AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

SCHOMBURGK, Sir Robert Hermann (1804-1865)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 RHS
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: SCHOMBURGK, Sir Robert Hermann (1804-1865)
Date(s): 1832-1858
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 4 boxes and 1 file
Name of creator(s): Schomburgk | Sir | Robert Hermann | 1804-1865 | Knight | botanist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Freiburg in Saxony, 1804; educated in Germany; entered business with his uncle and in 1826 went to the USA; West Indies, 1830 and surveyed, at his own cost, the littoral of Anegada, one of the Virgin Islands, 1831; explored the rivers Essequibo (the sources of which he was the first European to reach), Corentyn, and Berbice, and investigated in detail the capabilities of the colony of British Guiana under the direction of the Royal Geographical Society, 1835-1839; commissioner for surveying and marking out the boundaries of British Guiana, 1840-1844; Director of the Barbados General Railway Company; gazetted British consul in Santo Domingo, 1848; made a plenipotentiary to conclude a treaty of amity and commerce between Great Britain and the Dominican Republic,1849; British consul at Bangkok, Siam, 1857; undertook an important journey from Bangkok to Chiengmai, the capital of the tributary Kingdom of Laos, and then across the mountains to Moulmein on the Gulf of Martaban, 1859-1860; retired from the public service, 1864; died, 1865.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Robert Herman Schomburgk, 1832-1858, comprising letters, observations, journals of travel in South and Central America and South East Asia and papers relating to expeditions to Guyana, 1836-1838.

Schomburgk's journals including remarks to accompany a map the rivers Orinoco, Essequibo and Branco, South America, 1833; journal in Central America, notably on Anegada and Virgin Gorda, 1833; journal in Central America, 1834; journal in Central America, 1853 and journal in South East Asia, notably Siam and the voyage from Bangkok to Xieng mai and Maulmain, 1860.

Papers relating to expeditions to Guyana including reports on the first expedition into the interior of Guyana, 1836, and of an excursion to the Post at the mouth of the Cayuni with accompanying watercolour of the Post at Cayuni; report, diary and notes on the second expedition into Guyana, 1837 and account of expenses for the first and second expeditions and reports on third expedition into Guyana, 1837-1838, with accompanying watercolour.

Observation files including astronomical and meteorological observations, trigonometrical observations at Annay, notes on heights at which trees will grow and on the position of San Joachim, Guyana, 1835-1837.

Pencil sketches including of Indian ornaments found at Samana, of Haitians and ink and wash sketch of the town and harbour, St. Thomas, 1833; unpublished article 'On the originating causes and further development of hurricanes in the West Indies', 1833 and official and personal letters to Schomburgk, many written to him in his capacity as Secretary of the Society, 1892-1915, and letters from Sir John Scott Keltie.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Accessible 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 the permission of the IBG-RGS Archivist.

Finding aids:

Card index available in the Foyle Reading Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by Archives volunteer using existing finding aids. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford DNB.

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

Date(s) of descriptions:
29 March 2001; Jul 2008.

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"