Quantity: 1 available
On offer is a superb, original ship-board journal kept by a British Royal Navy sailor in the late 19th Century. It is a handwritten volume, about 180 completely filled pages. The unidentified author is left England on board HMS Thalia, a Royal Navy warship. While the author of this journal is unknown from context, it is clear that he is not an officer. He works on the ships electrical systems. He notes at one point that his last visit to Malta had been seventeen years earlier. This would suggest that he may be a Petty Officer. Petty officers were seamen who had been "rated" to fill a particular specialist trade on board ship. He writes about daily tasks, notes the ship's position and the daily happenings on board. Working in Commanders cabin placing an extra electric light complete it during the afternoon and during the process a fire broke out on the mess deck in one of the circuits owing to a quantity of water getting into the wires, the fire bell rung but the flames were soon put out. ... We have heard the sad intelligence tonight that HMS Wasp is lost with all hands in Chinese waters. We sincerely hope the news is not correct. [Oct 14, 1887] (HMS Wasp departed Singapore on Sept 10th, 1887 and was never heard from again. She was lost with all hands.) In Gibraltar, they were tied up for a number of days. On Oct 17th, he notes that Thalia sailed for England. He does not mention the ship he is transferred to but an entry much later identifies her as HMS Edinburgh, an iron-clad battleship. He describes daily tasks, a trip on shore to visit the fortress, the comings and goings of other RN ships and some critical observations of foreign ships that came in: An Italian man of war came alongside this forenoon and is coaling. ... As she passed, she looked very dirty ... [Nov 4, 1887] They sailed from Gibraltar to Malta, arriving Dec 2nd: Malta was in sight early this morning and at 4 o'clock the Watch was busy getting the upper portions of the ship in apple pie order and at 6 o'clock all hands were turned out and breakfast was had by 6:45 when all hands had to clean in a White working rig and then had to go to stations for going into harbour. ... [Dec 2, 1887] We were off the Rock of Gibraltar early this morning and we steamed in to with a mile of the back of it and I went torpedo (Whitehead*) practice. We have got ten runs when we sighted the Fleet and we had to stop and then steamed to meet them. We got into position about one o'clock and together we steamed into harbour, the Flag ship going alongside the New Mole and the other 5 ships Colossus, Thunderer, Phaeton and us (Edinburgh) anchoring in the bay .... May 23, 1888] The Whitehead torpedo was the first self-propelled or "locomotive" torpedo ever developed. EDITOR'S NOTES: Three ships in the Royal Navy have carried the name Thalia. The third of these was a Juno-class wooden screw corvette. The second in this 2-ship class, she was designed to carry troops. HMS Thalia was the last ship to be built at Woolwich Royal Dockyard. She was laid down in 1866 and launched 14th July 1869 and completed for the Royal Navy in May 1870. Following this cruise, in 1890 she was loaned to the War Department as a powder hulk, stationed at Portsmouth. In 1915, she was converted to a base ship. In 1920, she was sold to a Scottish foundry for breaking up. HMS Edinburgh was commissioned at Portsmouth in July 1887 for the 1887 Golden Jubilee Fleet Review, and was then posted to the Mediterranean, where she was commanded by Commander (later Admiral Sir) Percy Scott until 1890. Her posting to the Mediterranean ended in 1894. She was then briefly guardship at Hull, and was then guardship at Queensferry until 1897, when she went into reserve. In 1908 she was converted for use as a target ship and finally, in 1910, she went to the breakers. This journal is a goldmine for a naval historian. It is jam packed with details of ship-board tasks and the comings and goings of ships of the largest fleet in the world at that time. The author had obviously been trained on the most advanced weaponry the navy had at the time (torpedos). It is an excellent cross-reference resource. It also describes the ships that were taking the place the great wooden ships of the line as iron-clad the battle cruisers and dreadnoughts that would dominate the naval battles of WWI. The covers are missing, but the diary is preserved in an original clothed envelope. The first and last page is in poor condition and several pages are loose. The handwriting is in ink in a copperplate hand and is legible.
Title: 1887 SUPER, ORIGINAL MANASCRIPT DIARY AND SHIP'S LOG FROM THE UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE OF A PETTY OFFICER ON TWO OF HER MAJESTY'S SHPS - THALIA AND EDINBURGH
Book Condition: Good+
Size: 32mo - over 4" - 5" tall
Item: 1.00 Item
Seller ID: 0007024
Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, HMS THALIA; HMS EDINBURGH; THE ROYAL NAVY; GIBRALTAR; MALTA, LOCOMOTIVE, WHITEHEAD TORPEDO, NAUTICAL, NAVAL, MARINERS, BRITISH NAVY, BRITANNIA, MARINE, BRITISH WARSHIPS, FORRESTER, OBRIAN, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL