leading position to the US Navy. It is still operating a large fleet of modern ships.