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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 TUN
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Tunstall
Date(s): [17th century-20th century]
Level of description: Collection

Name of creator(s): Various


Administrative/Biographical history:


Scope and content/abstract:

The Tunstall collection consists of signal books, both manuscript and printed, fighting instructions and essays concerning tactics. Among these are examples of some of the earliest signal books of about the time of the War of the Spanish Succession, but the bulk of the signal books and instructions date from the mid 18th to the early 19th century. Many have important additional notes and amendments made by various naval officers, including several by Admiral Richard Earl Howe and Admiral Sir John Jervis, the Earl of St Vincent. A secondary part of the collection consists of various naval pamphlets and printed books from the later 17th century to the 20th century. This includes a collection of pamphlets relating to the dispute between Admirals Thomas Mathews (1678-1751) and Richard Lestock which arose from a confusion over signalling and instructions. There is also a collection of military books, including some rare 16th century Italian examples collected by Sir Julian Corbett, and a number of small manuscript collections of correspondence, mainly that of naval officers.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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 Information

Archival history:

Brian Tunstall was the husband of the daughter of the naval historian Sir Julian Corbett (1854-1922), and it was through her that the collection passed to him. He then continued to add to it and later the collection of Sir Hilary Mead was also incorporated.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was purchased with Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Society for Nautical Research (SNR) funding.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Oct 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:

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