Fredrick Marryat was a nineteenth century novelist famous for his sea stories
When and Where was he Born?
10th July 1792, London, England.
Frederick Marryat was the son of a Member of Parliament and colonial agent for the island of Grenada. His mother was of German descent. His mother came from a family of prominent American loyalists.
Private schooling at Holmwood School, Ponder’s End, Enfield Fellow classmate was Charles Babbage. Entered the Royal Navy as a Midshipman under Lord Cochrane at the age of 14.
Chronology/Biography of Captain Marryat:
1806: Marryat enters the Royal Navy at the age of fourteen as a Midshipman on board HMS Imperieuse. This frigate led by Lord Cochrane who was to be an inspiration to many writers including Marryat and is said to be the model for Forester’s Horatio Hornblower.
1808: He sails from Malta to cruise off Spain and the Balearic Islands. Was involved in fighting with other military vessels and the capture of nearly fifty merchant ships. In July the ships company captured the Castle of Mongat and took the French garrison as prisoners.
1809: Frederick Marryat caught malaria and was returned to England aboard HMS Victorious.
1810: Served in the Mediterranean on board the Flagship HMS Centaur.
1811: Sailed the seas of the West Indies and North America on HMS Aeolus and in November HMS Spartan.
1813: Still in the West Indies but aboard HMS Espiegle.
1814: He was promoted as a Lieutenant and serves aboard HMS Newcastle under Captain Lord George Stuart fighting American privateers.
1815: Marryat served aboard the sloop HMS Beaver off St Helena to guard against attempts to rescue Napoleon Bonaparte. His health was still poor and he left the ship in Madeira. He became interested in scientific study and amongst other things he invented a lifeboat which earned him a Gold Medal from the Royal Humane Society. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in June.
1819: Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.
1820: Now in command of HMS Beaver and HMS Rosario on which he carried the dispatches to England of the death of Napoleon. He made a sketch of the former Emperor on his death bed which was latter published as a lithograph and sold in England as well as France. Much of his other work at the time was trying to thwart smuggling across the English Channel.
1824: He fought in the First Burmese War and worked out of Rangoon. He went on an expedition up the Bassein River which resulted in large losses of men due to disease.
1825: He was appointed to command HMS Tees.
1826: Frederick Marryat returns to England.
1829: He commanded the frigate HMS Ariadne as a Captain around the waters of Madeira and the Canaries doing research work on undersea rock shoals.
1830: He perceived his work at sea now pointless exercise and resigned his command to take up writing full time.
1832: Marryat began to edit the Metropolitan Magazine in which several of his own novels were first serialised.
1833: Awarded the French Legion D’Honneur.
1836: Moved to live in Brussels. One of his best known works “Mr Midshipman Easy” was first published in this year.
1837: He was involved in Lower Canada when a rebellion broke out and fought with the British forces to quell it. He then traveled around Canada and the United States.
1838: Birth of his daughter Florence who was later to become a popular writer in her own right, as well as a opera singer.
1839: Marryat now back in London where his literary circle of friends included Charles Dickens as well as Samuel Rogers.
1841: Marryat now turned his attention to writing children’s books as they sold well and “Masterman Ready” was published in this year.
1843: He moved out of the city and finally settled at Manor Cottage in Langham, Norfolk where he continued writing and tending his small farm.
1847: Death of his eldest son Frederick who drowned in the loss of a paddle frigate the Avenger off the north coast of Africa.
1829: “The Naval Officer, or Scenes in the Life and Adventures of Frank Mildmay”
1830: “The King’s Own.”
1832: “Newton Forster or, the Merchant Service”
1834: “Jacob Faithful.” “Peter Simple”
1835: “The Pacha of Many Tales”
1836: “Japthet in Search of a Father.” “Mr. Midshipman Easy.” “The Pirate”. “The Three Cutters”
1837: “Snarleyyow, or the Dog Fiend”
1839: “The Phantom Ship.” “Diary in America”
1840: “Poor Jack”. “Olla Podrida”
1841: “Percival Keene”
1843: “Monsieur Violet ”
1845: “The Mission, or Scenes in Africa”
1846: “The Privateer’s Man or One Hundred Years Ago.”
1847: “The Children of the New Forest.”
(1848): “The Little Savage”. “Valerie”
1819 to Catherine Sharp the daughter of the British consul Sir Stephen Sharp.
When and Where did he Die?
9th August 1848, Langham, Norfolk, England.
Age at death:
Site of Grave:
St. Andrew and St. Mary’s Churchyard, Langham, Norfolk, England.
Places of Interest: