Spencer was First Lord of the Admiralty 1794-1801, virtually throughout the wars against Revolutionary France, and his correspondence with officers and politicians is of central importance to the naval history of the times.
These volumes continue Spencer’s correspondence up to 1801 when he left office with the fall of Pitt’s ministry. Topics include Admiral Bruix’s cruise, proposal to attach Brest, Helder expedition, West Indies and the Channel Squadron.
Table of Contents
PART I. GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
PART II. ADMIRAL BRUIX'S CRUISE
PART III. THE PROPOSAL TO ATTACK BREST
PART IV. THE HELDER EXPEDITION
PART V. OPERATIONS IN THE WEST INDIES
PART VI. THE CHANNEL SQUADRON
SIR ALAN GARDNER'S PROTEST
OPERATIONS ON FRENCH AND SPANISH COASTS
BELLE ISLE AND THE ADJACENT COAST
THE NORTHERN END OF BELLE ISLE
Sir Herbert Richmond was described as “perhaps the most brilliant naval officer of his generation” who became a naval historian, known as “the British Mahan”. He led the Royal Navy’s intellectual revolution that stressed continuing education, especially in naval history, as essential for an understanding of naval strategy. He acted as a “Gadfly” to the Admiralty, and his criticisms caused him to be denied the role in the formation of policy and the reform of naval education which his abilities warranted.