[Various places at sea]: 21 January 1882 - 12 October 1886. Folio (ca. 32x20,5 cm). Ca. 295 leaves (20 blank) with lined forms, filled in brown ink on rectos and versos. Legible manuscript in English, occasional ink sketches in text, some hand coloured. With an ink and wash drawn title page. Ink note on the first leaf “This is to certify that Mr. A.E.H. Marescaux has joined this his first sea going ship January 21st, 1882. Edward Kelly, Captain.”. Original dark green cloth boards with gilt lettered title on the front board; neatly rebacked with black morocco. Paper slightly age toned, several leaves apparently removed from the journal by the author, but overall a very good internally clean journal.
Interesting historically significant collection of altogether eight logbooks (written one after another in the same thick journal) kept by a young British navy midshipman Alfred Marescaux during his service on HMS “Achilles” in the Mediterranean (1882-1883) and several British naval ships at the China Station in 1883-1886. Marescaux was just 16 years old when he started his naval career as a midshipman on board the HMS “Achilles,” and about 20 years old when he finished his service in the China Station, but his thoroughly kept logbooks supplemented with several amateur sketches contain much interesting data about the events he witnessed or took part in, including the Bombardment of Alexandria by the British Mediterranean fleet (11-13 July 1882, during the Anglo-Egyptian War), the Battle of Fuzhou and French blockade of Formosa (August 1884 – April 1885, during the Sino-French War); there are also valuable accounts of the British naval bases in Port Hamilton (existed only in 1885-1887 on the Geomun-do Islands, Korea Strait) Labuan Island (off the coast of Borneo, Malaysia)
The journal opens with a logbook of Marescaux’s 9-month long service on board HMS “Achilles” in the Mediterranean and Atlantic (21 January-30 September 1883, his first appointment); followed by a logbook of the voyage of HMS “Orontes” from Portsmouth to Hong Kong (1 October – 13 December 1883); five logbooks kept during his three-and-a-half year service on the British naval ships at the China Station in December 1883 - August 1886 (service on HMS “Champion” and “Audacious” and short stays or passages on H.M.S. “Victor Emmanuel” and “Constance”), and a logbook kept during his return trip from Hong Kong to Portsmouth on board HMS “Tamar” in August-October 1886. The logbooks include all the typical data recorded – astronomical observations, ship’s course and distances passed, wind directions and operations with the sails, geographical objects and vessels sighted or ships arrived/departed a port (with coloured sketches of the vessels’ flags), Marescaux’s employment, main events on board (including naval drills, punishments, court martial, deaths of the crew members – entries marked by black borders, delivery and unloads of cargo, visits by commanding officers and officials etc).
Overall a valuable detailed source on the history of naval operations in the Mediterranean and South-East Asia in the 1880s.
Alfred Edward Hay Marescaux became a naval cadet on 15 July 1879 and was promoted to midshipman in 1882, Lieutenant in 1890, retired Commander in 1909 and retired Captain in 1918 for war service. He served in the Mediterranean, China and Home Stations, after retirement - in the Hydrographic Service, and in the Naval Transport Staff at Le Havre during WW1. Marescaux was awarded with the Egyptian Medal (1883) and the Legion of Honour (Officer, 1918), several times mentioned in the Despatches (1917, 1919) and was invited to the Buckingham Palace in 1919.
The list of logbooks in the journal:
1) H.M.S. “Achilles:” 21 January 1882 - 30 September 1883 (9 months). 193 pp. Ports visited: Plymouth, Portland, Vigo Bay (Spain), Gibraltar, Port Mahon (Menorca), Cagliari (Sardinia), Malta, Syracuse (Sicily), Alexandria and Aboukir Bay (Egypt), Arosa and Corcubion Bays (Spain), Lisbon, Madeira, Porto Praya & Sao Vicente (Cape Verde), Berehaven (Ireland) etc.
About the Anglo-Egyptian War and Bombardment of Alexandria (HMS “Achilles” stayed in Alexandria and Aboukir Bay from July 12 to September 28, 1882):
July 13, Alexandria. Cleared for action. Weighed and proceeded with squadron to take up position for bombarding fort Pharos. Hoisted out pinnace. Sent to HMS Bittern marines for passage ashore…
July 14, Alexandria. Sent 1st lieutenant in 1st cutter to fort Marabout with flag of truce. Fort hauled down Egyptian flag. Cutter returned…
August 27, Alexandria. HMS “Minotaur” opened fire toward Ramleh.
