John Clerk

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Clerk, John


Born 1728; died 1812. Author of works on the tactics of sailing-ship fleets.

Clerk was a minor official in Eldin, Scotland. In his work An Essay on Naval Tactics (1782; translated into Russian under the title Dvizhenie flotov [The Maneuver of Fleets] in 1803) he showed that most of the naval battles of the mid-18th century, which were based on line tactics, did not achieve decisive results. Clerk’s work was the first theoretical attempt to develop maneuver tactics in naval battles. He proposed maneuvering to break up the formation of enemy ships and attacking part of the divided enemy fleet with superior forces. Admirals J. Jervis and H. Nelson are considered followers of Clerk in the British Navy. In the Russian Navy, maneuver tactics were applied for the first time by Admiral G. A. Spiridov and Admiral F. F. Ushakov in the 1770’s through the 1790’s.


An Essay on Naval Tactics, Systematical and Historical. . . , vols. 1–2. London, 1790–97.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, there are several manuscript tune settings by Ramsay's close friend and patron, the violinist, composer and polymath Sir John Clerk of Penicuik.
The attack happened in the John Clerk Pub, in Low Main Place, at about 11.30pm on Tuesday, October 4.
The incident happened in the John Clerk Pub, Low Main Place in Northumberland.
This it did early in 1707 - a decision that provoked massive opposition in Scotland with less than 1% of the Scottish people in favour of the Union, according to a later claim by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik in his book "The History of the Union".
Also on display are etchings by the Scottish landscapist John Clerk of Eldin, arranged in a complementary show to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Clerk's death.
From the 1720s onwards Sir John Clerk, second baronet of Penicuik, Midlothian, who indulged a passion for Roman archaeology, began to assemble inscribed stones and small finds at his house.
These were whittled down to 30 topics, involving everything from Bannockburn to the Scottish parliament, the union of parliaments to the creation of tartan, the work of John Clerk Maxwell - aman whose pioneering scientific work ranks him with Einstein, to the union of the crowns.
1: James Romanis 2: James Putnam 3: Francis Dubiel 4: John Malloy 5: Simon Heiman 6: Charles Click 7: Oscar Brookins 8: Bert Du Rant 9: George Kelly 10: David Brown 11: John Clerk 12: George Beekman 13: Andrew Grant 14: Walker Waddington Note the Medal of Honor pinned to the shirt of Oscar Brookins, who earned it on July 1, 1898, at El Caney as a private in Company C, 17th Infantry.
Fowler tantalizingly promises us that a future edition of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik's 'The Country Seat' (1731) will resolve issues by showing how Clerk is 'a fitting terminus' of the tradition.
Ranulph Higden in the Polychronicon, Henry Knighton in his chronicle, Osbern Bokenham in his Mappula Angliae, John Clerk of Whalley in The Destruction of Troy, and Thomas Usk in his Testament of Love all encode their identities within their works.(4) In a manuscript culture in which attributions and colophons might go astray or be changed and in which prefatory materials might be detached, it is understandable that a translator of a prestige work of authority like De Consolatione Philosophiae should work his name into the translation in a way in which it could not easily be filleted out or tampered with.
Among Sir Walter Scott's friends was a retired Edinburgh merchant, John Clerk, whose Essay on Naval Tactics was the first to draw attention to Suffren's methods.