The Intercontinental Junk Keying, 1846 In a 1912 book entitled “The Sea Trader – His Friends and Enemies” I came across the engraving illustrated here. I found it wholly fascinating as it refers to the Keying, “The first junk that ever rounded the Cape of Good Hope, as she appeared off Gravesend, 28th March 1848, 477 days from Canton” My interest [...]
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Prize Money: Frigates, Snobbery - and Jane Austen HMS Pomone - frigate, archetypal prize taker In naval fiction set in the Age of Fighting Sail, prize money, accruing from the capture of enemy shipping which would subsequently be sold to third parties or bought by the Admiralty, is rightly shown as an important driver for [...]
More Privateer Action in the Channel: 1799 An earlier article (Click here if you missed it) told of a small vicious action between a British merchant ship and a French privateer in the English Channel at the start of the Revolutionary War in 1793. In the years that followed the pace was not to [...]
Privateer Action in the English Channel: 1793 Probably like many others I have always thought of privateers in the Age of Fighting Sail as preying on enemy merchant shipping on commercial routes in open ocean, far from land. My perception has however been changed by an 1889 book, “Betwixt the Forelands”, [...]
The Loss of the Russian cruiser Pallada, October 1914 The illustration below is from a German WW1 part-work, published monthly, in this case in 1914/15. It is an artist’s impression of the destruction of the Bayan-class Russian armoured cruiser Pallada on 11th October 1914. There were no survivors from Pallada's 597-man crew when she blew up after [...]
HMS Warrior: Britain’s first ironclad, today restored HMS Warrior, located today at the Portsmouth, United Kingdom was the Royal Navy’s first ironclad, revolutionary when launched in 1860 and now restored to how she then looked. Her active career was short – fifteen years – as she was quickly made obsolete by newer vessels as [...]
Hell and High Water: HMS Nautilus, 1807 Part 2 At the end of Part 1 of this article (Click here to read it if you missed it) we left Captain Palmer and the remaining survivors of the brig-of-war HMS Nautilus, starving and exposed on a low and storm-lashed rocky islet close to the Greek [...]
Hell and High Water: HMS Nautilus, 1807 Part 1 In November 1806 a Royal Navy squadron commanded by Admiral Sir John Duckworth (1748 – 1817) was sent to reconnoitre the Dardanelles as a preliminary for a move against Constantinople (now Istanbul) in what would be the Anglo-Turkish War of 1807-1809. Attached to the force [...]
Guest Blog by Chris Durbin Author of the Carlisle and Holbrooke series Introduction by Antoine Vanner: As author Chris Durbin tells in the introduction to the article he contributes below, I met him at the Weymouth Leviathan Literary Festival in 2016, at which I ran a workshop on plotting of historical novels and he was [...]