Charles George Perceval, 2nd Baron Arden; Charles Small Pybus; Charles Middleton, 1st Baron Barham; Sir Philip Stephens, First Secretary of the Admiralty [Admiral Charles William Paterson]
On one side of a piece of vellum, dimensions 27 x 32 cm. Neatly folded to make eight rectangles. Red wax seal under paper in top left-hand corner, embossed with the Admiralty anchor. One blue 2s 6d stamp in left-hand margin. Small paper stamp on the reverse, which is docketed 'Ariadne | Capt. Paterson | Admty Conf Comm | 20 Jany 1794'. Text entirely legible on lightly discoloured vellum. The body of the document is printed over fifteen lines, with the specific information added in manuscript.
John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty; Bamber Gascoyne; John Buller; Sir Philip Stephens, 1st Secretary of the Admiralty [Admiral Charles William Paterson]
[21 April 1780] 'Given under our hands and the Seal of the Office of Admiralty this Twenty first day of April 1780.'
One one side of a piece of vellum, dimensions 28.5 x 32.5 cm. Neatly folded to make eight rectangles. Red wax seal beneath paper square in top left-hand corner, embossed with the Admiralty anchor. Two blue 2s 6d stamps in left-hand margin. Small paper stamp on reverse. Text entirely legible on discoloured vellum. Four small burn holes in vellum, affecting two words of text. The body of the document is printed over fifteen lines, with the specific information added in manuscript. Headed 'By the Commissioners for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain and Ireland &c.
Anonymous 'writer' on H.M.S. Revenge [The surrender of the German Fleet, 1918] [the royal yacht, The Queen Elizabeth]
Letter One: 21 November 1918; H.M.S. "Revenge", at present off Inchkeith, N[orth]. B[ritain]. Letter Two: 14 December 1931; 'Office of the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station, Malta.
A valuable eyewitness account of an historic event. H.M.S. Revenge was the flagship of Admiral Freemantle, and it was to its quarterdeck that Admiral Ludwig von Reuter would be brought in 1919, after issuing the order to scuttle the entire German fleet at Scapa Flow. The text of both items is clear and complete. Both good, on lightly-aged and spotted paper. Letter One (1918): Foolscap (32 x 20.5 cm), 4 pp. In manuscript at head of first page: 'Use this where you like, Dad! Tho' be careful of showing who wrote it.
J. Ryan, AB, sailmaker [3rd Cruiser Squadron, Royal Navy; Battle of Dogger Bank, 1915]
Government stamp: 'Supplied for the Public Service'. Diary entries dated from 29 July 1914 to demobilization on 31 May 1919.
Landscape, with leaf dimensions 19 x 10.5 cm. The diary covers 48 pages at one end of the notebook, with the diagrams and specifications over 32 pp at the other end. In original sturdy brown leather binding, with brass clasp, empty wallet at front and pouch for pencil. Marbled endpapers. In good condition. Text clear and complete on lightly-aged paper. Binding worn and with split hinges. In pencil on fore-edge: 'J. RYAN.
Stunts by Fag End': contemporaneous account of first world war experiences by unidentified writer.
Without date or place.
3 pages, 8vo. On three leaves of paper, all creased, discoloured and worn, with a few tears and pin holes. Lively, humorous, and well-written account of the army career of a skiver. 'Behold me then the next time in the trenches a Lewis Gunner, my-self to be about to kill Bosches in neat little trenches of 47. As a matter of fact I did not kill one as I never fired the gun but we had one or two thrilling times. [...] January 1st. 1917 I became a member of the now famous Tank Corps.
Four 8vo diaries kept by F.C. Poyser, the first of which gives details of all the ships Poyser served on from 1905 to 1926, including names of captains, dates, voyages, distances, cargoes. During the First World War he served on six vessels OHMS. He gives the occasional diagram of convoys, lists the cargoes and their quantities (horses, mules, oats, flour, boats, lorries, ambulances, aeroplanes, etc.), gives destinations (Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, Ceylon).
Letter to Sir James Rennell Rodd from H. Nelson gay
Palazzo Orsini, Rome, 'Xmas 1916'.
The author is obscure, but the letter is addressed to 'Sir Rennell' [Sir James Rennell Rodd (1858-1941), diplomat and author]. 2 pages, 16mo, creased but in good condition. A florid missive beginning 'In this tempest of egotism and hate which has plunged us all into Teutonic darkness, you will not have forgotten, my dear Sir Rennell, the lines of Coleridge: | [...]'.
