Show the Colours Wiki

Post-Captain Richard Bolitho is the commanding officer of HMS Terpsichore. He a canon character from the series of books by Alexander Kent and is played by Biggles. His PB is Jack Davenport. This page is for his character as played on the RPG Show the Colours and all information here is only relevant to the character as he appears in that role-play game. For the character as found in the series of books by Alexander Kent, please refer to the Richard Bolitho section of the Bolitho Novels page on Wikipedia.

Please note that the information from the books has been tweaked for Show the Colours and is not the same as the canon information found in the books. This is deliberate, as Show the Colours is open to allowing canon characters to be played in storylines not found in the original cnon, and to allow for a particular interpretation of the character that may not fit with the origina;


Father: James Bolitho

Mother: Harriet Bolitho (deceased)

Siblings: Felicity, Hugh, and Nancy


Bolitho is tall and slender, with long black hair which he wears tied back at the nape of his neck, except for one rebellious lock which hangs over his right eye. That lock of hair also serves to conceal a large scar above his right eye, running from his eyebrow up into his hairline. The scar is a result of a cutlass blow to the head that he received during a skirmish with escaped slaves on an island in the Caribbean. He has grey eyes which tend to be nearly unreadable most of the time, as he endeavours to keep his emotions under wraps. He wears the undress uniform of a post-captain--blue coat with gold epaulettes, white waistcoat, white breeches, black boots--during day-to-day activity aboard ship. When having difficulty sleeping, he is known to pace the quarterdeck wearing his shirt and breeches.

Strengths and Weaknesses[]

--He is an excellent leader, though he never sees himself as such. His officers and crew both respect and admire his leadership abilities and his courage.
--He inspires great loyalty in his men, so much so that they will follow him to whatever end, even if it means certain death.
--Since he has an important reputation to uphold, he has a tendency to second-guess himself. With such a great family history, he often fears he will not live up to their level of excellence.
--He has great skill in planning and is a clever battle strategist. Often he will come up with tactics and plans of attack which even more experienced officers may have overlooked.
--He has a fear of heights, which he has never entirely mastered. As captain, he is no longer forced to climb the rigging, but his fear can be a hindrance if any climbing is involved during shore action.
--Once engaged in battle, he is known to lose himself to the frenzy of killing, and can act quite out of sorts in his determination to triumph.


Bolitho was born into a family of sea-farers. His ancestors had served in the Navy for generations past, their portraits which hang on the walls of the Bolitho home are a constant reminder of this unbroken family tradition. His father and brother had already carried on this tradition, both having become officers, and so he followed in their footsteps, joining the Navy as a midshipman at 12. While on leave from his ship the Gorgon, he even spent a short time under his brother Hugh's command, as part of the crew of the Avenger.

After passing his lieutenancy exam, he served in the Destiny frigate and participated in action around the Caribbean and South America. It was during this time that he received his head wound, when stopping for water on a presumed-deserted island. He was transferred into the Trojan frigate thereafter, where he started out as fourth lieutenant. During his time aboard the ship, he became third and eventually second lieutenant after the deaths or captures of his superior officers.

Having distinguished himself as a capable and determined officer aboard all of these previous vessels, he was promoted to commander and given captaincy of the sloop Sparrow. While in command of the Sparrow, he led missions around the coast of America and earned much praise and renown for his valour. Now he has been made post-captain, and commanded the frigate HMS Terpsichore until May 1809.

Promotion to Flag Rank[]

Bolitho has recently reached the rank of Vice Admiral of the Red, hoisting his flag aboard HMS Hyperion and taking command of the Mediterranean Fleet