*Our shops are open Monday - Saturday. Click here for more information about visiting us, and the safety measures that have been put in place.*

DOUGLAS, Sir Howard.

Naval Evolutions; A Memoir by…

containing a Review and Refutation of the Principal Essays and Arguments advocating Mr. Clerk's Claims in relation to the Manoeuvre of the 12th of April, 1782; and vindicating, by Tactical Demonstration, and Numerous Authentic Documents, the Professional Skill of the British Officers chiefly concerned on that Memorable Occasion.

London: Thomas and William Boone, 1832 Stock Code: 60040
Reserve Ask us a question


First edition. The third son of Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Douglas, Douglas was originally intended for the Navy, but after his father's death, his guardians, without consultation, obtained a place for him at the Royal Military Academy. He was subsequently superintendent of the senior department at Sandhurst, and served with distinction as assistant quartermaster-general in Spain, and on the disastrous Walcheren Expedition. In later life he gravitated toward naval matters, his Treatise on Naval Gunnery (1820) was the basis for training until the late 1840s; "Douglas's book was more than a mere artillery training manual; it encompassed key elements of national strategy, notably the development of new weapons and tactics for the bombardment of foreign naval bases He considered that mortars, and later Armstrong breech-loading cannon, enabled naval forces to lay off at long range and destroy naval bases. In the Crimean War his ideas were applied at Sveaborg in August 1855 with devastating results." (ODNB) The present work, which was "suggested by a conversation with his old friend and school companion Sir Walter Scott," is a defence of his father's claim to be the originator if the manoeuvre of "the breaking of the line." Douglas first published an article in the Quarterly Review in 1829 questioning the claims of John Clerk of Eldin, which initiated a furious controversy with Clerk's supporters, despite the fact that Clerk, who had died in 1812, had "maintained in 1804 that his ideas were not fully developed at the time of the battle of the Saints, and that his thinking had not finally come together until the late 1790s, when he published details of the manoeuvre."

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo. Original dark green moiré cloth, paper label to the upper board, yellow surface-paper endpapers.


14 diagrammatic plates, and one double-sided, folding facsimile letter.


A little rubbed and soiled, mild toning, scattered very light foxing, a very good copy.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book