A journal (1/19 – 6/29/1859) written by Augustus M. Handley, a young British Army officer in the 19th Regiment of Foot, of a voyage from Gravesend, England, to Calcutta, India, aboard the sailing ship H.M.S. Bucton Castle with Captain Moorsom commanding. The journal contains a detailed description of daily life aboard the Bucton Castle, including various personalities on board, daily activities, an explanation of the ship's time-keeping, a drawing of the ship with parts labeled, notes on the how-to of navigation, changing weather conditions, sea conditions, and meetings with the various ships along the way.
Augustus M. Handley served as a lieutenant in Her Majesty's 19th Regiment of Foot. The 19th Regiment of Foot, also known as the Green Howards (or the 1st Yorkshire North Riding-Princess of Wales's Own Regiment of Foot) was a famous British military unit that dated from 1688. The regiment served in the Crimean War, the Boer War, World War I and World War II. It still exists as part of the Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th, and 33rd/76th Foot). During Handley's service it was based in Richmond, Yorkshire.
From January 19 through June 29, 1859, Handley served aboard the sailing ship H.M.S. Bucton Castle, with Captain Moorsom commanding. This voyage traveled from Gravesend, England, to Calcutta, India. Handley eventually rose to the rank of colonel, and was among the officers engaged in the Hazara Campaign of 1868 for which he received the Indian General Service Medal with the clasp "North West Frontier." Handley retired in September 1888, and died in 1906 in Clifton, England.
This collection consists of a detailed journal written by a young British officer, Lt. Augustus M. Handley, serving under Captain Moorsom, while serving aboard the sailing ship Bucton Castle traveling from Gravesend, England, to Calcutta, India, to take up a new post in Her Majesty's 19th Regiment of Foot, then stationed at Calcutta. Handley frequently recounts interactions with Captain Moorsom and other army officers with whom he is traveling, including James F. Francis. During the 1850s, Bucton Castle ran regularly between Gravesend and Calcutta, and Moorsom occasionally mentioned past voyages to Handley.
Handley begins his journal with a pen and ink drawing of the ship, with every sail and deck labeled, an explanation of how to calculate the ship's position, an explanation of the ship's bells for timekeeping, and a list of places anchored at, and sailed from, with dates . Nearly daily entries describe the daily life and routine aboard the ship of Handley, as well as other personalities aboard, the changing weather, sea conditions, distances traveled, latitude and longitude position, detailed descriptions of the changing scenery, and the conditions of the frequently changing winds. Many entries detail the various leisure activities enjoyed aboard the ship, including bets between himself and the captain, church services, reading material available, bolstering matches, cricket, musical soirees, dances, and harpooning porpoises to obtain oil.
There are multiple entries by Handley that record the sightings of many vessels along the voyage. For example, specific details of D'Asas from Marseilles, France, the whaling ship Isabella from New Bedford, MA and the immigrant packet Sussex of London are given. Other ships seen by Handley include Plymouth Rock from Calcutta, Socrates (Liverpool to Shanghai), passenger ship Crimea (Melbourne to New Brunswick, Canada), Julius de Thonanaf (Nantes to Mauritius) and Mary Stenhouse (Liverpool to Bombay).
Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund), Ten Pound Island Book Company, Gloucester, MA
Encoded by Mark Custer, January 4, 2008
Processed by Stephanie Wuebbles, April 2007
Revised by Jennifer Gabriel, February 2012
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.