The Loss of HMS Dædalus, 1813 We have met Captain Murray Maxwell (1775 –1831) on this blog in an article dealing with his adventures in the frigate HMS Alceste in the Far East and her subsequent shipwreck in the East Indies in 1817. On this latter occasion Murray’s superb leadership was to ensure survival of his entire crew [...]
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The Indestructible Admiral Nesbit Willoughby (1777–1849) Part 2 Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby had one of the most remarkable naval careers in the Age of Fighting Sail). The first part of this article (click here to read it) told of the first half of his service. So let’s pick up his story again. His name next came [...]
The Indestructible Admiral Nesbit Willoughby (1777–1849) Part 1 This two-part article was prompted by my perusal of a publication of mid-19th Century vintage. In it, I came across a reference to Admiral Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby (1777–1849) who “has so lately departed from the scene of earthly fame.” The writer went on to portray Nesbit [...]
Benito de Soto Pirate of the Post-Napoleonic Era – Part 2 At the end of Part 1 of this two-part article, we left the ghastly Benito de Soto and his crew of cut-throats in possession of the British-registered Morning Star, captured off Ascension Island while en route from Ceylon to Britain. (Click here to read [...]
Benito de Soto, Pirate of the Post-Napoleonic Era – Part 1 The Pirate of the early 19th Century - a brutal thug I’ve always been surprised how a romantic aura has built up around pirates, ignoring [...]
On the Royal Navy List for 96 Years - Sir Provo Wallis Wallis in 1813 I am always amazed at just what change – political, technical, economic, scientific – can occur in a single human lifetime. I was reminded of this when I saw a reference in an 1895 book to [...]
Vitus Bering: a Forgotten Hero of Exploration Soviet Stamp: 300th Anniversary of Bering When thinking of the exploration of the Pacific the name that most immediately comes for mind is that of Captain James Cook (1728 – 1779) whose three voyages in the 1760s and 70s added immensely to knowledge of that ocean. [...]
The Royal Navy’s emergency purchases, 1877/78 and the Mesrutiyet, a heroine of “Britannia’s Wolf” A key role is played in the first of the Dawlish Chronicles, “Britannia’s Wolf”, by the Ottoman-Turkish ironclad Mesrutiyet (“Constitution”) which was built by Samuda’s, a British shipyard at Poplar, on the Isle of Dogs, London. Ship-building was at that time a major industry on [...]
An Unequal Duel: Trader vs. Privateer 1744 The story of war against maritime trade in the Age of Fighting Sail is usually told, whether in fact or in fiction, from the viewpoint of the naval commerce-raider intent on prize-money. One finds few accounts which view these contests from the side of the victims. I was [...]
War in the North Sea, 1864 – The Battle of Heligoland Tegetthoff In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries the “K.u.K” – “Imperial and Royal” – Navy was probably the most efficient and well-equipped part of the Austro-Hungarian armed services. Operating out of bases on the Adriatic [...]