The Victorian Empire and Britain’s Maritime World, 1837-1901

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The Victorian Empire and Britain’s Maritime World, 1837-1901

(forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2013)

Introduction by Miles Taylor

‘We are fish’ declared Lord Salisbury in 1888, and much of the history of 19th century Britain is conveyed in this memorable phrase. The navy in particular and the maritime world more generally were an integral part of British imperial dominance in the Victorian era. The navy secured the pax Britannica of trade and diplomacy, whilst British domination of the world’s shipping lanes created an international traffic in people, goods, flora and fauna, and all the many phenomena that made up an overseas British world of culture. Yet the watery metaphor also points to some of the anxieties which surrounded Britain’s status as a maritime empire in the 19th century – the fate of other sea-borne empires, the xenophobia and vulnerability of an island nation on the edge of a continent which at times represented an armed camp, and the ever-escalating arms race as other predatory powers sought to catch up. Not since the Wiles lectures of Gerald Graham in 1964, has there been a single volume which attempts to chart the story of the maritime context of the British empire in the Victorian years.1 Despite the significance attributed to the navy and sea-power by influential synoptic surveys of British imperialism – notably those of Christopher Bayly, Niall Ferguson and Paul Kennedy – it is true to say that it has been the naval warfare of the 18th and 20th centuries which has attracted most attention.2 And whilst there is no comparison between the scale of naval engagement in the Victorian era compared with the century spanning the end of the war of the Spanish succession (1714) and the Congress of Vienna (1815) – British naval forces went into battle on c. 1,630 separate occasions in the period, and only c. 300 between 1815 and 19143 – there is nonetheless much that is unfamiliar and a great deal that is instructive about the relationship between the sea and the British empire in the Victorian era.

This volume of essays seeks to redress the balance in the historical literature. It serves as a companion volume to the 2007 book edited by David Cannadine which looked at British naval and maritime culture in the 18th century.4 The volume features two main themes throughout its eight chapters. First, how in an age of relative global peace after 1815, the navy and shipping more generally, moved from being the strategic arm of the British empire to become the agent of cultural imperialism and secondly, how the sea became for the Victorians not only a source of national identity but also increasing anxiety as global power became reconfigured by continental land-states such as Germany, Russia and the USA. The global warfare of the 18th century led to the pax Britannica of the 19th, and the altered state of Britain’s maritime empire was evident in all sorts of ways. By 1815 Britain had made territorial gains around much of coastal Africa and India and across the Caribbean, neutralised for a generation French activity in the Mediterranean, and protected its growing north American dominion by an audacious attack on Washington in 1814. At peace after 1815, shorn of its mercantilist implications, the older British maxim of ‘ships, colonies and commerce’ found new resonance in the 19th century. Whereas British sea-lanes of the 18th century had been peopled by slaves, felons, soldiers and fighting sailors, Victorian ships conveyed emigrants to the settlement colonies, policed the coastlines of Africa and south America for slavers and pirates, and ensured, especially after mid-century, that global trade was safe and secure, even during warfare. By the end of the 19th century commercial steam shipping dominated the seas to the extent that when Britain needed to mobilise for war as in South Africa in 1899-1902 and at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, it turned not to the navy but to the private passenger lines for sending out troops. As the seas became freer of conflict, British foreign policy became less focused on the European continent, and relied on limited coastal defence and a ‘bluewater’ strategy, at least until the 1880s.
Of course, it is easy to exaggerate the degree of change over continuity between the 18th and 19th centuries. After all, convict transportation continued until 1868, the suppression of the slave trade at sea by the Royal Navy as often led to the loss of life as successful rescue, and free trade regularly required armed intervention, as in the case of the Chinese wars, or the threat of naval action, for example in south America. Likewise, Britain was not wholly at peace during the 19th century. Small colonial wars recurred throughout the Victorian decades, often involving deployment of the navy, the Crimean war saw action at sea on three different sides of the Eurasian land mass (in the Crimea, the Baltic and the Pacific), and at distinct moments during the American Civil War (1861-5), Britain was only a hair’s breadth away from a major conflict in the Atlantic. And for all the international goodwill that characterised the century after the Congress of Vienna, powerful patriotic sentiments remained: the Russophobia of the 1830s, the fears of French invasion plans in the late 1840s, 1850s and 1860s, and the groundswell of jingoism in 1877-8. All assumed a willingness of the British to fight back, and to do so at sea.
However, as the rest of this introduction describes, Britain’s maritime empire in the 19th century was fundamentally different in scale and in culture from what had gone before. Naval engagements took place, but usually in the pursuit of the new imperial policies and priorities of the period. The navy and its government department, the Admiralty, were not immune to the culture of administrative reform that characterised the Victorian era, and the navy more generally came to occupy a less prominent place in popular culture, especially with the rise of a Christian militarism focused on army heroes. Maritime life within the empire now took place in and between port cities and their hinterland, and not only at sea. Let us consider each of these areas in turn.

