In this post, we’re doing something a little bit different- not discussing a single volume as such but all the photos I have from a single series (because I only have a few and each document is only a handful of photos). In this post we’re discussing the ADL series from the Caird Library, National Maritime Museum. This is a very diverse series, create to bring together a number of otherwise unrelated (except by topic and addressee) letters and documents. It is continually changing- for example, in the several years since I had taken photos at the Caird, one of these documents had been re-catalogued. Of course, the wonderful Caird staff were happy to help clear up my confusion.
I’ll talk a little about what I have from each subseries. The first is ADL/A: Documents relating to the Board of Admiralty, from 1660 onwards. I have photos of two documents: ADL/A/8, shown to the left, a letter from the Duke of York to Capt Richard Haddock of the Portland. I also have a letter of 23 Feb 1748, where 95 naval officers respond (with great disapproval) to Anson’s plans for changing the Articles of War. This latter was quite important to my PhD. I have a handful of photos of each, but neither are extensive documents.
ADL/B contains Documents relating to the Board of Admiralty. I only have photos of one “volume”, ADL/B/3, which contains three different letters pertaining to the Royal Navy’s finances. Of particular interest to me is the document that details the costs of building a new second rate, from 1673. This letter is signed by Samuel Pepys, Sir Anthony Deane (who would have built the ship), Thomas Allin, Lord Brouncker and another fellow. I do not believe that anything came of this, and that no second rates were built until the 1677 shipbuilding program.
The other letter is from 1672, and refers to the instructions issued by the Duke of York in the 1660s, and an Order-in-Council for issuing money to the Royal Navy. It very formally and elaborately phrased, and provides very good insight into how these men who knew each other well interacted formally.
The next set is ADL/C: Papers relating to the Ordinary. Of this, I only have photos of ADL/C/9: Abstract of the Ordinary Estimate of the Navy for the Year 1697. This is a fascinating document that provides a brief insight into the Navys finances at the end of the 9 Years War, fought 1688-1697. When I looked at this document, it was filed under its original Mss number, and has since been recatalogued. As such, I have organized it under its new call number and it was requested that in future if referenced, it should be under that call number not the original Mss. This document is fascinating because it contains entries for Half-pay and Pensions, as well as for the Office for Registering Seamen, which was an effort to create something like half-pay or reserve list for non-officers, but was not successful. I wish I had realized I had a photo of this document when I was working on my PhD thesis.
ADL/P contains “Papers related to awards”. In this case, I have some photos of an address given to Admiral Vernon by the City of London. This is an intensely coloured and illustrated document, and shows the highregard that the City held for Admiral Vernon.
I also have several photos from ADL/Q: Commissions, Warrants, and Other Officers Service Documents. ADL/Q/20 has the commission of lt Charle Loeffs, of the Plymouth, from 1746. ADL/Q/22 has images of 21 different commissions, including the one shown on the left. These commissions date from 1690 to 1854.
As always, I highly encourage you to go to the Caird and look at these documents and volumes in person.