Sir Charles William Rawson Royds collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and correspondence covering that expedition and the relief expeditions to Discovery in McMurdo sound and the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott)

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles William Rawson Royds was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, on 1 February 1876. He entered the Royal Navy as a cadet in HMS Conway and after varied service with the fleet, was promoted to lieutenant in 1898. He volunteered for the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), as first lieutenant on board Discovery. He was also meteorologist (for which he received special training in the Ben Nevis Observatory), and took part in the sledging programme, leading a sledging journey of exploration across the Ross Ice Shelf. Cape Royds on Ross Island was named for him.

After the expedition, he resumed his career in the Navy, achieving promotions to the rank of commander in 1909 and to captain at the outbreak of the First World War. After serving throughout the war, he became captain of the Royal Naval College at Osborne, director of Physical Training and Sports at the Admiralty, and in 1923, commodore of Devonport Royal Naval Barracks. Retiring from the Navy in 1926 with the rank of rear admiral, he was appointed deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and was promoted to vice-admiral and knighted in 1929. He died on 5 January 1931.


The collection is split into two sub-fond covering the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 and correspondence by Royds respectively.

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author signs the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Antarctica's Forgotten Men by Leslie B. Quartermain, Millwood Press Wellington (1981) ISBN 0-908582-52-8 SPRI Library Shelf 92(08)[1981] and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Scott of the Antarctic by Elspeth Huxley, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London (1977) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Scott, R.F.] and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034

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.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.

Related Material

For biographical details on Royds see SPRI collection Leslie Bowden Quartermain (MS 1293/9;D Ten forgotten men of Antarctica)