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The Naval Chronology; or, an Historical Summary of Naval and Maritime Events,

including Authentic Accounts of the Most Remarkable Engagements, in which the British Flag has ever been so eminently Distinguished, also Narratives of the most Dreadful of all Calamities, a Fire at Sea. From the time of the Romans, to the Treaty of Peace of Amiens, with a Copious Appendix. A New Edition Revised and Corrected.

Published: London: T. Egerton, Bickerstaff, and Richardson, 1815

Stock code: 62078

Price: £3,750

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First published 1802, this revised edition extremely uncommon, seemingly just 10 complete sets listed on OCLC, BL lists two odd volumes, NMM Caird Library similarly with just two odds. Schomberg entered the Royal Navy in 1770, serving early on with his uncle Alexander Schomberg on the Prudent at Spithead. His “interest” was sufficiently strong to obtain him some excellent postings to Newfoundland on the Romney, Vice-Admiral Duff’s flagship, subsequently transferring to the Canada on whom he saw action at Gibraltar, St. Kitt’s and the Battle of the Saintes, and at the end of the American War the Barfleur under Hood. He had been commended for showing ‘great science and ability in his profession,’ and in 1786 he was selected as mentor to Prince William, the future William IV, on board the frigate Pegasus. A clash of characters led to a confrontation, with William provoking Schomberg into “applying to Captain Horatio Nelson (the senior officer on the station) for a court martial on himself to clear his name – on the petty matter of not sending a boat inshore to collect sheets from the hospital.” (ODNB) It was an unfortunate appointment, apart from an age difference of more than a dozen years, and “William’s determination to be his own man, the prince’s pleasures were alcoholic parties lasting long into the next morning, whereas Schomberg’s interests were more sober and scholarly. For example, he had an ‘excellent little library’ on board.” Sadly Schomberg’s temper seems to have been permanently affected by this incident, a few years later he was involved in an altercation with the government of Madras, which led to his being sent home from India. In 1795 he retired “to write his Naval chronology …dedicated to Lord Hood. The comprehensive lists of ships, captains, and actions in volumes 4 and 5 are of particular value.” This set with the contemporary ownership inscriptions of C.S. Burnaby to the title pages, and those of the renowned naval and maritime historian Basil Lubbock to the endpapers. An invaluable reference work – “with detailed and comprehensive statistical appendices” (NMM) – very rarely encountered complete.

5 volumes octavo (210 126 mm) Later black half calf, matching grained cloth boards, red morocco title labels, volume numbers direct to spines, marbled edges and endpapers. Frontispiece to each. Slightly rubbed, particularly on the joints, one or two a touch cracked, some foxing and browning, but overall a very good set.

Bibliography: NMM, V, 1232 for the 1802 edition.

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