Memoirs of British Commanders During the Age of Sail

This is a list that is by no means compete, but it will give you an idea of the wealth of information that is freely available online. A memoir is a strange literary genre, and it is doesn’t even have to be autobiographical in origin. For an informed discussion of this type of writing, please come here – Why Memoirs Matter. This list will be updated as I come across additional titles. The enumeration is by name of the party in question; where the subject of the memoir is not obvious, I have provided the name.

Memoir of Captain Edward Pelham Brenton, R.N., C.B (1842)

Memoir of the life and services of Vice-admiral Sir Jahleel Brenton (1846)

A curtail’d memoir of incidents and occurrences in the life of John Surman Carden, vice admiral in the British navy. Written by himself, 1850 (1912)

The autobiography of a seaman [Thomas Cochrane] (2d ed., 2 vols, 1861) (NAM Rodger, in his Command of the Ocean, labels this work as “A mendacious work of self-justification….” 794)

Memoir of the life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington. With selections from his public and private correspondence (2 vols., 1873)

Reminiscences of a naval officer, during the late war [Abraham Crawford] (1851)

Memoir of the life and services of Admiral Sir William Hargood compiled from authentic documents (1841)

A sailor of King George; the journals of Captain Frederick Hoffman, R. N. 1793-1814 (1901)

Memoirs and letters of Capt. Sir William Hoste (2 vols., 1833)

Memoirs of the English affairs, chiefly naval, from the year 1660, to 1673. Written by his Royal Highness James, duke of York, under his administration of the lord high admiral, &c. Pub. from his original letters, and other royal authorities [James II of England] (1729)

Letters and papers of Admiral of the fleet Sir Thos. Byam Martin (3 vols, 1898 -1903

A biographical memoir of the late Sir Peter Parker, baronet, captain of His Majesty’s ship Menelaus (1815)

Memoirs of Josias Rogers, esq. : commander of His Majesty’s ship, Quebec (1808)

Historical memoirs of Admiral Charles Stirling (1826)

A memoir of William Wolseley : Admiral of the Red Squadron (1895)


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