Patronage and the British Navy, 1775-1815
Title Details

320 Pages

15.6 x 23.4 cm

1 map, 4 graphs

Imprint: Boydell Press

Patronage and the British Navy, 1775-1815

by Catherine Beck

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Argues that patronage served a very useful function and should not be seen as a form of corruption.

This book, based on extensive original research, examines the rich and varied nature of patronage in the British navy at the end of the long eighteenth century. Patronage underpinned naval advancement, determined where officers, seamen and dockyard workers were stationed, and fashioned their reputations. It was also a system of trust whereby an individual's connections acted as guarantors of their ability, character and suitability for a position.

This book moves beyond considering patronage as being primarily about promotion to uncover its deeper social and cultural implications. Considering not just the officer class, but also warrant officers, ordinary seamen and dockyard tradesmen and workers, it reveals the fuller extent of naval patronage as it operated between both elite and non-elite men and women, within all forms of friendship, not just professional or political alliances, and beneath veneers of fashionable sensibility, duty and honour. Historians of the navy in this period are well aware of the importance of patronage, but the subject has never previously been studied in such detail. The book will be very welcome for uncovering the full nature of patronage, both for naval historians and also for cultural and social historians interested in the period more generally. Catherine Beck completed her doctorate at University College London in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum.
1. Time and Place: The Geography of Naval Patronage
2. Friends and Family: Markham's Network
3. Followers and Strangers: Markham's Admiralty Correspondents
4. Constituents and Corporations: The Expectations of Political Connection
5. Gender and Parenthood: The Power of Brokers
6. Fees and Resistance: Lower Level Patronage
Catherine Beck is a research fellow at the University of Copenhagen and has previously held positions as a fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London and as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Plymouth.

Ebook (EPUB)


January 2025

£24.99 / $29.95

Available to pre-order from October 2024

Title Details

320 Pages

1.56 x 2.34 cm

1 map, 4 graphs

Imprint: Boydell Press