Hornblower's Historical Shipmates

Hornblower's Historical Shipmates

The Young Gentlemen of Pellew's Indefatigable

Heather Noel-Smith, Lorna M. Campbell

eBook for Handhelds

Boydell Press



A fascinating account of varied careers, providing a rich snapshot of the later eighteenth-century sailing navy in microcosm.
This book sets out the lives of seventeen 'young gentlemen' who were midshipmen under the famous Captain Sir Edward Pellew. Together, aboard the frigate HMS Indefatigable, they fought a celebrated action in 1797 against the French ship of the line Les Droits de l'Homme. C. S. Forester, the historical novelist, placed his famous hero, Horatio Hornblower, aboard Pellew's ship as a midshipman, so this book tells, as it were, the actual stories of Hornblower's real-life shipmates. And what stories they were! From diverse backgrounds, aristocratic and humble, they bonded closely with Pellew, learned their naval leadership skills from him, and benefited from his patronage and his friendship in their subsequent, very varied careers. The group provides a fascinating snapshot of the later eighteenth-century sailing navy in microcosm. Besides tracing the men's naval lives, the book shows how they adapted to peace after 1815, presenting details of their civilian careers. The colourful lives recounted include those of the Honourable George Cadogan, son of an earl, who survived three courts martial and a duel to retire with honour as an admiral in 1813; Thomas Groube, of a Falmouth merchant family, who commanded a fleet of boats which destroyed the Dutch shipping at Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies, in 1806; and James Bray, of Irish Catholic descent, who was killed commanding a sloop during the American war of 1812.

Heather Noel-Smith is a genealogist and a retired Methodist minister. Lorna Campbell is a digital education manager at the University of Edinburgh and an education technology consultant. They are both independent researchers.


10 black and white illustrations
260 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Hardback, 9781783270996, September 2016
eBook for Handhelds, 9781782048848, September 2016
eBook, 9781782048855, September 2016
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037060, HIS027150
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Edward Pellew - Partisan and Patriarch
My Dear Indefatigable
The Fortunate Few
Never Was Such an Action Known
The Nature of Patronage
Boys Grown to Manhood
Diversity and Responsibility
Friends, Family and the Falmouth Connection
Faithful and Attached Companions
No State in Life More Honourable
Appendix: The Spencer-Pellew Correspondence of February 1799


[A] successful group biography, and a tender memoir of [Pellew] and his circle of protégés. MARINER'S MIRROR

An interesting book that gives us a good idea of the wide range of experiences available to Royal Navy officers during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and the nature of the relationship between officers during this period. WWW.HISTORYOFWAR.ORG

A fascinating book, full of interest, well written and impeccably referenced. THE NELSON DESPATCH

Much enjoyed and recommended. JULIAN STOCKWIN