Archive for September, 2013

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour
29 April 1759 – 11 September 1801


Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour

Seymour was the fifth son of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford and became known for being both a prominent society figure and a highly competent naval officer. He served during the American Revolutionary and French Revolutionary Wars and later in his career performed a period of shore duty on the Admiralty board.

Seymour maintained a reputation as a courageous and innovative officer: he was awarded a commemorative medal for his actions at the battle of the Glorious First of June and is credited with introducing epaulettes to Royal Navy uniforms as a method of indicating rank to non-English speaking allies. In his youth he formed close personal friendships with fellow officer John Willett Payne and George, Prince of Wales, through association with whom he gained a reputation as a rake. His marriage in 1785, made at the insistence of his family as an antidote to his dissolution, was brought about through royal connections and proved very successful. During his lifetime he also held several seats as an MP in Parliament, although he did not pursue an active political career.

Hugh Seymour was born in 1759 into one of the wealthiest families in England, as the fifth son of Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford, and his wife Isabella Fitzroy (Hugh retained the surname “Seymour-Conway” until his father’s death in 1794, at which point he shortened it to Seymour).

He was initially educated at Bracken’s Academy in Greenwich, where he met lifelong friend John Willett Payne, before joining the Navy at age 11 at his own insistence. Seymour became a captain’s servant on the yacht William & Mary, and two years later moved to HMS Pearl under his relation Captain John Leveson-Gower, stationed off Newfoundland. After several short commissions, including service in the West Indies under George Rodney, Seymour was attached to HMS Alarm as a midshipman in the Mediterranean. Apart from a brief spell in HMS Trident, Seymour remained on her for several years, becoming a lieutenant in 1776. By 1776 the American Revolutionary War was underway, and Seymour continued in Alarm until he was made a commander in 1778, taking command of the xebec HMS Minorca.

In 1779, Seymour was promoted once more, making post captain in HMS Porcupine and serving in command of HMS Diana, HMS Ambuscade and HMS Latona, all in the Channel Fleet. The only major operation in which he participated during the period was the conclusion of the Great Siege of Gibraltar, when Latona was attached to Lord Howe’s fleet that relieved the fortress. During this service, Seymour was repeatedly engaged in scouting the Franco-Spanish fleet in Algeciras, a task made difficult by bad weather and the erratic movements of the enemy. During much of the operation, Captain Roger Curtis was stationed aboard Latona in order to facilitate communicate between Howe and the Governor of Gibraltar. The effort to relieve and resupply the fortress was a complete success and Latona was sent back to Britain with dispatches, although Seymour remained in Gibraltar.

Following the Peace of Paris in 1783, Seymour took a house in London with his brother Lord George Seymour and John Willett Payne. The three men became notorious socialites, joining the Prince of Wales on many of his drinking exploits across London: Seymour remained close friends with Prince George for the rest of his life. Seymour, already known for his good looks, good manners, height and martial bearing, rapidly gained a reputation for dissolution. In 1785 however, Seymour married Lady Anne Horatia Waldegrave, daughter of Earl Waldegrave and Maria Walpole (later Duchess of Gloucester) at the insistence of his family in a successful attempt to curtail his social activities.


Lady Anne Horatia Seymour

It was at this time that Seymour made his first foray into politics, becoming MP for Newport on the Isle of Wight before relinquishing the post two years later. In 1788 he became MP for Tregony, but in 1790 he switched to become MP for Wendover. Seymour remained in this position until 1796 when he changed his seat to Portsmouth, in which he remained until his death. He did not serve as an active politician in any of these positions, preferring his navy career to his political one.

In the Spanish armament of 1790, Seymour was called to service in command of the ship of the line HMS Canada, opening his commission with a cruise off the Isle of Wight. Passing through shallow water, Seymour ordered the use of a lead line to measure the depth ahead, but was accidentally struck in the head by the lead weight while soundings were being taken. Although little immediate damage seemed to have been caused, during the firing of a salute several days later Seymour suddenly suffered a severely adverse reaction and had to be taken ashore for emergency medical treatment. The head injury rendered him unable to endure any loud noises or bright lights and for the next three years he lived as an invalid at his country estate in Hambleton.

By 1793 he was sufficiently recovered to return to service, and escorted Lord Hood to the Mediterranean in HMS Leviathan. There Hood led the occupation, defence and ultimate withdrawal from Toulon during the Republican siege of the city. Following the collapse of the city’s defences, Seymour was sent back to England with dispatches but returned shortly afterward to convoy Leviathan back to Britain.

Transferred to the Channel Fleet, Leviathan was attached to service under Lord Howe and served with him during the Atlantic campaign of May 1794 alongside John Willett Payne, captain of HMS Russell. The campaign culminated in the Glorious First of June, when a French fleet was defeated by Howe’s innovative tactics, but was ultimately successful in protecting a large grain convoy from the United States. Seymour’s command of Leviathan was vitally important in the victory, the ship fighting at the initial engagement of the 28 May and seeing extensive action during the battle itself. Seymour was one of only a few of Howe’s commanders to successfully close with the French line, although he was unable to break through it.

