The Second China War, 1856-1860

The causes of the Second China War were complex; one factor went back deep into China’s past when the country was the predominant power in the Far East and had developed a civilisation that, culturally and technically, was far ahead of that of Europe. This gave them a superiority complex which they retained when the… Read Abstract »

The Naval Brigades of the Indian Mutiny, 1857-1858

Vol 87 (1947), Cdr. W.B. Rowbotham

This volume contains letters and official despatches that mainly relate to the operations ashore by the ship’s companies of Shannon and Pearl during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8. Both were engaged in numerous actions against the rebel forces and most notably in the campaign that led to the relief of Lucknow. To support these operations,… Read Abstract »

The Russian War, 1855: Black Sea

Vol 85 (1945), Capt. A.C. Dewar

The second Cabinet print of January 1856 deals with the naval campaign, excluding the work of the Naval Brigade ashore throughout the siege of Sevastopol. While the latter operation dominated the theatre Vice Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons’ fleet maintained an effective blockade of the Russian coast, secured the vital logistics lifeline that fed armed and… Read Abstract »

The Russian War, 1855: Baltic

Vol 84 (1944), Ed. D. Bonner-Smith

This volume reproduces the January 1856 Cabinet Confidential print, compiled when the British Government still anticipated further campaigns in both main theatres. Following the successful bombardment of Sweaborg in August, extensive planning for an assault on Cronstadt and the decision to retain Admiral Sir Richard Dundas in command the material is significantly less contentious than… Read Abstract »

The Russian War, 1854: Baltic and Black Sea

This volume reproduces the Cabinet Confidential print of January 1855, a time of crisis in British Government, when the Aberdeen Ministry, heavily defeated on a vote of confidence, was eventually replaced by Lord Palmerston’s Ministry. The First Lord of the Admiralty, Sir James Graham, survived the change and the print reflected his decision to use… Read Abstract »

Captain Boteler’s Recollections, 1808-1830

Vol 82 (1942), D. Bonner-Smith

Captain Boteler (1796-1885) came from a naval family, entering the navy as a Volunteer, First Class in 1808, was made lieutenant in September 1815, commander in 1830 and captain in 1851. He left the navy in 1830. These recollections, full of well-told naval anecdote, were written in old age, and published only for private circulation…. Read Abstract »

The Tomlinson Papers

Vol 74 (1936), J.G. Bullocke

The first part of the volume contains a selection from the correspondence and papers of Lt Robert Tomlinson between 1768 and 1796, together with his essays on naval manning and timber preservation. Robert Tomlinson was a protégé and loyal supporter of Sir Edward (later Lord) Hawke. He provided the parliamentary opposition with evidence with which… Read Abstract »

Piracy in the Levant, 1827-1828

A selection from the papers of the commander in chief of the Mediterranean station, Sir Edward Codrington, which shows the British government’s determined policy following on from the bombardment of Algiers to try to end attacks on trade in that sea. The target on this occasion was ‘privateers’ operating out of the impoverished Aegean islands… Read Abstract »

Naval Songs and Ballads

Vol 33 (1907), Professor C.H. Firth

These are not for the most part shanties, but ballads about (and in many cases by) sailors and their exploits, from the fourteenth century to the nineteenth, with a learned introduction on their historical value. The tunes are named, but the music is not printed

The Naval Miscellany, Volume I

This was the first of the Miscellany volumes and while it contains documents from the sixteenth century to the turn of the nineteenth century, the majority relate to the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Of the two sixteenth century documents, one relates to French warship signals and the other is a narrative of the Cadiz… Read Abstract »

Letters and Papers of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Byam Martin, 1773-1854, Volume III

Admiral Hamilton edited three volumes of Byam Martin’s papers which were issued out of sequence. This covers Martin’s post-war career, during which he was Controller of the Navy from 1816 to 1831. It consists largely of private correspondence with senior officers, politicians and others which are illuminating on the naval policy and events of the… Read Abstract »

The Naval Miscellany, Volume II: Frustration of the plan for the Escape of Napoleon Bonaparte from Bordeaux, July 1815.

This volume contains documents that date from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. The three for the sixteenth century include English piracy against the Spaniards, a Scottish document about a ship getting under way and the taking of the Madre de Dios in 1592. Two documents from the seventeenth century are a description by Rear… Read Abstract »