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Biographia Navalis
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Online publication date: November 2011
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • First published in: 1798
  • Online ISBN: 9780511794032
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511794032
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Book description

John Charnock (1756–1807) was a professional naval biographer and historian. After completing his studies at Trinity College, Oxford, he joined the Navy as a volunteer and began to research historical and contemporary naval affairs. This six-volume work, first published between 1794 and 1798, contains biographies of over two thousand post-captains and admirals who served in the Navy between 1660 and 1793. Charnock researched this monumental project using historical naval biographies made available by his friend Captain William Locker, lieutenant-governor of Greenwich Hospital. He also drew on his own experiences and his contacts among serving officers to provide valuable insights into contemporary events. However, his sometimes uncritical approach to sources means his work is best consulted together with other evidence. The biographies are arranged by year of first appointment, and alphabetically within each year. Volume 6 covers officers appointed between 1747 and 1763, and admirals to 1793.

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