John Knox Laughton

John Knox Laughton

John Knox Laughton

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Sir John Knox Laughton Kt (23 April 1830–14 September 1915) was a British naval historian and arguably the first to argue for the importance of the subject as an independent field of study. Beginning his working life as a mathematically-trained civilian instructor for the Royal Navy, he later became Professor of Modern History at King's College London and a co-founder of the Navy Records Society. A prolific writer of lives, he penned the biographies of more than 900 naval personalities for the Dictionary of National Biography.G. A. R. Callender (2004) , rev. Andrew Lambert, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press),


Laughton was born in Liverpool on 23 April 1830, son of a former Master Mariner. He married twice and had 10 children including Vera Laughton Mathews.

Academic career

Laughton was educated at Caius College, Cambridge, graduating BA (34th wrangler) in 1852.Adamiak, Stanley J. 'The Foundations of Naval History: John Knox Laughton, the Royal Navy and the Historical Profession', Review of book by Professor Andrew Lambert, Journal of Military History Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2000) pp. 1169-1170 In 1866 he finished his sea days by going ashore to teach at the Royal Naval College in......
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