Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

Officials in Modern Great Britain

July 31, 2017

When I am reading my various British naval fiction series, I sometimes come across office titles that I am not aware of. Thankfully, there is recourse to the multi-volume Office-Holders in Modern Britain, a post-medieval enumeration of who held what office, whether in the Home Office or the Foreign Office or in any of what seem to be innumerable bureaucratic entities. Each volume opens with a brief history of the office in question, followed by a list of appointees, dates where possible, and notes to further sources. These volumes constitute the ONLY published source of this type of information. It can be supplemented by the Database of Court Officers, “…an online computer database providing the career histories of every remunerated officer and servant of the English royal household from the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.”


Terms of Naval Armistice That Ended World War 1

March 22, 2017

The full text of the document is here; in it are listed the names of the interned High Seas Fleet ships.

Royal Navy Sailing Ships’ Histories

December 17, 2015

Ships of the Old Navy provides not only an enumeration of ships between 1750 and 1840, but also recounts their history and in some cases prints contemporary source documents involving the ship in question. Entries can range from a terse description like this one for the cutter Hector to a comprehensive history for the first rate Victory. Another worthwhile resource is Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels and some of their movements that includes 5,000 ships and recounts their exploits, many of them from William James’ six-volume Naval History of Great Britain (1837).

Royal Navy Command Lists

November 17, 2015

Two detailed  directories of interest are available online.  Royal Navy Senior Appointments with some data going back to 1859; it includes present appointments as well. Appointments are not just at the top levels but include various departments within the Royal Navy; i.e. Controller of the Navy, the Torpedo Division, etc. The second list – Captains Commanding Royal Navy Ships – features commands back to the mid-1860s and is broken down by type of ship.

Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy

September 1, 2015

The Royal Navy may have had command of the oceans, but no navy has ever mastered them. Shipwrecks are an inevitable consequence from which the Royal Navy was not immune. In Narratives of shipwrecks of the Royal Navy between 1793 and 1857 / compiled principally from official documents in the Admiralty (3d ed., 1864), W. O. Gilly presents selected examples of these maritime disasters as well as a list of all shipwrecks between 1793 and 1857. A rather lengthy preface by W. S. Gilly (The author’s father, a writer in his own right, who possessed “…a warm interest in all that concerns the navy”. vii) makes for fascinating reading.

Online Reading Room of the Navy Department Library

January 20, 2015

Here in the online reading room, you can find many publications arranged either chronologically, alphabetically, or by title. For instance, using the chronological listing, you can find many primary sources ranging from the enabling legislation for the creation of the United States Navy to contemporary reports on hurricanes during the War of 1812. A great place to visit!

Navy Lists

January 13, 2015

These lists contain the names of officers, their rank and the date of their attaining said rank (seniority). The British version for much of the 19th century can be found here in a non-sequential fashion; they start out with the flag officers, followed by captains, and then other ranks, including who is in charge of individual ports and hospital. Non-commissioned officers are also included; i.e., masters, chaplains, surgeons, pursers, etc. Tables for pay and half-pay along with correspondence from the Admiralty are appended. British navy lists for the 20th century (mostly for WWI and WWII) are online; these are arranged differently than their earlier counterparts but are still easy to navigate. American navy lists (technically called naval registers), again in scattered runs, are accessible electronically.

Guide to Naval Records at the U.K. National Archives

January 12, 2015

Co-authored by the naval historian N.A.M. Rodger, this 2008 second edition A Guide to the Naval Records in the National  Archives of the UK, is a vade mecum for researchers. It contains a brief introduction, an administrative history, a full index, a list of personal papers, and a detailed breakdown of records from the earliest times until the mid-1970s.

Directory of East India Company Ships

November 30, 2011

East India Company Ships provides the researcher with a list of those ships in the service of the Company. It is a site under construction, but it is one that is continuously updated. Presently, one can look up vessels by their name and retrieve whatever extant information has been presented: type of rig, tonnage, years of service, number of voyages, etc. Also wrecked, captured, or missing ships can also be searched. The Calendar of State Papers: Colonial: East Indies, China, and Japan offer insights into this part of the world dating back to the 16th century. In addition, The English Factories in India, a multi-volume undertaking, is a fascinating read of the Company’s businesses between 1618 and 1660. The BBC offers a good overview of the EIC as does the Victorian Web.

British Navy Board Officials, 1660-1832

November 22, 2011

Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 7 – Navy Board Officials, 1660-1832 is an exhaustive compilation of the various offices, officials who held them, the years in service, and notes to supporting documentation. The volume also contains an alphabetical list of officials as well as an index of all the offices.