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The Naval Achievements of Great Britain, From the Year 1793 to 1817 - James Jenkins

The Naval Achievements of Great Britain, From the Year 1793 to 1817 - James Jenkins

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From the modern naval novels of C. S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian, the reader is taken right to the front of many hard-fought actions during the days of fighting sail.

We know that both authors drew widely upon contemporary accounts to ensure historic accuracy. With their added skills in written description and created dialogue, all the flavour of shipboard life and the desperate struggle of winning in single ship or fleet actions is brought alive within the reader’s imagination.

But was there something else to assist the author’s eye in seeing the condition and effect of the weather on a full rigged man of war? Was there a source for viewing the positions of opposing fleets at critical moments in a major engagement or in the quick-witted manoeuvre of a frigate captain which exposed his enemy’s stern to a raking broadside?

"Yes", is the answer, and probably the most important contemporary visual source is found in The Naval Achievements of Great Britain, 1793 to 1817 by James Jenkins, which was first published in 1817.

In the words of Roger Quarm of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England:

"As a record of naval events spanning over twenty years Jenkins' Naval Achievements has no precedent. At no time prior to 1817 had a publisher attempted such a complete volume of documentary naval prints. It is the quality of the accuracy which makes Jenkins so valuable above all, and it is the pictures rather than the text to which the value can be attributed."

Fifty five water-colours were painted by Thomas Whitcombe (54) and Nicolas Pocock (1) which formed the basis for the coloured aquatint plates that are the body of this large format presentation of sea fights. Jenkins has not been reprinted since its last printing around 1830, and today it is a very scarce book caused mainly by the original volumes being broken up, so that the plates may be framed and sold individually. Today, a single plate from Jenkins sells for around £250.

Technical Specification:

Publication date: 1 August 1998, the bicentenary of Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile.

Content: 288 pages including two blank leaves as endpapers. 57 coloured plates, which include portraits of Lord Nelson (after De Koster) and Earl St. Vincent (after Beechey). Of the 55 remaining coloured plates of sea fights under sail, 54 are by Thomas Whitcombe and one is by Nicholas Pocock. The original aquatint plates are in the main engraved by T. Sutherland, with a few by J. Jeakes and J. Bailey. The original copy used for this 1998 limited edition is an original Subscription Copy. It is identified by the additional two portrait plates, uncoloured title vignette, names of subscribers list and Whatman paper watermarks for the text and plates, all being 1816 or earlier. The original edition was published in March 1817.

Origination and printing of the colour plates: The Stochastic Process is employed. Stochastic is a technology using a non-screen scanning technique which produces very high density data as micro dot patterns of colour. The result is one of effectively continuous colour flow with very high definition of varying colour shades. Colour separation is enhanced through the microdot not conflicting with neighbouring elements, as one may find in traditional screen based scanning techniques. In addition to this, the scan is taken from the original Jenkins plate, thus removing the interference created in colour translation by producing a colour photo image.

Origination and printing of the uncoloured text: Traditional black and white half tone photography is used, as this produces the best image results in terms of black and shades of black.

Paper: Mohawk Superfine Softwhite Eggshell 148gsm is an acid free matt finish paper which is very similar to the weight and colour of the original Whatman paper.

Binding: Each book, in either blue buckram or half blue goat is bound by hand and incorporates the French groove technique which provides added strength to the book cover hinge. Both presentations of binding shall have gold tooling applied to the spine which shall incorporate nautical devices as well as the title. Both bindings will be housed in a green card slip case.

Book and page size: Small Folio, (13.75" x 10.5" / 335mm x 270mm) overall. The page size is 13 x 9.5 inches plus gutter.

Edition size: A total of 600 copies only, with copies numbered 1 to 150 being bound in half blue goat. Copies numbered 151 to 600 are bound in blue buckram.

List of Plates
Portrait of Lord Nelson.

Portrait of Earl St. Vincent.

1) View of Gibraltar.

2) Capture of La Cleopatre, 18 Jun 1793.

3) Capture of La Reunion, 21 Oct 1793.

4) Destruction of the French Fleet at Toulon, 18 Dec 1793.

5) Capture of La Pomone, L’Engageante & La Babet, 23 Apr 1794.

6) Capture of the Castor, 29 May 1794.

7) Lord Howe in the Queen Charlotte, Breaking the Enemy’s Line, 29 May 1794.

8) Lord Howe’s Victory, 1 Jun 1794.

9) Capture of La Pique, 5 Jan 1795.

10) Lord Hotham’s Action, 14 Mar 1795.

11) Capture of La Gloire, 10 Apr 1795.

12) Capture of La Prevoyante and La Raison, 17 May 1795.

13) Lord Bridport’s Action off L’Orient, 23 Jun 1795.

14) Capture of La Minerve, 24 Jun 1795.

15) Capture of the Mahonesa, 13 Oct 1796.

16) Capture of La Proserpine, 13 Jun 1796.

17) Capture of La Tribune, 8 Jun 1796.
18) Capture of Le Desius, 25 Nov 1796.
19) Battle of Cape St. Vincent, 14 Feb 1797.

20) Capture of L’Hercule,20 Apr 1797. [1798]

21) Action off Camperdown, 11 Oct 1797.

22) Capture of La Nereide, 21 Dec 1797.

23) Capture of La Confiante,31 May 1798.

24) Capture of the Dorothea, 15 Jul 1798.

25) Capture of the Liguria, 7 Aug 1798.

26 & 27) Battle of the Nile, 1 Aug 1798.

28) Capture of La Loire, 18 Oct 1798.

29) Capture of L’Immortalite’, 20 Oct 1798.

30) Capture of the Furie & Waakzamheid, 23 Oct 1798.

31) Capture of La Forte, 28 Feb 1799.

32) Capture of La Vestale, 20 Aug 1799.

33) Cutting out the Hermione from the Harbour of Porto Cavallo, 25 Oct 1799.

34) Capture of La Desiree, 7 Jul 1800.

35) Capture of La Vengeance, 21 Aug 1800.
36 & 37) Destruction of the Danish Fleet before Copenhagen, 2 Apr 1801.
38) Battle off Cabareta Point, 12 Jul 1801.

39) Capture of La Chiffonne, 19 Aug 1801.

40) Capture & Destruction of Four Spanish Frigates, 5 Oct 1804.

41) Sir Robt. Calder’s Action, 22 Jul 1805.

42, 43 & 44) Battle of Trafalgar, 21 Oct 1805.

45) Sir Richard Strachan’s Action, 4 Nov 1805.

46) Sir J. T. Duckworth’s Action off St. Domingo, 6 Feb 1806.

47) Capture of the Maria Riggersbergen, 18 Oct 1806.

48) Capture of the Badere Zaffer, 6 Jul 1808.

49) Destruction of the French Fleet at Basque Roads,12 Apr 1809.

50) Capture of Le Sparviere, 3 May 1810.

51) Capture of the Island of Banda, 9 Aug 1810.

52) Capture of the Chesapeake,1 Jun 1813.

53) Capture of the Argus, 14 Aug 1813.

54) Capture of La Clorinde, 26 Feb 1814.

55) Bombardment of Algiers, 27 Aug 1816.

ISBN 0 905 887 07 7 Buckram Edition 450 copies only and includes a signed numbered certificate.

ISBN 0 905 887 06 09 Leather Edition 150 copies only and includes a signed numbered certificate.

Prices: For estimating the cost of postage, the single volume packed weighs 3.5 KG./ 8 Lbs.

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