Historical Record of the Royal Marine Forces
Paul Harris Nicolas (1790–1860) served as a second lieutenant in the Royal Marines at the Battle of Trafalgar. Promoted to first lieutenant in 1808, he took part in the Battle of the Basque Roads in 1809. For these actions he would later be awarded the Naval General Service Medal with two clasps. After effectively retiring from military life in 1814, he picked up both paintbrush and pen, producing a notable watercolour of the scene at Trafalgar, and publishing an engaging account of the battle in 1829. His most important work, however, is this comprehensive two-volume history of the Royal Marines, based on diligent research and first published in 1845. Volume 1 begins with the genesis of the corps in the late seventeenth century. The bulk of the volume covers the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic period, concluding with the opening phase of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.