10th February 2016 11am. '"In Nelson's Wake": The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars'


  • Horatio Nelson's celebrated victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 presented Britain with an unprecedented command of the seas. Yet the Royal Navy's role in the struggle against Napoleonic France was far from over. This groundbreaking book asserts that, contrary to the accepted notion that the Battle of Trafalgar essentially completed the Navy's task, the war at sea actually intensified over the next decade, ceasing only with Napoleon's final surrender. In this dramatic account of naval contributions between 1803 and 1815, James Davey offers original and exciting insights into the Napoleonic wars and Britain's maritime history. Encompassing Trafalgar, the Peninsular War, the War of 1812, the final campaign against Napoleon, and many lesser known but likewise crucial moments, the book sheds light on the experiences of individuals high and low, from admiral and captain to sailor and cabin boy. The cast of characters also includes others from across Britain-dockyard workers, politicians, civilians-who made fundamental contributions to the war effort and in so doing, both saved the nation and shaped Britain's history.


  • Dr James Davey is Curator of Naval History at the National Maritime Museum. He is the author of The Transformation of British Naval Strategy: Seapower and Supply in Northern Europe 1808-1812 (2012), co-author with Richard Johns of Broadsides: Caricature and the Navy 1756-1815 (2012) and co-editor with Quintin Colville of Nelson, Navy & Nation: the Royal Navy and the British People, 1688-1815 (2013). His new publication, In Nelson’s Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars, was published by Yale University Press in 2015.  James is a Council member of the Society for Nautical Research and the Navy Records Society, the Reviews Editor for the Journal for Maritime Research, and an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the University of Leicester. In 2015 he was awarded the Jan Glete Prize by the Swedish Society for Maritime History.




11 am The Cutty Sark Pub just five minutes east of the Naval College,

4-6 Ballast Quay
SE10 9PD



£10 for the lecture plus the cost of the light lunch / finger buffet afterwards

Numbers are strictly limited so please book early