I: All at sea: policing the Victorian empire

Britain was a far less belligerent sea power after 1815, but no less global. In the Mediterranean, the policing of the peace settlement of 1815 drew the British navy into conflict in the late 1820s as part of a joint allied effort to support Greece in its struggle for independence from the Ottoman empire, and to protect the Aegean from Egyptian aggression.5 Piracy along the north African coast also kept British naval cruisers busy for a longer period than is usually recognised.6 The primacy of India in 19th century foreign policy meant naval deployment around and beyond the Indian sub-continent, cumulatively a huge area as Judith Brown points out in her chapter in this volume. In the Indian ocean, alongside the suppression of the east African slave trade, the Bombay marine and the navy of the East India company toiled against piracy, and also gave assistance to land forces in the Scind and Sikh wars of the 1840s, and then again during the Indian rebellion of 1857-8. Fearful of Russian penetration from the north, Britain went to war with Persia, and secured a notable naval victory at Bushire. As far afield as Jeddah in Arabia there was a naval attack in 1858 prompted by unrest following the British removal of the last Mughal king, Bahadur Shah Zafar, in Delhi.7 Further to the east, the navy was involved in the three phases of war and annexation in Burma (1824, 1852 and 1885).8 And in peninsular south-east Asia and down into the Indonesian archipelago, the navy saw engagement at various moments in the 19th century, sometimes in the pursuit of pirates or coastal peoples presumed to be ‘pirates’ as in the case of ‘Rajah’ Sir James Brooke in Borneo, and often in ‘gunboat diplomacy’ reprisals against indigenous rulers.9

Older naval rivalries did of course linger of course from the 18th century, but they were increasingly pursued through armed deterrent. In retrospect, it seems amazing that there was no resumption of naval conflict between Britain and the USA. There was plenty of potential for a souring of Anglo-American relations throughout the Victorian period: boundary disputes such as the Oregon question, American tacit and explicit support for Canadian separatists, and most seriously of all, disputes over shipping during the American Civil War. However, apart from the British pushing over the Niagara falls a US ship – the Caroline – which had been aiding Canadian rebels in 1837, and with the exception of the seizure by the Union naval force of the Trent and the compensation claims over the British-built Confederate battleship, the Alabama in the 1861-5 war, Anglo-American naval rivalry remained confined to competition over ship technology, as Jeremy Black’s chapter shows.10 Similarly, despite its intensity, Anglo-French naval rivalry never spilled over into engagement at sea. In the late Hanoverian and Victorian eras Britain went to battle alongside French forces – in the eastern Mediterranean (1827-8), in Madagascar (1845), in the Crimea (1854-6), in the second Chinese war (1860), and in Japan (Shimonoseki, 1864) – rather than against them. Not that such co-operation dampened fears of invasion on both sides of the English Channel, nor lessened the close watch maintained by the British Admiralty and the French Minstère de Marine on each other’s changing warship design and strength, especially during the mid-Victorian decades.11
There was one major exception to the Pax Britannica of the 19th century, and that was the Crimean war. Far from being a conflict limited to the Black Sea, the British and French combat with Russian forces was fought out in the Baltic, and to a lesser extent in the Pacific,12 making it assume some of the more global dimensions of the warfare characteristic of the 18th century. The attempt to blockade Russia in its northern and far-eastern ports, constrict its supply lines at sea and weaken its naval fleet at its source, was a throw-back to classic naval tactics of the period of the Napoleonic wars, and the Treaty of Paris which settled the war was as focused on providing means for resolution of international disputes at sea as much as on land. It is sometimes overlooked that Russia in addition to the new united Germany after 1871, became a rival to British naval supremacy in the later 19th century. As has been recently argued, it was the next manifestation of the Russian threat to the European periphery by land and by sea in 1878 which precipitated changes in the British way of naval warfare, beginning with the recommendations of the Carnarvon Commission of 1878. 13
Two new dimensions of British naval warfare developed during the 19th century: armed action against the African slave trade, and the penetration of coastal China. John Oldfield highlights in his chapter the achievements in particular of the African squadron which policed the west and then increasingly the east coast of Africa, and effectively stemmed the tide of slaves going westwards to Brazil, Cuba and the southern states of America.14 This was where most naval resource was concentrated for longest during the 19th century: over 1/3 of all British conflict at sea between 1815 and 1914 involved capture of slavers, or raids on slaver bases and ports. There were notable successes – the slaver turned squadron ship, Black Joke, was reckoned to be one of the best in the business, freeing 4000 slaves in a series of interventions in 1829. However, the African squadron did not always have the law on its side, and the act of capture could often prove perilous, with as many slave lives lost as saved. The naval suppression of the slave trade could also prove a handmaiden to territorial annexation by Britain, as the example of Lagos (after 1861) and the sultanate of Zanzibar (from 1890).15
If the suppression of the African slave trade supplied the most action at sea in the 19th century, then it was the waters around China which increasingly saw the largest deployment of British warships. In the 1860s and 1870s, for instance, British naval stations along the Chinese coast accounted for just under half of total British naval forces globally.16 The series of wars with China are perhaps the best example of how the Victorian navy came to enforce the ‘imperialism of free trade’, that is to say commercial monopoly without formal administrative control. The outcome of the wars was that only Hong Kong was annexed as a British colony, and Britain along with other western powers enjoyed exclusive trading privileges in the principal ‘treaty’ ports. The Chinese wars are also an important reminder of how the opium trade from India demanded armed protection, not only to open up further markets in China, but also to protect British Indian shipping from piracy on the high seas.17
A final important theatre of naval engagement in the Victorian era was the south Pacific ocean. A region for exploration and discovery in the 18th century, the islands of Polynesia and Melanesia became destinations of European settlement (in the case of New Zealand) and Christian missionary activity from the early 19th century onwards. This was never a particularly peaceful process, and the navy was often required as an adjunct to landed forces (as in the case of the Maori wars of the 1840s and 1860s),18 or to make reprisals against indigenous islanders who had attacked visiting officials or clergy, most famously following the murder of the Bishop of Melanesia in 1871. At the same time, the navy was also deployed in a more conventional Victorian policing role, carrying out our search and stop missions against ‘blackbirding’ ships attempting to remove forcibly men and boys from various islands to meet labour shortages in Peru, Fiji and latterly Queensland, Australia. 19

