1788 Overview

  Admiral Lord Howe’s position as the first lord of the Admiralty became untenable following parliamentary disquiet at his superannuation of a large number of officers due for promotion to flag rank in favour of more worthy officers further down the captain’s list,...

1787 – Overview

  For a couple of all too brief but exciting months during the autumn the Navy mobilised to meet the threat of a French involvement in Dutch affairs, but following sound diplomacy the so-called ‘Dutch Armament’ petered out and the disappointed officers returned to the...

The Dutch Armament – October 1787

  For the best part of seven years there had been trouble in the Dutch Republic where two opposing groups, the Orange Party, led by the Stadtholder, William V Prince of Orange, and the Patriots, a group keen to see the restoration of a republic, had been vying for...

1786 Overview

  The third year of peace following the end of the American Revolutionary War was, if anything, quieter than the previous two, and the only significant public interest involving a sea officer came in July when an ecclesiastical court found the wife of Captain John...

1785 Overview

  The second year of peace remained a quiet one for the navy, with very little activity. The otherwise under-occupied Admiralty was forced to recall Commodore Sir Charles Douglas from his position as the commander-in-chief at Halifax in February due to disputes with...

1784 Overview

In 1784 hostilities with the Netherlands finally ceased. Although Ceylon was returned to the Dutch her trade had suffered greatly from the British blockade, and such was the damage to the Dutch East India Company that it would only survive for another year. Even...

1783 Overview

  On 20 January Britain, France and Spain ceased hostilities, although the war between Britain and the Netherlands continued , whilst that with the Americans only formally ended on 3 September. As a result of the ensuing peace treaty Britain retained Canada, all of...

1782 Overview

  Following the surrender of Lieutenant-General Lord Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown in October 1781 American independence was all but granted by the debt-ridden British, who now took steps to assume an ascendancy over the French before peace could be negotiated. To...