By Kevin D. Mccranie
Lord Keith, a Scottish admiral who rose to prominence serving His Majesty from 1761 to 1815, ended his profession by way of overseeing Napoleon’s quit in 1815. Born George Keith Elphinstone, Keith at one time or one other held approximately each vital command within the British military, and his tale illustrates the navy’s heritage in the course of the Age of struggling with Sail. McCranie’s publication is the 1st glossy biography of Keith, who realized the artwork of commanding unmarried ships and small squadrons in the course of the American Revolution. Keith finally commanded 4 significant fleets—the japanese Seas, the Mediterranean, the North Sea, and the Channel. although he by no means led a fleet into conflict, Keith supported joint operations with the British military and its allies whereas at the same time keeping command of the ocean and making sure the unfastened passage of trade. a talented administrator, who now and then managed greater than two hundred ships over millions of sq. miles of ocean, Keith effectively navigated the political and social waters besides. Drawing on greater than 100,000 deepest and public documents, McCranie files Keith’s dealings with the British govt, the Royal relations, the Admiralty, the French executive, the French military, the British military, and Britain’s allies. mentioning letters Keith wrote to his spouse, his sister, his oldest daughter, and his father, to whom he defined his first impressions of the army, the writer bargains a private portrait and narrative of a career-conscious officer who anxious approximately what others considered him. This publication will attract historians of the Royal military, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic period, in addition to fans of the Age of struggling with Sail.
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Extra info for Admiral Lord Keith and the Naval War against Napoleon (New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology)
On 7 September, ten of the Perseus’s men stole the ship’s cutter and sailed up the Chesapeake. When Elphinstone learned of the desertion, he ordered his ship to give chase, and at six in the morning the lookouts spotted the cutter along the western shore. The remaining boats pursued the cut- 14 / Admiral Lord Keith and the Naval War against Napoleon ter, but they returned empty-handed later that morning. This incident should not have been surprising. 32 In late October 1777 Elphinstone received orders to serve under Captain Robert Fanshawe of the Carysfort (28), patrolling the waters from the Carolinas south to Florida.
19 Since the prince had no conception of the exact amount of his debt, Elphinstone tried to ascertain the state of the young man’s finances. He then asked for a larger allowance, citing unavoidable entertainment expenses on account of William being royalty. A rejection immediately arrived in the form of a “stiff letter,”20 but Prince William nevertheless continued to depend on Elphinstone. In late 1788, George III suffered a bout of insanity. The Opposition, including Elphinstone, used this as a grounds to support the Prince of Wales in his bid to become regent for the ailing ruler.
Almost unabated adverse weather made the job of escorting the transports a nightmare. On more than one occasion the Perseus assisted transports in distress. One had lost her main and mizzen masts. Worse still, on 17 January 1780 the transport George signaled distress. “Being found too leaky she was scuttled and sunk,” but not before Elphinstone’s men spent a grueling day in their boats transferring the transport’s men and baggage. By the time the fleet reached the southern colonies, the weather had scattered many of the transports.