Christopher Blackett: Crimean War letters

Scope and Content

Letters from Christopher Blackett to his parents, written during the Crimean campaign, June 1854 - April 1856. The letters were often written over the course of two or three days. Although they have no year date, this can be ascertained from the existing envelopes. In addition, each letter has a small wrapper, annotated with the full date and place of writing. The handwriting is small and neat, but the letters are mostly 'crossed', making them difficult to read.

Administrative / Biographical History

Christopher Edward Blackett (1826-1904) was born on 18 October 1826, the eldest son of William Fenwick Blackett (1793-1868) and his wife Catherine Stewart of Fife (d. 1873). He served in the 26th and 93rd Highland Regiments, and saw action with the latter at the battles of the Alma and Balaklava in 1854. He transferred to the Coldstream Guards in early 1855, and moved to Sebastopol, but was in the reserve when it came to the final storming of the city. Blackett married Georgiana Frances Corbet (d. 1913) on 17 April 1861. He was J.P. for Kirkcudbrightshire. He died without issue on 20 May 1904.

Blackett had four brothers who feature in the collection: Robert Stewart (1828-1900), who was sent to the colonies; Edward William (1830-1905), who was a Sub-Lieutenant in the Austrian Hussars, and who transferred to the 4th Light Dragoons; William (b. 1832), who studied at Oxford from 1850, then joined the 98th Regiment, and eventually became Colonel of the 61st Regiment; and Archibald Campbell Stewart (1837-1882), who was already serving in the Baltic Fleet in 1854, and became a Commander in the Royal Navy.

Access Information

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

Acquisition Information

Purchased from John Wilson (Autographs) Ltd, Cheltenham, November 2000.


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

Other Finding Aids

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


For further information about the Blackett family see Burke's landed gentry, under Blackett of Wylam, Northumberland.


Geographical Names