THE DEFENCE OF OUR MERCANTILE SEAPORTS, BY A RETIRED ARTILLERY OFFICER. Together with : THE ORGANISATION OF THE ROYAL NAVAL ARTIILLERY VOLUNTEERS EXPLAINED.

Anonymous & Brassey, Thomas.


£250.00




Two pamphlets : (1) : London: James Ridgway, Piccadilly, 1st.ed., 1852. 24 pp., plan (fldg.). Blue wrappers. 20 x 12cm. Nr.FINE. With contemporary stamp of the Malta Garrison Library to title-page. (2) : London : Longman, Green, & Co., 1st.ed., 1874 (by Thomas Brassey, M.P.). 42 pp. Blue wrappers. 21 x 13cm. Nr.FINE. With two smaller, later stamps for the Malta Garrison Library. Both pamphlets contained in a slip-case with two cloth ties ; gilt lettering & fouled anchor to front board ; marbled lining. Bookplate of the late A. Derek Barker of Church Stretton. V.G.+. The first pamphlet, written by a retired naval artillery officer, was the result of the author’s concern over the utter defencelessness of our great mercantile seaports in 1852. Not helped by overhearing a Militia Officer boast that 1000 of his men could drive 1500 invaders into the sea. The author questions whether half of the militia even knew how to load a musket ! The French were still perceived as the hypothetical enemy. He expresses his concern for the defence of the ports of London, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, etc., and puts forward his plans as to how Britain’s maritime frontier might be fortified. The second pamphlet explains the organization of the Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers in 1874, established by Act of Parliament in 1873 as Britain’s first truly volunteer naval reserve. Thomas Brassey (1836-1918), explains the role of this new volunteer movement in the support of Britain’s land forces and in coastal defence. The aim, in time of war, was to release highly trained seamen to crew sea-going cruisers, and to defend ports from London to Liverpool ; Newcastle to Hull ; Bristol to Southampton ; Dublin to Cork. Both pamphlets were originally housed in the Garrison Library on Malta and bear their different stamps. The first pamphlet is particularly RARE with no copy on COPAC.


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