The mailman delivered my degree, today. Hmn. Not as fancy as I thought it’d be. And it’s been a long wait: “Straight Pass” in June (2015), conferment in September, graduation in February, and now,30 March 2016, I hold the degree against the light of day. Yep, it’s real.

Bristol doctorate diploma

It’s just a scrap of paper. Um… no! My name may be on the diploma, but there truly are nearly a hundred or so that had my back.

I want to thank everyone involved in this, but there are so many. So, I’m trying really hard not to get all mushy. I think I’ll just copy and paste from the dissertation:


This work could not have come close to completion were it not for two exceptional people: my wife, Jori Jude Covington-Krulder; and my dissertation supervisor, Dr. Richard Sheldon. On both counts I am the recipient of tremendous patience and dedication toward my academic exploits. No amount of thanks can be given or demonstrated in a single lifetime that would indicate my deep and unbound gratitude to the both of them.

At Bristol, I am eternally grateful for the warm welcome and advices of Professor Ronald Hutton. Thanks also to Tim Cole, Simon Potter, Evan Jones, and Bill Doyle. Also thanks to those meaningful and occasional conversations with Dr. Richard Stone, and Dr. Andy Flack. I also need to thank the library staff at the University of Bristol. A big thanks, too, to Dawn Dyer at the Bristol Public Library. Thanks also to David Weeks for allowing me access to John Wesley’s New Room archives in Horsefair, Bristol. Thank you to Roger Haydem, the Honorary Archivist at Bristol’s Baptist College. Thanks also to the Bristol Record Office. And finally, thanks to two University of West England professors, Madge Dresser and Steve Poole for taking an interest in my work.

In London, I could not have been as successful with my research were it not for the living arrangements provided by Katrina Ramsey, who also gave excellent tube advices and gave savvy and timely encouragements. I owe much to the hard working staff at the following institutions: the British Library, the Caird Archive and Library at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, The National Archives at Kew, the Dr. Williams Library, The Wellcome Library, the British Museum, the London Metropolitan Archives, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and to Charles Dace the archivist at Wrotham Park in High Barnet. London University’s Senate House meetings of the Institute for Historical Research provided me with numerous and timely seminars on all aspects of British history, so thank you.

For special insights and tours of Admiral John Byng’s boyhood home, church, and burial place thanks are necessary to Thane Byng, Reverend Anne Hindle, Robert Nelson, David Hilton, John Taylor, and Chris Byng-Maddick.

Here also is a list of people who I need to thank for their friendship and encouragement: my two daughters Elizabeth and Sarah; also Alison Bromhead, Peter Almond, Jason Nice, Jeff Livingston, Lawrence Bryant, Robert Tinkler, William Campbell, Norman Taylor, Paul Carter, Barbara Gallati, Allen McCarrol, Carol Woods, Teresa Foster, Elaine Hardy, Patricia DeMille, Tracy Martin, Lara Tenkhoff, Jake Fender, Elizabeth Colwill, William Cheek, Sarah Elkind, Kevin McCormick, Victor Simenc, John Westlund, Marc Sorenson, Dan Vernau, Geoff Fricker, and Bill Helms.


Thanks, too, to my external examiner, Professor Nicholas Rogers (and for the continued correspondence.

See, I told you! Lots of people.