Amberley Publishing - Transport, Military, Local and General History

Lawson Lies Still in the Thames

The Extraordinary Life of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson

Availability: In stock

Author: Gill Blanchard

At the beginning of his diary, on 1st January 1660, Samuel Pepys noted that ‘Lawson lies still in the River’. A mere two weeks before, amid rioting in the streets of London and with Parliament under the control of the army, Vice‑Admiral John Lawson had taken a fleet of twenty-two warships into the Thames and, in defence of Parliament, blockaded the city.

Despite being a staunch republican, Lawson would later aid the Restoration of Charles II, and died from wounds received in battle during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1665.

This biography charts the tumultuous life and times of an ordinary seaman born in Scarborough who would come to play a major role in the English Civil War, the Restoration, the Anglo-Dutch Wars and the start of the transformation of England into a global political and economic power in the seventeenth century.

Book ISBN 9781445661230

Book Format Hardback

pages 304 pages

Publication Date 15 May 2017

Height 234

Width 156

Illustrations 35


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A fascinating story of an ordinary man in extraordinary timesReview by Sue
I have waited a long time for the release of this book and have not been disappointed. Gill Blanchard has completed a huge amount of research to track down the details of the life of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson yet managed to present the complex story clearly and without baffling naval technicalities. Gill admits to not being a naval historian and, in my opinion, ensures that this is a book that is accessible to everyone interested in this extraordinary period of our history.
Little has been known about Lawson prior to this book’s publication despite his pivotal role in many of the major events of the English Civil Wars, Interregnum and Restoration. This is even more baffling as Pepys refers to one of these events in the opening page of his diary.
Lawson’s story gripped me from the start and I read the book in record time ((for me) despite constantly referring to the copious source notes and studying many sections in great detail.
I can highly recommend Gill’s book to everyone interested in seventeenth-century or naval history. Yet it is a book that is also accessible to those with no prior knowledge in these areas. You will be rewarded with a gripping story and will come to know a sympathetic character who was just an ordinary man but one who led an extraordinary life.
(Posted on 30/05/2017)

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