« PreviousContinue »
During the late eventful wars, the last edition of the NAVAL CHRONOLOGIST made its appearance; and the distinguished and flattering reception which so generally and unequivocally were given to that little work, would have afforded an ample and sufficient reason for again bringing it before a British public; but the present proprietors, aware of the inportance of the subject, and stimulated by the desire of rendering it an object more worthy of their patronage, and more decidedly useful to that class of the community for which it is principally designed, have spared neither pains or expence to extend its attractions, and increase its utility, by the introduction of a series of numerous and highly-interesting biographical sketches, together with a great variety of additional information, calculated to elucidate the former plan, and complete the subjects they are intended to illustrate.
With a view to these objects, the editor of this new and improved edition has continued the narration of naval occurrences to the conclusion of hostilities in
1815; and the biographical part to the present time; having so arranged them, that the biographical and chronological departments shall mutually serve to explain each other; and that the work may now, by a ready and easy mode of reference, afford a satisfactory solution to every question which can arise relative to the British navy, during the interesting and eventful periods to which they belong.
To this work then, the 'reader may hereafter apply, for a knowledge of the various victories and achievements, which transcend in character, importance, and effects, those of any former wars recorded in our maritime annals, since they have uniformly contributed to immortalize the superior science, able conduct, and matchless intrepidity of our British naval commanders, and eventually consolidated our far famed, and now unrivalled title to the “ Empire of the Ocean."
These are subjects surely worthy of being recorded, and rescued from the destructive scythe of time ; and although this work does not pretend to rival the several historians who have handed to us their ample and more voluminous narratives, which many may choose to consult, there is no doubt a numerous, and not less meritorious class, whose humble inquiries an abridgement like this will more readily and satisfactorily supply. Indeed, for both these classes the present compilation is equally well adapted ; to the former it will afford a kind of directory to names, and an index to events, whenever it may be requisite to refer to them on the spur of the moment; and to the latter it will furnish all the information they have either leisure to peruse, or desire to obtain.
The intent and object of this work being to collect together and commemorate the naval achievements of the British empire in every quarter of the globe, and record the names of its principal heroes, to exhibit à brief outline of the services of each individual, and to point out the times and scenes of their most distinguished exploits, it is presumed there can be no impropriety henceforward in denominating it “ The NAVAL GAZETTEER, BIOGRAPHER, AND CHRONOLOGIST;" and under this appellation the publishers usher it into the world, earnestly hoping it will obtain that portion of favour which an indulgent and impartial public always liberally bestow on the exertions of those whose labours may deserve it.
But in a work requiring such unbounded information, and embracing so extended a field of research, some inaccuracies must inevitably exist, and some omissions occur ; for these, wherever they may be discovered, the editor begs leave to apologize, at the same time assuring the reader that every care and pains have been sedulously taken to avoid the former, A 3
and that nothing but the impossibility of obtaining access to individual biography has occasioned the latter. In order to remedy such defects hereafter, the proprietors will feel grateful for the kind information of any correspondent who will take the trouble to point out whatever errors he may detect, or favour them with the names and particular services of any naval officers that may unintentionally have been omitted ; such communication, free of expence, will be thankfully received, and diligently attended to, so far as may be consistent with the limited plan of this abridged work.
It now remains for the editor to offer his acknowledgments for the assistance he has derived from the able works of Messrs. James, Campbell, Marshall, and Gould. From the Naval History of Mr. James, the Naval Chronicle of Mr. Gould, and the London Gazettes, he has selected the several accounts of actions, captures, &c.; and to Mr. Marshall's Naval Biography, Campbell's Lives of the Admirals, and Gould's Naval Chronicle, he is principally indebted for the biographical sketches: the various articles taken from these respectable sources have been abridged with the greatest care, and with the strictest attention to accuracy.
The editor, in his humble, but laborious province, being limited in the compilation of his materials, can