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  • Documents Relating to Anson’s Voyage Round the World 1740-1744 – Williams

    Documents Relating to Anson’s Voyage Round the World 1740-1744 – Williams

    Sounds like a bibliography and, there is one of some very unusual unique items, but it is much more than that.

    Editor Glyndwr Williams, History Queen Mary’s College London, is also on the Council of the Navy Records Society. He spent many years compiling this excellent book.

    First edition published in 1967 by the navy Records Society, London. Octavo,303 pages plus details of the Society and Members. Bound in their traditional style. Still has the original thin glassine protector which are pretty limited but it is amazing that is has survived. Perfect condition excepting some light creasing of the odd page, a printing defect. Illustrated and with a facsimile fold out of the circumnavigation World Map.

    The editors tackles some specific aspects of the important famous voyage. Part I The Origins of the Voyage; Part II – Preparations and Preliminaries; Part II – the Voyage England to Juan Fernandez; Part IV The Voyage Juan Fernandez to Macao; Part V – the Voyage the Acapulco Galleon; Part Vi – the Homecoming … List of Documents etc.

    Importantly, it contains the text of the manuscript journal of Lawrence Millechamp for the first time. Through this and numerous other documents the editor proves that the official account of the voyage … the magnificent volumes under the name of Richard Walter, Chaplain, had in fact been largely written by Benjamin Robins, a ghost writer for Anson himself. And, that the official account are smooth over certain issues in particular relating to the Spanish Galleon … significant Prize Monies were at stake and the story had to fit .. so to speak.

    Anson’s Voyage – Expands the Knowledge and the Intrigue


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  • The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron 1768 – The Wreck of The Wager

    The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron 1768 – The Wreck of The Wager

    The Narrative of the Honourable John Byron (Commodore in a Late Expedition Round the World) Containing and Account of the Great Distresses Suffered by Himself and his Companions on the Coast of Patagonia, from the Year 1740, till their Arrival in England, 1746, With a description of St Jago de Chili, and the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants. Also a Relation of the Loss of the Wager Man of War, One of Admiral Anson’s Squadron.

    Second edition published the same year as the first, 1768 in London by Baker, Leigh and Davies. Complete with frontispiece engraving of the wreck of the Wager, 257 pages in very good condition. Quarter leather over marbled paper covered boards, originally half with corner points removed. A fresh title label at some time.

    Australian historian Geoffrey Ingleton’s copy with his bookplate. And, earlier the unusual bookplate of the famous Cholmondeley Library with the Case/Shelf and number reference.

    Byron was midshipman aboard the Wager, one of Anson’s squadron in his voyage of circumnavigation. The ship was wrecked off the Chilean coast and the survivors who remained with Captain David Cheap were made prisoners by the Indians and turned over to the Spanish authorities. The wreck of the Wager led to major changes in British nautical law relating to shipwreck. Byron’s narrative is one of the most thrilling accounts in the language, and supplied his illustrious descendant [Lord Byron, the poet] with many particulars for the shipwreck in Don Juan.

    Fundamental Anson Voyage Account – Distinguished Library Provenance


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  • A Voyage to the South Seas in His majesty’s Ship the Wager in the Years 1740-1741 – John Bulkeley (Gunner)

    Harder to find in original form than the original Byron book on the same event. This reissue by George Harrap, London 1927 is the first after 1757.

    Octavo, 212 pages after xxxiv, three illustrations. Dust jacket rarely seen. Showing some age, with previous owners bookplate and browned endpapers, still a pretty goo copy.

    The Wager was part of Lord Anson’s fleet which in the 1740’s set-off around the world to principally stick it up the Spanish and steal their gold. The whole event is one of the greatest seafaring stories of all time. An important subset is the loss of the Wager which under Captain Cheap went aground running through the Magellan Straits. Captain Cheap was a pompous nutcase and insisted on traveling west and north (in the direction of Anson) and in this endeavour he was joined by Byron, although it was touch and go in that regard.

    Many of the crew led by Master John Bulkeley Gunner and Master John Cummins carpenter though it best to go the other way and find their way back to England. Mutiny really and when they got back successfully they were tried for Mutiny and got off because it was decided that they made the right choice and that Cheap was a looney.

    The original book carried no illustrations and it is interesting here that they decided to take the frontispiece from Byron’s book and place it here … another cheap decision we would say.

    It is a great story and really put together by Bulkeley. If you want the full set of Anson books this is the best way to start with this one as an 18th Century copy is likely to set, you back $3,000 or more.

