Author Results for Brian Vale

Book Review-‘Greenwich and its Lost Hospitals: Havens of maritime welfare’ by G. C. Cook

By Brian Vale

Professor Cook is a distinguished physician with international experience. Since 2002, he has served as honorary archivist to the Seamen’s Hospital Society (SHS), and it is in this appointment that the genesis of this book lies. The SHS was a charitable institution founded in 1821 to provide medical services to seamen. It operated from three […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration

Book Review – ‘Poxed & Scurvied: The story of sickness and health at sea’ by Kevin Brown

By Brian Vale

Kevin Brown’s book is the latest, and most ambitious, example of the growing interest in maritime disease and medicine. Its purpose, as demonstrated in the sub-title – forget the ‘sexed up’ references to pox and scurvy – is to tell ‘the Story of Sickness and Health at Sea.’ Inevitably, the need to cover a period […] Read More

Filed under: Late Middle Ages | Early Modern | Eighteenth Century | Nineteenth Century | Health at Sea | Twentieth Century
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

Pitch, Paint, Varnish and the Changing Colour Schemes of Royal Navy Warships, 1775–1815: A summary of existing knowledge

By Brian Vale

It is a long-standing assumption that the colour scheme of British warships between 1775 and 1815 changed from yellow hulls, through the yellow and black Nelson chequer to the ubiquitous black and white; while the interiors and bulwarks were first painted red, then yellow ochre, then a range of light colours including green. In the […] Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | French Revolution
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Navies

The Post Office, The Admiralty and Letters to Sailors in the Napoleonic Wars

By Brian Vale

By 1790 the Post Office ran a service using mail coaches and sailing packets that was fast, safe and reliable. High postal rates, however, restricted its use to merchants and the more affluent, and there were no special arrangements for the armed services. In 1795 this changed. Recognizing the benefits to morale, the authorities introduced […] Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War
Subjects include: Administration | Logistics

The Conquest of Scurvy in the Royal Navy 1793-1800: a Challenge to Current Orthodoxy

By Brian Vale

The article reviews how the Royal Navy attempted to understand the cause of scurvy, followed by implementation of a cure and prevention. James Lind undertook trials to cure this common illness, most often found on the long journeys to warmer climates, and the trials he conducted influenced Sir Gilbert Blane and Dr Thomas Trotter to […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Health at Sea | Other (location)
Subjects include: Navies

Appointment, Promotion and ‘Interest’ in the British South America Squadron, 1821-3

By Brian Vale

Following the reduction in the size of the Royal Navy after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, appointment and promotion were significantly affected. The focus is on the British South American Squadron commanded by Commodore Sir Thomas Hardy. The transition from midshipman to lieutenant is becomes critical as a commissioned officer, if unemployed, received half-pay […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Navies

The Brazilian Blockade of the River Plate 1826-1828: Prizes, Politics and International Protest

By Brian Vale

During the Brazilian-Argentine war of 1826-28, the Brazilian Navy instituted a blockade of the River Plate.  They had a respectable naval force, but were hampered by the fact that Argentina’s major trading partners were Britain, the USA and France, all of which had considerable naval and diplomatic clout at their disposal.  The blockade was initially […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

Almirante William Brown and the Battle of Corales, 1826: Winners and Losers

By Brian Vale

The battle between Commodore William Brown and his small squadron of Argentinian vessels and the Brazilian forces was, according to his report, at best inconclusive as a result of the lack of suport from his junior officers.   However once the reports of the other Argentinian commanders had been read and their evidence taken, they were […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Popular Topics | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography | Navies

British Sailors and the Brazilian Navy 1822–1850

By Brian Vale

The liberation of Brazil was decided in 1823. Jose Bonifacio’s, government created a new Imperial Navy. First Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane led the new Navy to total victory in a short and brilliant campaign of only six months. Cochrane could not have achieved this alone. In 1825 there were 174 commissioned officers in the Brazilian […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Strategy & Diplomacy

Lord Cochrane in Brazil Part II Prize Money, Politics and Rebellion, 1824-25

By Brian Vale

As usual, Lord Cochrane’s stunning victories in Brazil were quickly followed by bitter disputes over money and ever-deepening suspicions of the motivation of his employers.  Unable for political reasons to condemn all Cochrane’s Portuguese prizes, alternative attempts to satisfy his financial claims floundered on the Admiral’s refusal to believe in the Brazilian Government’s good faith.  […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography | Navies

Lord Cochrane in Brazil Part I The Naval War of Independence 1823

By Brian Vale

In 1822, under Lord Cochrane’s audacious leadership the new Brazilian Navy swept superior Portuguese forces from the seas, forced them to abandon their stronghold of Salvador de Bahia and then, in a series of audacious bluffs, secured the evacuation of their garrisons from the northern cities of Maranhão and Belem.  By the end of the […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Biography | Navies

The Creation of the Imperial Brazilian Navy 1822-1823

By Brian Vale

When, in September 1822, the Prince Regent Pedro declared Brazil’s independence from Portugal, the key element in the strategic situation was to take command of the seas. But how?  Brazil had no navy, and lacked ships, equipment, money and reliable officers and men.  Based on Brazilian and British archival sources, this article explains how it […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Administration | Logistics | Navies