Nancy Perriam – a woman in the Georgian Navy (Guest Post) – The Dark Days of Georgian Britain

How many women have you ever seen in movies or on television working alongside men during naval battles? The answer is probably “None”, yet many were there! There were lots of women aboard navy ships during before, during and after the Napoleonic Wars. And some, like Nancy Perriam, taking…

via Nancy Perriam – a woman in the Georgian Navy (Guest Post) – The Dark Days of Georgian Britain

Hanging a Monkey as a French Spy During the Napoleonic Wars | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

What do you know of the Hartlepool Monkey and the “Monkey Hangers”? I certainly knew nothing of the tale until I stumbled across it. Legend says that a shipwrecked monkey was hanged as …

Source: Hanging a Monkey as a French Spy During the Napoleonic Wars | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

Press Gangs in the Regency Era | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

Impressment – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org

Press gangs operated in England from medieval times, but during the war years the “tradition” was increased. In fact, the pressing of free men into military service was considered a roy…

Source: Press Gangs in the Regency Era | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

German Sausages and Flying Ambulances

When I first saw the term “flying ambulance” I thought it was something that had originated in Africa, or in the Australian outback, a vehicle for flying doctors. In fact it goes back much further than that. To the Napoleonic Wars, as I discovered only recently.

I was researching the Battle of Waterloo for my book, A Lady for Lord Randall, and it was impossible not to think about the casualties. More than 40,000 soldiers died on the battlefield and given the state of medical knowledge at that time, it is debateable which was worse, to be killed outright or seriously wounded. Dr Howard Martin has written two wonderfully detailed books on the subject (Wellington’s Doctors and Napoleon’s Doctors) if you want to find out a lot more fascinating details. One thing that became clear to me is that in the treatment and care of injured soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars the French had the advantage. Bonaparte was very forward-thinking when it came to the health of his army. He preferred prevention to medical treatment, he advocated good food, good hygiene, fresh air and high morale. He also supported the use of quinine and…

Source: German Sausages and Flying Ambulanc

Chemical Warfare During the Napoleonic Wars | ReginaJeffers’s Blog

Originally posted on ReginaJeffers’s Blog.

In 1812, Prince George received a plan outlining the use of “unusual” methods to defeat Napoleon Bonaparte. The plan came to the future George IV from Captain Sir Thomas, Lord Cochrane. At the time, Wellesley’s successes in Spain were sporadic, and the Royal Navy struggled with the blockades of French ports. Cochrane’s plan offered hopes of a quick victory over the French.

Cochrane quickly rose through the naval ranks from midshipman to lieutenancy (earned in three short years) and later received command of his own ship, the HMS Speedy. Although the Speedy was but a 14 cannon sloop, Cochrane managed to capture the Spanish frigate Gamo, for which he earned praise. Cochrane possessed strategic cunning, which should have served him well in his position, but he also possessed the uncanny ability to “insult” his superiors by pointing out their shortcomings.

Fortunately for Cochrane, Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville, arrived in London in 1804 as First Lord of the Admiralty. Melville presented Cochrane with the command of the frigate Pallas and permission to patrol the North Atlantic waters. Within two months, Cochrane earned 75,000 pounds sterling in prize money. Napoleon marked Cochrane with the name “The Sea Wolf.” [le loupe des mers]

Needless to say a person with such charisma cannot sustain the favor of the Crown for long. Part of Cochrane’s woes came via the court martial trial of Admiral James Gambier after the action at Aix Roads in 1809. Cochrane managed to drive all but two of the French ships ashore during the battle. The battle lasted for three days, but it failed to…

via Chemical Warfare During the Napoleonic Wars | ReginaJeffers’s Blog.

English Historical Fiction Authors: In and Out of Jane Austen’s Window

Originally posted on English Historical Fiction Authors

We do love our period costume dramas, don’t we?

I mean, what could be more restful than slipping back into a slower age, a more peaceful idyllic age, when horses clip-clopped their ways across the country, the corn was green in the fields, they wore elegant clothes that looked soft and weren’t all black, and society was stable and one found one’s Captain Wentworth or John Thornton in a garden of yellow roses? Or driving a high-perch phaeton with scarlet-wheels, wearing an eight-caped greatcoat, with a team of matched greys?

And that must be how it was, mustn’t it, because Austen for one never mentions a world beyond that charming and charmed existence, does she?

But here’s the thing, we tend to forget that…

via English Historical Fiction Authors: In and Out of Jane Austen’s Window.

c. 1858: Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars

Grenadier Burg, 24th Regiment of the Guard, 1815
IMAGE: BROWN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Napoléon Bonaparte’s final defeat was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Even after his death in 1821, the surviving soldiers of Grande Armée revered his historic leadership. Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon’s death, the veterans marched to Paris’ Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.

These photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.

These are the only surviving images of veterans of the Grande Armée and the Guard actually wearing their original uniforms and insignia…

via c. 1858: Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars.