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Lubbock, Basil (1876-1944)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 LUB
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Lubbock, Basil (1876-1944)
Date(s): [1876-1944]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 18ft: 549cm
Name of creator(s): Lubbock | Basil | 1876-1944 | historian


Administrative/Biographical history:

Basil Lubbock (1876-1944) was educated at Eton and in 1897 went to Canada and on to the KLONDYKE in the second year of the gold rush. He shipped home in 1899 from the West Coast round the Horn as an ordinary seaman on the four-masted barque ROYALSHIRE, a voyage recorded in his Round the Horn Before the Mast (London, 1902). After the First World War Lubbock devoted himself to recording the history of sailing ships between 1850 and 1930 in a series of over fifteen volumes, most of which are still in print as standard reference works. These include The China Clippers (1914), The Colonial Clippers (1921), The Blackwall Frigates (1922), The Last of the Windjammers (2 vols, 1927-8) and his last book The Arctic Whalers (1937).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Basil Lubbock, reflecting Lubbock's detailed and intensive approach to his research. There are over thirty copies and transcripts of logs, many made by Lubbock himself from privately owned volumes. These include abstract logs of the CUTTY SARK, 1870 to 1872, and 1886 to 1895, and a detailed log of the same vessel, 1882 to 1883; the captains' abstract logs of the ARIEL, 1866 to 1868, HALLOWEEN, 1872 to 1876, PATRIARCH, 1877 and 1883, and THERMOPYLAE, 1881 to 1884; and logs of the whalers WILLIAM, 1796 to 1803, GEORGIANA, 1802 to 1803 and NEPTUNE, 1820. There are many press cuttings and photographs, some original, of sailing ships including some of the CUTTY SARK under the Portuguese flag as the FERREIRA. The collection also contains the reminiscences and personal testaments of many seamen. Original documents include ships' papers of the CUTTY SARK for her voyages of 1882-3 and 1883-4 under the command of Captain F Moore (fl 1865-1885); the diary of a passenger on the SUPERB, 1882; a contemporary copy of the log of HMS GALATEA, 1830 to 1831; and a log of the NARCISSUS, 1866 to 1867, kept by Admiral Sir John Fullerton (1840-1918) as lieutenant, together with his station and order book, a volume of watch, station, quarter and fire bills, and an order book containing rigging tips and Flying Squadron sail drill, 1871 to 1872. Among Lubbock's personal papers in the collection are his diary for 1899, including his voyage on the ROYALSHIRE which is illustrated with sketches. There is a wealth of notes and correspondence relating to his many publications on merchant sailing ships; notes on the suppression of the slave trade in the nineteenth century and a draft of a book on the subject; twelve notebooks relating to the 'Last of the Wooden Walls', the ships of the Royal Navy in the nineteenth century; and extensive notes for an unpublished biography of Prince Rupert (1619-1682). There are also annotated copies of most of Lubbock's publications.

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:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Part were presented in 1951 and part bequeathed in 1952 by Major Merlin C. Lubbock.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Lubbock's large collection of books on maritime subjects was acquired by the Library in 1952.

Publication note:

Description Notes

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:

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