The logbook of the East India Company ship
Thetis's voyage to China (1792-1793) contains complete crew and passenger lists with rank and pay for crew, trade goods taken to China and returned to England, weather conditions, ship sightings, and daily life aboard ship. Important passengers to China were members of "The Secret Superintending Committee" (from the East India Company) and their servants. Cargo to China included bales of fabric, foodstuffs and drink, and over nine thousand ingots of tin. Cargo to England included several varieties of tea, raw silk, and nankeen.
Of particular interest are accounts of storms, an eclipse of the sun, repairs to the ship, floggings, deaths, escape of several seamen, various kinds of fish and birds sighted, different soils near harbors, and mention of other ships.
Supporting evidence includes letters from Founders Court, Lloyds Register of Shipping, and Britannica Research Bureau. These give complete specifications for the
Thetis, built in 1786, and dates and destinations of her seven voyages. A "memorandum," seven typed pages, bound, gives more information on the ship and members of the "Secret Superintending Committee" (Henry Browne, Eyles Irwin, and William Jackson). Three loose pages contain material incorporated in the "memorandum" as well as a list of books containing related information. Also included is the photograph of a painting of East India Company's packet
Swallow, said to be the same age and type as the
Thetis, and a photocopy of a drawing of the