The collection comprises of correspondence by Alcock to the Arctic explorer George Strong Nares written when Alcock was President of the Royal Geographical Society.
Rutherford Alcock collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 Rutherford Alcock
- Dates of Creation1876
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical DescriptionCorrespondence (microfilm)
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Rutherford Alcock was born in 1809. Following his father into the medical profession, he became a surgeon in the Marine Brigade in Portugal in 1833, later serving with the Spanish Legion until 1837. In 1840, he was appointed consul in Shanghai, advancing to the consulate in Canton in 1854. In 1858, Alcock accepted the post of consul-general in Japan, and the following year became the first British Minister to Japan. He was knighted on his return to Britain in 1862, following an attack by a band of Ronins. Returning to Japan the next year, he resumed his ministerial post, serving until 1865 when he was appointed British Minister to China. Retiring in 1871, he served as president of the Royal Geographical Society between 1876 and 1878. His publications on Japan include The Capital of the Tycoon, published in 1863 and Art and Art Industries in Japan, published in 1878. He died on 2 November 1897 in London.
The correspondence is on microfilm
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Who was who, 1897-1916, Adam & Charles Black, London (1920) and 1911 encyclopaedia and Arctic, exploration and development c500 BC to 1915, an encyclopaedia by Clive Holland, Garland Publishing London (1994)
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.
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