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Naval – Military – Pre-20th Century

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  • A Voyage Round the World – Captain George Shelvocke – Seafarers’ Library Issue 1928

    A Voyage Round the World – Captain George Shelvocke – Seafarers’ Library Issue 1928

    With Introduction and Notes by W.G. Perrin F.R. Hist. S Admiralty Librarian, Secretary of the Navy Records Society

    Published by the Seafarers’ Library, that is Cassell and Co, London a first of its type 1928. Thick octavo, 262 pages after the xxii Introduction, which adds well to the principal narrative. Foxed along the edges, title and occasionally as is often the case with the thick spongey paper used by the publisher. Still a pretty good copy and rare in a very good dust jacket which has protected the boards well. Illustrated with 7 half tone plates and a map.

    George Shelvocke (1675-1742) joined the Royal Navy at 15 and rose to second lieutenant during two long wars with the French. When the war ended he received no pension which drove him to take up privateering. In 1719 he was given charge of the Speedwell to accompany John Clipperton in the Success to take Spanish vessels in the Pacific. Shortly after leaving England Shelvocke deliberately parted ways with Clipperton to control his own fortunes. In the Pacific they were wrecked at Juan Fernandez. They managed to build a sizeable vessel out of recovered timbers and fresh hewn trees. They carried on and took their first Spanish vessel, occupied it and renamed it the Happy Return. They proceeded to take several prizes accumulating treasure along the way. They sailed north to California and made various remarks on the territory including the prospects of finding gold. From there they sailed the Pacific to Canton and from there back to England. Shelvocke was accused of hiding some of the treasure to his advantage … but got away with it … and wrote this account. A worthy read it was taken on Pacific voyages by all those that were to come after him.

    On rounding the Horn his second shot a black albatross. Later, Wordsworth read the account and suggested to Samuel Taylor Coleridge that the shooting could be a useful device for his epic poem that was to be The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

    Shelvocke after and in the mode of Dampier – before Anson and the great Navigators.

    $40.00

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  • Byron’s Journal of His Circumnavigation 1764-1766 – Edited by Robert E. Gallagher

    Byron’s Journal of His Circumnavigation 1764-1766 – Edited by Robert E. Gallagher

    Another well produced piece of work put out by the Hakluyt Society.

    John Byron of Wager fame (the poets Grandfather and Voyager hero) has come in for some criticism regarding his circumnavigation of 1764-1776. Hard to understand considering he is in the all time top 20.

    Sent by the Admiralty to search for Pepys’s Island and the Southern Continent and then around in the Pacific north to find the “other end” of the North West passage. He re-discovered the Falkland Islands (but was beaten by Bougainville) and when in the Pacific decided for his own reasons (quite valid) to go in a more direct route and all around back to Blighty.

    His journal is at the mecca of all journals marine, the National Maritime Museum, London. And, here it is published with super supporting items by editor Robert Gallagher. Much about the giants of Patagonia.

    Printed by the Cambridge University Press for the Hakluyt Society in 1964. Octavo, 230 pages with numerous illustrations and maps and charts many folding or multiple folding. A particularly good thoroughly clean copy.

    John Byron first the Wager then the Circumnavigation on of the greatest naval heroes of the 18th C.

    $50.00

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  • Historic Sail – The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the 13th to the 19th Century – Wheatley

    Historic Sail – The Glory of the Sailing Ship from the 13th to the 19th Century – Wheatley

    A massive production principally by Joseph Wheatley as this is a most visual work … text by Stephen Howarth.

    Squarish folio, 33cm by 32cm, 206 pages, published by specialist Greenhill Books, London in 2000.

    With 91 colour plates of historic vessels with accompanying text page. A quality production and a very good copy. Probably too big for an overseas purchase (and our scanner) .. please enquire though.

