How should the Royal Navy be manned? Was impressment the best answer to this question? Was the seizure of men off the streets by Press Gangs acceptable to a freedom-loving society? What was the alternative?
This issue provoked considerable debate, especially with reference to the Georgian and Victorian Navy, and attracted the attention, not only of naval officers to whom it was an essential matter of vital concern, but also of politicians, administrators, and influential voices in the City and the Press. Professor Bromley examines this important subject through the medium of twenty-five separate and complete pamphlets that were written and publicly circulated between 1693 and 1873. The authors of these pamphlets range from admirals, captains, commanders, lieutenants, and a naval chaplain to a City liveryman, a Middlesex JP, and celebrated philanthropist. Biographies of these authors are provided.