Archive Results For: American Revolution

The Blockade of Brest in the French Revolutionary War

By Richard Saxby

This is the story of how during the eighteenth-century wars a western squadron stationed so as to cover the main French base at Brest became a kingpin of British strategy. A fleet capable of matching anything the French might put to sea placed in what the sailors of the time called the Soundings effectually deterred […] Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | Austrian Succession | Seven Years’ War | English Channel | American Revolution | French Revolution
Subjects include: Administration | Harbours & Dockyards | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

Home Waters or America? The Dilemma of British Naval Strategy in 1778

By David Syrett

At the beginning of 1778, France was about to ally itself with the rebelling American colonists and declare war on Britain. Should Britain send a squadron to protect British possessions in North America and the Caribbean, or concentrate all available vessels in the Channel Fleet to prevent a French invasion of England? The author traces […] Read More

Filed under: American Revolution
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

The Hosken Family Papers: a Naval Genealogy

By Margot & Alex Tyrrell

The Hosken papers describe a naval genealogy spanning the late 18th century to the mid 20th century and an area of action almost as wide as the British Empire. The article is intended primarily to reveal the richness of the papers as a historical source. It outlines the family’s connection with the Royal navy through […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Napoleonic War | WW1 | Interwar | WW2 | American Revolution | French Revolution | Mediterranean | Other (Nineteenth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Biography | Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies | Science & Exploration

The Fitting Out of H.M. Storeship Elephant, July 1776

By David Syrett

The Navy Board during the American War operated scores of storeships, transports, and victuallers. Most, but not all, of these vessels were either chartered or purchased by the government. Using archival records and plans, the author discusses the modifications and outfitting of the Elephant for service.  The Navy Board had the ship which would become […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

The Royal Navy and Canadian Dominion

By Barry M. Gough

A survey covering four centuries of the Royal Navy’s role in the founding of Canada and the dominion’s vital place in British strategy after the loss of America. James Cook mapped Newfoundland, Edward Owen and Henry Bayfield surveyed the Great Lakes, and John Franklin Parry charted the vast western coast. Through the 19th century Canada […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Tudors | War of 1812 | James Cook | American Revolution | Pacific
Subjects include: Science & Exploration | Strategy & Diplomacy

Two Scottish Marines in the American War: the Letters of William and James Home of Broomhouse, 1778–1782

By Alan G. Jamieson

This article is based on a collection of 50 letters, archived in the Scottish Records Office, sent by two young Scots, James and William Home, to their father from 1778-1782, when they were serving as lieutenants of marines during the American War of Independence. The letters give a picture of the daily life of officers […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Biography | Navies

Graves and Hood

By J.A. Sulivan

The author refutes/questions the arguments in an article by Kenneth Breen (MM 66). He examines the controversy relating to the relevant competence of Rear Admiral Thomas Graves and his second in command Sir Samuel Hood at the indecisive action at Chesapeake Bay, 1781. Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography

Rodney and The Saints: A Reassessment

By J D Spinney

This is a new look at Rodney’s handling of the Battle of The Saints, arising from the question of why Rodney himself reputedly ‘thought little of it’. It looks at the poor quality of British sea officers prior to the battle, and after Rodney had shaken them back into shape, and gives examples. It then […] Read More

Filed under: American Revolution | Caribbean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography

Graves and Hood at the Chesapeake

By Kenneth Breen

The battle off Chesapeake in 1781 between British and French squadrons led by Admirals Graves and de Grasse may have been indeterminate but the recriminations that followed have persisted. This paper presents a positive reappraisal of Graves’ actions, while criticizing Hood’s claim that his commanding officer was “not equal to the command of a great […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | American Revolution | Caribbean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics

Admiral James Young and the ‘Pirateers’, 1777

By A. G. Jamieson

Shortly after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War a rash of uncommissioned ‘pirateers’ began to operate from the Leeward Islands. The admiral commanding the squadron, James Young, took a hard line, detaining some of the ships involved. The matter became the subject of legal dispute on Antigua with Young himself arrested and sued. The […] Read More

Filed under: American Revolution | Caribbean
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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