Footnotes to history

Odd short pieces we have tripped over in our work

18 May 2023

A message in a bottle

A Sea Waif We all dream of finding a bottle containing a message sent by some forlorn sailor stuck on a desert island, in the form […]
28 March 2023

The arrival of HMS Beagle

Volunteer Linda Batchelor came across the following entry from Barclay Fox’s Journal for October 1836 which brings together three well-known names. 10th Month 3. Captain Fitzroy […]
21 February 2023

A captain complains

While researching the Ceuta papers, we came across this letter from Captain McLeod of HMS Antelope which piqued our curiosity. Who was this ‘unpleasant ship-mate’? Portsmouth […]
19 February 2023

A Mystery no more

Document relating to the voyage of the Mystery lugger from Penzance to Melbourne (Aus)
11 December 2022

A Broad appreciation …

While researching her article on Broad’s Ship Agents, Volunteer Linda Bachelor came across this lovely letter of thanks. It comes from Commander Robert Pettet of HMS […]
8 September 2022

The defence of Scilly

Many an envoy has been accused of ‘going native’ by ‘headquarters’ when they are merely seeing things from a different perspective. This elegantly written letter comes […]
7 September 2022

Captain Bligh steps down

William Bligh was one of the more controversial naval captains of the C19 navy. In 1789 he lost the Bounty to mutineers but went on to […]
7 September 2022

Footnotes to history

One of the joys of scuffling around in the archives researching history is the odd stories that pop up from time to time. Small red herrings […]
6 September 2022

The Leviathan limps home

The aftermath of the Battle of Trafalgar was a time that stretched already exhausted men and ships to the limit. As Collingwood reported ‘The fleet was […]