Thus the navy was no less important to the pursuit and maintenance of British interests in the 19th century than it had been in the 18th, even if the scale of engagements at sea was much reduced. The variety of different challenges posed to the navy during the pax Britannica point to how flexible a fighting force it was still required to be. The major warfare of the period, such as in the Crimea, required conventional naval battle techniques. And the 19th century arms race especially with France, America and latterly Germany centred on enhancements in the weaponry and counter-attack capability of ships. However, much of the naval action of the era, prioritised speed and accessibility over display of overwhelming force. Victorian naval engagements were often coastal and riverine, or they proceeded by way of bombardment of enemy positions followed by landing of a naval brigade. Nowhere was this clearer than in the involvement of the navy in the scramble for Africa in the 1880s and 1890s, when small fast gunboats were used in Sudan, Somaliland and Nyasaland to enforce the new protectorate zones. Full-scale war at sea was the stuff of 18th century legend and increasingly the preoccupation of late 19th century naval planners. Its prominence in the historiography should not obscure the fact that for most of the period a large but dispersed British navy was fighting small colonial wars. The Victorian era ended in the South African war (1899-1902) – an imperial conflict typical of the period – with the navy blockading enemy supplied, protecting troop ships and providing support to land forces (including hospital ships).20

II: At home with the pax Britannica

Less belligerent at sea, Britain’s maritime infrastructure and culture at home saw significant changes during the Victorian era. In government and in Parliament the navy assumed less importance after 1830 (ironically the year the ‘sailor king’, William IV, ascended to the throne). The Admiralty was down-sized during two waves of administrative reform – under the Whigs in the 1830s, and under Gladstone’s Liberal party in the 1860s. Naval expenditure as a proportion of national expenditure fell from 20% in 1815 to 8% by 1839, thereafter (the Crimean and Chinese wars aside) averaging around 14% until it began to climb steadily in the 1890s.21 Admiralty patronage fell away as well. Before the 1832 reform act, the Admiralty had direct control of eight parliamentary constituencies, and unlike the army, there was no sudden reduction in the number of naval officers in the House of Commons in the decade after 1815.22 Thereafter, the age of reform did see some alterations. The proportion of naval MPs dropped steadily and Admiralty and Treasury influence was lost completely in several abolished dockyard constituencies and at Harwich, although some influence was retained at Dartmouth, Dover, Hythe, Rochester and Sandwich.23 Moreover, the large new dockyard constituencies of Chatham and Devonport as well as the largest dockyard seat of all – Portsmouth – swelled the number of government employees, creating a reputedly patriotic but sometimes unpredictable local electorate.24 And until the mid-19th century reforms of the civil service, Admiralty officials such as J. W. Croker maintained the old ways of appointment via family and friends.25

In the 1820s it had been the spectre of ‘old corruption’ at the Navy Board and in the government dockyards which had raised radical ire the most. Yet it was the shift from wooden ships to iron, and from sail to steam, that really brought about the redistribution of dockyards and ports around the United Kingdom. Older royal navy dockyards at Deptford, Harwich and Woolwich closed down as battleship construction became concentrated at the larger capacity facilities of Chatham, Pembroke, Plymouth, and Portsmouth.26 Amidst the wave of post-1815 retrenchment, there was some reduction of overseas dockyards, principally in Canada, but in the decades that followed they remained, were established anew or came under British control at Halifax (Nova Scotia), in the Mediterranean (Gibraltar, Alexandria, Valletta), in the Caribbean and north Atlantic (Antigua, Jamaica, Bermuda), the China Sea (Hong Kong) at the Cape (Simon’s Town), at Sydney and in Trincomalee (Ceylon), thereby ensuring that a global naval police presence could be maintained. Back in Britain, it was in London that the transformation of the maritime infrastructure was most marked.27 Although shipbuilding remained on the Thames, principally at Blackwall and Woolwich, London’s river became dominated by new port facilities: the privately-owned docks of St Katherine’s (1828), Victoria (1855), the Royal Albert (1880 – at its opening the largest dock in the world), and Tilbury (1889). By the middle of the 19th century London was handling the bulk of the world’s shipping trade, and the docks became home to one of the largest casual workforces in the country, documented in the 1850s by commentators such as Henry Mayhew, and eventually organised into a forceful union in the 1880s. Elsewhere, other maritime cultures emerged. Southampton, a sleepy spa town in the 18th century, grew as a passenger port and by the end of the 19th century was the principal departure for troops going to serve overseas.28 The ports of south Wales became notable entrepôts of imperial trade.29 The demands of the new shipping technology required yards which were closer to the sources of iron and coal. Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Yarrow’s on Clydeside, and Swan and Hunter on Tyneside now dominated the production of commercial goods vessels and passenger ships.30 For all this greater connectivity between British ports and global trade it remains a debatable point whether domestic awareness of empire actually deepened during the Victorian era.
These new economies of shipbuilding and the maritime cultures they created were not only the result of retrenchment and reform in the Admiralty and navy, they were also the outcome of free trade and the break-up of the older shipping monopolies. The ending of the East India Company’s exclusive trading rights in 1833 and the repeal of the Navigation Acts in 1849 were two important milestones in opening up the maritime lanes of the world to a variety of shipping entrepreneurs.31 New lines developed around mid-century to exploit the sources of raw materials and good, new markets, and above all to convey travellers and particularly emigrants. In this volume, Crosbie Smith describes the south American operations of one such company, the Pacific Steam Navigation Company, confirming the general process of a Victorian partitioning of the seas by rival British firms: the Peninsular and Oriental in the Mediterranean and the passage to India, the Castle line in South Africa and Cunard across the Atlantic.32 In these ways the older domination of the seas by the royal navy became supplemented by the domination of private steamship companies, with much of their monopoly spreading out web-like from nodal points across the colonial empire. Shipping crews – navy, merchant marine and commercial – increasingly reflected a more global and imperial sphere of British influence. The end of the Navigation Acts lifted restrictions on foreign crewmen in British vessels, and a diverse maritime labour force now emerged, principally Caribbean and Indian, with a large polyglot European element derived from the coastal communities of the North Sea and Mediterranean. Colonial labour found its way to the expanding British ports as well, as a sizeable lascar community developed in cities such as London and Cardiff by the close of the 19th century.33

