‘We’ve Got Pepys Bang to Rights This Time,’ said Morse

Every now and again, a historian comes across something which is so far from left field that it’s actually from a completely different farm. That’s certainly the case with the discovery made a few years back by my friend and colleague, Richard Endsor, author of The Restoration Warship. As he’s doing a ‘star turn’ next weekend, dressing […]

Incoming Angel, Part 2

The publication of Death’s Bright Angel, the new Quinton novel, is getting ever closer, so here’s another ‘teaser trailer’ for the book! This describes the destruction of the Dutch merchant shipping in the Vlie anchorage on 9 and 10 August 1666 (Old Style; 19 and 20 August on the calendar used by the Dutch, so the […]

A Darker Angel

Last week, I posted the first few pages of the fictional plot of Death’s Bright Angel as a ‘teaser trailer’ for the book’s forthcoming publication. But as I’ve mentioned before, this title is actually ‘two books in one’, with the second part being a detailed historical analysis of the evidence surrounding the outbreak of the Great Fire. […]

Cry God for Charlie, England, and Saint James!

Today, 25 July 2016, is Saint James’ day in the Church of England’s liturgical calendar, and exactly 350 years ago, the relatively little known Saint James’ day battle took place in the waters of the southern North Sea. This was a sequel to the huge Four Days’ Battle that had been fought at the beginning […]

Dead Admirals Society in the Highlands

Sometimes, one comes across dead admirals in unexpected ways and unexpected places. This was definitely the case during our recent road trip back from Orkney, where we’d been during the Jutland commemorations. On our journey north, my ‘significant other’ – the ‘LadyQJ’ of my Twitter feed – spotted a sign for a pottery whose products […]

The 350th Anniversary of the Four Days Battle, 1666

The posting of this blog coincides with the exact 350th anniversary of the start of the Four Days’ Battle in 1666. Perfectly understandably, all of the media and social media attention focused on naval history this week has centred on the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, so this is my attempt to redress the […]

Highways and Byways of the 17th Century: the Naval Engagement at Swansea, 1660- The Last Shots of the British Civil Wars?

This week, I’m cross-posting a blog that I first published earlier in the week on my Welsh naval history site, britanniasdragon.com. The restoration of the monarch in 1660 was an astonishingly rapid development, one which could hardly have been foreseen at all until just before it actually took place. Inevitably, this led to much confusion, […]

The British Fleet at the Battle of the Texel / Kijkduin, 11/21 August 1673 – Part 2

The second part of a detailed analysis by Frank Fox and myself… Last week’s post described the context and events of the Battle of the Texel, and its decisive influence on public opinion that led to Britain’s withdrawal from the Third Anglo-Dutch War.  However, to understand the battle properly – as, indeed, is the case […]

The British Fleet at the Battle of the Texel / Kijkduin, 11/21 August 1673 – Part 1

A major event on the blog this week and next! My old website contained a piece which attempted to list the British line of battle at the important Battle of the Texel (known to the Dutch as the Battle of Kijkduin), the final engagement during the three Anglo-Dutch wars of the seventeenth century. This, in […]

The Real Gentlemen Captains, Redux, Part I

In the lead-up to my appearance on 13 March at Weymouth Leviathan, Britain’s first maritime literary festival, I thought I’d reblog some of my very earliest posts on this site, from November 2011, about some of the characters who will be making appearances during my talk. Here’s the first of them! People often ask me […]