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Gordon, Charles George (1833-1885)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.6894-6901
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Gordon, Charles George (1833-1885)
Date(s): 1856-1884
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 11 files
Name of creator(s): Gordon | Charles George | 1833-1885 | Major-General | British army officer and administrator x Gordon of Khartoum
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Charles George Gordon was born in Woolwich, Kent, and educated at the Royal Military Academy there. He was commissioned as an army officer in 1852. He took part in the Crimean War and served in China for several years, but is best known for his service in Sudan in the 1870 and 1880s. He became Governor General of Sudan in 1874. He was killed when Khartoum was captured by forces of the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, after a siege of 317 days; at the time of his death he held the rank of major-general. His nicknames 'Chinese Gordon' and 'Gordon of Khartoum' were derived from the places with which he was most associated in the public imagination.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters and papers of Charles George Gordon, known as 'Chinese Gordon' and later 'Gordon of Khartoum', with related letters by his brother, Colonel S.E. Gordon, and Captain C Orde Browne, 1856-1884.

The letters and papers document many aspects of Gordon's career, including his service in China and the Sudan. They shed light on his political views, religious faith and personal ambitions and are especially important in showing his interest in biblical history and archaeology. The letters were largely addressed to fellow officers in the Royal Engineers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopies/photographs/microfilm are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds, and that photographs cannot be photocopied in any circumstances. Readers are restricted to 100 photocopies in twelve months. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.

Finding aids:

Described in the Library's typescript supplements to its published manuscript catalogues.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The letters and papers were acquired from various sources. The letters to Wilson (MS.6896) were sold by his daughter, Miss M.O. Wilson, at Sotheby's, on 6 May 1930, lot 383. Most of the letters to Watson (MS. 6897) were acquired privately by Sir Henry Wellcome after November 1925. Other letters were purchased in small lots at various sales at Sotheby's, Glendining's, Stevens' etc. (various accession numbers).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Wellcome Library catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
In compliance with ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description - 2nd Edition (1999); UNESCO Thesaurus, December 2001; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2009

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