The pax Britannica produced a very different image of the navy in domestic popular culture. Battle victories at sea had long been celebrated in song, broadside, history and biography, producing a string of Hanoverian naval heroes starting with Admiral Vernon and reaching a frenzy around the death of Nelson at Trafalgar.34 In the Victorian era the hagiography around Nelson remained, but naval heroism became less focused on warfare and more on the manly and moral exemplary virtues of the great admirals and captains. In the process, the line between heroic men at sea in general, and naval icons in particular, became blurred. The most famous seafarer to capture the mid-Victorian imagination was after all Sir John Franklin, ex-colonial governor and explorer, lost whilst pursuing the grail of the north-west passage.35 Below deck, a similar process was underway, with the rough-hewn stereotype of ‘Jack Tar’ giving way, as the navy switched to a more professional manning system after 1852, to a new emphasis on the manly character and physical prowess of the ordinary sailor.36

III: A maritime British world

Just as Britain’s maritime culture at home changed fundamentally during the pax Britannica, so too did the sea play a very different role overseas in the settlement colonies and dependencies of the Victorian British empire. So much of the growth of empire in the first three-quarters of the 19th century was centred around coastlines and port cities. In 1800, away from mainland Britain, there were only two cities under British control – Dublin (180,000 people) and Calcutta (45,000) – with substantial populations. Inevitably, by 1900 the picture was radically different, and it was the great ports of the empire which dominated the demographic transformation: Bombay (just under 1m people in 1906) and Sydney, Rangoon, and Hong Kong all over 200,000 by 1901. Even in Canada, perhaps in terms of the white settlement empire the most landlocked dominion, the largest city remained Montreal,

positioned at the head of the one most navigable rivers in the world.
The phenomenal growth of colonial cities in the 19th century points to an apparent contrast between the forced movement of peoples across the seas (slaves, convicts, and impressed soldiers and sailors) before 1815, and the free circulation of emigrants and other travellers in the century thereafter. This is of course somewhat misleading. Although the transportation of slaves in British ships ended in 1807, the transportation of convicts from Britain, including juveniles, continued until as late as 1868.37 Elsewhere, as Clare Anderson’s work has demonstrated, there was actually a ‘pan-empire trade’ in convicts after 1815, as 80,000 offenders were moved between the Indian sub-continent, the Andaman Islands, Burma, Aden, the Malay peninsula, Mauritius and the Cape of Good Hope to far-flung penal settlements.38 Judith Brown’s chapter in this volume describes another way in which intra-empire migration was not entirely free, through the phenomenon of indentured labour, whereby unskilled male workers – predominantly again from India – were induced to travel overseas to work in east Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific.39 And Elizabeth Buettner’s chapter reveals the pressures brought to bear on the children and families caught up in the assisted emigration of minors to Canada. Migration schemes in post-famine Ireland and from the Scottish highlands also reveals forces of coercion – both subtle and direct – at work.40
Undoubtedly, however, there were huge voluntary flows out of the British Isles via the seas to the white settlement colonies during the 19th century. This emigration came in fits and starts initially – to Canada in the 1820s, to Australia in the 1850s – and then more systematically and widespread after 1870.41 Overall the bulk of emigrants from Britain crossed the Atlantic to North America, and there proportionally more went to the United States than to Canada. Those who did follow the flag to British settlements were often lured by the ‘boosterism’ of shipping companies, emigration and land agents, and other publicists, who marketed the colonies as little or better versions of Britain.42 The sea-lanes were not all one-way traffic, however. We know from the volume of remittances sent via the Post Office across the 19th century that family economies in Britain were often supported by contributions from emigrant relatives. Imperial professional networks and organisations – for example, those of engineers and clergy – were also sustained by the speedier facilities afforded by steam shipping.43 Similarly, as John Mackenzie shows in his chapter in this volume, maritime connections across the globe helped to reproduce the material and museum culture of Britain and other European cities in the new colonial world. Indeed, it is hard to understand the forces shaping what has come to be known recently as the ‘British world’ overseas, unless the maritime influences behind the spread, diffusion and adaptation of British culture and institutions are factored in properly.
* * *

