This volume follows the organisation of the editor’s seminal study, Naval Administration in the Age of Walpole (1965), but the documents presented here represents a longer period (of thirty-five years) than in his original book. Separate sections include documents describing the structure of the central administration, including the Admiralty’s sometimes difficult relationship with the Navy… Read Abstract »
How should the Royal Navy be manned? Was impressment the best answer to this question? Was the seizure of men off the streets by Press Gangs acceptable to a freedom-loving society? What was the alternative? This issue provoked considerable debate, especially with reference to the Georgian and Victorian Navy, and attracted the attention, not only… Read Abstract »
This volume concerns Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Warren (1703-1752) in North America. A background to the period is given in the introduction to his papers with a brief sketch of Warren. Of special mention is the valuable ‘Biographical Directory. With the outbreak of war with Spain in 1739, Warren had the opportunity to develop his fighting… Read Abstract »
David Syrett came to study the British capture of Havana in 1762 as a forgotten campaign of the Seven Years’ War. Through this collection of documents he showed that Havana was arguably the most complex and difficult operation of that war. It involved making an opposed landing with an army of 16,000 men on a… Read Abstract »
Sir James Saumarez was a Channel Islander with a distinguished naval record. He had fought under Rodney at the Saintes, Jervis at St Vincent, and Nelson at the Nile. He had received his knighthood for his capture of the French frigate Réunion in 1793. In 1799 he had been chosen by St Vincent to carry… Read Abstract »
Ghost-writing is not a twentieth Century invention. In this volume for the Navy Records Society Dr Williams revealed that the classic best-seller, ‘A Voyage round the World by George Anson‘, purportedly written by Anson’s chaplain Richard Walter, had in fact been ghost-written by Benjamin Robins, a man who had not sailed on the voyage. Describing… Read Abstract »
The second half of the eighteenth century saw dramatic improvements in the health of the Royal Navy and, as a result, an enhanced capacity to fight and to successfully impose tight blockades. The menace of scurvy was tamed through improved diet and the use of citrus juice; and smallpox stopped in its tracks by a… Read Abstract »
The defence of trade has always been a priority for the Royal Navy. This volume details the operations of the squadrons deployed in South American waters amid the turmoil which began with the French occupation of the Iberian Peninsular and ended with the independence of Argentina, Chile, Peru and, eventually, Brazil. British trade, ships and… Read Abstract »
James Trevenen, a Cornishman born in 1759, was educated at the Naval Academy Portsmouth, sailed as a midshipman on Cook’s last voyage, served as a captain in the Baltic in the navy of Catherine the Great, and died in action in the war of Russia against Sweden in 1790. Early in the nineteenth century a… Read Abstract »
For over a century the massive seven-volume Dispatches and Letters of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson published by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas in 1846 was taken to be almost complete, and formed the essential background to most Nelson biographies. However, although Nicolas had sourced his text from original documents, this had not been possible in every… Read Abstract »
The papers relating to Admiral Edward Vernon are intended to give an estimate of his contribution to naval strategy and tactics. They are divided between his command in the West Indies from 1739 and 1742 and command in the English Channel in 1745. Preparation for war with Spain was made in June 1739 and Vernon… Read Abstract »
This volume attempts to rescue Nelson’s second-in-command at Trafalgar from the comparative obscurity that had overtaken him since the close of the nineteenth century. Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood (1748-1810), lionised for his role at Trafalgar by his contemporaries and by Victorians, had become widely viewed in the first half of the twentieth century as a naval… Read Abstract »
This post is the second part of a 2-part post presenting letters written by Gilbert Blane, one of the Royal Navy’s most prominent ....
This post presents a letter held at the National Archives from Captain John Quilliam to Sir John Barrow, Second Secretary to the ....
This post presents a letter written on 27 April 1810, by Captain Pulteney Malcolm of the 74 gun warship Donegal to his wife Clementina, ....
This post presents a transcription of part of the Court Martial of Mr Ford Foster, held in New York, in 1776. This transcribed passage ....