Chairman of the Society
Acting Chairman of the Society
Dr J.D. Davies, MA, DPhil, FRHistS, FSNR
David Davies is an award-winning historian and bestselling author who writes as J D Davies. His book Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and the Royal Navy won the society’s Anderson Prize for 2017, and also received a Certificate of Merit for the Maritime Foundation’s Mountbatten Prize in the same year. Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89 won the Samuel Pepys Prize for 2009, while Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales was shortlisted for the Mountbatten Prize in 2013. David is also a past winner of the Julian Corbett Prize for Naval History. Wearing his other hat as an author of nautical historical fiction, David’s bestselling series ‘The Journals of Matthew Quinton’, set in the seventeenth century and with eight titles published to date, has been described by The Times as ‘a series of real panache’, while his most recent novels, under the collective title ‘Jack Stannard of the Navy Royal’, form a trilogy set in the Tudor period.
David is a Fellow of the SNR and of the Royal Historical Society. He served as chairman of the Naval Dockyards Society from 2005 to 2013 and is a former vice-president of the Navy Records Society. He has been a member of SNR since 1985, serving on Council from 2010-17, as chair of the society’s Research and Programmes Committee from 2015-20, and as a vice-president from 2017-20. His principal research interests are naval history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, British warships of the post-war era, and the maritime history of south-west Wales. Other interests include rugby (supporting Scarlets and Wales), obscure Renaissance and Baroque choral music, travel, walking and reading.
David was a career teacher of History and Politics who ultimately became Deputy Headmaster (Academic) of Bedford Modern School, one of the largest and most successful independent day schools in the east of England. ‘Being Welsh’ was regarded as sufficient qualification for him to be appointed coach of the Under-15B rugby team, and ‘being interested in naval history’ was similarly regarded as sufficient qualification for him to be appointed to the Combined Cadet Force with the rank of Sub-Lieutenant RNR, in which capacity he served for six years. He was part of the leadership team which conceived and implemented the school’s switch to co-education. He lives in Bedfordshire with his partner, the education journalist and author Wendy Berliner.