Between the defeat of Napoleon and the partition of Africa, it is the sea that stands out as the connecting thread of the British empire. In 1886, the historian and critic, J. A. Froude adopted the title Oceana for an enthusiastic account of his tour around the British colonies. In so doing he drew on James Harrington’s republican utopia of the same name published in 1656. Froude, however, had good reason to use a maritime analogy to describe Britain’s empire. A native of Devon, the son of a naval architect and as the former emissary at the Cape of the Conservative Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Carnarvon, Froude perhaps knew better than most of the connections between the sea and Britain’s imperial realm. Lord Salisbury chose Froude as Oxford’s Regius Professor of History in 1892, and amongst the more popular lecture series he delivered at the university during his short stint there was on the subject of English seamen in the sixteenth century. Froude is often described as a key voice in the new enthusiasm for empire in late Victorian Britain. Yet his paean to a modern seaborne empire rooted in a tradition that stretches back to the Elizabethan age of discovery, suggests he was celebrating the loose and informal pax Britannica of the 19th century rather than looking forward to the new imperialism. 44 As Andrew Lambert argues in the opening chapter of this volume, the rise and fall of maritime states was an irresistible analogy for commentators from the beginning of the Victorian age. And, by the time of its close, as Jan Ruger shows in his chapter which closes out this volume, British anxieties around empire resurfaced and were focused primarily around vulnerability at sea. It was Froude’s political patron, Carnarvon, who in 1878 instigated the beginning of the series of reviews which were to transform British naval strategy in the later 19th century, and contribute to the arms race between the great powers. The colonial push for greater imperial defence from 188, the Naval Defence Act of 1889, the lobbying for increased spending on the navy from organisations such as the Navy League (set up in 1895), and the development of dreadnought technology leading to the building of battlecruisers such as Invincible (1907) were to transform the British maritime empire in many ways and for all time. All these later developments are well-known and continue to produce a lively historical literature.45 The pax Britannica of ‘ships, colonies, commerce’ seems far removed from the realpolitik and arms race of the Edwardian era, and yet, as the essays in this volume demonstrate, no less worthy of our historical attention.

1 G. S. Graham, The Politics of Naval Supremacy: Studies in British Maritime Ascendancy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965). For two studies written in the midst of the second world war: see: F. J. C. Hearnshaw, Seapower and Empire (London: Harrap, 1940), ch. 7 and H. W. Richmond’s 1943 Ford lectures, Statesmen and Seapower (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1946) ch 8. For other broader surveys, see: Glen O’Hara, Britain and the Sea since 1600 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2010); David Killingray, Margarette Lincoln, and Nigel Rigby (eds.), Maritime Empires: British Imperial Maritime Trade in the Nineteenth Century (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2004); Jeremy Black, The British Seaborne Empire (London: Yale University Press, 2004). A notable gap will be filled by N. A. M. Rodger’s forthcoming volume on the Victorian period in his naval history of Britain.


 Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (London: Unwin, 1988); C. A. Bayly, Imperial Meridian: the British Empire and the World, 1780-1830 (London: Longman, 1989); Niall Ferguson, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World (London: Allen Lane, 2003).


 Calculated from John D. Grainger, Dictionary of British Naval Battles (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2012).


 David Cannadine (ed.), Empire, the Sea and Global History: Britain’s Maritime World, c. 1763-c. 1840 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007).

5 Rob Holland, Blue-Water Empire: The British in the Mediterranean since 1800 (London: Allen Lane, 2012) ch. 2; Allan Cunningham, Anglo-Ottoman Encounters in the Age of Revolution: Collected Essays ed. Edward Ingram (London: Frank Cass, 1993); Hervé Coutau-Bégarie, ‘Seapower in the Mediterranean from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century’ in John B. Hattendorf (ed.), Naval Policy and Strategy in the Mediterranean: Past, Present and Future (London: Frank Cass, 2000), pp. 30-47.


 C. R. Pennell, ‘Dealing with Pirates: British, French and Moroccans, 1834-1856’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 22 (1994), 54-83; Andrew Lambert, ‘The Limits of Naval Power: the Merchant Brig Three Sisters, Riff Pirates, and British Battleships’ in Bruce A. Elleman, Andrew Forbes and David Rosenberg (eds.), Piracy and Maritime Crime: Historical and Modern Case Studies (Newport, Rhode Island: Naval War College Press, 2010), pp. 173-90.


 Gerald S. Graham, Great Britain in the Indian Ocean: A Study of Maritime Enterprise, 1810-1850 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967); James Onley, ‘The Raj Reconsidered: British India’s Informal Empire and Spheres of Influence in Asia and Africa’, Asian Affairs, 20 (2009), 44-62; Kaushik Roy, The Oxford Companion to Modern Warfare in India: From the Eighteenth Century to Present Times (New York: Oxford University Press, 209), pp. 262-4. For the Anglo-Persian war of 1856, see: J. B. Kelly, Britain and the Persian Gulf, 1795-1880 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), ch 11. For the naval bombardment at Jeddah, see: S. D Malik, ‘“Mutiny” and the Muslim World: a British Viewpoint’, Islamic Studies, 5 (1966), 283-304.


 Graham, Great Britain in the Indian Ocean, pp. 346-62; Douglas M. Peers, ‘War and Public Finance in Early 19th Century British India: the First Anglo-Burmese War’, International History Review, 11 (1989), 628-47;Oliver B. Pollak, ‘The Origins of the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852–53)’, Modern Asian Studies, 12 (1978), 483-502.


