Sailing Navy List
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A link to Hilary L. Rubinstein's TRAFALGAR CAPTAIN - Durham and the Defiance
H.M.S. Bellerophon, a 74-gun ship of the line known to her crew as the Billy Ruffian began life in a small shipyard near Rochester on the River Medway, three of the most famous of all sea battles and ended it as a prison hulk at Sheerness. Her crowning glory came six weeks after the Battle of Waterloo, when Napoleon surrendered to her captain.
The Real Jim Hawkins; Ships' Boys in the Georgian Navy by Roland Pietsch is a groundbreaking new work, a study of the origins, life and culture of the boys of the Georgian navy. More than 5,000 boys were recruited during the Seven Years War alone and without them the Royal Navy could not have fought its wars. This is a fascinating tribute to a forgotten band of sailors.
Andrew Lambert demonstrates how Nelson elevated the business of naval warfare to the level of the sublime. Nelson's unique gift was to take that which other commanders found complex, and reduce it to simplicity Where his predecessors and opponent saw a particular battle as an end in itself, Nelson was always a step ahead - even in the midst of terrifying, close-quarters action, with officers and men struck down all round him.
NELSON by Clennell Wlkinson (1931): A little dated now but still a very useful and scholarly biography
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The Napoleonic wars produced a group of the most brilliant young naval officers in England’s history. Even in such company, Tom Cochrane proved himself outstanding. Although his exploits as a frigate captain quickly became legendary, he was thwarted at every turn both in his naval service and in Parliament. In his disgust, he gave his services to the feeing a number of South American countries from the Spanish.
Link to another biography of Lord Cochrane in my site, this one by Christopher Lloyd published in 1947.
Admiral Henry Byam Martin's first command in the British Navy was Captain of the 50-gun frigate, H.M.S. Grampus, in 1846 when the French were subjugating  the Tahitians by bloody force, making the island a 'Protectorate' of France but allowing Queen Pomare to be the titular ruler until they made it a colony, in 1880.
NELSON and NAPOLEON:  Christopher Lee re-examines the myths of Trafalgar. He plots the megalomania of Napoleon to invade England and the single-minded ambition of Nelson to seek glory and prizes. He debunks the legend that the French and Spanish sailors were cowardly. He shows how Villeneuve had worked out Nelson's famous plan of attack, which Lee argues failed anyway and he demonstrates how Trafalgar could easily have gone against Nelson.
In ISLANDERS - The Pacific In The Age of Empire,  Nicholas Thomas, unlike conventional accounts which emphasise confrontation and the destruction of indigenous cultures, reveals there was gain as well as loss, survival as well as suffering and invention as well as exploitation.  He rediscovers a rich and surprising history of encounters, not only between Islanders and Europeans, but among Islanders, brought together in new ways by explorers, missionaries and colonists.
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  Mary McGrigor’s ‘Defiant and Dismasted at Trafalgar’ is based on James Allen’s (1841) original biography of one of Nelson’s ‘Band of Brothers’, Sir William Hargood, whose ship, Belleisle (74), was in action at Trafalgar.  
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'The Young Nelson in the Americas' in which the author, Tom Pocock, states that the most exciting and dramatic passage of his American service has hitherto been strangely neglected — the ill-fated Nicaragua campaign. This was a daring scheme concocted by the Governor of Jamaica during the War of American Independence for cutting the Spanish American Empire in two and anticipating the Panama Canal by securing direct access to the Pacific.
Click here to go to John Terraine's " Trafalgar " page at !
England Expects by Dudley Pope: AT TWO a.m. on a foggy November morning in 1805 a bedraggled young naval officer strode into the Admiralty and told the startled Secretary to the Board: 'Sir, we have gained a great victory; but we have lost Lord Nelson!' Dudley Pope tells for the first time the complete story of the year 1805, ending with the victory at Trafalgar, and seen through the eyes of the seamen, soldiers and civilians of Britain, France and Spain.
Captain Bennett first sets Trafalgar in the context of the world-wide naval struggle against Napoleon and, more particularly, in the campaign of which it was the culmination. However, like the noise and smoke of battle, legends have a habit of obscuring facts and, having embodied themselves in the popular imagination, are transcribed to the history books.
