New Researchers Conference

Research degree students and independent scholars are warmly encouraged to share their work at our annual New Researchers Conference.

Student and Research Prizes

Are you a student working on maritime history? Apply for our Undergraduate and Postgraduate prizes.

Lectures & Events

The main series of lectures that the BCMH holds annually are the King's 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. 

All lectures are open to everyone and free to attend but registration is required in advance.

Find out more about the current hybrid King's Seminars below.

The Commission supports a clear Code of Conduct during its events.


King's 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 (virtual or hybrid events are being held for the time being). 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, 2022-23 

The King’s Maritime History Seminars 2022-23 will be held as hybrid events.This means that there is an option to attend the seminars in person, but they will be simultaneously broadcasted online so that we may continue to enjoy the advantages, and safety, of the online experience. However you choose to attend, you must register in advance and follow the COVID guidance as outlined here. As circumstances change, we will be monitoring the situation.

As always, attendance to the Kings Seminar Series is free and open to all who register. Events start at 17:15.

How to register

Please visit the KCL School of Security Studies Events page and scroll down or search to click on the upcoming event that you would like to sign up for. Shortly before the event, you will receive instructions, by email, about how to join by Zoom.

Lecture dates

The Inaugural Peter N. Davies Memorial Lecture
27 January 2022, ‘British Shipbuilders plc: from Nationalisation to Privatisation, 1977-1984’
Prof. Hugh Murphy, University of Glasgow
10 February 2022, A Preliminary Investigation of Royal Navy Officer Professional Networks after 1673
Sam McLean, Global Maritime History
(Note: this seminar will be delivered remotely, from Canada, though it may still be attended in person at King’s)
24 February 2022, Brazil and the ZOPACAS (1986-2013): Brazilian Diplomatic and Defence Relations in the South Atlantic
Maísa Edwards, University of S¬ao Paulo / KCL
10 March 2022, Facing Unlimited War: Strategic Evolution and Cultural Transformation, 1795-1798
Rachel Blackman-Rogers, King’s College London
21 April 2022, An Explosion Heard Across Ireland: the Whiddy Island Disaster, 1979
Lee Coppack, Independent Researcher
5 May 2022, The Creation of UK Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense: Power, Politics and Agenda, A New History
James W.E. Smith, King’s College London
19 May 2022, Sex and Drink and Rock and Roll: The Sea Shanty in its Economic, Social, and Cultural Context
Roy Fenton, BCMH / Ships in Focus

Please visit the KCL School of Security Studies Events page to register to attend. 

Download the full Spring Programme here

Contact us to find out more about the King's Seminars

Proctor Memorial Lecture

Next Proctor Memorial Lecture: tbc

The Proctor lecture forms part of the King's Seminars series of lectures but is held at Lloyd’s Register and the speaker is a distinguished international historian and is open to all.

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 home and overseas lecturers.

The Proctor Memorial Lecture is hosted by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, and takes place at Lloyd’s Register, 71 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4BS. Admission to this lecture is solely by ticket, available by registering online, or by contacting Heritage & Education Centre at

Please note that no Proctor Memorial Lecture was held in 2020 or 2021. Plans for 2022 are TBC.

Watch the 2019 BCMH Proctor Memorial Lecture - where Louis Sicking gave a paper on: "The Spritsail Revolution. Government Interference and the Introduction of New Technology at Sea in the Sixteenth Century"

David Proctor

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.