The contribution of British philhellenes to the successful outcome of the Greek Revolution has long been recognised. Probably the most famous of these was Lord Byron (1788–1824). There were however also many others who played an equally significant role, but whose contribution has been less known to specialists and the general public. Captain Frank Abney Hastings (1794-1828) made a distinctive military contribution as commander of the first fighting steamship in world naval history, the Karteria. Scottish volunteers Thomas Gordon (1788-1841) and George Finlay (1799-1875) stand out as the earliest, and still among the most authoritative, early historians of the conflict.
In the context of commemorations of the bicentenary of the Greek Revolution that began in 1821, in collaboration with the National Library of Greece, and with generous support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), a team at the BSA is creating a new digital archive that will go fully live in 2024 and include original items from the unpublished archives of Hastings and Finlay, housed in the BSA Archives, along with transcriptions and descriptive commentary that will be fully searchable.
Upcoming highlights of the project include an international conference, to be held at the premises of the National Library of Greece, Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, Athens, from 15 to 17 March 2023, and a volume of essays based upon the papers given, to be published in the BSA’s Modern Greek & Byzantine Studies series. Updates on the project, including regular blog posts, will appear here and on the BSA’s social media channels.
Dr Michalis Sotiropoulos, BSA 1821 Fellow in Modern Greek Studies
Ms Amalia Kakissis, BSA Archivist
Ms Felicity Crowe, BSA Archive Project Assistant
Professor Roderick Beaton, King’s College London and BSA, Academic Adviser