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OCKHAM, Byron King, Viscount. LOG OF THE PROCEEDINGS ON BOARD HM SLOOP SWIFT - William C. Aldham Esq., Commander. Commencing Wednesday 3rd July 1849. ending Saturday 5th Jan 1850. Kept by Viscount Ockham. £ 5,000.00

Manuscripts 1849 - 1852. 2 volumes. pp. 123; 105 leaves of MS plus 74 blank leaves in the second volume approximately. Small folios. Reverse calf with leather spine labels, Vol 2 with two tears to the calf. Vol 1 reads Visct. Ockham's Log on Bd H.M.S. Swift 1849. Champion 1850. Daphne 1851. Vol 2 reads Viscount Ockham's Log H.M.S. Daphne 1850 - 1851. These dates are inaccurate, the logs cover from July 3rd 1849 to August 5th 1852. The logs cover Lord Ockham's voyages from Plymouth Sound to Sullivan's Cove, Hobarton (Hobart, Tasmania), then via New Zealand to Valparaiso in Chile, where on the 8th February 1850 he changed ships and joined HMS Champion. Sailing in Champion up to Guayaquil in Ecuador via Callao in Peru, returning to Valparaiso and again changing ships, this time to HMS Daphne on 18th June 1850. He remained on Daphne sailing up the western seaboard of the Americas as far north as Beaver Harbour, a bay on northern Vancouver Island (10th July 1851). Daphne worked her way back down the western seaboard, around Cape Horn, up to Rio de Janiero(19th June 1852) and returning to British water August 5th 1852. The last entry reads Eddystone Lighthouse NW 7 or 8 miles. Further information available on request. Information on Byron's grandson, Lord Ockham, is sparse but Doris Langley Moore in her biography of his mother, Ada Countess of Lovelace. Byron's Legitimate Daughter mentions him enough to give an outline of his upbringing and character. Moore studied, among other sources, the letters of Lady Byron in the Sedley Taylor Collection at Cambridge University; the Somerville Papers in the Bodleian Library; also at the Bodleian and most importantly the Lovelace Papers. From these she knew that Ockham had 'sailed away in the Swift en route for Van Diemen's Land' (p257) but she knew nothing of the Champion or when he transferred to the Daphne - 'At some date which I cannot pinpoint he was transferred to the Daphne, but this may have taken place in a foreign port for I have not found any sign that he had shore leave in England.' (p283), he did not have shore leave in Britain as these logs tell us. Letters were rare, Lady Lovelace wrote after receiving one from Ockham 'I have been much ... alarmed ... mentionig that he is very unwell, that their purser in convulsions after 12 hours illness had died, & that it was fearfully unhealthy - 'there being scarcely any ship there but what loses some officers.' In his Log, Ockham describes the same event 'Sunday Sept 29th 1850. At single anchor off Mazatlan (Mexico). 8. Departed this Life, Mr John R. Bluett, Esq., Paymaster & Purser.' This text is edged in black and Ockham notes the next day that a Party was sent on shore to bury Mr Bluett. The Daphne had been anchored off Mazatlan since August 14th. This comparison illustrates how emotionless, matter of fact and lacking in human detail the log is. It is all to do with the ship's course and position, wind direction and work required. Work included washing clothes, painting the ship, cleaning guns, blacking down rigging, washing decks, exercising newly raised men, cutlass exercise, exercising young gentlemen at gun drill, exercising marines at musket drill, scrapping masts, & receiving provisions on board . Other vessels in port or passed are noted. He does note on February 10th 1850, having just joined HMS Champion, that 'Punished Jno. Main (AB) with 36 lashes. And Wm Cox (?) with 24 lashes as per Warrants. He does not state what their crime was

Order Number: 93052

 
 
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