George Glover

You mentioned in your letter and in a subsequent letter to the Mariner's Mirror that you were trying to establish the identity of the author of the in 1788 anonymously published The Shipbuilder's Repository. Besides the information given in the annotated bibliography by Captain Müller (?) in the Collection of Papers on Naval Architecture I have two scraps of information which might help in solving the puzzle. If you study the Naval Architecture published in 1805 by David Steel you will find that parts of it are taken almost verbatim from The Shipbuilder's Repository, 1788. Further the articles on naval architecture and rigging in Rees' Cyclopeadia reprinted by David & Charles with the title Ree's Naval Architecture show a relationship with Steel's works. In an article in Maritime History Vol. 3 (1973), pp 92-94, N.B. Harte discusses the authors of these articles. The article on Blockmaking was certainly written by John Farey and the remaining articles reprinted are attributed to one George Glover about whom very little is known. The articles in this reprint were published between 1805 and 1818 (not 1819-1820 as stated by David & Charles). However I have checked them against the 1794 edition of Rigging and Seamanship and the 1818 edition of The Art of Rigging, and found that: The definitions on page 22ff are exact copies of those found in Steel on pp 128ff. [Also pp 68ff and pp 329ff; pp 80ff and pp 373ff]. It is possible that there is a common source for both works. If Glover really is the author of Steel's The Elements and Practice of Naval Architecture, or at least part of it, he may also be the author of the Shipbuilder's Repository. A difference between Glover and Steel is that while the former makes his calculations of center of gravity, displacement etc for a 74-gun ship, Steel uses an 80-gun ship in his example, else the layout of the calculations is the same.

One Mr. Joseph Glover, Greenwich Road, is listed in the List of Subscribers to the Shipbuilder's Repository. If a relative to the above mentioned John Glover or not is something I have been unable to check.

On the inside of the front-board of my copy of the Shipbuilder's Repository had been pasted a slip of paper with text printed on it, but which is now missing. This text has to some extent offset on the front end-paper and in the correct light it is possible to read "_OSEPTH THOR_" and under that "1788". If this has any significance relating to the question is uncertain.

Updated 1999-06-01 by Lars Bruzelius

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