Science, Utility and Maritime Power: Samuel Bentham in Russia, 1779-91, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Science, Utility and Maritime Power

Samuel Bentham in Russia, 1779-91, 1st Edition

By Roger Morriss


292 pages

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Hardback: 9781472412676
pub: 2015-02-18
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During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Samuel Bentham influenced both the technology and the administrative ideas employed in the management of the British navy. His influence stemmed from his passion for science, from his desire to achieve improvements based on a belief in the principle of Utility, and from experience gained over eleven years in Russia, a large part in the service of Catherine the Great and Prince Potemkin. Having travelled extensively throughout the north and south of Russia, Poland and Siberia, he managed Potemkin’s industries at Krichev, built fast river galleys, armed the Russian flotilla of small craft at Kherson and served with the flotilla that defeated the Turks in the Black Sea. His main ambition was to open river communication in Siberia and develop trade into the Pacific. However he returned to England and in 1796 became Inspector General of Naval Works, a post in which he fought for innovations in the technology and management of the British royal dockyards. Regarded then by the Navy Board as a dangerous maverick, this book reveals the experiences, creativity and thinking that made him a major figure in British naval development.


'This is a very important book for students of Anglo-Russian naval, commercial and technical relations in the age of Catherine the Great, one that will repay readers who are ready to push the evidence in different directions.' Strife Journal

About the Author

Dr Roger Morriss is a senior lecturer in history at the University of Exeter. He is interested in most aspects of European maritime history and teaches British maritime and naval history. His research interests are focussed on British naval administration in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, particularly naval logistics. He has published several books, including The Foundations of British Maritime Ascendency 1755-1815 (2010), Naval Power and British Culture, 1760-1850 (2004) and The Channel Fleet and the Blockade of Brest 1793-1801 (2001), and is the current General Editor of the Navy Records Society, a position he has held since 2000.

About the Series

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series
The Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series is the publishing platform of the Corbett Centre. Drawing on the expertise and wider networks of the Defence Studies Department of King's College London, and based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in the UK Defence Academy, the Corbett Centre is already a leading centre for academic expertise and education in maritime and naval studies. It enjoys close links with several other institutions, both academic and governmental, that have an interest in maritime matters, including the Developments, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), the Naval Staff of the Ministry of Defence and the Naval Historical Branch. The centre and its publishing output aims to promote the understanding and analysis of maritime history and policy and to provide a forum for the interaction of academics, policy-makers and practitioners. Books published under the eagis of the Corbett Centre series reflect these aims and provide an opportunity to stimulate research and debate into a broad range of maritime related themes. The core subject matter for the series is maritime strategy and policy, conceived broadly to include theory, history and practice, military and civil, historical and contemporary, British and international aspects. As a result this series offers a unique opportunity to examine key issues such as maritime security, the future of naval power, and the commercial uses of the sea, from an exceptionally broad chronological, geographical and thematic range. Truly interdisciplinary in its approach, the series welcomes books from across the humanities, social sciences and professional worlds, providing an unrivalled opportunity for authors and readers to enhance the national and international visibility of maritime affairs, and provide a forum for policy debate and analysis.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Oceania