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Rose, Richard, 1728–1770

A journal of a voyage to Madrass : in the year of our Lord Christ, 1761 : manuscript / by Richard Rose, Leiutenant [sic] in the 96th Regiment of Foot.

Physical Description:
1 volume ([6], 80 pages) : illustrations ; 33 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
DA87.R64 J6 1761+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
Title from title page.
Richard Rose (1728-1770) was commissioned in the 96th Regiment of Foot in 1760 and served in the regiment to the conclusion of its posting in India. Rose died in August 1770 and was buried at Holy Cross, Goodnestone (Kent). A vignette on page [6] of the present diary depicts a small rural house, perhaps Rose's. In his will, Rose left all possessions, including artifacts and books collected in Asia, to his wife Alice. See: The National Archives, Kew, England, Prerogative Court of Canterbury and Related Probate Jurisdictions: Will Registers; Class: PROB 11; Piece: 961.
The 96th Regiment of Foot infantry was raised in 1760 for engagement in the Seven Years' War. It was posted to India, to aid the British East India Company in hostilities with the French and the Mughal emperors. The regiment was disbanded in 1763 following the Treaty of Paris.
In contemporary (?) brown paper wrappers.
The title page bears the autograph of J.H. Chapman, Craggs Hall, Guisbro'[?].
A photocopy of the journal is available at the National Army Museum (UK), accession number 1999-03-136.
Manuscript journal kept by Lieutenant Richard Rose (1728-1770) during his service to the East Indian Company in 1761, documenting travels aboard the Warren en route to Delagoa Bay (Maputo Bay), the Comoro Islands, and Madras (Chennai). The journal is recorded in the form of 26 letters to family and friends in England. The layout is semi-formal, with headings, decorative initials, and tail-pieces. It includes occasional illustrations of various size, including diagrams, plans and elevations of harbors and coasts, details of rigging, and (on page 57) the author's approximation of the facial tattoo of a Maputo inhabitant.
Pages [3]-[4] bear Rose's dedication to his sister, "Miss Mary Rose of Rowling in the County of Kent," written from Madras, October 10, 1761, upon completion of the journey. Rose writes that the diary is intended for his sister's amusement "and other relations and friends in England and by way of giving them some information into the manners, customs, religion, laws, languages, dress and politicks, of the several nations, states, kingdoms, principalitys and dominions of the East so far as they come to my knowledge."
The first 15 of 26 letters document four months of seafaring life. His ship, the Warren, was "eight hundred tons burthen, carrying 26 guns and 99 men and is commanded by Captain Alphonsus Glover ..." In a fleet of four ships, it was accompanied by the Fox, the Holderness, and the Placey. Rose's early letters include accounts of the living conditions, fellow passengers, amusements, verse, disputes, and sightings of dolphins etc. The first sight of land is at "St. Mary's Island" (probably Inhaca Island), on Delagoa (or Maputo) Bay, off the coast of present day Mozambique. Letters 17 to 19 describe the area of Delagoa, its flora and fauna, and the character of its inhabitants, including an extended account of his visit to see "the King and his Royal Consort at his Palace or Hut ..." (pages 57-66). From Delagoa, the fleet sails to the Comoros, and Rose again provides descriptions of the inhabitants, their clothes and dwellings, customs, and the palace of the king. On the final page, Rose marks the fleet's arrival at Madras, "having lost neither soldier or saylor ..."
Subject Terms:
British -- India.
Chapman, J. H.
Chennai (India) -- Description and travel.
East India Company.
English poetry -- 18th century.
Glover, Alphonsus.
Great Britain. Army -- History.
Great Britain. Army -- Officers -- Diaries.
Great Britain. Army. Regiment of Foot, 99th.
Maputo (Mozambique) -- Description and travel.
Maputo Bay (Mozambique) -- Description and travel.
Marine animals.
Ocean travel.
Rose, Mary (of Rowling, Kent)
Rose, Richard, 1728-1770 -- Diaries.
Seafaring life.
Seven Years' War, 1756-1763.
Songs, English -- 18th century.
Warren (Ship : 1761)
Maritime journals.
Travel literature.
Ink drawings.
IIIF Manifest:

  • Contents, transcribed from pages [5]-[6]: Letter 1. Account of the troops embarking; their orders and sailing; a song called a farwell to England
  • 2. Discription of our ship; our births etc.
  • 3. Some account of the passengers on board
  • 4. Further acct. of do.; a copy of verses on and of the young ladys on board the Warren
  • 5. Account of our amusemts. & two songs
  • 6. Do. continued; game of Tristram Shandy
  • 7. Discription of a flying fish, a dolphin, an albicore and grampus; quotation from Ps.
  • 8. Things proper to take to India
  • 9. Account of violent storm, thunder and lightning with a draft of a buckle melted by it
  • 10. Account of some disputes on board
  • 11. Do. continued
  • 12. Do. continued and ended
  • 13. A copy of verses on a young ladys weeping at the fair penitent & a song
  • 14. The Parting of Sirens & Diana from Dryden
  • 15. Account of the distances and latitudes evry day since we left England to the time of coming into Delagoa Harbour
  • 16. Saw land for the first time; song on do.; draft of do. and of the Island of St. Marys; our ship [struck?]; account of our consternation & of further disputes on board etc.
  • 17. Troops go on shore at Delagoa; a plan of the harbour and natives described
  • 18. Discription of Delagoa contd.
  • 19. Do. continued
  • 20. Quotation from Gay's Fables; we loose Fo[?] Indian[?]; set sail
  • 21. Ship [illegible], the island of Comora discribed etc.
  • 22. Discription of Comora contd.
  • 23. Discription of Mayotta, Mohilla and Johanna; toddy etc.
  • 24. Dog died on board; diserted; a fragmt. of a satirical poem; the ansr.
  • 25. A rebus on each [?] of the Lady's
  • 26. Arrive at Madrass without loosing one man; distance & lat.

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