Dimensions of paper roughly. Creased, with fraying to extremities, closed tears, and some staining and fading due to damp. A careful production, detailing the fortification to the towns of Bilstein (north-east of Cologne), Junkermuehle and Nassenstein, in black, yellow, red and green, with attractive lettering. 'References' are to 'barbed wire entanglements', 'main roads', 'Woods', 'stream', 'bye Roads' and 'Bridges'. Pencil additions include position of 'SNIPERS'. Ascribed at foot to 'Cpl. A. Hunter' and dated 'February 1919'.
E. J. Balsir Chatterton, founder, The Anti-German League [First World War Zeppelin raids on London]
All three items undated [1915 or 1916]. One printed by 'Willsons', New Walk Printing Works, Leicester.'
All three items good. Item One: Prospectus and application form, headed 'The Anti-German League. Introduction by the Founder.' Three pages, in a bifolium. Leaf dimensions 27.5 x 21.5 cm. Printed in blue. The 'Introduction' covers the first two pages, flanked by columns bearing the words 'Lest We Forget.' and 'MOTTO: "Everything German Taboo." ' It includes the headings ' "Made in Germany" - The Mark of the Beast' and 'The Alien Menace'.
George Cunningham [regarding rumours of Russian troop movements at the beginning of the 1st World War and other subjects]
On letterhead of the Privy Council Office, Whitehall, S.W.; 3 September 1914.
4 pages, 8vo. Creased and grubby but in good condition overall. Interesting letter in difficult hand. Opens by sending his deepest sympathy: 'I can sympathise having as you know been personally damaged by a falling branch last Xmas.' 'Officially we have given up contradicting the <?> prevalent rumours of Russian Troops moving through Great Britain. The Germans may hear of the rumours - may believe them: [^ that may do good;] but there is no truth in them at all. Barring a few Russian reservists who were in this country no Russian troops have been sent to France.
Part two only (any other part missing). 101pp, 8vo, carbon copy, describing the day to day life of a soldier in India during the Ist WW, 24 March -7 Sept. 1915, duties, leisure activities, fellow-soldiers, rations, the market, inspections, letter-writing, "Telegram to say short rifles on the way", games, Boards, "Today [4 May] the final list was made out for men going to the Persian Gulf" (men from his company listed), parades, marches, [12 May] farewell to Persian party, replacements for Persian party, (little about "natives"), "boots from Cawnpore", trip to Dimond Harbour, and so on.
Dimensions 14 centimeters by 9 centimeters. In good condition, although grubby and with creasing to one corner and ink from postmark along one edge. Sepia photograph of airborne balloon with a tangle of guyropes and mass of people beneath it. Hangars in background. The airship pioneer August von Parseval (1861-1942) worked in partnership with the engineer Hans Bartsch von Sigsfeld and the businessman August Riedinge. The "Dragonballoons" (Drachenballone), which he designed for military observation, are predecessors of the present-day blimp.
A member of the crew of H.M.S. Mindful, destroyer.
25 June -14 Dec. 1918.
Manuscript, 8 pages, 4to, chipped (with minor textual loss) and slightly stained, text clear. Convoy and anti-submarine activity. Usually one line description per day but there is a long description of action involved while on convoy duty, encounters with submarines, reinforcements, damaged ships, etc. Their first move was to leave Base on 27th June "in search of Submarine D.6. (overdue) and then carried on to Lamlash". [D.6.
Without date [circa 1918?] or place ['Western Mail, Ltd., Cardiff.']
64 pages, 16mo. In original printed wraps. In poor condition. Ownership inscription at head of front wrap. The two binding staples rusted, and the wraps in particular grubby, torn and worn. Photograph of 'Private JENKIN THOMAS' in what appears to be World War I uniform on front wrap. Illustration of the 'SINKING OF THE "TITANIC." ' on page 9; photograph of 'WILLIAM HERBERT HARRIS, A.L.C.M.' on page 47.
Anglo-Indian Administrator (1852-1916). Total sixteen pages, 8vo, good condition. . Subjects include: anticipation of the publication of his book, "Chitral. The Story of a Minor Siege"; the Johnson Club, political activity (canvassing), Edward Clodd, a request to be the "accredited agent" of "The Sphere" at the Front (Great War). With; (printed) Order of his Memorial Service (1916). 7 items,
Benjamin Wilson (c.1721-1788), English portrait painter and scientist
Postmarked 17 April [no year]. Place not stated.