 J. L. Anderson, ‘Piracy in the Eastern Seas, 1750-1850: Some Economic Implications’ in David J. Starkey, E. S. van Eyck van Heslinga and J. A. de Moor (eds.), Pirates and Privateers: New Perspectives on the War on Trade in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Exeter: Exeter University Press, 1997), pp. 87-105. For Sir James Brooke, who received Royal Navy assistance in Brunei in 1841, see: Graham, Great Britain in the Indian Ocean, pp. 382-401; Nicholas Tarling, Piracy and Politics in the Malay World: A Study of British Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century South-East Asia (Melbourne, F. W. Cheshire, 1963); Alex Middleton, ‘Rajah Brooke and the Victorians’, Historical Journal, 53 (2010), 381-400. For a later example of a navy-led reprisal: Cheah Boon Kheng, ‘Malay Politics and the Murder of J. W. W. Birch, British Resident in Perak, in 1875: The Humiliation and Revenge of the Maharaja Lela’, Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asisatic Society, 71 ((1998), 74-105.

10 Barry M. Gough, The Royal Navy and the Northwest Coast of North America, 1810-1914: A Study of British Maritime Ascendancy (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press). For a range of views on how close war came during 1861-5, see: H. Jones, Union in Peril: The Crisis over British Intervention in the Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992); Phillip E. Myers, Caution and Cooperation: The American Civil War in British-American Relations (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2008); Francis M. Carroll, ‘The American Civil War and British Intervention: the Threat of Anglo-American Conflict’, Canadian Journal of History, 47 (2012), 87-115.


 C. I. Hamilton, Anglo-French Naval Rivalry, 1840-1870 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). For coastal defence, see: M. S Partridge, Military Planning for the Defence of the United Kingdom, 1814-1870 (London: Greenwood Press, 1989); Stanley Sandler, ‘The Royal Navy’s Coastal Craze: Technological Results of Strategic Confusion in the Early Ironclad Era’, American Neptune, 51 (1991), 164-72.

12 Andrew Lambert, The Crimean War: British Grand Strategy, 1853-1856 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1991); John D. Grainger, The First Pacific War: Britain and Russia, 1854-1856 (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2008).

13 Roger Parkinson, The Late Victorian Navy: The Pre-dreadnought Era and the Origins of the First World War (Woodbridge, Boydell and Brewer, 2008).


 In a large literature significant work includes: Christopher Lloyd, The Navy and the Slave Trade: The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in the Nineteenth Century (London: Longmans, 1949); R. W. Beachey, The Slave Trade of Eastern Africa (London: Rex Collings, 1976); Leslie Bethell, The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade: Britain, Brazil and the Slave Trade Question, 1807-1869 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970); Andrew Lambert, ‘Slavery, Free Trade and Naval Strategy’ in Keith A. Hamilton and Patrick Salmon (eds.), Slavery, Diplomacy and Empire: Britain and the Suppression of the Slave Trade, 1807-1875 (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2009), pp. 65-80.

15 Martin Lynn, ‘Consul and Kings: British Policy, “the Man on the Spot”, and the Seizure of Lagos, 1851’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 10 (1982), 150-67; Kristin Mann, Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900 (Bloomington, Indiana, 2007), ch. 3; Geoffrey Ross Owens, ‘Exploring the Articulation of Governmentality and Sovereignty: The Chwaka Road and the Bombardment of Zanzibar, 1895-1896’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 8 (2007), 1-55; For a good summary of the overall legality and effect of the British naval campaign against the slave trade, see: Maeve Ryan, ‘The Price of Legitimacy in Humanitarian Intervention: Britain, the Right of Search, and the Abolition of the West African Slave Trade, 1807-1867’ in Brendan Simmms and D. J. B. Trim (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention: A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 231-55.


 Calculated from the table in C. J. Bartlett, ‘The Mid-Victorian Reappraisal of Naval Policy’ in K. Bourne and D. C. Watt (eds.), Studies in International History: Essays Presented to W. Norton Medlicott (London: Longmans, 1967), p. 208; G. S. Graham, The China Station: War and Diplomacy 1830-1860 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978).


 Peter Ward Fay, The Opium War, 1840-1842: Barbarians in the Celestial Empire in the Early Part of the Nineteenth Century and the War by which they Forced her Gates Ajar (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998); John Yue-wo Wong, Deadly Dreams: Opium, Imperialism, and the Arrow War (1856-1860) in China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). On the advent of steamer battleships in the first China war, see: Basil Greenhill and Ann Giffard, Steam, Politics and Patronage: The Transformation of the Royal Navy, 1815-54 (London: Conway Maritime Press, 2004), ch. 6. On piracy in the China seas and along the Malay peninsula, see Grace Fox, British Admirals and Chinese Pirates, 1832-69 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., 1940).


 James Belich, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (London: Penguin, 1988), pp. 41-4, 145-60.

19 Jane Samson, ‘Too Zealous Guardians ?: The Royal Navy and the South Pacific Labour Trade’ in David Killngray and David Omissi (eds.), Guardians of Empire: The Armed Forces of the Colonial Powers, c. 1700-1964 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999), pp. 70-90; Thorgeir Kolshus and Even Hovdhaugen, ‘Reassessing the Death of Bishop John

Coleridge Patteson’, Journal of Pacific History, 45 (2010), 331-355.For an earlier reprisal in the Solomon Islands, see: Jane Samson, ‘Hero, Fool or Martyr ?: The Many Deaths of Commodore Goodenough’, Journal for Maritime Research, 10 (2008), 1-22. More generally, see: Nicholas Thomas, Islanders: the Pacific in the Age of Empire (London: Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 153-7.

