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.