The Naval Chronicle
Containing a General and Biographical History of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom with a Variety of Original Papers on Nautical Subjects
Volume 27, January–July 1812
Edited by James Stanier Clarke
Edited by John McArthur
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:January 2011
Original Publication Year:1812
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511731815.004
Subjects: Military History , British History after 1450
“The naval glories, these, of Anna's reign.”—Anon
The non-existence of such a work as the Naval Chronicle in the earlier periods of our history, is never more severely felt, than on taking a retrospective survey of the lives and actions of those officers who, in former times, have largely contributed to the honour and glory of the country. Frequently, instead of a finished picture, which should fix attention, and command admiration, we find only a faint and incomplete outline, without possessing the means of supplying its defects. The grand points, it is true, are generally preserved; but the nicer, and more characteristic lineaments, are, in many instances, altogether imperceptible. The future historian will have no such complaint to make. When the names of Howe, Nelson, St. Vincent, and other naval worthies, fall beneath his eye–when it shall be his task to pourtray their lives, and emblazon their exploits–his labour will be light and grateful, for his sources of intellignce will at once be pure and ample.
Of most of our distinguished naval commanders of former times, the youthful services are veiled in impenetrable obscurity. Thus it is with respect to Sir James Wishart.–This gentleman, the descendant of a respectable family in North Britain, was appointed commander of the Pearl, on the 4th of July, 1689; but, of his services prior to that period, nothing is with certainty known.