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This Guide arose out of the Patrick O'Brian Gunroom List - the Internet discussion site for serious aficionados of that great author's novels portraying the actions and thoughts of Jack Aubrey, an English officer in the Royal Navy of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Centuries, and of his friend and colleague, the Irish-Catalan surgeon and intelligence agent, Stephen Maturin.

Colin White, Curator of the Royal Navy Museum at Portsmouth and author of a biography of Nelson, had gallantly offered to create a guide for Lissuns (list-swains, members of the POB Gunroom) visiting the home of the Royal Navy, and several Lissuns suggested that a similar guide to the London of the time might also be useful.

The author of this current booklet took up the challenge, on the understanding that fellow Lissuns would put their hands to the capstan bars to haul up the heavy cable of basic research. He was not disappointed and the result can be seen here. It is intended to be published privately, for the use and enjoyment of Lissuns visiting London physically or in their imaginations.

As may be expected by all who are familiar with the POB Gunroom, this work is the result of helpful advice, information, suggestions and research by Lissuns erudite in several diverse, abstruse and often quite relevant spheres of knowledge. Its errors of omission and commission, however, are entirely the responsibility of the author, who knows they will be pounced upon with relish tempered by kindness, and no doubt notified to him with goodwill and bonhomie by its readers, for correction in future editions.

This Guide is a text-only version of an illustrated Guide which will be published electronically later in the year.


Several Lissuns provided indexed references for the table in section 3, and other information and suggestions, which helped my researches from which the detailed descriptions in section 2, and the two narrative sections 1 and 4, were produced; my sincere thanks and best wishes to:

Anthony D Clover Andrew Midkiff Rowen84
David Critchley Lois Montbertrand Jean A Sherkin
Tom Halsted Sharon Nelson C Mark Smith
Diane Jervis Mark Nicholls Bruce Trinque
Stuart Lowry Bill Nyden Susan Wenger
Bob Kegel Adam Quinan Colin White
Lisa Kyono Anna Ravano Scott Wilson
and to Marian Van Til, who also kindly cast her professional eye over the final draft.

The Guide is dedicated, with gratitude for the immense enjoyment his work has given the author and fellow Lissuns, to the memory of the Great Sea Novelist of the World, Patrick O'Brian.

Jay Reay
Groom's Cottage, Chilton, Buckinghamshire
February 2000