Click on this image to go to Geoffrey Rawson's compilation "Letters from Lord Nelson" page!
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The U.S. Frigate Constellation is the oldest United States warship afloat and under Captain Thomas Truxtun the first American-built vessel to win a major victory. Constellation, nicknamed “Yankee Racehorse”, was launched in Baltimore on September 7, 1797, as a member of the original fleet commissioned by the Continental Congress.
MASTER & MADMAN - The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN by Peter Thomas & Nicholas Tracy. This epic story of a Georgian sailor presents a honest and gritty picture of the Royal Navy at war, and rare insights into social change in an age of aristocracy and revolution.
Norman Mackenzie in FALLEN EAGLE tells how after Waterloo, Napoleon pursued by the vengeful Prussians, attempted to reach the safety of the USA but fell into the hands of the Royal Navy enabling the British government to banish him to St Helena.
CAPTAIN KIDD - THE HUNT FOR THE TRUTH by Craig Cabell, Graham A. Thomas & Allan Richards. The execution of Captain William Kidd on 23rd. May 1701 is one of the most controversial and revealing episodes in the long history of piracy. The legend that has grown up around Kidd's final voyage, his concealed treasure and the dubious conduct of his trial, has made him into one of the most intriguing and misunderstood figures from the golden age of piracy.
The Stamps have used their knowledge of local history and traditions of the old seaport of Whitby to illuminate the all-important formative years when Cook emerged from the obscurity of country life in 18th century northern England to become a man of the sea. From, Cook sailed and learnt his seaman's skill and came to know the qualities of those Whitby ships that took him on his great voyages.
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In Men of Honour, Adam Nicolson takes the Battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets in 1805, and uses it to examine our idea of heroism and the heroic.
Peter Aughton in his beautifully illustrated book gives a vivid account of the Endeavour and its epic journey into the unknown between 1768 and 1771 allegedly to observe the transit of Venus but in fact to discover Terra Australis.
Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral of England and Queen Elizabeth’s favourite the Earl of Essex in command, sailed out of Plymouth in 1596 to attack Cadiz accompanied by a Dutch squadron. Cadiz was sacked, burned and many Spanish ships destroyed contributing to Spain’s bankruptcy the next year.
The Story of Nelson’s Portsmouth by Jane Smith tells a familiar tale in a fresh way using his letters within the context of Portsmouth and its citizens.
In ‘The Frigates’, An Account of the Lighter Warships of the Napoleonic Wars 1793- 1815, James Henderson has brought to life the contemporary social, political, and naval scene providing the background without which it would be impossible to fully understand these exciting naval engagements.
Click on this image for Colin Pengelly's " The First Bellerophon " page at This book covers HMS Bellerophon's carreer in the Royal Navy from 1790 - 1836 and the commanders and men who served in her and shared in  her exploits.
Click here to see details of Philip Aubrey's " The defeat of James Stuart's Armada 1692 " page at !
Click this image to go to the edited autobiography of Landsman Hay
Click here to go to Suzanne J. Stark's " FEMALE TARS- women aboard ship in the age of sail " page at !
The Command of the Ocean, by N. A. M. Rodger, is a landmark in naval and military history, but it also allows us to see the history of Britain as a whole in an original perspective. Anyone interested in the history of. Britain, Europe or the world at this dramatic period will find it engrossing. Rodger's comparative view of other navies, the French, Dutch, Spanish and American, allows him to make a fresh assessment of the qualities of the British.</a></div></td>
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Click here to go to Alexander McKee's " From Merciless Invaders " page !
Click here to go to Alexander McKee's " Death Raft " page !
Click here to go to Alexander McKee's " The Queen's Corsair " page for more details of this book at
L. A. Wilcox - ' Anson's Voyage ' illustrated by author:  Anson's circumnavigation of the globe in the years 1740-1744 was recognised by his contemporaries as an extraordinary feat of seamanship. He returned with just one ship out of six, his flagship HMS Centurion, loaded with treasure captured from the Manilla Galleon which was loaded onto thirty-two wagons and paraded through the streets of London and taken to the Tower. This and other Royal Navy books for sale at
Click here to go to Dean King's " Every Man Will Do His Duty " page at !