    Presented in chronological order with the Danish 13thC Cog and then the Cinque Ports Cog and Venetian Merchantman. Along the way we have Carricks and Caravels before the 16thC Galleys and the Flemish Warships. Some specifics … the Revenge and the San Martin and the Golden Lion. The Armada vessels and the Dutch and the mighty Sovereign of the Seas. Gun ships and the first yachts … HMB Endeavour an to finish a Scottish Tea Clipper.

    At the time of publication Joseph Wheatley was part of the crew on the replica Endeavour … half your luck … one of the images is that magnificent converted collier.

    A special book for grown up Boys who like the Sea.

    $50.00

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  • Mercator’s World – Anson’s Voyage

    Mercator’s World – Anson’s Voyage

    Volume 3 No 6 of Mercator’s World published in 1998.

    Our favourite features is “Victory at Sea – How George Anson Became Leader of the British Navy”. Having said that, we do not like the title as he became the “Father” of the Royal Navy for many reasons, albeit including the incredible circumnavigation and stealing of the Spanish gold, the story of this feature.

    An eight page article nicely illustrated, mostly from images and maps out of the official account. The charming engraving “England’s glory. Wagons heading into the Tower of London with the Spanish treasure” is a very rare engraving the originator unknown.

    Provides fresh insight into the voyage particularly as you would expect concerning the charts and the route taken and the mistakes made and bad luck encountered. It is a lesson in the difficulties had before the problem of the longitude was solved by Harrison’s chronometer.

    Other articles include quite a bit on underwater surveying … Davy Jones Locker etc and Portlan reflection a good one on early sea charts.

    Mercator’s ideas and views on the Anson Voyage.

    $24.00

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  • Original Watercolour – Lt Janvarin Grassie R.N. – New South Wales – 1876

    Original Watercolour – Lt Janvarin Grassie R.N. – New South Wales – 1876

    A delightful Australian School watercolour … a Woman Bathing by a Lake 32cm by 21cm. External frame dimensions. 50cm by 39cm. Lovely palette and a charming naivety.

    Matted and framed by upmarket London Picture Framers, Restorers and Guilder with their label on the back. Slight hints of age but still in very good condition.

    The artist date and location nicely noted lower left and right on the mat. Decorative lines drawn to mat with lovely choice of fill colouring.

    After reasonable research we have not come up with anything on the artist nor any obvious record in the Royal Navy.

    Nice Australian watercolour from the 1870’s – Artist named but little known about him.

    $590.00

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  • Log of the Centurion – The Anson Voyage – The Log of Saumarez – Leo Heaps

    Log of the Centurion – The Anson Voyage – The Log of Saumarez – Leo Heaps

    The great Anson circumnavigation of the mid-18th century to basically steal as much Spanish gold – as possible (successful in that regard). This book based on the papers of Captain Saumarez and an essential part of the incredible story that makes up this historic adventure.

    Based on the original papers of Captain Philip Saumarez on Board HMS Centurion, Lord Anson’s flagship during his circumnavigation 1740-44.

    The four Saumarez logs have not been previously published or referenced. They had been lost for year until found in the 1960’s in a cardboard box along with letter and other documents at the Saumerez manor in the Channel Islands.

    Published by Macmillan, New York a first edition 1974.Large octavo, 264 pages, world map end papers showing the track of the fleet, numerous illustrations from original works, some in colour. A very good copy.

    While Great Britain was at war with Spain in 1740, Commodore George Anson led a Squadron of eight ships on a mission to harass the Spaniards on the west coast of South America and cut off their supplies of wealth from the Pacific.

    “Returning to England in 1744 by way of China and thus completing a circumnavigation, the voyage was notable for the capture of the gold laden Acapulco Galleon but also for the loss of all ships except Anson’s Centurion and horrific losses to disease with only 300 of the original 900 surviving.

    Anson’s voyage is remembered as a classic tale of endurance and leadership in the face of fearful disasters, but to Englishmen of 1744 it was the treasure of the galleon, triumphantly paraded through the streets of London, which restored national pride after an unsuccessful war against the Spaniards.”

    Saumerez another perspective on Anson

    $40.00

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