Solomons, MD – The Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) welcomes guest speaker Jim Tildesley, for a free lecture entitled “The Press Gang”.  Join us on Thursday, November 7 at 7 p.m. in the CMM Harms Gallery and learn how The Press Gang was a major catalyst for the War of 1812.

The Press Gang is a shorthand term for the Impress Service of the Royal Navy. Historians have been critical of their operation and doubts expressed as to what they actually achieved. Recent research using original musters from the Press Gang tenders is providing a wealth of new information that places their work in a different light. Previously unknown means of recruitment for the Navy have also been studied including the unrecognized work of British Consuls in other European countries. The presentation includes the identification of violent resistance to the press by seamen and the public. The Navy did not want men who were unfit, too old, or unlikely to become a useful seaman; they also did not want criminals that could disrupt the cohesion of a vessel’s crew. The research is beginning to identify how the Navy tried to achieve its aims.

Jim Tildesley is the Former Director of the Scottish Maritime Museum.  He retired in 2013, after a career in education, museums, and local government.  Tildesley is an experienced teacher and lecturer, with a Masters Degree in Naval History.  He currently resides in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Tildesley’s principal areas of historical research over the last twenty years have been on aspects of the Royal Navy during the 18th century.  His lecture at CMM will introduce, for the first time, new research on Naval recruitment and the work of the Press Gang during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.