I SAILED WITH NELSON by Lieutenant George Samuel Parsons who joined the Royal Navy in 1795 at the age of eleven, and was an impressionable midshipman of thirteen at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, which he describes in this book. Originally published as Nelsonian Reminiscences: Leaves from Memories Log -  1843.
THE AGE OF NELSON by G. J. Marcus: The 'Great War', as Englishmen of the nineteenth century called it, can be seen to have begun with the firing of the Brest shore battery on the sloop Childers and ended with Napoleon on the poop of the Bellerophon, bound for St. Helena. The years between—Jervis at St. Vincent, the naval mutinies of 1797, blockade, convoy, the strangling of the Emperor's 'Continental System,' Nelson at the Nile and Copenhagen, the Peninsular War, the War of 1812, and the Hundred Days—are limned unforgettably in these scrupulous yet inevitably stirring pages.
In this absorbing book, NELSON: A personal History, Christopher Hibbert recounts in detail the events of those years, from the morning when the small midshipman stood nervously on the dockyard at Chatham, wondering how to get aboard his ship and enter the strange wooden world of the Navy, until the long afternoon when, as Admiral, he lay dying in the dim light of the swaying lanterns below the Victory's waterline, while the cannon roared on the gun-decks above his head. We see Nelson ashore as well as at sea, as an attentive though frustrated officer on half-pay in East Anglia; in Naples as the passionate lover of Emma, the Cheshire blacksmith's daughter who had become the wife of the British envoy at the Neapolitan court; and at home at Merton Place in Surrey, playing with the adored little girl whom he could not acknowledge as his daughter.
Click to go to"Southey's Life of Nelson"
Click to go to"The Life of Lord Viscount Nelson"
In ‘The Formative Years’ G. J. Marcus traces the development of our merchant and fighting fleet from the days of Chaucer's Shipman to the French Revolution. Sea power shattered the hopes of Philip of Spain and the Papacy and later gained and retained the carrying trade of the world, formerly enjoyed by the Dutch. Sea power of Great Britain-wielded by Pitt and Anson settled the fate of North America and India. In the American War of Independence our navy held out against severe odds, and on the restoration of peace, rapidly regained its former commanding position throughout the seven seas prepared for the final decisive struggle with France. NELSON by Roy Hattersley: Horatio Nelson, one of the greatest seamen of all times, is the authentic hero of British history. His three great victories — at the battles of the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar — assured him of his country's gratitude : the manner in which they were won added glory to success. THE FLOATING REPUBLIC - An Account of the Mutinies at Spithead and the Nore in 1797 by G. E. MANWARING & BONAMY DOBRÉE: The naval mutiny of 1797 is the most astonishing recorded in ours, or perhaps any history; astonishing by its management rather than for its results, for other mutinies have been successful. First published in 1935 this is still recognised as the finest description of the events in that momentous year. Peter Padfield in his book Nelson’s War throws new and controversial light on the battle tactics of these famous actions to show just how unconventional they became. Fully illustrated, including paintings of the battle of Copenhagen that have never previously been published in this country, Nelson's War brings to life in enthralling detail the battles of the Golden Age of the Royal Navy. SAMUEL WALTERS, Lieutenant R.N. - His memoirs, edited, with an introduction and notes by C, NORTHCOTE PARKINSON: The daily journals and copies of Walters’ paintings are fascinating but it’s the notes and appendices by Northcote Parkinson that make this volume so worthwhile.
 Based on the life´s work of the naval historian Brian Tunstall, Naval Warfare in the Age of Sail traces the evolution of fleet tactics from the Dutch Wars of the seventeenth century to the War of American Independence in the late eighteenth and the defeat of the French Empire in 1815.
Old Oak-William James: John Jervis Earl St. Vincent started his career by running away from school to join the navy, and by the time he died he had been Commander-in-Chief of the Channel and Mediterranean Fleets, and First Sea Lord at the Admiralty. He found the fleet corrupt and inefficient, he left it the most powerful single fighting force against Napoleon. He appointed Nelson as commander over the head of more senior officers.
