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‘A frigate!’ said Hornblower.

Everybody knew of Pellew’s reputation and success. Distinction, promotion, prize money — an officer under Pellew’s command could hope for all these. Competition for nomination to the Indefatigable must be intense, and this was the chance of a lifetime.

Mr Midshpman Hornblower
C.S. Forester

We’re delighted that our research into the lives of the 1797 crew of HMS Indefatigable will be featured at The National Archives this weekend as part of the Explore Your Archives series of events.  On Saturday 23rd November The National Archives will host a one day event focused on how archives can inspire creativity. The programme includes an “Explore Our Stories” strand which provides members of the public with an opportunity to see ten Discovery Boxes containing documents that are not normally allowed out of the search rooms, and to hear how these documents have inspired research and revealed long hidden stories.  Each Discovery Box item has been chosen by a member of the Archives’ staff, or one of the Friends of The National Archives, and they will be on hand to answer questions about the documents, explain the information they reveal and the stories that they tell.

One of the ten documents being presented is ADM36/13144, the 1797 muster book of the famous Royal Navy frigate HMS Indefatigable, Captain Sir Edward Pellew, and Heather will be on hand to talk about the remarkable stories that this fascinating document reveals. Visitors will have a chance to see the original ship’s muster book, to look through a copy of the document, and to see pictures of some of the young officers who served aboard the ship. Heather will show how, with a little study, a document that at first glance appears rather dull and routine, can reveal the fortunes of gallant young naval officers, their promotions and demotions, their capture by and escape from the enemy.  In addition, the muster also demonstrates how Sir Edward Pellew, one of the most gifted frigate commanders of his era, managed his elite detached frigate squadron at the height of the French Revolutionary Wars.

So come along to The National Archives on Saturday to meet Horatio Hornblower’s historical shipmates and their captain Sir Edward Pellew in the very real pages of the muster of his most famous command, HMS Indefatigable.

Muster of His Majesty's Ship Indefatigable

Muster of His Majesty’s Ship Indefatigable

How Archives an Inspire Creativity Programme

Saturday 23rd November 2013, The National Archives, Kew

11:00-13:00 Explore our stories
Explore some of the wonderful and surprising stories in our records and learn how to start your own research. Watch the film premiere of Undiscovered Treasures: five films showcasing treasures of The National Archives.

13:00-15:00 Explore our records
Spend time getting inspiration and learning about our collections in the Keeper’s Gallery. Start your own research in the reading rooms.

15:00-15:45 Files on Film 
See the winning entries of Files on Film, The National Archives’ short film competition for aspiring filmmakers, using our diverse collection of documents as inspiration.