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Travers, R. W
Journal of Midshipman R.W. Travers.
Physical Description:
1 v. (180 pages) : ill. ; 32 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process DA88.T73 J68 1891+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
Bound in contemporary blue morocco, tooled in gilt on cover; rebacked.
Manuscript journal kept by a R.W. Travers, a young midshipman in the Royal Navy. The journal is set up with a two page spread for the month's nautical notations, followed by regular ruled sheets for comments. In the monthly sections, Travers has dutifully recorded each day's wind and weather information, as well as the general location of the ship and general remarks about that day's events. Daily entries are generally very detailed and often include such items as coaling, cleaning and painting the ship, various military drills, mending clothes, and weekly devotions every Sunday. A typical entry reads: "Aug. 31st. A.M. Raised steam in Auxiliary Boiler for pumping out boilers. 9.0 Divisions. Prayers. Read & exercised stations. Working ship shortening sail & fire quarters. Training class of both watches at 6" gun drill, ords [ordinary seamen] & boys of watch at seamanship. 11.20 H.M.S. Assistance passed steering to westward. Sent one man to Hospital. P.M. Training class of both watches at 6" gun drill. Ord seaman & boys at seamanship. Drew fires in Auxiliary Boiler. 4.0 Quarters. Gave privilege leave to Watch. Up boats."
The journal is not comprised solely of daily entries. In the first half of his journal, Travers has written out brief educational treatises or essays on various subjects. The first of these opens his journal, entitled "Remarks on the Admiral Class [of ships]," which includes the H.M.S. Camperdown. He gives the strengths and weaknesses of the Admiral Class in simple phrases: "The measured mile speed is 16.75 knots. It is a speed not previously reached in any battle ship, & the Admirals have the merit of coming nearer to their trial speed in active service than is usual in our vessels of war. The coal endurance is over 7000 knots. As to the formidable character of the armament there cannot be a question. It must be admitted that the Admiral class are deficient in armour protection." Other subjects he takes up include "Method of getting out torpedo net defence;" the geography of Arosa Bay; an extensive essay on Gibraltar, including much of its history; and several other essays of a geographical nature. These are primarily confined to the first half of the volume, the second half comprised mainly of daily shipboard entries.
The most striking feature of Travers' journal is undoubtedly the wealth of drawings which he has tipped in. These are primarily technical drawings of parts of the ship, including several guns and schematics of shells. Also present are numerous maps, usually showing the route of the vessel he is aboard, marked with the soundings along the coasts. Maps included show the area around Ireland and England; "Track Chart of H.M.S. Camperdown from Portsmouth to Arosa Bay," showing the coasts of England, France and Spain; the island of Madeira; the islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada; and another entitled "H.M.S. Volage Sumer Cruize," showing a trek to the mid-Atlantic and back, showing Newfoundland and the rest of Atlantic Canada on the left and England, Spain and the coast of Africa on the far right.
Subject Terms:
Camperdown (Ship)
Great Britain. Royal Navy -- Sea life -- History -- 19th century.
Great Britain. Royal Navy -- Ships.
Seafaring life.
Travers, R. W.
Volage (Ship)
Ships' logs.
Manuscript maps.
Ink drawings.

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