David was born in Llanelli, growing up in Penygaer and supporting the Scarlets from an early age. He was educated at the Boys’ Grammar School and Jesus College, Oxford, where he obtained his doctorate. David, who recently became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, specialises primarily in the naval history of the seventeenth century. His most recent book on the subject, Pepys’s Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89 (2008) won the Samuel Pepys prize for 2009, and he has also published many essays and articles on aspects of naval and maritime history. He is the author of a series of novels set in the Restoration period, the first of which, Gentleman Captain, was published in the UK and Germany in 2009 and in the USA in 2010, where it has received considerable acclaim.
A lengthy teaching career culminated in the deputy headship of a large public school in Bedford. Now a full-time historian and author, David is the chairman of the Naval Dockyards Society, a vice-president of the Navy Records Society, and a member of the Council of the Society of Nautical Research. His first non-naval book, Blood of Kings: The Stuarts, The Ruthvens and the ‘Gowrie Conspiracy’ is being published at the end of 2010. David has written many articles for Maritime Wales, The Carmarthenshire Antiquary, The Llanelli Miscellany and LCH’s ‘History Files’, and he is currently writing a book on the Stepneys to coincide with the opening of Llanelly House to the public. David lives in Bedfordshire; his website is www.jddavies.com.
Dr J D Davies – Historian and Author is a native of Llanelli. Vice-President, and Chair of the Research and Programmes Committee, the Society for Nautical Research Vice-President, and Chair of the Media, Marketing and Membership Committee, the Navy Records Society
Fellow of the Society of Nautical Research, and of the Royal Historical Society Winner of the Samuel Pepys Prize for Pepys's Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89 Shortlisted for the Mountbatten Literary Award for Britannia's Dragon: A Naval History of Wales
December 2018 - awarded the Society for Nautical Research’s Anderson Prize for the best maritime history book of 2017, for Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and the Royal Navy, published by Seaforth.
The Devil Upon the Wave, Journals of Matthew Quinton, Book 8: Endeavour Press, 2017 ('a series of real panache' - The Times; 'Hornblower, Aubrey and Quinton: a pantheon of the best adventures at sea' - Conn Iggulden)
Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II, and the Royal Navy, Seaforth Publishing 2017
Pepys's Navy: Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-89: revised second edition, Seaforth Publishing, 2016