Derrick, Charles.


Printed by H. Teape, Tower-Hill; Sold by Blacks & Parry, Leadenhall-Street ; Cadell & Davies, Strand ; and G. & W. Nicol, Pall-Mall. 1st.ed., 1806. (iv) + 336 pp., engraved frontis + numerous tables. Contemporary qtr. calf ; red calf title-piece ; gilt ; marbled boards ; edges uncut ; re-cased. 29 x 23cm. Foxing to frontis as usual ; binding rubbed at extremities ; the final 9 pp of index bound-in in facsimile o/w V.G. Inscribed on fly-leaf & half-title in heavy ink : "This Book was Rescued from destruction or at all events oblivion in being Purchased at a stand for the sale of Old Books by John Leech M.D., Glasgow, 1st Jany. 1852. 92 S. Portland St. Now Forwarded for Presentation to The Right Hon. Sir James Graham, Bart., First Lord of the Admiralty, on the 21st day of October 1853, being the Anniversary of the victory and lamented death of England’s Naval Hero, the Immortal Nelson, [by] His Most Humble & Devoted Servant, John Leech, M.D…." Etc., etc. (a good deal of MS. notes &c., follow). Sir James Robert George Graham (1792-1861) was First Lord of the Admiralty from 1830 to 1833 in Grey’s reform government. He served again in this capacity, 1853-1854, on the outbreak of the Crimean War. Charles Derrick of the ‘Navy Office’, provides a history of the Royal Navy from the reign of Henry VII, demonstrating its rise in power and influence down to the year following Trafalgar – 1806. It also contains important lists of the Royal Navy in 1517, 1521, 1548, 1549, 1552, and 1557. The author examines the state of the Navy at different periods. The number, tonnage and classes of ships and vessels employed. He looks at the times of neglect, the improvements in shipbuilding, the state of the Royal Dockyards, and the condition of magazines and stores. Derrick does not give a history in the general sense, rather a more un-usual account and record of the material fabric of the British fleet, although he does describe several engagements and battles including Nelson’s three great victories and his death in the year before publication. He provides detailed information on many aspects of the Georgian Navy and earlier fleets, making this a useful and contemporary source of reference. Derrick dedicated his book to Lord Barham, First Lord of the Admiralty. This copy, with its quirky inscription, was presented to another First Lord almost 50 years later.

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