The collection consists of logbooks compiled by Charles Hugh Leycester, being accounts of his service aboard several Royal Navy vessels for a continuous period from 17 April 1862 to 30 June 1867. Leycester tables the official shipping information, namely the date, the ships' position, the sea state and meteorological conditions, but he also provides additional remarks, usually describing his own work aboard ship, and sometimes documenting deaths and incidents. Leycester seems to have been based in Portsmouth, travelling from the port across to the Americas, on HMS Tribune, HMS Topaze, HMS Sutlej and HMS Bellerophon. The logbooks also contain a small number of sketches, presumably drawn by Leycester, of local scenes at Valparaiso, Esquinalt, and Mazatlan.
Leycester Ship Logbooks Collection
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Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Charles Hugh Leycester was born in Cheshire on 20 April 1847, the second son of Ralph Gerard Leycester of Toft and his wife Emily Elizabeth. In the 1860s he worked on ships travelling from Portsmouth to the Americas. By 1881 Leycester was living at Gwynfe House, Llangadock, Wales.
The collection is available for consultation by any accredited reader.
Presented to the John Rylands Library by Dr Moses Tyson (Keeper of Western Manuscripts) in 1931, to whom they had been given by J.D. Hughes.
Description compiled by Henry Sullivan and Jo Klett, project archivists, with reference to George Ormerod, The history of the county palatine and city of Chester, 2nd edition revised and enlarged by Thomas Helsby, 3 vols (London: G. Routledge, 1882).
Other Finding Aids
Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928-35 (English MSS 526-529).