Click for "Trafalgar Refought"
Professor Carlo M. Cipolla in his ' Guns and Sails in the early phase of European expansion argues that the simultaneous technological development of guns and sailing ships, and the fusing of the two into a weapon that swept all before the gun-carrying ocean-going sailing ship enabled Europe, a backwater, to expand and develope rapidly to dominate and subjugate most of the world in the period 1400-1700.
Click to go to "Reminiscences of a Naval Officer"
MARITIME POWER and the Struggle for Freedom. Naval campaigns that shaped the modern world 1788 – 1851: Peter Padfield contrasts British power, based on trade and attuned to the needs of trade — individual initiative, freedom of information, and sound credit — with French power, based on conquest and centralized authority. He presents Napoleonic France in a radically new light as essentially regressive, Britain as better equipped for a long war and also, for better or worse, a herald of modern liberties.
Click on this image to go to James P. Mcguane's "Heart of Oak" proportioned correctly
An illustrated page with links to many books relating to the Mutiny on the Bounty. The mutiny aboard HMS Bounty with Chistian Fletcher as the chief mutineer forced Lieutenant William Bligh into a small boat with loyal crew members - Bligh's navigational skill made it to safety. The Royal Navy made efforts to track down the guilty and sent the frigate HMS Pandora to bring back mutineers to England for trial but was wrecked with with some still chained below.
Caryl Brahms and Ned Sherrin's novel brings naval history alive. Admiral John Benbow fought the only battle in British history in which the captains of a fleet refused their commander's order to engage the enemy. This occurred in the West Indies in 1702, when Benbow in an engagement with the French was abandoned and betrayed by his officers.
THE ANTHONY ROLL of Henry VIII's Navy - Here for the first time complete in print is the famous pictorial survey of Henry VIII's navy compiled in 1546	by Anthony, a clerk in the ordnance office. Originally comprising three rolls of vellum, the MS features paintings of each of the king's 58 ships, below which are set details of their guns_ shot. and related equipment.
Click for "Coronel and The Falklands"
Click here for details of Admiral Reigensfeld's memoirs.
Click for more information on W.M. James's " The British Navy in Adversity " page at !
Click to go to " Log of the Centurion - Based on the original papers of Captain Philip Saumarez on board HMS Centurion, Lord Anson's flagship during his circumnavigation 1740-44 " by Leo Heaps.
HEART OF OAK - A survey of British sea power in the Georgian era by G. J. Marcus: The years 1714 to 1830 saw the greates period of the sailing Navy of Britain. Heart of Oak deals with different aspects of Britain's naval strength: materials and ship-building ; strategical and tactical skill; seamanship and navigation; the personnel of the service, both officers and seamen; the intimate connection between seaborne commerce and sea power; and the human side of naval life on board and ashore, including seamen's songs and recreations. Based on sound and wide-ranging knowledge, but not encumbered with scholarly apparatus, this is a book which the general reader will enjoy, and from which the student and scholar can profit.
The British Sailor: a social history of the lower deck - Peter Kemp - This book deals with it all in detail, from the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588 to the outbreak of the 1914-18 war. It is based on deep research into contemporary documents and reports, and traces the gradual evolution of a social conscience in the Royal Navy.
The officers of the 'Silent Service', as a body, have hitherto had no biographer: but they have found one now in the Professor of History at Greenwich, the University of the Navy. England's Sea-Officers is the story of the Naval Profession, its origins, and its growth from earliest times to the present day.
A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE NAVY 1793-1815 - Michael Lewis; It was, in all its essentials, not only the Navy of Nelson, Collingwood, St. Vincent and Howe, but also that of Rodney, of Hawke, of Vernon, of Rooke and even of Blake. In 1864 it was well on the road to becoming the Navy of Fisher, of Jellicoe and of Cunningham: a force as forward-looking as its predecessor had been backward- looking.
The Navy in Transition: a social history 1814-1864 - Michael Lewis; Its facts, and the anecdotes which illuminate those facts, are drawn from contemporary documents, ranging from Navy Lists and Admiralty Orders to the journals and recollections of the men concerned; the illustrations of ships and men are contemporary too.
