Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by the Prince to both Robert Falcon Scott and his wife Kathleen.

Administrative / Biographical History

Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg was born in Graz, Austria in 1854. Settling in Britain as a boy, he was naturalized as a British subject, and in 1868, entered the Royal Navy as a cadet. Advancing to midshipman and later lieutenant, he served on the North American and West Indies station and during the Egyptian War. Promoted commander in 1885 and captain in 1891, he was selected as naval adviser to the inspector-general of fortifications in 1892, remaining in that post until 1894 when he was appointed joint secretary of the Naval and Military Committee on Defence.

Battenberg was captain of HMS Majestic, the flagship of the Channel squadron, when Robert Falcon Scott was appointed torpedo lieutenant in the summer of 1897. In 1900, he was made assistant-director of Naval Intelligence, retaining that position until 1905, when he began his career as admiral at sea, having advanced to rear admiral the previous year.

In 1912, he was appointed first sea lord of the Admiralty, resigning in 1914 after the outbreak of the First World War. Renouncing his titles in 1917, he changed his family name to Mountbatten and was created first Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina and Viscount Alderney. He died in London in 1921.


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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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 and Dictionary of National Biography, 1912-1921, with an index covering the years 1901-1921 in one alphabetical series, Oxford University Press, London (1927)

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.