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National Maritime Museum

Palmer, John Linton, Staff Surgeon (fl 1848-1874)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 PLR

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Palmer, John Linton, Staff Surgeon (fl 1848-1874)

Date(s): 1848-1872

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1 Box

Name of creator(s): Palmer | John Linton | fl 1848-1874 | Staff Surgeon


Administrative/Biographical history:

Palmer received his first commision on 20th May 1848 as acting assistant surgeon on HMS VICTORY. Later that year he served on HM Sloop DWARF from 19th September 1848 until late March 1850. His next commission was on 12th April 1850 as assistant surgeon on HMS ASIA in the Pacific under Captain Robert Fanshawe Stopford. He transferred on 17th February 1851 to the flagship in the Pacific, HMS PORTLAND, under Rear Admiral Fairfax Moresby. He later served on HMS JACKAL, under Lieutenant Commander William T. F. Jackson, from 3rd July 1854 until a brief term on HMS IMPREGNABLE under Vice Admiral Sir Barrington Reynolds in Devonport from 17th December 1858 until he transferred back to the JACKAL on 12th April 1859 under Lieutenant and Commander James Simpson at Sheerness. On 14th April 1860, he served on the flagship in the East Indies and China, HMS CHESAPEAKE, under Rear Admiral Sir James Hope. He produced many sketches on various subjects in China. On 16th May 1861, he spent two days on the new flagship, HMS IMPERIEUSE, before transferring to HMS PRINCESS CHARLOTTE, a receiving ship at Hong Kong under Captain Matthew S. Nolloth, where he was listed as surgeon (additional for service in Melville Hospital Ship). On 24th January 1866, he was commissioned as surgeon on HMS TOPAZE under Commodore 2nd Class Richard A. Powell. The TOPAZE voyaged to Easter Island among other destinations and it is here that he painted many watercolours and produced sketches of the topography of the island, the stone statues and some of the chiefs resident on the island at the time. His final commission was on HMS RESISTANCE from 11th September 1870 as staff surgeon under Captain William H. Haswell. This ship was on coast guard duty from Rockferry and Birkenhead from 1872 onwards. He is listed as retired in 1874.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of John Linton Palmer. They consist of a medical and surgical journal from HM Sloop DWARF, 1848-1850. A journal detailing the weather and sailors' health from HMS JACKAL, 1854-1860. A sick mess account book from 1866-1869 on board HMS TOPAZE and from 1870-1872 on board HMS RESISTANCE. A journal of 'Instructions for Medical Officers of The Royal Navy Serving Afloat', 1868-1872. Two sick lists, one from HMS TOPAZE, 1868-1869 and one from HMS RESISTANCE, 1870 onwards. The Royal Geographic Society has a collection of his sketches and paintings.


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:

These papers were presented in 1981.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 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: 2011-05-16

Naval medicine | Military medicine | Medical sciences

Personal names
Palmer | John Linton | fl 1848-1874 | Staff Surgeon

Corporate names
HMS Jackal
HMS Resistance
HMS Topaz
Royal Navy