Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Portsmouth
Website URL
maritime history, naval history, maritime history, UK coastal shipwrecks, wrecking, coastal communities, lifesaving, Coastguard (UK), Royal Navy, exploration
Additional Contact Information
Available with advanced notice

Personal Info

About Me

Cathryn Pearce is a maritime and naval historian who grew up in South-central Alaska. Before coming to the UK, she taught at the University of Alaska Anchorage, focusing on the maritime history of Alaska and the North Pacific. Her current research is on the experience of British coastal communities with shipwreck. This includes wrecking–the plunder of shipwrecks–and lifesaving. She has appeared on BBC’s Timewatch ‘The Wreckers’ and Timeshift’s ‘Shipwrecks programmes, and on BBC Radio’s ‘Making History’, discussing wrecking in Cornwall. She also give talks to the public, most recently on wrecking in Kent and the advent of the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society. Because of her teaching schedule, she needs to be contacted well in advance.

Recent Publications

Chapter: ‘…melancholy disasters amongst the hardy sons of the sea’: Launching the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society in Scotland, 1839-48’, in David Worthington (ed.), The New Coastal History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Chapter: ‘Extreme Weather and the Growth of Charity: Insights from the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society, 1839-60’ in Georgina Endfield and Lucy Veale (eds.), Curating Weather: Recording and Recalling Weather Events in Historical Perspective, London: Routledge, 2017.

Article: ‘The Unlucky Wrecker: William Pearse of St Gennys, Cornwall’, Troze: The Online Journal of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Vol. 5, No. 2 (September 2014).

Chapter: ‘The Cornish Arundells and their Right of Wreck‘ in the New Maritime History of Cornwall, edited by Philip Payton, Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter, and Helen Doe, Centre for Maritime Historical Studies, University of Exeter, 2014.

Query: ‘East India Company’s “Lacks”, The Mariner’s Mirror, Vol. 99, No. 3 (August 2013), p. 350.

Book: Cornish Wrecking, 1700-1860: Reality and Popular Myth, London: Boydell and Brewer, 2010. Received the Holyer An Gof 2011 Highly Commended Award for Non-Fiction.

Article: ‘“Neglectful or Worse:’” A Lurid Tale of a Lighthouse Keeper and Wrecking,’ Troze: The Online Journal of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Sept 2008).

Media Coverage
BBC's Timewatch and Timeshift programmes;BBC Radio's 'Making History'.
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
England, Pacific, United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Founding Era, Colonialism