August 28, Alexandria. Received on board from transport “Palmyra” three Egyptian officers of war…
September 14, Alexandria. Sent working party and escort under Lt. Lindley to Fort Marabout to destroy powder…
2) H.M.S. “Orontes:” 1 October – 13 December 1883 (2,5 months transfer). 35 pp. From Portsmouth to Hong Kong via Plymouth, St. Vincent, Table Bay, Mauritius and Singapore (29 November – 1 December).
3) H.M.S. “Victor Emmanuel:” 14-17 December 1883 (4 days). 1 p. Hong Kong.
4) H.M.S. “Champion:” 18 December 1883 - 21 January 1885 (13 months). 112 pp. Cruised along the coasts of China and Taiwan, ports and anchorages visited: Hong Kong, Side Saddle Island (East China Sea, near Shanghai), Woosung (Wusong, a district of Shanghai), Shanghai, Amoy (Xiamen), Pagoda Anchorage on the Min River near Foochow (Fuzhou), Tai-wan-fu & Amping (Tainan, Taiwan), Tamsui (Taiwan).
16 February 1884, Shanghai. Chinese admiral visited United States ship “Richmond,” ditto saluted him on leaving with 14 guns.
About Sino-French War & the blockade of Formosa (August 1884 – April 1885):
23 July, Pagoda anchorage, Foochow (Fuzhou). [First mention of French naval cruisers “cleared for action”].
24 July, Pagoda anchorage. Arrived French torpedo boat.
23 August, Pagoda anchorage. French squadron opened fire on Chinese squadron and forts. Ditto returned. Observed two Chinese gunboats go down. Violent explosion in direction of Arsenal <…> French squadron ceased fire having destroyed Chinese gun boats and silenced forts. French opened fire on Chinese burning ship. 10 ships sunk.
24 August, Pagoda anchorage. French flagship Volta and 3 gunboats proceeded up river above Arsenal and opened fire, a French landing party from remainder of ship went up creek by Customs house.
25 August, Pagoda anchorage. French ships opened fire on boat floating down the River with machine guns. French ships opened fine on forts and landing small arm companies on Pagoda Island… French squadron weighed and took up position in Mingau Pass and commenced firing.
22 October, at sea from Pagoda anchorage to Tamsui. Received from French ship official notification of the Blockade of Formosa.
23 October, at sea from Pagoda anchorage to Tamsui. Passed French cruiser “D’Estang” blockading port of Taiwanfu.
21 December, at sea from Amping to Tamsui. Observed French ships “La Galissonniere,” “La Triomphante,” corvettes “Neilly» and «Rigauet de Genouilly». Stopped and communicated with French flagship “La Galissonniere.”
5) H.M.S. “Audacious:” 21 January 1885 – 15 July 1886 (18 months). 162 pp. Ports & anchorages visited: Hong Kong, Nagasaki, Port Hamilton (British naval base in 1885-87 on the Geomun-do Islands, Korea Strait), Amoy, Hong Kong, Tamsui (Taiwan), Shimonoseki, Yokohama, Kobe, Fusan (Busan, South Korea), Bangkok, Singapore, Sarawak, Kudat & Labuan Island (Malaysia), Manila, Chefoo (Yantai, China), Port Arthur.
24 February 1886, Singapore. The governor of the Straits Settlement visited ship. Saluted do. With 14 guns.
19 March, Sarawak. Native chief from Sarawak visited ship.
15 July 1886, Port Hamilton. Employed getting boats ready for regatta. 1:10. Regatta commenced. 5:15. Regatta boats returned to their respective ships.
6) H.M.S. “Constance:” 16-22 July 1886 (a week). 2 pp. Passage from Port Hamilton to Nagasaki.
7) H.M.S. “Victor Emmanuel:” 23 July – 2 August 1886 (1,5 weeks). 3 pp. Hong Kong harbour.
8) H.M.S. “Tamar:” 3 August - 12 October 1886 (2,5 months transfer). 34 pp. Return voyage from Hong Kong to Portsmouth via Singapore (9-12 August), Bangka and Sunda Straits, Mauritius (24-26 August), Simon’s Bay (Cape of Good Hope, 5-12 September), Saint Vincent (28-30 September), and Madeira (5-6 October).
Price: $4,500.00 USD