The Mariners Mirror Archive

Note: The Complements of Four Dutch Ships Taken at the Texel in 1799

By Nicholas Blake

In 1799 an Anglo-Russian expedition under the overall command of Admiral Duncan sailed for Holland to land on the Helder and take possession of the fleet of the Batavian Republic in the Texel in the name of the Prince of Orange, and to provoke or encourage an uprising against the French occupiers. The land part […] Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | Baltic | French Revolution
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

Note: Admiral Byng: Justice thwarted

By Peter Cowell

Admiral John Byng wrote on 25 May 1756 (five days after the inconclusive engagement or defeat on 20 May 1756) a despatch on the ship Ramillies, off Minorca, and sent it to ‘the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty’ in London. On 26 June 1756 ministers omitted crucial parts of it when the London Gazette printed what appeared to […] Read More

Filed under: Seven Years’ War | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Science & Exploration

Document: The Autobiography of W. G. Hammock (1825–1912), Marine Engineer

By Brendan O’Farrell

William George Hammock (1825–1912) wrote a memoir in 1905 he described as ‘a few rather random and out of the way jottings by an octogenarian engineer’. He worked first at the engineering works of Blyth’s of Limehouse before joining the Thames marine engineers J. & W. Dudgeon at the Sun Iron Works, Millwall in 1859 […] Read More

Filed under: Nineteenth Century | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Science & Exploration | Shipbuilding & Design

Forgotten Memoirs: The Second World War as remembered by the Aircrew of RAF Coastal Command

By Hugh Pattenden

This article considers the published writings of aircrew from RAF Coastal Command who served during the Second World War. While there has been extensive discussion about how the war was presented by flyers from other RAF commands, the accounts of the men who fought the maritime air war have received scant attention. This article shows […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | North Sea | WW2
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Harbours & Dockyards | Naval Aviation | Strategy & Diplomacy

A One-way Street? Admiral James Somerville and Anglo-American Naval Relations, 1942

By Corbin Williamson

Admiral Sir James Somerville’s command of the Eastern Fleet in 1942 caused serious tensions in Anglo-American naval relations despite the admiral’s personal efforts to cultivate closer ties with the US Navy. Specifically, US Navy admirals such as Ernest King felt that while the US Navy had helped the Royal Navy in its hour of need, […] Read More

Filed under: WW2 | Indian Ocean | Pacific
Subjects include: Strategy & Diplomacy

Neutral Waters? British Diplomacy of Force in the Canary Islands at the Start of the First World War

By Javier Ponce

At the beginning of the First World War, Britain had to confront a phenomenal challenge. Faced with the indisputable British naval hegemony, Germany launched the cruiser warfare, using armed merchant ships as auxiliary cruisers, as its first offensive weapon in the economic war, attacking trade from the South Atlantic, through which much of the British […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Baltic | WW1 | English Channel | North Sea
Subjects include: Strategy & Diplomacy

The Final Weeks of Service and Wreck of PS Comet, 1820

By Tony Dalton

PS Comet, Europe’s first commercial steamship, launched in 1812, was rebuilt to new dimensions in 1819 with improved machinery, and wrecked in 1820. These facts are known, but not very much accurate detail exists about its wrecking. Many books and articles on the Comet repeat the same basic information, in some cases with minor variations and ambiguities which […] Read More

Filed under: Nineteenth Century | Other (Nineteenth C) | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Ocean Liners & Passenger Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

Figureheads and Symbolism Between the Medieval and the Modern: The ship Griffin or Gribshunden, one of the last Sea Serpents?

By Niklas Eriksson

The Griffin or, as it was sometimes called, Gribshunden (griffin hound) was a ship that belonged to the Danish–Norwegian King Hans. The ship sank in 1495 and was one of the largest and most modern warships of its day. In 2015 a peculiar figurehead carving was raised from the wreck. It is shaped like a beast swallowing a man […] Read More

Filed under: Baltic | High Middle Ages | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Ship Models & Figureheads | Shipbuilding & Design

Obituary: Peter N. Davies (1927–2020)

By Hugh Murphy

Professor Peter Neville Davies, who died peacefully at home on 19 March after a prolonged hospitalization, had a seminal influence in the development of maritime economic history. He spent his entire academic career at the University of Liverpool where he studied under, and later worked with, Professor Francis Hyde, Chaddock Professor of Economic History… Read More

Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea

Notes: Corrigenda

By Pieter van der Merwe

I have to correct, with apology, three accidental slips in the notes on T. D. Ledward’s Bounty letters that appeared in the November 2018 issue1. The first (n22) is that Albemarle Bertie’s final rank was full admiral and baronet, not knighted vice-admiral. The second (n54) is that neither Bligh’s bible nor prayerbook are in the National Maritime […] Read More

Filed under: American Revolution | Eighteenth Century | French Revolution | Pacific
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

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