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National Maritime Museum

Cree, Edward Hodges (1814-1901)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 CRJ

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Cree, Edward Hodges (1814-1901)

Date(s): [1841-1961]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 37 items

Name of creator(s): Cree | Edward Hodges | 1814- 1901 | physician


Administrative/Biographical history:

Dr Edward Hodges Cree was born on January 14th 1814, Devonport. He studied medicine at Dublin and Edinburgh Universities, graduating from the latter in 1837, receiving his M.R.C.S and M.D ten years after. Cree entered the Navy in 1837 where the journals begin, which subsequently continue until 1861. Cree's first appointment began in 1837 as assistant surgeon to the ROYAL ADELAIDE, ordered to do duty at the Naval Hospital, Stonehouse. He then establishes his career as a surgeon on board His Majesties vessels VOLCANO, CEYLON, FIREFLY, RATTLESNAKE, VIXEN, FURY, SPARTAN, EAGLE, RUSSELL, ORION and SATURN. Throughout his career he visited many parts of the world, including the Far East, where he witnessed actions in the First Opium War of 1839-42. His service led him to take action against piratical Chinese fleets, engagements and actions against the Russians in the Baltic; and was involved in the final stages of the Crimean War, being present at the Capture of Sebastopol and Kinburn. The water-colour illustrations and sketches contained within his journals create and rich and colourful depiction of the period whilst serving in the Navy. In addition, the book entitled The Cree Journals: The Voyages of Edward H Cree, Surgeon R.N., as related in his private journals, 1837-1856, edited by Michael Levien; is a useful supplement to the collection.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Dr Edward H Cree, including volumes one to twenty-one, 1937-1961, and comprises Cree's personal journals whilst serving at sea. The text is supplemented by circa seventeen hundred watercolours and sketches. The journals account details of his sea voyages, experience whilst in foreign lands, his impressions of people and places, his recollections amongst family and friends and writings concerning his life at home and with his wife. In addition to the illustrated journals are his 'rough journals' 1841, 1847, 1849, 1851-2 and 1854, his medical journal kept 1841-1847, journal notes (1837), sketchbook (1839), newspaper cuttings, service records and certificates and invitations. An index to the journals provides useful information on the vessels served on, the places visited and the illustrations within.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Journals of Dr Edward H Cree were placed on loan in 1986 and the additional volumes included in 1987.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-10-28

Naval medicine | Military medicine | Medical sciences
Travel writing | Nonfiction
Watercolour painting | Painting | Fine arts
Literary forms and genres

Personal names
Cree | Edward Hodges | 1814-1901 | physician

Corporate names
Royal Navy