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Merchant Shipping: Logs

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 LOG/M
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Merchant Shipping: Logs
Date(s): 1703- 20th century
Level of description: Subfonds
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Extent: 6ft: 183cm
Name of creator(s): Various


Administrative/Biographical history:

Merchant Shipping: Logs


Scope and content/abstract:

Of the seventy volumes in this class, thirteen date from the eighteenth century. The earliest was kept by John Tregelles, an ordinary seaman, recording voyages in mail packets from the West Country, mainly to the West Indies, between 1703 and 1707. There are the logs of the TRIO, kept by Robert Sanders, the third mate, from London to the West Indies and back in 1788; and the AFRICAN QUEEN, by an unknown keeper, from Bristol to Africa in 1790. Privateering is represented by the log of the GREYHOUND of Bristol commanded by James Neil, operating mainly in the English Channel, 1779 to 1780. The slave trade is the subject of two volumes; one is the log of John Newton (1725-1807), kept while master of the slave vessels the DUKE OF ARGYLE and the AFRICAN on voyages to Africa and the West Indies between 1750 and 1754 (an edited version of this has been published in B Martin and M Spurrell, eds. The Journal of a Slave Trader (John Newton) 1750-1754) (London, 1962); the other is the illustrated log of the SANDOWN by her commander, Samuel Gamble, a slave merchant, from London to West Africa and the West Indies, 1793 to 1794.

There are also three logs kept by the marine artist Nicholas Pocock (1741-1821) while commander of the ships BETSEY and LLOYD of Bristol; they cover six voyages of the LLOYD between Bristol and South Carolina, 1768 to 1769 and one in the BETSEY from Bristol to the Mediterranean and back to London in 1770. Each is illustrated with India-ink wash drawings of the ship showing the set of the sails and weather conditions each day, together with other sketches. There are forty-seven nineteenth-century logs. Among the earliest are those of the MONARCH on a voyage from Liverpool to South America and back, 1824 to 1825, kept by her master Magnus Omand; of the BENJAMIN during two voyages to St Petersburg and back, 1830 to 1832; and the log of the barque ARUNDEL from Liverpool to Odessa and back, 1836 to 1837, kept by the mate, Thomas Somerscales, father of the marine painter of the same name (1842-1927). Later volumes include the log of the brig SANCHO engaged in the East Coast coal trade and also making two voyages to Archangel, 1848 to 1850, kept by the mate, Daniel Tatkin; the log of the KELSO from London to Singapore and Hong Kong, 1849 to 1852, by the second mate, William Locke (b 1825), with an account of a mutiny on board in 1850; and the log of the ALSAGER, 1872 to 1873, with an account of her loss by the mate.

There are two nineteenth-century volumes relating to the packet service; the log of H.M. Packets ST VINCENT, from St Vincent, West Indies, to Liverpool, 1818, and PRINCE ERNEST from Falmouth to Barbados and back, 1821, kept by Captain Coupland, and the log of the Falmouth Packets PRINCESS ELIZABETH and the MARQUESS OF SALISBURY, later H M Brig SWALLOW, 1819 to 1832, kept by John Bull (1771-1851) including voyages to Halifax, the West Indies, Mexico and New York. Logs of Green's Blackwall Frigates include that of the MALABAR kept by A J M D How, midshipman, during two voyages to Bombay and back, 1846 to 1848; an illustrated log of the OWEN GLENDOWER, by John Lawrence Kirby, Second Officer, Bombay and back, 1846 to 1847; and that of the CARLISLE CASTLE, also illustrated, on four voyages from London to Melbourne, 1880 to 1884, by C R Longden, midshipman (fl 1880-1919). Among the logs of nineteenth-century steam vessels are the captain's log of the GREAT WESTERN, from Bristol to New York and back, 1838; the log of the GREAT BRITAIN on her third voyage from Liverpool to Melbourne and back, 1854 to 1855, and two voyages carrying troops to the Crimea, 1855 to 1856; an illustrated log of the CALCUTTA from Plymouth to India and back, 1852 to 1853; and two logs of the GREAT EASTERN, one a medical log, 1869 to 1870, and the other kept by her captain, Robert Halpin, on a voyage to Newfoundland and back, 1873. The earliest of the ten twentieth-century items is the electrical log of the cable ship DACIA.

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Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

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Description Notes

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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:

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