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The Caird Library has recently installed a new display of archive and library material. The theme is Prisoners of War at Home and Overseas, 1793-1815, and it reveals what life was like for the men and boys captured during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. During this period, hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war were held captive at depots, barracks, and on board prison ships all over the world, from North America to the Indian Ocean. The documents on display focus on the experiences of captured British and French sailors and soldiers.
Futility by Morgan Robertson (RMG item ID: PBF5926)
October’s Item of the Month looks at a prescient work of fiction from 1898, Morgan Robertson’s Futility (RMG item ID: PBF5926).
The Shipmasters' Society: The British Mercantile Marine: it’s Past, present, and probable future.’ pp.1-26, No.1, Jan.1890
As journals librarian I am always eager to share the discoveries I uncover in the collection. May I introduce ‘The Shipmasters’ Society London’ journal.
A plan of the 1904 scheme of extension works
Having grown up in north Kent, I always keep an eye out for archive material relating to shipping on the River Medway and the naval dockyard at Chatham. During cataloguing work earlier this year, I was drawn to some papers from the period when Admiral Sir Gerard H.U. Noel was commander-in-chief at the Nore station. They include an appeal for the extension of Chatham Dockyard; see the items numbered NOE/51/5/9 in the Archive Catalogue.
Cutty Sark - Lloyd's Survey Report
Regular readers may be familiar with the Lloyd’s Register Survey Reports; a collection of detailed surveys on ships’ materials and construction, used by underwriters and others in the shipping industry for reliable information on these vessels. You may not be aware that this collection was on loan to the National Maritime Museum for some 50 years.
Illustrated London News, 24 October 1868 (item ID: ILN)
Journals written by seamen can provide a rich source of information about life onboard both naval and merchant ships, and also provide a glimpse into how those seamen viewed the people and places they visited.
JOD/4 - Page 45
Montagu’s journals revealed a subtle ability and versatility of character and in many ways he was quite similar to his cousin, Samuel Pepys, whom Montagu was patron to. He was many things: an able soldier, a distinguished admiral, a Fellow of the Royal Society and an ambassador and diplomat. He was highly valued and liked by both Cromwell and Charles II; and praised by Clarendon and Milton. He delivered Charles II to England from exile and fought in the Dutch Wars, but was killed at the Battle of Solebay before he could reach the age of fifty.
Lloyd's Register 1849
The Caird Library’s collection of masters’ and mates’ certificates dating from 1850 -1927 (also available via Ancestry.com) is probably the most well-known example of evidence showing the capabilities of the those in charge of merchant vessels but what happened before 1850?
Mr Frederick Heintzig, landsman, to Nelson, on board the Foudroyante, 19 July 1799 (CRK/6/156)
Many of the common seamen of Nelson’s time were not literate, meaning letters of the ‘Lower deck’ are rare. Nelson probably received a great deal of correspondence asking for help or influence of one kind or another, but was his reputation for benevolence towards those that had served under him sometimes exploited or taken advantage of?
‘The Way of the World’ by C. J. Grant and J. Kendrick, 1834 (PAH3318)
The Caird Library has recently installed a new display of archive and library material. The theme is Medicine and Health at Sea and reveals the main diseases particularly prominent during long sea voyages. These included scurvy and yellow fever.