Foolscap (31.5 x 20.5 cm): 1 p. 24 lines of text. Address, with postmark, on reverse. Good, on lightly aged and creased paper. Discussing a picture he has been painting of 'Captain Tonyn', which 'is within one days work of being finished'. Points out that there has been a misunderstanding about the price: 'fifty five pounds [...] could not be the case because I never yet reced from any body pounds, but always Guinneas'. Because of 'the great work that so large a Canvas wod. require (it being bigger than a whole length for which I had at that time 50 Gs. and now 60 Gs.
Admiral Sir Robert Stopford (1768-1847), Commander-in-Chief of the British fleet sent against Mehmet Ali of Egypt [H.M.S. Victory]
3 June 1828; Porstmouth.
12mo: 1 p. Five lines. Good, on lightly aged paper, with one minor water stain affecting a couple of letters of one word. Reads 'The Adm[ira]lt[ie]s order for you son's reception as Vol[untee]r 1st. Class in the Victory is arrived, & he may join as soon as convenient'. Docketed by Tonyn on reverse '3d. June 1828 |Sir Robt. Stopford Commr. in Chief Porstmo. respecting my son George'. After Trafalgar the Victory was moored in Portsmouth Harbour off Gosport and used as a depot ship.
Sir Roger Keyes [Roger John Brownlow Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes] (1872-1945), British naval officer
Without date or place.
On a leaf of pink paper (roughly 16 x 20 cm) removed from an autograph album. Firm signature, 6 cm long, with the initial 'R' blotted by Keyes. In good condition, on lightly-aged paper. The page bearing the signature is headed, in another hand, 'Famous Men Military and Naval'.
Colonel G. G. A. Egerton [Granville George Algernon Egerton (1859-1951)], C.B., Yorkshire Regiment. [British Army, Aldershot Barracks]
Aldershot, November, 1905. [Printed at the Army-Corps Printing Office, Head-Quarters, Aldershot.]
Folio bifolium (leaf dimensions 34 x 21.5 cm): 4 pp. Unbound bifolium. Text clear and complete on lightly-aged and creased paper. One correction to text in red pencil. In small type. Begins: 'The special period for the approaching examination for promotion being the campaign under Sir John Moore leading to Corunna, I have lately occupied myself with examining the works of some of the different authorities and critics of this deeply interesting operation of war.
General Sir Francis John Davies (1864-1948), Military Secretary at the War Office, 1916-1919; General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Scottish Command, 1919 to 1923 [Edinburgh Castle]
First entry dated 11 March 1920. Last entry dated 4 June 1923. '27 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh'.
A quarto volume, bound in padded green leather stamped in gilt on the front cover with the words 'Visitors' Book'. Patterned endpapers. Tight, on lightly aged and spotted paper. Binding heavily worn, with outer corners of front cover dogeared and torn to show padding. Five leaves with one dogeared corner. Note (in Davies' hand?) on flyleaf: 'Visitors book. | General Sir F. J. Davies | General Officer Commanding-in-Chief | Scottish Command | 27 Drumsheugh Gardens | Edinburgh'. Each page with printed columns for the 'date' and 'name and address'.
William Gordon Stables (1840-1910), Scottish Royal Navy physician and writer of adventure stories
Date and place not stated.
On a piece of paper roughly 7 x 10 cm. Laid down on a piece of card. Fair, rucked and grubby, with traces of previous mount adhering to the reverse. Presmuably in response to a request for an autograph. Reads: 'I wish thee well | [signed] W Gordon-Stables | MD - RN'.
Public Order Bill, House of Commons, 1936 [Oswald Mosley; British Union of Fascists; Fascism; Nazi uniforms]
Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 9 November 1936.' [London: Published by His Majesty's Stationery Office.]
8vo, [ii] + 7 + [i] pp. Five leaves. Stapled and unbound. Fair, on lightly-aged and creased paper, with the two staples slightly rusted. The title of the Bill continues '[...] on the occasion of public processions and meetings in public places.' It was 'Presented by Secretary Sir John Simon, supported by Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, Mr. Secretary Elliot, Sir Kinglsey Wood, Mr. Attorney-General, and Mr.
J. B. L. Charle, French cartographer [Claude Victor-Perrin (1764-1841), Duc de Belluno (Bellune)]
4 October 1823; Paris.
One page, on the recto of the second leaf of a bifolium, leaf dimensions 31 x 20 cm. In fair condition on lightly-aged paper with slight wear to extremities. According to his entry in the catalogue of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Charles was a 'Géographe attaché au Dépôt général de la guerre en 1933 [sic], ancien membre de la Société de Géographie. - Dessinateur, il eut une production cartographique très abondante à partir de 1823'. Neatly laid out.
