Admiral of the Blue

The Life and Times of Admiral John Child Purvis (1747 – 1825)

Iain Gordon

Date Published :
November 2005
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
16 pages of b/w images
No associated books available.


Admiral John Child Purvis was a contemporary naval officer of Nelson, who never disobeyed an order and did his job well. His ability as a fighting commander was proved in a bloody duel between his sloop-of-war and a French corvette during the War of American Independence. As a battleship Captain, he was the first British officer to confront Napoleon Bonaparte, muzzle to muzzle, during the Siege of Toulon. Commanding the Princess Royal and then the London, he was involved in much action in the Mediterranean and served under the legendary Sir John Jervis (later Lord St. Vincent).

Later, as a Flag Officer, he rejoined the Mediterranean Fleet first as second-in-command and then as Commander-in-Chief. The culmination of his long and distinguished career at sea was saving the Spanish fleet in Cadiz from capture by the French and preparing the city for siege.

About The Author

Iain Gordon founded and ran for 30 years a specialist publishing house producing periodicals for Army garrisons and establishments in conjunction with being Managing Director of an established Scottish weekly newspaper. He regularly writes articles on military history and speaks at academic symposia in the United Kingdom and overseas.

Since his retirement he has written seven books, five of which have been published by Pen & Sword: Admiral of the Blue, the biography of a Georgian Navy admiral, was shortlisted for the Mountbatten Maritime Prize in 2006 and Bloodline, a study of the origins and development of the regular formations of the British Army, has become the standard reference work in its field. The Night Hunter’s Prey was published in 2016.

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