Tag Archives: William Mogg

Travel tales

As the Bank Holiday weekend approaches, thoughts might well be turning to travel and holidays. Travel has been a part of the human experience for centuries and as a journey recommends itself to record keeping, the travel journal was one of the earliest types to become a recognised genre. In his 1625 essay Of travel Francis Bacon gave directions for diary keeping by young men on their Grand Tour— that educational rite of passage for males of British nobility and wealthy gentry.

While Bacon’s thoughts were mainly on profit to be gained from travel experiences, the wish to create a permanent record of journeys is a very real one. The archive and rare book collections at Southampton attest to this wish. Within the archive collections are a large number of diaries and journals, together with photographs, sketches, charts and plans, menus and other souvenirs relating to travel in its various guises. This is complemented by a fine range of rare book material, including the Henry Robinson Hartley Collection, about exploration and journeys across the globe.

‘Plan of the city of Lima, capital of Peru’: taken from A compendium of authentic and entertaining voyages (second edition, London 1766) vol. 2 [Rare Books G 160]

‘Plan of the city of Lima, capital of Peru’: taken from A compendium of authentic and entertaining voyages (second edition, London 1766) vol. 2 [Rare Books G 160]

Although not relating to a Grand Tour, the travel journals of the second Viscount Palmerston nevertheless provide a fascinating account of his journeys across Europe in search of art and culture. In this entry for 25 April 1793 he describes a visit to Italy:

“Walked to see the cathedral of Terracina which is built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo. There are some of the old walls some parts of fluted columns and some of cornices and mouldings on the side and back part of the temple. The front towards the place has a portico made up of old columns and fragments of antique buildings. There is an inscription relating to Theodorick and a face of granite sarcophagus under the porch. In the church are some granite columns and a rich antique mosaick….”

[MS 62 Broadlands Archives BR15/16]

In contrast, the travel journal kept by Major General Sir John St George in 1868 of his land journey to Russia focuses on the more practical concerns of his comfort and his fellow travellers:

“We reached Minden at 12′ 9 am [9 minutes past 12] and I got out as we were to stay a few minutes. I had not taken due note of my carriage and could not contrive to find it when I returned and … as the train was on the move I was bundled into the open door of a second class carriage where were 4 … noisy Germans smoking furiously. I had left my comfortable temporary couch and had neither cravat nor overcoat, nor pocket handkerchief, not any requisites for comfort, and I feared I should take cold. One of the men, after their laughter at my forlorn condition had ceased, lent me a rug and I did not suffer. When we reached Hanover I succeeded in finding my carriage…”

[MS 59 A528/6/3]

For those seeking accounts of a more stylish and comfortable mode of transport, the Special Collections hold a range of material recording journeys by luxury liners. Menus are from the cabin (first class) dining room of the Queen Mary during her first year on the transatlantic crossing show just over 800 cabin class passengers enjoying seven course meals, with food supplies for a typical voyage including 50,000lbs of fresh meat, 50,000 eggs and 14,500 bottles of wine.

This watercolour of Malta is from the sketch book of Julia (Sissy) Matilda Cohen during a cruise around the Mediterranean in 1895 [MS 363 A3006/3/5/6]

This watercolour of Malta is from the sketch book of Julia (Sissy) Matilda Cohen during a cruise around the Mediterranean in 1895 [MS 363 A3006/3/5/6]

Want to know about encounters with polar bears or hostile locals, or navigating unexplored regions of Latin America or Africa? Then look no further. The journals of the Southampton born sailor William Mogg recount exploration in the Arctic (polar bears included) and on board HMS Beagle in South American waters, while the papers of Louis Arthur Lucas (1851-1876) provide a glimpse into his explorations in Africa, 1875-6.   From his base in Khatoum, Lucas set out to explore areas of the Congo as well as Lake Albert, then known as Albert Nyanza, one of the great lakes of Africa.

Volume 1 of Louis Arthur Lucas’ African sketch book: huts of the Kytch tribe, [Southern Sudan], 1876 [MS 371 A3042/2/6/14]

Volume 1 of Louis Arthur Lucas’ African sketch book: huts of the Kytch tribe, [Southern Sudan], 1876 [MS 371 A3042/2/6/14]

Proving that adventure does not have to take you to far shores, the trial journey from London to Bath of Goldworthy Gurney’s steam carriage in July 1829 provided quite a tale. This marked the first journey at a maintained speed made by a locomotive on land or rail, pre-dating George Stephenson’s Rocket by over a year.  Beset by various challenges, the intrepid travellers were finally met by a hostile mob outside Bath who stoned the carriage.

Page of a note from Sir J.Willoughby Gordon to Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, sending a detailed report of the journey of Gurney's steam carriage from London to Bath, 31 July 1829 [MS 61 Wellington Papers 1/1034/29]

Page of a note from Sir J.Willoughby Gordon to Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, sending a detailed report of the journey of Gurney’s steam carriage from London to Bath, 31 July 1829 [MS 61 Wellington Papers 1/1034/29]

So, however you choose to travel this Bank Holiday, we wish you happy travelling!

