Latest issue of IJMH, February 2019


Table of Contents

Volume 31 Issue 1, February 2019



David J. Starkey


The first voyage of Giovanni da Empoli to India: Mercantile culture, Christian faith, and the early production of knowledge about Portuguese Asia

Matteo Salonia

Quo patet orbis Dei: Dutch Deputies for maritime affairs and their global network in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

(Leon) van den Broeke, J.C.A. (Joost) Schokkenbroek

Profits from under the water: The international blubber market, Russian monopolistic companies and the idea of whaling development in the eighteenth century

Alexei Kraikovski

The anti-piracy activities of the Nguyen Dynasty in the South China Sea, 1802–1858

Nguyen Thi My Hanh

Chr. Christensen and C. A. Larsen: A comparative analysis of two whaling entrepreneurs

Bjørn L. Basberg

Sibling rivalry, shipping innovation and litigation: Henry Burrell and the ‘Straightback Steamship’

Martin Bellamy

When does war end? Armistice and the Prize Courts of the twentieth century

Sarah Craze

From wooden pigeons to Telstar: Precursors of modern maritime satellite communications

Dimov Stojce Ilcev

The development of maritime satellite communications since 1976

Dimov Stojce Ilcev

Book Reviews

Centre of Maritime History, First Symposium, 25-26 April 2018, Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece


This symposium is to inaugurate the new Centre of Maritime History of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies and it is meant to bring together some of the members of the group of Maritime Historians that have marked the path of Maritime History in the last forty years. Professor Lewis R. (Skip) Fischer (1946-2018) was one of the “patriarchs” of Maritime History and paved the way of its organization worldwide since the 1980s. He had looked very much forward to this meeting but unfortunately, he passed away on 11 February 2018. We have thus decided to dedicate this First Academic Meeting to him, hoping to continue his work from this part of the world.

The Centre of Maritime History of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation of Research and Technology – Hellas is based in Rethymnon, Crete, Greece. The aim of the Centre     is to expand research on a broad range of topics of Maritime History, related to the areas of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and beyond, having the global, interdisciplinary and comparative studies in the epicenter. The Centre provides the necessary resources for young and experienced scholars to carry out their research in a stimulating and encouraging environment. Among these resources are: a) Digital data bases and archives, b) a specialized library, and c) a very cohesive and experienced group of researchers working in Maritime History. Furthermore, the Centre devotes funding resources to attract talented PhD students who are willing to pursue research on maritime history. The Centre aims to organize as well workshops, conferences and lectures in order to provide academic meetings at a regular basis and opportunities for scholars to discuss research problems and questions and exchange ideas for further research development.

New issue of IJMH


The lastest issue of the IJMH has been published: Volume 30, Issue 1, February 2018


David J Starkey

‘A certain false, malicious, scandalous and famous libel’: Sir Henry Morgan’s legal action against a London publisher of Alexandre Exquemelin, 1685

Joseph Gibbs

Risk, networks and privateering in Liverpool during the Seven Years’ War, 1756–1763

Sheryllynne Haggerty

British impressment and its discontents

Nicholas Rogers

Portuguese emigration, shipping companies and the state: The business of migrant transport after the Belle Époque

Yvette Santos

 ‘Scows, and barges, or other vessels of box model’: Comparative capital investment in the sailing scows of the Great Lakes of North America and in New Zealand

Jay C. Martin

A shipbuilding consultancy is born: The birth, growth and subsequent takeovers of A&P Appledore (International) Limited, and the A&P Group, 1971–2017

John Craggs, Hugh Murphy, Roger Vaughan

Feeding Neptune: Food and nutrition in the Catalan-Aragonese fleet, 1282–1302

Lawrence V. Mott

The French fleet and the Italian occupation of France, 1940–1942

Niall MacGalloway

Lewis (Skip) Fischer

The IMHA sadly announces the loss of Lewis (Skip) Fischer, one of its founding members, who passed away on 11 February 2018.

Lewis Fischer has been one of the driving forces behind the growth of maritime history for the past forty years. As a teacher, scholar and organizer Skip was involved in many of the new initiatives in maritime history since the mid-1970s.

Lewis Fischer spent most of his career at Memorial University of Newfoundland, an institution he joined in 1976 as part of the Atlantic Canada Shipping Project (ACSP), the first – and still one of the most ambitious – computer-based projects in maritime history. He has also taught extensively overseas, especially in Norway which became the focus of many of his writings. He retired at the end of 2015.

Professor Fischer is the author or editor of more than 200 publications. Foreshadowing his later career, he also edited three volumes of ACSP papers and eleven volumes of Canadian shipping records. A desire to place the Canadian experience in an international context led him to Norway in the mid-1980s to collaborate with Helge Nordvik, with whom he published twenty-nine essays, many of which focussed on maritime labour markets and the profession of shipbroking.

For much of his career he explored comparative maritime history. Skip was also active in both national and international organizations. One of the founders of the Canadian Nautical Research Society, he served as its vice president and secretary, and as the founding co-editor of its journal, “The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du nord”. He was one of the original members of the steering committee of the International Maritime Economic History Association, now IMHA, and co-editor of its newsletter, which in 1989 became the “International Journal of Maritime History”, a journal he served as editor-in- chief for twenty-five years.

He also founded and edited the Association’s on-going series “Research in Maritime History” and several other book series. Along with Peter Davies, he organized the first International Congress of Maritime History in 1992 and served on the organizing committees of several others. Between 1990 and 1995, he was secretary general of the International Commission for Maritime History.

