Henry Rea collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence relating the British Expedition 1833-1834 (led by Rea).

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Rea was born circa 1804. In 1833, he was serving in the Royal Navy when he was appointed by the Admiralty to assist John Biscoe in his scientific investigations on a proposed voyage to the Antarctic in the brig, Hopefull, commissioned by the Messrs Enderby. Perhaps because of ill health, Biscoe eventually withdrew and decided to return to seafaring in warmer latitudes. Messrs Enderby then appointed William Lysle as commander of Hopefull, accompanied by John Tobias Mallows in Rose. Setting out in July 1833, the two vessels reached the Falkland Islands in October, where Rea took over command of Hopefull. Proceeding in execution of their orders, the two vessels sought a passage in longitude 30 to 40° West, against the currents and the prevailing winds. They got as far as 60°South, 53°West, where Rose was crushed in pack ice in January 1834. After rescuing her crew, Rea decided to abandon the voyage and returned to London on 21 May 1834.


The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by recipient.

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to 'The voyage of the Hopefull and the Rose 1833-1834' by A.G.E. Jones in Mariner's Mirror (1965) volume 51 number 3 p233-241 SPRI Library Shelf Pam 91(08)(7)[1833-1834 Rea] and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events,(1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue. Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.

Personal Names