Sam's Blog

The Boy Who Stood on the Burning Deck

Date Posted: 19/09/2010

Was the son of the captain of the French flagship L’Orient at the battle of the Nile (1798). The captain’s surname was Casabianca, which is why the famous poem that begins ‘The boy stood on the burning deck’ is called Casabianca. I have just found a great eye-witness report .... Read More

British Museum Discoveries

Date Posted: 15/09/2010

Those who have been following me on Twitter (twitter/navalhistoryguy) will know that I have spent most of the week  trying to hunt down some sketches relating to the Glorious Firsts of June (1794) and yesterday I found them! They were made by a chap called Philip Jacques de .... Read More

The Duke of York’s Dog

Date Posted: 14/09/2010

James, Duke of York was one of the finest fighting Admirals of the seventeenth century. He was the brother of Charles II and Charles made him Lord High Admiral even though he had no experience of the sea. James went on to lead the British at the battles of Lowestoft (1665) .... Read More

The Admiral Benbow. You never knew that.

Date Posted: 14/09/2010

Advance copies of The Admiral Benbow have come through today which is very exciting. So here’s some facts you didn’t know about Benbow to get everyone excited. 1. Benbow lived for a while in John Evelyn’s House in Deptford, but then sub-let it to Peter the .... Read More

Chatham Dockyard, The Fighting Temeraire and HMS Achilles.

Date Posted: 28/08/2010

Geoffrey Winter has kindly got in touch from Australia because he was particularly interested in the construction of the Temeraire at Chatham Dockyard.  His great great great grandfather, John Weekes, was the Assistant Master Shipwright at Chatham until his retirement in .... Read More

Anniversary of the Capture of the Temeraire

Date Posted: 19/08/2010

   August is an excellent month for naval anniversaries. We had the 308th anniversary of Benbow’s Last Fight last week and today is the 251st anniversary of the capture of the Temeraire. The ‘Fighting Temeraire’ so famously painted by Turner being taken to the .... Read More

Benbow’s Last Fight

Date Posted: 16/08/2010

308 years ago on Wednesday, Admiral John Benbow fought his last fight in which he was wounded and later died. He was abandoned by his captains and ‘Benbow’s Last Fight’ has since become a famous example of naval cowardice that represents the bottom of the scale of British .... Read More

Navy Days Book Signing

Date Posted: 02/08/2010

I was lucky enough to do a book signing at the Royal Naval base in Portsmouth last weekend and witnessed the extraordinary popularity of the annual Navy Days celebration. Some 25,000 came through the gates and there were lengthy queues to see the new Type 45 destroyers .... Read More

Top Ten British Naval Victories

Date Posted: 28/04/2010

Follow the link here for my Top Ten British Naval Victories published in the Mail on Sunday /moslive/article-1255826/Ten-greatest-British-naval-victories-A-look-nations-hardest-fought-battles-sea.html I am sure you will all have something to .... Read More

Haiti today and Port Royal, Jamaica, in 1692

Date Posted: 21/01/2010

Whilst reading all the horror stories coming from Haiti, it is worth remembering that Haiti is opposite Jamaica where there was a devastating earthquake at Port Royal in 1692, which raised many of the same problems. Perhaps 5000 of a population of 6,500 died, but only 1/5th .... Read More