Sir William Batten (1600-1667), English naval officer, described in his entry in the Oxford DNB as 'a principal character in Pepys's diary'
Date and place not stated.
On a rectangular slip of paper, roughly 12 x 4.5 cm, neatly torn from a legal document. Good, on lightly aged paper. A firm signature, with parts of other signatures close by on either side. The document, in another hand, reads '<...>re Shillings & foure <...> | <...> the Moneye arisein <...> | <...>f Parliament for <...> | <...> Order thereunto <...> | <...>ise according to the <...> | <...> id Act Dated at th<...> |
Admiralty Regulations, Royal Marines, 1819 [Barrack Office, Chatham Division; Royal Navy; naval and military; vaccination; inoculation]
[Undated.] In manuscript on front board: 'Admiralty Regulations 1819. Barrack Office Chatham Division'.
4to: 120 +  pp. The last 19 unpaginated pages comprise the appendix, divided into 18 parts. Text clear and complete. On aged and foxed paper. Original boards rebacked in leather, with title on spine and new free endpapers. Title-leaf carries no date or printing details. In manuscript scored through on reverse: 'Adjutants Office by order | [signed?] T. G. Gascoigne | Adjutant', with crude drawings. The first section (pp.3-39) is headed 'BY the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.
Admiral Sir Dudley North [Sir Dudley Burton Napier North] (1881-1961), British naval officer
23 May 1941; on letterhead of Warblington Castle, Havant, Hampshire.
12mo, 3 pp. Good, on lightly-aged paper with small light stain to one edge. He has 'been laid up since the party with what appeared to be much the same brand of whopping cough as that indulged in by my children by the present moment!' He is 'shaking it off now' and is 'delighted to hear that your district has achieved the amount aimed at', and is pleased to have 'helped in a small degree towards it'. Written a few months after North's return home in disgrace, after allowing a French squadron pass the Strait of Gibraltar without harrassment in September 1940.
Geoffrey L. Blau [or Blan?], of the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of the Staff, Government of India, Simla [Khud Cottage; Beresford-Hope; Imperial Russia; British Military Intelligence]
28 September 1908; Khud Cottage, Simla, on letterhead of the Chief of the Staff.
12mo, 8 pp. On two bifoliums, both with red oval British governmental letterhead of the 'CHIEF OF THE STAFF'. Text clear and complete. Good on lightly-aged paper. Blau reports that he is now 'fortunately well and returned to my right mind' after 'pretty bad times last autumn and winter - especially when on board ship'. He has 'mended steadily since rejoining in December' and has 'been in Simla since May doing Russian again, and am my own man once more'.
Robert Walpole (1736-1810), Clerk of the Privy Council and British Ambassador to Portugal (nephew of the Prime Minister) [J. F. Ostervald; the French Revolution]
30 October 1792; Clifford Street [London].
4to, 3 pp. Bifolium. Text clear and complete. Fair, on aged paper with damp staining causing the fading of ink in some parts, and a little chipping to bottom edge. Since writing there has been no packet from Falmouth, and the news from the continent are reported with sufficient detail in the gazettes, so 'il est inutile de vous en parler. Les procedes du Duc de Brunswick [he led an invading German army into France], et le systeme du Roi de Prusse sont egalement mysterieux [...] Les Emigrants [...] sont reduits a la derniere necessite'.
Field-Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts (1832-1914), 1st Earl Roberts [Lord Roberts of Kandahar]
28 April 1908; on letterhead of Englemere, Ascot, Berks.
On rectangle of paper roughly 8 x 11 cm, with small triangles neatly cut away from corners. Aged and with traces of glue and paper from previous mounting. The letterhead has Roberts's Garter crest in the top left-hand corner and his address at top right. Firmly written: '[signed] Roberts, F.M. | 28. April 1908.' Slight smudging to the 'rt' of 'Roberts'.
Sir Charles Yorke (1790-1880), General in the British Army
Date and place not stated.
A piece of laid paper, roughly 8 x 20 cm, cut from a document by an autograph collector. Yorke's signature, large (4.5 x 7 cm) and bold, is in the bottom right-hand corner. The surviving text is in a secretary's hand, and reads: '<...> of Our Reign. | By His Majesty's Command. | C Yorke | Our Trusty and Wellbeloved William Gordon Esqr General in Our Army & Col of Our 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot or to the Officer appointed by him to raise Men for Our said Regiment'.