The Nautical Magazine

The Nautical Magazine is a monthly magazine containing articles of general interest to seafarers.[1] It was published by Brown Son & Ferguson until 2012, when it was acquired by Sea Breezes. The magazine was first published in 1832 and has variously been known as The Nautical magazine and naval chronicle for ... and Nautical magazine and journal of the Royal Naval Reserve.[2] It has a bias towards the merchant navy and is aimed at the professional seafarer rather than deckhands.[3]

The magazine's authors have included:

  • William Snow Harris, who in the 1840s published a series of articles on lightning conductors that ultimately reduced the impact of lightning strikes.
  • Charles Rawden Maclean, who in the 1850s described his early years in Port Natal and Zululand (1825–1829) and his voyages to St Lucia in the 1830s.
  • William Hope Hodgson, who in 1904 published an exposé on the subject of apprenticeships; at the time, families often were forced to pay to have boys accepted as apprentices.

The editors were as follows:

  • 1832–1870 A.B. Becher (a Royal Navy officer, lived 1796–1876, whose commanding officer was Sir Francis Beaufort)
  • 1870–1895 E. Price Edwards
  • 1895–1900 Eden Hooper
  • 1900–1943 James Ruthven Brown
  • 1943–1954 Arch H. Ferguson
  • 1954–1980 R. Ingram-Brown
  • 1980–2008 Leslie Ingram-Brown
  • 2009–2011 Richard Brown

Under Becher's editorship, the magazine documented a huge range of events, discoveries and achievements of the early Victorian period. It contains contemporary reports from the Crimean War and the First and Second Opium Wars, descriptions of the building and opening of the Suez Canal, and running updates on the long and fruitless search for Sir John Franklin's lost expedition in search of the North-West Passage. There are listings of newly published charts and books, statistics on shipwrecks and on lives saved by the recently founded RNLI, information about the construction of new harbours and lighthouses, discussion of the latest technology such as iron ships, steam engines, and submarine telegraph cables, together with notes on new legislation and details of appointments and promotions of naval personnel. During this period the magazine also describes British colonies in Australia and New Zealand, rivalries with other colonial powers, and the cultures and languages of indigenous peoples from the Inuit to the Maori.


  1. ^ D. B. Clement. "The Nautical Magazine". Book Review from SW Soundings No. 61 (Oct 2004). Retrieved 19 August 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "The Nautical magazine and naval chronicle for". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 20 August 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "The Nautical Magazine collection". Naval Marine Archive. Retrieved 29 December 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

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