John Gwyther has written an outstanding book on the first voyage of the redoubtable Captain Cook. The exciting stream of narrative, moving from port to port, from island to island, through chapters crowded with vivid and exciting incidents, with masterly descriptions of nature and of native customs, and of the natives' reaction to the first coming of the white men.
A Thirst for Glory: The Life of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith - Tom Pocock: Admiral Sir Sidney Smith liked to think of himself as a second Nelson. Smith and Nelson also shared the credit for changing the course of history by ending Napoleon Bonaparte's dream of eastern conquest: Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Smith by his defence of Acre.
Sailing Ships of War 1400-1860 by Dr. Frank Howard: This book is a comprehensive survey of their technical development from 1400 to 1860, from the advent of the three-masted ship to the eclipse of naval sail. Incorporating much new information the book deals in detail with the hull design and construction, fittings, armament, masting, rigging and appearance of wooden warships.
Remember Nelson: The Life of Captain Sir William Hoste by Tom Pocock. The climax of his professional career came in 1811 when, at the Battle of Lissa in the Adriatic, he won a brilliant victory over the French and their Venetian allies. This was followed by daring and spectacular attacks on the two great fortress-cities that are now Dubrovnik and Kotor in Yugoslavia, where his feats inspired some of the adventures that C. S. Forester attributed to Captain Hornblower. Guy de Téramond: La Guerre sur Mer, published in France in 1912, an illustrated children’s book in the series Pages d’Histoire of ‘Collection des livres en couleurs pour la jeunesse.’ Captain William Bligh, has become a symbol of the most monstrous cruelty—a man who flogged, starved and humiliated his crew because to do so gave him pleasure. One of the merits of this book - What Happened on the Bounty by Bengt Danielsson is that it corrects this sentimental bias and reveals Bligh as a seaman of genius, a brave and resourceful man, but one who lacked the gifts of perception and patience which would have won the cooperation of his crew.
Click this image to go to C. Northcote Parkinson's "The Trade Winds" The Ship of the Line: Volume I; The Development of the Battlefleet 1650 -1850; Volume II; Design, Construction and fittings - Brian Lavery is undoubtedly Britain's leading authority on the sailing line-of-battle ship, having spent more than six years in research on this subject. He is one of a new generation of technical historians devoted to explaining why developments take place rather than merely describing technological change.
1795-1807 was a tulmultuous period in maritime history about which comparatively little has been published. This story is based on two journals - one HERO written by a Nantucket whaleman, the other by the carpenter on the English privateer that captured his ship. The history of both ships is traced from their construction until their disappearance.
Click for details of Christopher Lloyd's 1966 biography of William Dampier !
Click to go to William Dampier's biography by E. Keble Chatterton
SEAMAN GARNERAY - Voyages, Adventures et Combats. Ttranslator Roland Wilson gives an account of the first part of Garneray's years at sea and an impression of Garneray the man, as well as a general picture of the French republican navy. Rev. George Tyler Townsend in his "The Sea Kings of the Mediterranean" - a 1870 first edition, recounts the story of the Christian Crusaders and the Knights-Hospitallers and their influence  over the Mediterranean for seven centuries. Click to go to "Piracy and the Decline of Venice"
Bryan Perratt’s biography of Admiral Sir James Gordon, the ‘last of Nelson’s Captains’, compares the naval career of this Royal Navy officer with the books of C. S. Forester’s fictional hero Horatio Hornblower. An entertainingly written literary and historical detective story complete with notes, bibliography, some black and white illustrations and a useful index.
In the summer of 1588 the Spanish King, Philip II, assembled the largest and most powerful fleet the world had ever seen with the object of holding the English Channel while his general, the Duke of Parma, invaded England. Against the mighty Spanish fleet Queen Elizabeth could only pit a sadly outnumbered force of relatively small ships. Yet, by the end of a fortnight of running engagements, the myth of Spanish invincibility had been destroyed and England had taken a dramatic step towards her own future supremacy over the seas of the world. Burt Hirschfeld's account is detailed, broadbased and as exciting as his subject.

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Click here to go to Grant Uden's " Drake at Cadiz " page for more details of this book at !




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