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Graham, Thomas (1818-1850), naval surgeon

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0120 MSS.5462 & 8414-8420
Held at: Wellcome Library
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Full title: Graham, Thomas (1818-1850), naval surgeon
Date(s): 1830-1850
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 3 volumes, 12 files and 1 reel of microfilm
Name of creator(s): Graham | Thomas | 1818-1850 | naval surgeon
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Thomas Graham was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and studied medicine at Edinburgh University from 1835 (MD 1838). In 1841 he was appointed an assistant naval surgeon by the Board of Admiralty, serving initially at Melville Hospital, Chatham, then aboard HMS Warspite in home waters, in the Atlantic, American waters, and the Mediterranean between 1841 and 1846. In that year he was commissioned as assistant surgeon of HMS Madagascar, serving mainly in the west of Ireland, where he took a prominent part in assisting the relief of distress during the Famine. In 1849 he was commissioned with the same rank to HMS Hastings, based in Hong Kong, travelling out to meet her aboard the troopship Apollo. In March 1850 he was promoted surgeon, to serve on HMS Phlegethon at Whampoa (now Huangpu), but died a few weeks later on 13 July 1850 from malaria. He is buried on Dane's Island, near Canton (Guangzhou).


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters and papers of Thomas Graham (1818-1850), naval surgeon, mainly relating to his education at Edinburgh University and subsequent service aboard various warships in home waters, Ireland, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Far East.

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:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Thomas Graham's papers were evidently dispersed after his death; most seem to have found their way eventually to Australia. A Tasmanian postal history dealer, John Beagle, took an interest in some letters by Graham to his sister that passed through his hands and set about identifying and collecting other Thomas Graham items from private and commercial sources: the bulk of this material was subsequently purchased by the Wellcome Library and forms the majority of the collection described here.

Immediate source of acquisition:

MS.5462 was purchased from a British book dealer in 1987 (acc.347704); the great majority of th rest of the collection was separately acquired from an Australian collector and Thomas Graham enthusiast, John Beagle, in 2005-6 (acc.1368, 1372, 1398, 1417); an additional item , 8418/14 (acc.1465) was purchased separately from Maggs Bros Ltd, London.

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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