British Naval Power in the East, 1794-1805

British Naval Power in the East, 1794-1805

The Command of Admiral Peter Rainier

Peter A. Ward


Boydell Press



Shows how Rainier skillfully coped with the immense difficulties of maintaining British naval power in a huge area fraught with difficult circumstances.
When war broke out with France in 1793, there immediately arose the threat of a renewed French challenge to British supremacy in India. This security problem was compounded in 1795 when the French overran the Netherlands and the extremely valuable Dutch trade routes and Dutch colonies, including the Cape of Good Hope and what is now Indonesia, fell under French control. The task of securing British interests in the East was a formidable one: the distances were huge, communication with London could take years, there were problems marshalling resources, and fine diplomatic skills were needed to keep independent rulers on the British side and to ensure full co-operation from the East India Company. The person charged with overseeing this formidable task was Admiral Peter Rainier (1741-1808), commander of the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean and the East from 1794 to 1805.
This book discusses the enormous difficulties Rainier faced. It outlines his career, explaining how he carried out his role with exceptional skill; how he succeeded in securing British interests in the East - whilst avoiding the need to fight a major battle; how he enhanced Britain's commanding position at sea; and how, additionally, in co-operation with the Governor-General, Richard Wellesley, he further advanced Britain's position in India itself.

Peter Ward completed a PhD in naval history at the University of Exeter after a career in international personnel management, working for Californian high technology companies in the United States, Hong Kong and Europe.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782041283), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


July 2013
1 black and white, 14 line illustrations
301 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
The Worlds of the East India Company
ISBN: 9781843838487
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS027150, HIS017000, HIS015000
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Table of Contents

The Early Years
Rainier and The Royal Navy
Rainier, the East India Company, and the King's Civil Servants in India
Communication and Intelligence - its Sources and Uses
The Geography and Protection of Maritime Trade
The Defence and Expansion of Britain's Eastern Empire
Maintaining the Squadron at Sea
Conclusion: 'Removing the Cloud'


Rescues Rainier from obscurity and makes an important contribution to our understanding of this period. HISTORY

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