Leviathan then engaged closely with America, which she reduced to a battered wreck in a duel that lasted two hours. Leviathan was also badly damaged, having taken fire from Éole and Trajan during the fighting. At Howe’s order, Seymour then left America (which was later captured) and joined the reformed fleet that held off a French counter-attack in the latter stages of the battle. In the aftermath of the action, Seymour was one of the captains marked out for praise, being presented with a medal commemorating his service during the engagement.

In 1795, Seymour moved to the recently captured HMS Sans Pareil and soon became a rear-admiral, engaging the French at the Battle of Groix. During the action, Seymour managed to bring his ship to the head of the British line pursuing the French fleet and engaged the Formidable and Tigre.

Both ships were captured in heavy fighting, and Sans Pareil suffered ten killed and two wounded during the exchange. In 1796, Seymour was employed in the search for the French fleet which attempted and failed to invade Ireland, but Sans Pareil was badly damaged in a collision with HMS Prince during the campaign and had to be decommissioned for extensive repairs.

In Seymour returned to sea with a small squadron of six ships searching the Eastern Atlantic for a Spanish treasure convoy. Although the convoy was eventually seized by a force sent by Lord St. Vincent, Seymour had covered over 5,000 miles in his fruitless search.

Seymour had joined the Admiralty in 1795, becoming a Lord of the Admiralty and participating in much of the work the Admiralty board performed between 1795 and 1798, interposing his periods on land with brief sea commissions. In 1799, Seymour became a vice-admiral and joined the squadron blockading Brest for the next year, being involved in a minor operation against Basque Roads.

In 1799 Seymour was sent to the West Indies as commander-in-chief of Jamaica. In August he led the naval squadron in the capture of Suriname in his flagship Prince of Wales.

However, in 1800 he fell ill, contracting Yellow Fever. He was sent to sea by his doctors in an attempt to regain his health but died aboard HMS Tisiphone in September 1801.

Seymour’s body was returned to Britain aboard HMS Pickle and joined that of his wife, who had died in Bristol a few days before her husband’s death. His extensive estates were dispersed amongst his seven children, one of whom, Sir George Seymour, later became an admiral himself. (Another son, Horace Beauchamp Seymour, was an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, through his grandson the 6th Earl Spencer.) Seymour’s death was widely mourned among his contemporaries, Lord St. Vincent once describing him as “an excellent officer”.

His service had been energetic and characterised by innovation and invention: he developed a new system of fitting topmasts and was also credited with making epaulettes standard among Royal Navy officers, following his difficulties in convincing French Royalists at the Siege of Toulon that he was a British officer, due to his unimpressive uniform.

The Royal Navy has named two ships after Seymour. Baltra Island, or Isla Baltra, is a small island of the Galápagos Islands. Also known as South Seymour (named after Lord Hugh Seymour).

Read Full Post »

Trolling, Trolling, Trolling Fly Hides!

Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series, (the first three are in print) is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death. All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters.

Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify.

It is now available in a variety of formats. For $2.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.


Barnes and Noble for your Nook


Amazon for your Kindle

Old age is catching up to Humphrey and his friends. He feels it in his bones and with his son and heir having reached the prime of his life, it could very well be time to pass the baton of rule to Daniel.

With the Valley Kingdom of Torahn at Peace, that would not be a terrible thing to do. Though breaking his decision to his wife Gwendolyn, the Queen, might be the hardest battle that he ever would fight.

Even as the life of retirement looks to be attractive and possible, however, the Valley Kingdom is beset again. Not Goblins, Trolls, Giants or Men, this time. No. That Humphrey knew would be far too easy.

Those obstacles had been overcome before and the problems they presented had solutions that the army of Torahn was trained to deal with. No, of all the creatures that came forth from Teantellen that they had beaten, the one they had never faced now came forth. Dragons!

Who in the realm knew how to fight these mythical beasts? Was there even away to do so?

Now Humphrey who had thought to spend the remainder of his days quietly writing his memoirs and drinking, was faced with the greatest challenge he had ever known.


If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it 😉 then we would love to hear from you.

Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Hely-Hutchinson 2nd Earl of Donoughmore
15 May 1757 – 29 June 1832


John Hely-Hutchinson 2nd Earl of Donoughmore

He was the son of John Hely-Hutchinson and the Baroness Donoughmore. In 1801 he was created Baron Hutchinson in the Peerage of the United Kingdom (gaining a seat in the House of Lords) and later succeeded to all his brother Richard’s titles. Educated at Eton, Magdalen College, Oxford, and Trinity College, Dublin. He died 29th June 1832, never having married.