20 Peter Singlehurst, Afloat and Ashore: The Royal Navy during the Boer War 1899-1902 (Honiton: Token, 2006).


 C. I. Hamilton, The Making of the Modern Admiralty: British Naval Policy, 1805-1927 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 62-7; C. I. Hamilton, ‘The Childers Admiralty Reforms and the Nineteenth-Century “Revolution” in British Government’, War In History, 5 (1998), 37-61; Paul Smith, ‘Ruling the Waves: Government, the Service and the Cost of Naval Supremacy, 1885-99’, in Smith (ed.), Government and the Armed Forces in Britain, 1856-1990 (London: Hambledon, 1996), pp. 21-52. The figures are from John F. Beeler, British Naval Policy in the Gladstone-Disraeli Era, 1866-1880 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), p. 58. For the nineteenth century reform of bureaucratic culture in the navy more generally, see: Roger Morriss, Naval Power and British Culture, 1760-1850: Public Trust and Government Ideology (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004).


 D. R. Fisher, ‘Introductory Survey’ in Fisher (ed.), The House of Commons, 1820-1832 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 268-9. That said, there were around 100 MPs with army connections in each Parliament until the 1867 reform act, compared to an average of less than 20 MPs with naval connections: calculated from J. A. Thomas, The House of Commons, 1832-1901 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1939), pp. 4-7, 14-15.


 J. Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation, 1832: England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965).


 On Chatham see: Mavis Waters, ‘Dockyards and Parliament: A Study of the Unskilled Workers in Chatham Yard, 1860-1900’, Southern History, 6 (1984), 123-38. On Devonport, see: Paul Lambe, ‘The Politics of Place: Three Devon Constituencies and the 1900 General Election’, Southern History, 23 (2001), 148-68; cf. Sarah Peacock, ‘The Parliamentary Representation of Portsmouth 1885-1918’ in John Webb, Nigel Yates and Sarah Peacock (eds.), Hampshire Studies (Portsmouth: Portsmouth City Records Office, 1981), pp. 266-307.


 C. I. Hamilton, ‘John Wilson Croker: Patronage and Clientage at the Admiralty, 1809-1857’, Historical Journal, 43 (2000), 49-77; cf. J. M. Bourne, Patronage and Society in Nineteenth Century England (London: Edward Arnold, 1986), pp. 171-6.

26 David Evans, Building the Steam Navy: Docklands, Technology and the Creation of the Victorian Battle Fleet 1830-1906 (London: Conway Maritime, 2004), chs. 4-6, 15; Barry Stapleton, ‘The Admiralty Connection: Port Development and Demographic Change in Portsmouth, 1650-1900’, in Richard Lawton and W. Robert Lee (eds.), Population and Society in Western European Port Cities, c.1650-1939 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2002), pp. 212-51; Philip MacDougall (ed.), Chatham Dockyard, 1815-1865: The Industrial Transformation (Farnham: Navy Records Society, Ashgate, 2009).


 Anthony J. Arnold, Iron Shipbuilding on the Thames, 1832-1915: An Economic and Business History (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000); Jonathan Schneer, ‘London’s Docks in 1900: Nexus of Empire’, Labour History Review, 59 (1994), 20-33; Roy Mankelow, ‘The Port of London, 1790-1970’ in Sam Davies et al (eds.), Dock Workers: International Explorations in Comparative Labour History, 1790-1970 2 vols. (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), vol. 1, pp. 365-85; Sarah Palmer, ‘Port Economics in an Historical Context: The Nineteenth-Century Port of London’, International Journal of Maritime History, 15 (2003), 27-67.


 Miles Taylor (ed.), Southampton: Gateway to the British Empire (London: I. B. Tauris, 2007), pp. 133-48. More generally, see: Sarah Palmer, ‘Ports’ in Martin Daunton (ed.), The Cambridge Urban History of Britain, vol. 3 : 1840-1950 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), esp. pp. 140-5.


 For some of the roots of this, see: Huw Bowen, ‘Asiatic Interactions: India, the East India Company and the Welsh Economy, c. 1750-1830’ in Bowen (ed.), Wales and the British Overseas Empire: Interactions and Influences, 1650-1830 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011), pp. 168-92; cf. Martin Daunton, Coal Metropolis: Cardiff, 1870-1914 (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1977), esp. Part 1.

30 Kevin Johnston, In the Shadow of Giants: A Social History of the Belfast Shipyards (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 2008), pp. 34-43; W. Hamish Fraser and Irene Maver (eds.), Glasgow, vol. 2, 1830-1912 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996), chs. 2-3; Simon P. Ville, ‘Shipbuilding in the North-East of England in the Nineteenth Century’, in Ville (ed.), Shipbuilding in the United Kingdom in the Nineteenth Century: A Regional Approach (St. John’s, Newfoundland: International Maritime Economic History Association, 1993), pp. 1-43.

31 Anthony Howe, Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 56-61; Sarah Palmer, Politics, Shipping and the Repeal of the Navigation Laws (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990); C. H. Philips, The East India Company, 1784-1834 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1940), pp. 287-9; H. V. Bowen, The Business of Empire: The East India Company and Imperial Britain, 1756-1833 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 296.


