This is unusual among the Society’s volumes in not dealing with British naval history. It prints a history of the Russian Baltic fleet from its foundation, written in 1724 by an unidentified Englishman, evidently a sea officer in Russian service.
The author has recently been identified as Captain John Deane – see Richard H Warner, ‘Captain John Deane: Mercenary, Diplomat and Spy’, in People of the Northern Seas, ed. Lewis R Fischer and Walter Minchinton (St John’s, Newfoundland, 1992), pp 157-173.
Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge was born on 13 March 1839 and was educated at Walthamstow House, passing the entrance examination for the Royal Navy in 1853, serving initially in the paddle sloop HMS Medea, and then on the flagship of the North American Station, HMS Cumberland. During the Crimean War he served in the White Sea. He qualified as a gunnery officer. In 1877 he was promoted Captain, going on half pay and writing on the German Navy, published in the Journal of the RUSI. In 1889 he was appointed Director of the newly established Naval Intelligence Department, the first part of the Naval Staff, and effectively Chief of Staff at the Admiralty. Here he helped found the Navy Records Society with Sir John Knox Laughton. In 1894 he was appointed to command the Australian squadron on promotion to Rear-Admiral. In 1901 as Vice-Admiral he commanded the China Station. In 1903 he was promoted to Admiral and retired from the Royal Navy in March 1904.