He entered the Army as a Cornet in the 18th Dragoons in 1774, rising to a Lieutenant the next year. In 1776 he was promoted to become a Captain in the 67th Regiment of Foot, and a Major there in 1781. He moved regiments again in 1783, becoming a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 77th Regiment of Foot.

In March 1794 he obtained brevet promotion to Colonel, then became a Major-General in May 1796, a Lieutenant-General in September 1803, and a full General in June 1813. In 1811, he became Colonel of the 18th Regiment of Foot.

He served in the Flanders campaigns of 1793 as aide-de-camp to Sir Ralph Abercromby, and in Ireland during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, where he was second-in-command at the Battle of Castlebar under General Lake. In 1799, he was in the expedition to the Netherlands, and was second-in-command of the 1801 expedition to Egypt, under Abercromby. Following Abercromby’s death in March after being wounded at the Battle of Alexandria, Hely-Hutchinson took command of the force. In reward for his successes there, the Ottoman Sultan Selim III made him a Knight, 1st Class, of the Order of the Crescent.

Hely-Hutchinson sat as Member of Parliament (MP) for Lanesborough from 1776 to 1783 and for Taghmon from 1789 to 1790. Subsequently he represented Cork City in the Irish House of Commons until the Act of Union in 1801 and was then member for Cork City in the after-Union Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1802.

Read Full Post »

We are looking for illustrators and copyeditors:

These last few weeks I have been profiling here at The Things That Catch My Eye, chapters excerpted from Steam and Thunder, and The Prize is Not as Great As You Think. See the sidebar for all the chapters of each book. I still have another chapter or two of the Prize to impart, but I am stopping midway in each book so that I have whetted your appetites. I also have found that many unscrupulous people will cut and paste my writing and others into one long document and claim that they have written the story I have.

Thus it is best to only show half the book to you all. But the whole story not having been revealed, so to the publishing story. I want to have these two books be Kickstarter projects but to elevate our normal publication scheme. I want to use a professional cover, and illustrations for each chapter.

To do this, I need feedback. One that you would like to see the books done so. But also I need to work up the budget and need quotes from professionals in the field. Those who would like a gig as an illustrator for the books, or more than one. And copyeditors. Please send me your info in the comments section. The funding level will be calculated to ensure that these professionals who contribute will get paid for their work! Illustrators, especially if you can emulate the style of CE Brock would be perfect.



Read Full Post »

Those who follow this Blog will know that we maintain a Pinterest Board of all the graphics that are shared in our posts. That way Regency Researchers (I know you all are such) can go to the board and find these graphics easily.
There is even a link on the Right Sidebar. But those new to the Blog might not realize that, so here is our periodic reminder that we have such a service for you to avail yourself of.
There are now more than 450 pins of various people, art, drawings of locations, etc. at the board.
Please enjoy.

Read Full Post »

Having finished editing another of our fantasy books, I have started to lean to the idea that perhaps a professional artist might be better than my own renditions, of Trolls, warriors and Dragons.
If anyone knows of someone who would like to discuss designing a cover for RAP, please get in contact with us.
Otherwise we may end up with this
For our many other works, one of the things we would like to see is having pen & ink or pencil illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. Can you draw like CE Brock? He did amazing work for the books and stories of Jane Austen in the early 1900s.



Read Full Post »

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Anthony Carlisle
15 February 1768 –2 November 1840


Sir Anthony Carlisle

Carlisle was an English surgeon.

He was born in Stillington, County Durham, the third son of Thomas Carlisle and his first wife, and the half-brother of Nicholas Carlisle, FRS. He was apprenticed to medical practitioners in York and Durham, including his uncle Anthony Hubback and William Green. He later studied in London under John Hunter. In 1793 he was appointed Surgeon at Westminster Hospital in 1793, remaining there for 47 years. He also studied art at the Royal Academy.

In 1800, he and William Nicholson discovered electrolysis by passing a voltaic current through water, decomposing it into its constituent elements of hydrogen and oxygen.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1804. He was Professor of Anatomy of the Society from 1808 to 1824.

In 1815, he was appointed to the Council of the College of Surgeons and for many years was a curator of their Hunterian Museum. He served as president of the society, by then the Royal College of Surgeons, in 1828 and 1839. He twice delivered their Hunterian oration, causing consternation at his second oration in 1826 by using the occasion to talk about oysters, earning the epithet of Sir Anthony Oyster. He also delivered their Croonian Lecture in 1804, 1805 and 1807.

He was Surgeon Extraordinary (1820–1830) to King George IV, by whom he was knighted in 1821.

It is likely that he was the author of The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey, a gothic novel published anonymously in 1797 attributed to a ‘Mrs Carver’.

He had married Martha Symmons, daughter of John Symmons, in Alcester, Warwickshire in 1800. On his death in 1840 he was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »