Lectures & Events
The main series of lectures that the BCMH holds annually are the King's Maritime History Seminars from October to May. Normally, these lectures are all held in King's College London, except for the Proctor Memorial Lecture which is held at Lloyd's Register or another external location. We also host workshops and the annual New Researchers in Maritime History Conference.
All lectures listed below are open to everyone and free to attend but registration is required in advance.
The Commission supports a clear Code of Conduct during its events.
King's Maritime History Seminars
The King’s Seminars are an annual set of lectures organised by the BCMH, which run from October to May. They are open to the public and are normally held at King’s College London (and broadcast live via Zoom). The Kings Seminars are a range of lectures by invited speakers. There are usually two each month during term time.
The series is organised by Dr Alan James, and are supported by the Society for Nautical Research and the ‘Laughton Naval History Unit’ and ‘Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War’ at the Department of War Studies, King's College London.
Seminar Series, 2023-24
The King’s Maritime History Seminars for 2023-24 will continue as hybrid events which means that they may be attended in person or online (with the exception of the entirely online event on 21 March).
How to register
As always, attendance is free and open to all. To take part, though, you must register on Eventbrite by visiting the KCL School of Security Studies Events page
Note: the listings will not be made available on Eventbrite right away. You may have to wait for the papers you’re interested in to appear. Please do check back nearer the event date.
For those attending online, you will receive instructions shortly before the event, by email, about how to join by Zoom. Otherwise, we will meet in person as usual in the Dockrill Room, K6.07, King’s Building, at King’s College London. Papers will begin at 17:15 GMT.
26 October 2023
Before Valemax: How the 400,000 ton ore carrier developed from a screw collier
Roy Fenton, Independent Researcher and Fellow of the BCMH
9 November 2023
The Flying Boat and the Aircraft Carrier. Competing Technologies?
Neil Datson, Independent Researcher
23 November 2023
The Maritime Cultural Landscape: A framing for historical analysis for maritime social and cultural interaction
David A. Williams, King’s College London
The Proctor Memorial Lecture - 14 December 2023
Changing Perspectives: Positioning the Sea in Recent German Historiography
Ruth Schilling, DSM German Maritime Museum, Leibniz Institute for Maritime History
Register your place by 10 December - Proctor Lecture 2023 : British Commission for Maritime History
The Peter Davies Memorial Lecture - 11 January 2024
The Question of Maritime Child Labour after the First World War
Jari Ojala, University of Jyväskylä
25 January 2024
Canadian Pacific's three Empresses of Britain in literary, visual and material culture
Faye Hammill, University of Glasgow
8 February 2024
‘For want of System’: The birth of amphibious doctrine in the Seven Years War
Andrew Young, King’s College London
22 February 2024
Rewriting Women into Maritime History: visibilising diverse histories and futures, 1700-2023
Jo Stanley, Blaydes Maritime Centre, University of Hull
7 March 2024
Interplay of Empires: The Quest for Influence in the Nineteenth-Century Mediterranean
Cemal Atabaş, Marmara University, Istanbul
21 March 2024 Note: This session will be delivered entirely online.
The Coal Black Sea: Winston Churchill and the Biggest Naval Catastrophe of the First World War
Stuart Heaver, Journalist and Author
25 April 2024
Ship of State? Regionalism and Cold War Soft Power aboard La France
Claire O’Mahony, University of Oxford
9 May 2024
The Ordered Sea: Naval Diplomacy in the Mediterranean, 1815-1911
Erik de Lange, King’s College London
23 May 2024
The Post-Napoleonic Employment of Former Warships in the British Southern Whale Fishery, 1815-1845
Julie Papworth and Roger Dence, King’s College London
Download the full Autumn Term Programme
*Note that registration for the Proctor Lecture on 14 December 2023 is to be done by the BCMH website link. Registration details to follow nearer the time.
Proctor Memorial Lecture
Next lecture: Thursday 14 December, 2023
This year's lecture will be given by Ruth Schilling, DSM German Maritime Museum, Leibniz Institute for Maritime History on "Changing Perspectives: Positioning the Sea in Recent German Historiography"
The Proctor lecture forms part of the King's Seminars series of lectures, but is usually held at Lloyd’s Register as a very special event within our calendar.
The annual Proctor Memorial Lecture celebrates the great contribution of David Proctor to maritime history both in Britain and internationally. Fittingly, the distinguished scholars invited to present the lecture alternate between UK and international lecturers.
This year there will be a small charge for this event, to help toward supporting speaker’s travel to the lecture and to also ensure that people who have registered want to come on the night (we usually have a large waiting list for this popular event so want to avoid ‘no shows’ where possible).
Register your place to attend the event by 10 December using Eventbrite.
David Proctor, who died in July 2000, was a man of wide culture; his interests embraced maritime history, the arts, music, and much more. His book Music of the Sea demonstrated the breadth of his scholarship, ranging over the centuries and drawing on his research in many European archives.
Until his retirement, David was Keeper of Manuscripts at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, where he was a source of advice to countless scholars, often from overseas, who sought his guidance. Such qualities led to him serving as Secretary-General of the International Commission for Maritime History in its early years. He did much to establish its structures and pattern of activity as well as contributing to its conferences held under the aegis of the International Commission for Historical Sciences. He also played a significant role in the founding of the International Congress of Maritime Museums.
David was a founder member of the British Commission and its first Secretary. He inaugurated the King’s Maritime History Seminar which he organized for many years. The annual Proctor Memorial Lecture is dedicated to David.
The BCMH host workshops (usually once a year) to help researchers that are interested in enhancing knowledge and understanding of human societies’ relationship with the sea. Find out about our 1-day event - 'Doing Maritime History Research Online' on 4 February 2022.