Research & Programmes Committee

The Research and Programmes Committee’s function is to lead encouragement of nautical research and education.

Grant Funding for Research Projects 2021-2022.

One of the main elements of the SNR Research and Programmes Committee’s work continues to be scrutinising applications each year, from those seeking grant aid for their research, and awarding funding from the Anderson Bequest Fund to those deemed the most worthy.  The amount of money available each year is limited and therefore difficult choices have to be made. However, the impact of Covid 19 on the plans of researchers has been quite devastating and pressure this year as not been so great as it has been in the past. Two  projects have been approved for 2021-2022.

Dr Philip Read (independent scholar) A Boston Schooner in the Royal Navy: Commerce and Conflict in Maritime British America, 1768—1772

This grant is supporting research into HMS Sultana, an 8 gun Boston Schooner, built in 1767 and  purchased in London for the Royal Navy in 1768. Sultana was one of those small vessels despatched back to America to  enforce the Townshend Duties in the lead up to the War of Independence, before being paid off in 1772. The study of its career ‘presents several interconnected, compelling paradoxes around which to weave an analysis of the thorny commercial and political problems faced by the British Atlantic empire at the time’. Built by the most prominent shipwright of Boston, Massachusetts, (a fervent loyalist) in a the town that, by then, had come to symbolize North American unrest to the British political establishment’.

Justin Razzell (doctoral research student, University of Greenwich)  The application of meritocracy for naval officer selection during the Interregnum

The importance of the development of the English Navy during the period of the Republic has long been acknowledged.  The navy of the Interregnum provided a sound basis for the new Royal Navy after the Restoration. The professionalisation of the navy during this period remains a key issue for debate. This research examines the role of meritocracy in naval officer selection during the period. Part of this work involves compiling an up-to-date database of Naval Officers from the Interregnum period from a number of primary and tertiary sources for analysis. It will be followed by a number of case studies.

Anderson Medal Award.

Each year the committee review books that have been nominated for this prestigious award.  Most years there are about twenty books to read and this takes up a great deal of the committee’s time before a short list is drawn up and a final winning book chosen by the end of the year.

Membership of the Research & Programmes Committee

Membership of the Committee is drawn from a mixture of ordinary members of the Society, Vice Presidents and members of Council.  They also come from a variety of backgrounds, both academic and non-academic, and have a wide spectrum of knowledge and experience. Currently they are:

Richard Harding (Chairman):  Professor Richard Harding is Head of Department of Leadership, Development and Organisation and Professor of Organisational History at Westminster University.  He has written extensively on the development of navies and has particular interest in amphibious operations.  Editor of The Mariner’s Mirror for five years from 2000, Richard was then Chairman of the Council during the years leading up to the celebrations of the Society’s centenary in 2011 and is at present a Vice President. He was awarded Fellowship of the SNR in 2015 for his outstanding contribution to the Society.

John Ross (Secretary): John Ross served in the Regular Army, the RAF and the Reserves.  He has a BA in War Studies from Kings College London and an MA in Naval History from Exeter University.  He has worked as an Historian at the Army’s Land Warfare Centre and now works as an independent analyst on military affairs.  He has served on the SNR Research & Programmes Committee for a number of years and is a member of the British Commission for Military History plus the Guild of Battlefield Guides. He is currently researching The Development of Command and Control systems in the Naval Home Commands in WW2.

Ann Coats: Dr Ann Coats is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, teaching heritage and the built environment.  In 1996 she co-founded and now chairs the Naval Dockyards Society. In 2000 she co-founded and coordinated (until 2015) the Porter’s Garden at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. She served on the SNR Research & Programmes Committee 2005-9 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2015.  Research publications concern the history and re-use of dockyards, mutiny and convicts, a three-year Historic England / Naval Dockyards Society project culminating in 20th Century Naval Dockyards: Devonport and Portsmouth Characterisation Report (2015). She is currently consultant historian to the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust.

Edward Hampshire:  Dr Edward Hampshire worked at the Public Record Office and National Archives for nearly ten years, latterly as Principal Records Specialist with responsibility for diplomatic, colonial and intelligence records.  He has written numerous articles and papers and is the author of the books From East of Suez to the Eastern Atlantic, British Naval Policy 1964-70 and British Intelligence: Secrets, Spies and Sources. Edward was previously Secretary to the Research & Programmes Committee of the SNR and in 2012 he joined the Defence and International Affairs Department of the RMA Sandhurst.

Alan James: Dr Alan James is a Senior Lecturer at King’s College London.  He is currently director of MA studies in the ‘History of Warfare’ and among other roles he is a trustee of the British Commission for Maritime History and the reviews editor of the Journal of Strategic Studies.  As an author his award winning books include The Navy and Government in Early Modern France 1572-1661 and The Origins of French Absolutism 1598-1661.  He is currently working on a collaborative study of European navies and warfare and on a critical survey of French sea power from 1540s to 1815.

Barbara Jones: Barbara Jones is the Curator of Heritage at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. She is an elected member of the British Commission for Maritime History, the China National Maritime Research Council and chair of the Maritime Information Association. As well as writing numerous papers she was co-author and editor for the publications Lloyd’s Register: 250 Years of Service and Maritime Science and Technology: Changing our World. She has contributed to both Hattendorf’s The Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History and Wiley’s Encyclopaedia of Marine and Offshore Engineering, and was for many years the editor of Maritime Informer.

Campbell McMurray: Dr Campbell McMurray was born in Campbeltown, Argyll in June 1941, educated there and in Edinburgh; he took up an apprenticeship in marine heavy engineering and served as an engineer officer in the mercantile marine before entering the University of Leicester in 1967.  Graduate studies at the LSE followed and in 1970 he was appointed the first Caird Research Fellow at the National Maritime Museum.  Subsequently Assistant Keeper in the Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts, with responsibilities principally for the merchant shipping collections and curator in charge of the Royal Brass Foundry, he left to become the founding Director of the Scottish Maritime Museum in 1983 before becoming director of the Royal Naval Museum in 1989.  Retiring from the appointment in 2006 he has variously served as a member of the Advisory Committee of National Historic Ships from its inception in that year until 2011 and more recently as a member of the board of the SS Great Britain Trust.  He is currently a Vice President of the SNR, President of SNR(S) and was awarded the Fellowship of the Society in 2015.

Susan Rose:  Dr Susan Rose was first elected to the Council of the SNR in the 1960s while still working on her PhD thesis on the navy of the Lancastrian Kings.  She was later elected as Trustee under the old Articles of Association and eventually as Vice President of the SNR.  She has been closely involved with the affairs of the Society for over fifty years.  During that period she has continued her research into medieval shipping publishing a number of books and articles including Medieval Naval Warfare, The Medieval Sea and also England’s Medieval Navy for which she was awarded the Anderson Medal in 2014.  She was previously Chair of the Research and Programmes Committee and is a member of the Editorial Board of The Mariner’s Mirror. She is also currently a Council member and a past Vice President of the Naval Record Society for which she edited Vol.VII of the Miscellanea. Susan was awarded Fellowship of the SNR in 2015 in recognition of her work in the furtherance of the Society’s objectives.

Ex Officio

Alistair Roach (Hon. Sec)

Admiral Sir Kenneth Eaton (Chairman)

Lorna Campbell (Chairman P&M Committee)

Richard Bateman (Chairman H&C Committee)