The Voyage of the Blonde Compelling Must Read Biography Brings 19th Century Go Getter Charles Robert Malden To The Fore

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Author John Malden reveals previously unpublished material from letters and journals about the life of Charles Robert Malden from 1797 to 1855.

Having joined  the Navy against his will at the age of eleven, in 1824 he set sail on HMS Blonde under Lord Byron on a voyage to the Sandwich Islands (now the Hawaiian Islands) to return the bodies of the King and Queen who had died from measles during their visit to England. More than a sea-faring tale of a navigator who had a South Pacific island named after him, Malden went on to establish the first preparatory school in Britain

The Voyage Of The Blonde

This compelling biography is meticulously researched by descendent and author John Malden.

Full of previously unpublished materials from letters and journals, and 160 colour illustrations, the reader is introduced to a man who rose through the ranks of the Navy, despite almost being press-ganged into signing up as a child by his family, and then his reinvention as an educationalist.

The Voyage Of The Blonde by John Malden on The Table Read

Enjoying during his lifetime the rare accolade of having an island named after him, this informative

Readers will delight maritime adventure fans (especially bearing  in mind the strange reason behind HMS Blonde’s voyage), as well as those keen to understand more about those responsible for influencing our modern-day life.

Charles Robert Malden

The son of a prosperous surgeon, in Putney, Charles Robert Malden was educated locally and, at the age of 11 encouraged, against his will, to join the Royal Navy.

He saw service in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and America, becoming a skilled surveyor and promoted Lieutenant. In 1824 he joined HMS Blonde under Lord Byron as Navigating Officer and Surveyor on the voyage to the Sandwich Islands to return the bodies of the King and Queen who had died from measles during their visit to England.

On the return voyage an Island was discovered which was named Malden in his honour. The Island was subsequently used for the mining of guano for the fertiliser trade, and in the mid-20th century used as a testing site for Britain’s nuclear weapons.

On leaving the Navy he tutored pupils and, in 1837 set up what became the first preparatory school in Britain, Windlesham House School in Sussex, which went through five generations of Malden headmasters, a unique record. The school continues to flourish to this day and was the first preparatory school to become co-educational.

Containing personal letters regarding setting up the school as well as unique set of letters sent home from pupils between 1839 and 1842.

The Voyage of the Blonde also contains previously unseen material about Malden Island, its archaeology and natural history, as well as the role it played in the fertiliser industry and atomic bomb testing in 1957.

About John Malden

Educated at York University, John Malden was appointed Slains Pursuivant to the Earl of Erroll, Lord High Constable of Scotland in 2015.

He has also enjoyed the roles of editor, chairman, vice president, president and fellow of the Heraldry Society of Scotland. He is also a fellow of the Heraldry Society of England. Working with local government museums and galleries from 1963-2001, Malden was appointed director of the Paxton Trust 2002-2009.

John Malden has also published prize winning books on photographic history; written and lectured widely on local history and heraldry; and was winner of the Lakeland Book of the year 2001.

John Malden lives in Berwickshire with his wife.

Published by Try Malden, Voyage of the Blonde is available in softback (£30.00 plus P&P) and can be purchased at

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