Naval evolutions; a memoir . . . Containing a review and refutation of the principal essays and arguments advocating Mr. Clerk’s claims, in relation to the manoeuvre of the 12th of April, 1782; and vindicating, by tactical demonstration, and numerous authentic documents, the professional skill of the British officers chiefly concerned on that memorable occasion.

London, Thomas & William Boone, 1832.

8vo (220 x 145 mm), pp. [iv], 101, [3], xxiii, [1], 16 (advertisements), with 15 plates (one folding); some gatherings unopened; original moire greenish-black cloth with original printed paper label on front cover; a little rubbed, wear at head and foot of spine.

£750

Approximately:
US $1003€849

Make an enquiry

First edition: presentation copy inscribed and signed by the author to his daughter, Mary. A defence of Sir Charles Douglas’s claim to have been responsible for the breaking of the line tactic at the battle of the Saints and not, as the rival school of thought believed, John Clerk, author of An essay on naval tactics (1790, ‘the first complete and original work on naval tactics written in English’: Tracy, Naval warfare in the age of sail p. 187).

The dispute arose following Clerk’s death in 1812, when the true origin of the manoeuvre Clerk was said to have devised and which was used by Rodney at the battle of the Saints was questioned. ‘In an article published in the Quarterly Review (1829) Howard Douglas, the son of Rodney’s flag officer, Sir Charles Douglas, maintained that his father, not Clerk, had invented this tactic. The claim triggered a response from Clerk’s supporters in the Edinburgh Review (1830), where it was alleged that Rodney and Douglas had read Clerk’s report, passed on by Richard Atkinson, on the morning of the battle. In 1832 Howard Douglas asked why the first part of Clerk’s Essay had not included a reference to the manoeuvre, and accused Clerk of appropriating Rodney’s innovation as his own and of plagiarizing Paul Hoste’s Art des armées navales (1697). Clerk himself had maintained in 1804 that his ideas were not fully developed at the time of the battle of the Saints, and that his thinking had not finally come together until the late 1790s, when he published details of the manoeuvre’ (Oxford DNB).


T2290

You may also be interested in...

COLOMB, Philip Howard.

Naval warfare. Its ruling principles and practice historically treated . . . Second edition. Revised and corrected, with additional chapter on recent illustrations, and new maps and plans.

First published in 1891. The author notes that in ‘preparing the second edition for the press, a certain temptation to re-write portions of the work presented itself . . . . But I soon found that any re-writing would necessitate a change in the whole character of the work, and that I should present the public with a new work and not with the second edition of an old one’ (preface). Colomb was, therefore, content with making corrections, adding chapters on the Chilean Civil War and the First Sino-Japanese War, and an extended preface analysing the criticism which this work had received when first published, especially that relating to his opinions on the Battle of Beachey Head (1690).

Read more

LEAKE, Stephen Martin.

Heraldo Memoriale, or Memoirs of the College of Arms from 1727 to 1744. Edited by Anthony Richard Wagner.

Stephen Martin Leake was Garter principal king of arms from 1754 to 1773. The three volumes of his extensive manuscript journal, Heraldo-Memoriale, are preserved in the College of Arms.

Read more