The Journal of Thomas Etty

Scope and Content

Photocopy and transcription of a journal by Thomas Etty describing his experiences of the journey and as a prisoner

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Etty (1780-1854) was the brother of the portrait painter William Etty (1787-1849).

He was a seamen on the 'George' from Whitby when in December 1800, which was subject to an embargo and prevented form leaving port. The crew from over 200 ships in Bulroye Quay (now Bolderaja in Latvia) were ordered to march to Riga where they were imprisoned. The British and Russians were allies during the Napoleonic Wars at this time and it is thought that the move by Tsar Paul I was an attempt to prevent a blockade by the British ships. After intense negotiations and threats of an embargo by the British the crew were eventually allowed to return to their vessels.

The journal contains an account of the journey and conditions for the prisoners who were taken to Fellin (now Viljandii) and were held there for several months before being taken back to their ships.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Conditions Governing Use

Rosalin Barker (transcription)

Custodial History

Donated by Mrs Rosalin Barker, Whitby, December 1988. The original journal (was in 1988) held by Mrs Iris Plumb.

Related Material

Rosalin Barker's book 'Prisoners of the Tsar, East Coast Sailors Held in Russia 1800-1801' was published in 1992 [Ref L9.5073] copies of this book are held at the History Centre

Location of Originals

The original journal is held by Mrs Iris Plumb