Sir George Cockburn emerged from the Napoleonic War the best-known British admiral since Nelson. He first came to public notice for his part in the British attack on Washington in 1814. He also escorted Napoleon to St Helena after Waterloo. His greatest impact was as the Admiralty Commissioner who presided over much of the transition of the British navy from sail to steam between 1818 and 1846. This work examines the career of a formidable personality who maintained the interests and professionalism of the British navy through one of the most difficult periods of political and technological evolution. The book provides an insight into the conduct of the British Admiralty, and offers a contribution to 19th-century naval history as it is concerned with the administration of the service in a period of peace.
Roger Morriss was a Curator at the National Maritime Museum, London until 1995. He is an Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Exeter Centre for Maritime Studies, and in the History Department, University College London.