Bowater Sanderson: Naval journal

Scope and Content

The journal (c. 305 pages) begins in September 1747, describing the voyage out to India, and concludes with the return of Royal Duke to England on 5 June 1750. The volume includes navigational exercises, transcribed sailing directions and pencil landfalls, and a sketch of the British settlement at Oriocopong.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bowater Sanderson (d. 1755) served as fifth mate on the East India Company ship Scarborough during its voyage out to Madras and Bengal, 1744-1745. In 1747 he joined the Royal Duke (rated 499 tons, crew 99, 30 guns) as second mate. That year the fleet sailed to India under Rear Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen (1711-1761), with the main objective of besieging the French garrison at Pondicherry (First Carnatic War, 1744-1748). The Royal Duke assisted in the cannonade of the town, 25-28 September 1748. After the failure of this expedition, the Royal Duke continued on with its mercantile voyage in a convoy of East Indiamen, sailing between Bombay, Surat, Tellicherry and Fort St David before proceeding to China, where it exchanged a cargo of tin and cotton for one of tea and china-ware, returning to England in June 1750. Thereafter, Sanderson served on another East India Company ship, the Edgecote, as second mate on its voyage to Bombay, Madras and Mokha, 1751-1752. He was promoted to first mate during a later voyage in 1754-1755, but died on 9 August 1755, apparently whilst at sea during the ship's passage to Bombay.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Purchased at Sotheby's, 15 July 1998.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

There is a detailed description of the journal in the Additional Manuscripts Catalogue, available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Corporate Names