    Carries the bookplate of legendary Catholic historian Monsignor Joseph M Gleeson (1869-1942) who spent mots of his life in California. At one time he was Domestic Chaplain to Pope Benedict XV. He amassed a library of near 100,000 books. This fine copy has his index number 46,247 below the copyright information. The bookplate was designed by James Webb who was active in the 1920/30’s and is referenced in Talbot (1983) History of California in Bookplates published by Ohio University. This example of James Webb’s work is included in the Auckland University Collection.

    Bulkeley, the loss of the Wager and important part of the Anson story – great provenance.



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  • Heroes of the Polar Seas – J. Kennedy Maclean – 1910

    Heroes of the Polar Seas – J. Kennedy Maclean – 1910

    Title continues … A Record of Exploration in the Arctic and Antarctic Seas by J Kennedy Maclean. Published by Chambers Edinburgh, thick octavo, 404 pages. Magnificent pictorial boards, well illustrated with two maps of the top and the bottom. Some spotting and spine ends a bit pulled, otherwise a pretty good copy.

    The pictorial boards may give the impression this was for a younger audience. The quality of the content and writing suggest the market was father and son.

    Written chronologically with an introduction of “Gains and losses of Polar Enterprise” before the “Pioneers”. The search for the North-west passage and Franklin and much about his horrors. Nares and then the fatal “Jannette” an incredible story often lost in these accounts. The discovery of Franz Josef Land and the North-east Passage by Nordenskiold. Peary and the success of the North Pole after twenty years … and Cook.

    In the South, Scotland’s share of the then exploration and Scott’s Discovery Expedition. Shackleton’s Farthest South (so close) and the great race for the Pole.

    At the time of publication the race to the pole had just been won and the tragedy of Scott’s expedition known but not fully understood. Tributes had begun to flow.

    A Voyager favourite … an obscure but relevant Polar item.


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  • A Voyage Round the World in His Majesty’s Frigate Pandora – George Hamilton

    A Voyage Round the World in His Majesty’s Frigate Pandora – George Hamilton

    The Pandora was sent to recover the Bounty and bring back the Mutineers. The voyage is an extraordinary story told with a light and readable touch by George Hamilton, surgeon onboard. After having recovered some Mutineers the Pandora was wrecked on the Barrier Reef approaching the Torres Straits.

    One of a limited edition of 950 copies published by Hordern House in 1998. Octavo, illustrated, bound in quarter cherry Scotish calf with marbled paper covered boards.

    A faithful facsimile of the Voyage of the Pandora a rare 1793 publication connected to Bligh’s Mutiny on the Bounty.

    HMS Pandora was a sixth rate Porcupine class naval vessel. She was commissioned in May 1779, built by Adams & Barnard, Deptford. Pandora saw action in the war against France in that year and in the American War of Independence. She was then mothballed from 1783. In 1790 having heard of the Bounty Mutiny, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Chatham despatched her, under Captain Edward Edwards, to recover the Bounty and capture the Mutineers. When they arrived at Tahiti, they found that a group of fourteen mutineers had broken away from Fletcher Christian and returned there. Some surrendered themselves, including Peter Heywood, others proved more difficult, but eventually all fourteen were captured and locked in a cell on board … known as Pandora’s Box. The Pandora visited numerous islands looking for the others … but only managed to lose some of their own crew to desertion. They headed west for home, but the ship ran aground on 29th August 1791 on the outer Great barrier Reef. She soon sank with 35 men lost including 4 of the Bounty Mutineers. The survivors made for a sand cay and two days later sailed in four open boats for Indonesia.

    The wreck was found in 1977 jointly by John Heyer and Ben Cropp, after much competition to be the first to the spot. The Queensland Museum excavated the wreck under a team led by Peter Gesner who wrote the forward to this book.

    HMS Pandora … the recovery of the Bounty Mutineers and its Shipwreck on the Barrier Reef.


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  • Wrecks & Reputations [The Loss of the Schomberg and Loch Ard] – Don Charlwood

    Wrecks & Reputations [The Loss of the Schomberg and Loch Ard] – Don Charlwood

    Published by Angus & Robertson in 1977. A very good copy, 190 pages with fine dust jacket.

    Don Charwood’s well researched tightly composed and nicely illustrated account of the difficulties of early vessels sailing through the Western entrance of the Bass Strait.

    Particular reference to the fate of the Schomberg and the Loch Ard and to its only survivors Eva Carmichael and the young man that saved her Tom Pearce.

    The fate of many other ships of the “Loch” brand are listed – leads one to conclude never to sail in a vessel named Loch anything!

    What out for the rocks!


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