A CURTAIL'D MEMOIR OF INCIDENTS AND OCCURRENCES IN THE LIFE OF JOHN SURMAN CARDEN, VICE ADMIRAL IN THE BRITISH NAVY. WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, 1850, NOW FIRST PRINTED AND EDITED.

Atkinson, C. T.


£200.00




Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1st.ed., 1912. Xxvi + 319 pp., guarded photogravure port. frontis., + 1 other port. & a battle-plan. Brown buckram ; gilt ; edges uncut. 23 x 15cm. V.G. It is customary for a naval officer who has led a brilliant career to write his memoirs in his twilight years, but less so for an officer whose career was "curtail'd", chiefly due to the loss of his ship in battle. Not that the loss was anything to be ashamed of. John Carden was up against a superior force and fought with great gallantry before having to lower his flag. The Cardens had originated in Cheshire but had moved to Kent and John Surman Carden's branch had settled in Ireland in the middle of the 17th century. Carden entered the Royal Navy at the age of 17 and after an inactive start in the Portsmouth guardship, spent the next five years on the East Indies station where he saw action against Malay pirates and had an early encounter with the French on the outbreak of the long Revolutionary War. Returning to England in late 1793, he joined the Channel fleet under Lord Howe and fought in the Glorious First of June (1794). His career was varied and active but he just missed Trafalgar although he carried home Collingwood's dispatches. Carden was in the VILLE DE PARIS at Corunna when Sir John Moore's army was in retreat, and he was in command of the MARS 74, in the Baltic under Sir James Saumarez. After further active service, Carden found himself in command of the frigate MACEDONIAN during the Naval War of 1812. She fought a bitter engagement with the much larger UNITED STATES and his frigate was reduced to "an unmanageable log on the ocean", all her masts gone, half her guns out of action, and over 100 of her 259 men killed or wounded. This, together with a quarrel with the powerful Secretary to the Admiralty, Mr. Croker, left his career 'on the shelf' after 1812. These and other remarkable incidents in the life and service of Vice-Admiral Carden (he in fact rose to become Admiral in 1855 : three years before his death) are fully and candidly described in this book. SCARCE.


Share this book