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MACONOCHIE, Alexander (1787-1860)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 AMA
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: MACONOCHIE, Alexander (1787-1860)
Date(s): 1833-1971
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 1 large box and 2 files
Name of creator(s): Maconochie | Alexander | 1787-1860 | naval officer, geographer and penal reformer | Captain


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1787; received some legal training; joined Royal Navy, 1803 and served off Spain and later in the West Indies; midshipman, 1804; stationed off Cadiz, 1909; on active service during the Napoleonic wars, and in 1810 was a lieutenant on the brig GRASSHOPPER; prisoner of war, 1811-1814; rejoined the Navy and saw active service in the war against the United States at the capture of Washington and the assaults on New Orleans; commander of the brig CALLIOPE; paid off in 1815 and placed on the reserve list; Edinburgh, 1815-1828; moved to London, 1828; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), 1830-1860; appointed the first Secretary of the Society at the RGS's inaugural meeting, 1830; Professor of Geography, University College London, 1833-1836; left England for Hobart Town as private secretary to Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Franklin, 1836; appointed Superintendent of the penal settlement at Norfolk Island, 1840-1844; Governor of the new prison at Birmingham, England, 1849-1851; died, 1860.

Publications: A Summary View of the Statistics and Existing Commerce of the Principal Shores of the Pacific Ocean, etc. (London, 1818).
Report on the State of Prison Discipline in Van Diemen's Land (London, 1838)


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Capt Alexander Maconochie, 1833-1971, including photocopies of letters concerning the Chair of Geography at London University and his decision to go to Van Diemen's Land, 1833-1836; a statement on his differences with Sir John Franklin, Mar 1839, including copies of letters from F M Innes, J C Macdougall, G Robertson, and Sir Alfred Stephen and original letters from J C Macdougall, 28 Mar 1839, and G Robinson, 22 Mar 1839; 22 letters addressed to Sir John Scott Keltie in his capacity as the Secretary of the Society, 1834-1839; letter from Hobart Town, 22 Jun 1837 on the natives at Port Phillip in Australia and containing a sketch of the structure of Van Diemen's Land and photograph of Maconochie's headstone, 1971.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Accessed via the Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

Hand list and card index.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in several accessions.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by an archives volunteer using existing finding aids. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: 'Captain Alexander Maconochie, R. N., K. H., 1787-1860; by R. Gerard Ward, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 126, No. 4 (Dec., 1960), pp. 459-468 and the Australian Dictionary of National Biography

Rules or conventions:
ISAD(G) ed.2, name authority NRA.

Date(s) of descriptions:
15 November 2001; Oct 2008.

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