 Freda Harcourt, Flagships of Imperialism: The P & O Company and the Politics of Empire from its Origins to 1867 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006); Andrew Porter, Victorian Shipping, Business, and Imperial Policy: Donald Currie, the Castle Line, and Southern Africa (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1986); Frances Steel, Oceania under Steam: Sea Transport and the Cultures of Colonialism, 1870-1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011).


 Alan Cobley, ‘Black West Indian Seamen in the British Merchant Marine in the mid-Nineteenth Century’, History Workshop Journal, 58 (2004), 259-74; Jonathan Hyslop, ‘Steamship Empire: Asian, African and British Sailors in the Merchant Marine c.1880–1945’, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 44 (2009), 49–67; Rozina Visram, Ayahs, Lascars and Princes: Indians in Britain 1700-1947 (London: Pluto Press, 1986), ch. 3. For earlier roots, see: Michael H. Fisher, ‘Working Across the Seas: Indian Maritime Labourers in India, Britain, and in between, 1600-1857’, International Review of Social History, (supplement) 14 (2006), 21-45 and his Counterflows to Colonialism: Indian Travellers and Settlers in Britain, 1600-1857 (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004), esp. ch. 4.

34 See the chapters by Marianne Czisnik and Andrew Lambert in David Cannadine (ed.), Trafalgar in History: A Battle and its Aftermath (Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2006).


 C. I. Hamilton, ‘Naval Hagiography and the Victorian Hero’, Historical Journal, 23 (1980), 381-98; Alison Yarrington, The Commemoration of the Hero, 1800-1864: Monuments to the British Victors of the Napoleonic Wars (New York: Garland, 1988); Isaac Land, War, Nationalism and the British Sailor, 1750-1850 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009). The foremost sea-novelist of his generation, Frederick Marryat, was declining in popularity by mid-century: John Robert Reed, The Army and Navy in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (New York: AMS, 2011), ch. 4.


 Oliver Walton, ‘ “A Great Improvement in the Sailor’s Feeling Towards the Naval Service”: Recruiting Seamen for the Royal Navy, 1815-53’, Journal for Maritime Research, 12 (2010), 27-57; Mary Conley, From Jack Tar to Union Jack: Representing Naval Manhood in the British Empire, 1870-1918 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009).


 A. G. L. Shaw, Convicts and the Colonies: A Study of Penal Transportation from Great Britain and Ireland to Australia and other Parts of the British Empire (London: Faber and Faber, 1966); Heather Shore, ‘Transportation, Penal Ideology and the Experience of Juvenile Offenders in England and Australia in the Early Nineteenth Century’, Crime Histoire and Sociétés, 6 (2002), 81-102.

38 Clare Anderson, ‘Sepoys, Servants and Settlers: Convict Transportation in the Indian Ocean, 1787-1945’ in Frank Dikötter and Ian Brown (eds.), Cultures of Confinement: A History of the Prison in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007), pp. 185-220; Clare Anderson, The Indian Uprising of 1857-8: Prisons, Prisoners, and Rebellion (London: Anthem Press, 2007).


 Hugh Tinker, A New System of Slavery. The Export of Indian Labour Overseas, 1830-1920 (London: Oxford University Press, 1974); David Northrup, Indentured Labour in the Age of Imperialism, 1834-1922 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). For a comparative perspective, see the essays in Emma Christopher, Cassandra Pybus and Marcus Rediker (eds.), Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).


 Gerard Moran, ‘ “Shovelling out the Poor”: Assisted Emigration from Ireland from the Great Famine to the Fall of Parnell’ in Patrick J. Duffy and Gerard Moran (eds.), To and from Ireland: Planned Migration Schemes c.1600-2000 (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2004), pp. 137-54; Marjory Harper, ‘Enticing the Emigrant: Canadian Agents in Ireland and Scotland, c.1870-c.1920’, Scottish Historical Review, 83 (2004), 41-58.


 Marjory Harper and Stephen Constantine (eds.), Migration and Empire Oxford History of the British Empire Companion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), esp. chs 1-5; Eric Richards, Britannia’s Children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600 (London: Hambledon, 2004), chs. 7-9; Alexander Murdoch, British Emigration, 1603-1914 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), chs. 6-7.


 James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 153-65; Robert Grant, Representations of British Emigration, Colonisation, and Settlement: Imagining Empire, 1800-1860 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).


 Andrew S. Thompson and Gary B. Macgee, Empire and Globalisation: Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, c.1850-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010); Joseph Hardwick, ‘Anglican Church Expansion and the Recruitment of Colonial Clergy for New South Wales and the Cape Colony, c. 1790-1850’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37 (2009), 361-81.


 On Froude and empire, see Duncan Bell, The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860-1900 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), pp. 143-9. For a different and ‘oceanic’ perspective on late Victorian 19th century anxieties, see the concluding observations of Jonathan Scott, When the Waves Ruled Britannia: Geography and Political Identities, 1500-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 194-7.

45 Parkinson, The Late Victorian Navy; Donald Mackenzie Schurman, Imperial Defence, 1868-1887 ed. John Beeler (London: Frank Cass, 2000); Andrew Lambert, ‘The Royal Navy and the Defence of Empire, 1856-1918’ in Gregory C. Kennedy (ed.), Imperial Defence: The Old World Order 1856-1956 (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 111-32; P. P. O’Brien, ‘The Titan Refreshed: Imperial Overstretch and the British Navy before the First World War’, Past and Present, 172 (2001), 146-69.

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