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.
Gill Blanchard is a historical biographer, a writer of local histories, professional genealogist and house historian, based in Norwich. She has had three books published on tracing family and house histories and writing a family history, and writes regularly for national magazines on related topics. Other publications pending include an anatomy of a scandal in Norfolk in 1836 and a history of the Women of Norwich, 1850-1950. Gill has also undertaken many research projects for authors, academics, journalists and television production teams, including for BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? She was awarded an MA with merit in Biography and Creative Non Fiction from the University of East Anglia.