His contributions to the profession have been honoured by an honorary doctorate from the University of Liverpool (2005) and a festschrift: Gelina Harlaftis, Stig Tenold and Jesús M. Valdaliso (eds.), “The World’s Key Industry: History and Economics of International Shipping” (London, 2012).

Frank Broeze Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis in Maritime History

Professor Frank Broeze was one of the leading maritime historians of his generation. In his honour, the International Maritime History Association has instituted the Frank Broeze Prize to be awarded to the author of a doctoral thesis which, in the opinion of the panel, makes the most outstanding contribution to the study of maritime history. As befitting Frank’s visionary approach to the field, maritime history encompasses all aspects of the historical interaction of human societies and the sea. The panel of judges will therefore consider works that focus on the maritime dimensions of economic, social, cultural, political, technological and environmental history.

The Frank Broeze Prize carries with it a cash award of 500 Euros and free registration at the Eighth International Congress of Maritime History in Porto, Portugal, 2020. To be considered for this prestigious award, those who have completed a doctoral thesis between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2019 are invited to submit a copy of their thesis for consideration. If the thesis is written in a language other than English, the entrant should provide a summary of their work (minimum 10,000 words) in English.

The judges will apply the following criteria in deciding the winner of the prize:

  • Contribution to knowledge and understanding of the maritime past;

  • Originality of approach, source material and/or findings;

  • Depth and coherence of argument;

  • Choice and application of methodology;

  • Presentational and stylistic quality.

Eligible candidates should submit their entries, including a letter of support from their supervisor, via e-mail attachment to each of the panel members no later than 15 September 2019. The winner will be notified as early as possible in 2020, and the prize will be awarded at the Congress in Porto.

For this competition, there will be a panel of six judges:

Maria Fusaro (University of Exeter); 

Gelina Harlaftis (Ionian University);

Ingo Heidbrink (Old Dominion University);

Graeme Milne (University of Liverpool);

Malcolm Tull (Murdoch University);

New Researchers in Maritime History Conference, April 6-7, 2018

Britain Trust invites contributions to its twenty-fourth conference for new researchers. Hosted at the Great Western Dockyard in Bristol, the conference provides a unique opportunity for new scholars to present their work in an historic maritime setting. The Conference supports emerging scholars who wish to share their work in a supportive environment and build relations with other maritime historians. We encourage applications from research degree students and warmly encourage participation by independent scholars. Contributions can address all aspects of maritime history in its broadest sense.

The call for papers is currently open until 16 February 2018. Those wishing to offer a paper should complete the online form available from: or go to the website  Please direct any queries to

Call for Applications: Opening Access to the Heritage & Education Centre

Opening Access to the Heritage & Education Centre

More details can be found on the website here. Applicants need to apply using the specially created application form in the document.

Essentially we are looking to fund between 3-6 small scale research projects over 3-6 months using HEC’s collections (between £5,000 – £10,000).

We do not fund individuals but are looking for museums, archives, libraries and Universities to apply with associated collections to put ours in a wider context.

The funding will pay for travel, and other costs but not salaries.

The research projects have to fit in with the research priorities from the research plan:

  1. Development of ship and yacht building since the 1800s
  2. Impact of maritime sector on world trade and trade routes
  3. Safety at sea
  4. Depiction of maritime technology in art

Applications are due in by 9 February, and will go through a peer review process, before the final ones going to the Grants Application Meeting (GAM).

For more details, see this link.


The Origins of Worker Mobilisation: Australia 1788 – 1850

IMHA welcomes news of our members recent publications. In this post we feature the work of member Professor Michael Quinlan from the School of Organisation and Management at the University of New South Wales. Michael’s recent book features a chapter on collective action by seamen, whalers and sealers. The chapter draws on a range of sources including court records, newspapers and logbooks and covers all Australian colonies. The book also includes mention of other relevant maritime activities including the regulation of maritime workers.

This is a book on how and why workers come together. Almost coincident with its inception, worker organisation is a central and enduring element of capitalism. In the 19th and 20th centuries’ mobilisation by workers played a substantial role in reshaping critical elements of these societies in Europe, North America, Australasia and elsewhere including the introduction of minimum labour standards (living wage rates, maximum hours etc.), workplace safety and compensation laws and the rise of welfare state more generally.

This book provides a new perspective on and new insights into how and why workers organise, and what shapes this organisation. The Origins of  Worker Mobilisation will be key reading for scholars, academics and policy makers the fields of industrial relations, HRM, labour economics, labour history and related disciplines.

New issue of IJMH

The lastest issue of the IJMH has been published: Volume 29, Issue 4, November 2017.

David J Starkey

The Sasanian Navy revisited: An unwritten chapter in Iran’s military history, by Vladimir A. Dmitriev

Why were Dutch East Indiamen so slow?, by Peter M. Solar, Pim de Zwart

Whatever happened to those villains of the Indian seas? The happy retirement of the Madagascar pirates, 1698–1721, by Ryan Holroyd

Finding longitude: The Investigator expedition, 1801–1803, by Kenneth Morgan

Infectious disease mortality in British merchant seamen and Lascars since 1900: From causes to controls, by Tim Carter, Stephen E Roberts

Emerging as a national figure: Walter Runciman and the rise of the British tramp shipowner, by Oliver Carpenter

Maritime trade and merchant shipping: The shipping/trade ratio since the 1870s, by Jari Ojala, Stig Tenold

Continuity and breakdown: Taiwan’s customs service during the Japanese occupation, 1895–1945, by Lin Yuju

Liverpool as a trading port: Sailors’ residences, African migrants, occupational change and probated wealth, by Stephen D. Behrendt, Robert A. Hurley

Research note
The ordinary merchant ship in the British Atlantic, 1600–1800: A call for further research, by Phillip Reid