Museum blog

Read our blog to get the lowdown from our experts and go behind the scenes at Royal Museums Greenwich.

Cutty Sark - Lloyd's Survey Report

6 September 2017

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)

16 August 2017

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

2 August 2017

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

25 July 2017

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)

13 July 2017

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)

5 July 2017

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.

Photograph of Japanese fleet on the morning of the battle - PKM/2/9

23 June 2017

One hundred and twelve years ago on the 27 May 1905 the Imperial Japanese Navy achieved a major victory at the Battle of Tsushima, destroying or capturing much of the Russian fleet that had sailed 18,000 nautical miles from the Baltic in an attempt to reinforce the Russian Pacific Squadron at Port Arthur.

Letter describing the Dutch landing on the Isle of Sheppey and the attack on the Medway

16 June 2017

This June marks the 350th anniversary of the Dutch Raid on the Medway which took place 9-14 June 1667. It was humiliating for the English Navy resulting in the loss of thirteen English ships, with the Unity and Royal Charles captured. Mike Bevan, archivist at the Caird Library, takes a closer look.   

Loss of the Princess Alice PAD6772.jpg

9 June 2017
On the evening of Tuesday 3 September 1878, the Princess Alice paddle steamer was making her way up the Thames on her return journey from Sheerness to London. The weather had...

Franklin-193x300_0.jpg

7 June 2017

Going to sea is a dangerous business. Ahead of our major new exhibition, Death in the ice: the shocking story of Franklin's final expedition, we're looking at some of the more gruesome tales that can be found in the exhibition and in our archive.

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