Commemorating the Seafarer

Commemorating the Seafarer

Monuments, Memorials and Memory

Barbara Tomlinson

Personal eBook

Boydell Press



A generously illustrated survey of memorials to different kinds of seafarers, recounting the stories behind them.
This book discusses memorials - stained glass windows, church, cemetery and public monuments - commemorating British seafarers, shipbuilders and victims of shipwreck from the sixteenth century to the present. Examples have been chosen mainly from Great Britain and Ireland with a few from wider afield. They include important works by major British artists as well as more modest productions by anonymous carvers. The book retells the dramatic stories behind them, illustrating significant social and cultural changes in Britain's relationship to the sea. Memorials vividly illustrate the hazards of seagoing life and the impact these had both upon the family of the deceased and the general public. The book has a cultural historical focus. Each chapter includes case studies of both high status and popular memorials, showing how iconography such as the depiction of the wrecked ship was widely transmitted. The book covers both naval and commercial aspects of seafaring and includes memorials to naval officers, merchants, explorers, fishermen, leisure sailors, victims of shipwrecks and lifesavers, with around 100 illustrations of memorials.

Barbara Tomlinson was Curator of Antiquities at Royal Museums Greenwich (part of which is the National Maritime Museum) for over thirty-five years and is Hon. Secretary of the Church Monuments Society.

Published in association with the National Maritime Museum, part of Royal Museums Greenwich.


100 black and white illustrations
273 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Hardback, 9781843839705, November 2015
Personal eBook, 9781782046585, November 2015
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS027150, HIS015000, ART026000
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Table of Contents

Shifting loyalties: naval memorials 1628-1763
The age of heroes: naval memorials 1783-1815
Pax Britannica: naval memorials 1815-1914
Stormy weather: conflict and sacrifice in the twentieth century
Commerce and philanthropy: mercantile commemoration
Lost at Sea: maritime accidents
Maritime explorers: Drake to Shackleton
Inshore: fishermen, lifesavers and leisure


This book not only fills a yawning gap in the literature, it is extremely interesting reading and highly recommended. THE NELSON DESPATCH

Barbara Tomlinson...writes with authority and in a very readable way. I recommend this book as a good addition to anyone's library. MAUSOLUS