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The travels of William Mogg, RN (1796-1875)

This week the public outcomes for students undertaking their second year History Group Projects will go live. They will include exhibitions, articles, presentations, websites and documentaries, with a number of projects drawing on material from Special Collections. Group 7’s project draws on the journals of William Mogg…

Christopher Columbus, Francis Drake, Marco Polo, James Cook, Robert Falcon Scott… These men all have one thing in common. They are famous explorers who made ground-breaking discoveries through their travels across the world. However, what most people don’t know is that we have our very own local traveller from here in Southampton: William Mogg. This figure, forgotten by history, was actually part of some of the most significant and famous voyages of exploration during the nineteenth century.

Photo of William Mogg wearing the medal presented to him ‘for Arctic discoveries, 1818-1855’ [MS 45 A0188]

Photo of William Mogg wearing the medal presented to him ‘for Arctic discoveries, 1818-1855’ [MS 45 A0188]

Born in 1796 in Woolston, Southampton, Mogg joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer in 1811, serving in the continental blockade of the Napoleonic war. From 1821-5 he joined Captain Lyon and Sir William Parry on their Arctic expeditions on HMS Hecla and Fury, which Mogg describes in his second journal. He also travelled around South America from 1827-33 on HMS Beagle, an expedition on which Charles Darwin was also present on.

Although Mogg is not an established figure in the history of exploration, he played an important role aboard ship and his account of everyday life has proven very significant in enhancing our views of 19th century culture and attitudes.  He served as a clerk on Parry’s expeditions where he recorded meteorological material. His journals also include annotated copies of Robert Fitzroy’s Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s Ships Adventure and the Beagle, which describes the Beagle’s circumnavigation of the globe.

Throughout Mogg’s six journals he describes his travels to the Arctic, South America, Wales, the West of England, Switzerland and Italy, and within these he also includes a number of drawings, postcards and photographs which he collected during his travels. In his journals, Mogg recorded some incredible stories of his interactions with different native populations such as Arctic Esquimaux, Feugians, and the Patagonians. He immersed himself in the various cultures that he encountered, and has many tales to share of the people he met along the way. He talks of hunting trips he went on, games played with the natives, the languages he learned and even tattoos he was given! Mogg does not only provide interesting and humorous anecdotes, but grants us an insight into another time; a world very different to ours today.

The journals also provide a rare glimpse into the personal thoughts of a man who experienced more in four decades, than most people would in an entire lifetime. His attitudes to different cultures, places and people are fascinating, and his journals are a truly valuable piece of history that should be treasured by Southampton. William Mogg’s journals reveal just how important every member of a crew can be. Although history only notes the leaders of such voyages, Mogg shows that these men would never have been able to achieve the things they did, were it not for the crew which helped them along the way.

A group of second year history students are currently studying journals 2 and 3 from the University’s Special Collections and have created a website to present their fascinating research, aiming to shed light on the life and work of William Mogg, and bring his sadly unknown journeys to life.

Please visit http://www.moggexplored.fallows.org/ to find out more about one of Southampton’s lost historic figures.

Article by Hollie Geraghty

References

Southampton University Special Collections, <http://www.southampton.ac.uk/archives/cataloguedatabases/webguidemss45.page>,[Accessed 03/05/16].

Mogg, William, The Papers of William Mogg, 1811-c.1870, Journal 1, 2,3,6, Special Collections Division, Hartley Library, University of Southampton.

Food and reflection

As we settle into 2016 we reflect on recent activities from the past year…

Over the holiday season many of us have indulged in a range of winter comfort foods and festive treats, from turkey and sprouts to mince pies and puddings. In the lead up to the Christmas break visitors were invited to Special Collections for our third and final Explore Your Archives event of the year, with the focus of the afternoon being (somewhat appropriately) food! The material on display covered areas such as the cultivation of food, food preparation, household management, food supplies, consumption of food (including some fine dining), and food relief.

Lankester &amp; Crook price lists for the Christmas Season on display for the 'Food, Glorious Food' open afternoon

Lankester & Crook price lists for the Christmas Season on display for the ‘Food, Glorious Food’ open afternoon

Beginning with a section on cultivation, one of the first items was a plan and catalogue for trees in the kitchen gardens at Broadlands from 1769 which, incidentally, coincided with work done on the estate by ‘Capability’ Brown whose 300th anniversary will be celebrated later in the year. This was followed by a selection of material relating to the management of crops and livestock.

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses, with the aim being to “promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by pulse farmers, be they large scale farms or small land holders.” As the planet’s population continues to increase, pulses such as beans, lentils and peas, are recognised as a sustainable crop which provide a low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

The Perkins Agricultural Library, which primarily supports research on the general practice and improvement of agriculture in the 18th and 19th centuries, also holds a range of material focusing on areas such as household management. On display was William Ellis’ The country housewife’s family companion (London, 1750) which contains the following useful tips for preserving broad beans and peas: “To preserve broad beans and pease dry: take them out of their pods before they are ripe and while their skin is green strip them of their skin and dry them thoroughly in the sun; rub them all over with winter-savory, and barrel them up in straw or chaff, or without either, provided you keep the air from them. In winter or spring, or when they are wanted, soak them six hours in warm water, and then boil them for eating…” [Perkins TX 151]

A highlight from the selection of cook books and recipes was Florence Greenberg’s classic Jewish Cookery Book. First published in 1947, the book proved hugely popular with post war Anglo-Jewish households, bringing a mix of British and continental cooking. She described the Jewish influences as being seen clearly in the fish dishes, sauces and puddings.

There were also many examples of fine dining drawn from the papers of third Viscount Palmerston, Lady Swaythling, Lord Mountbatten, and W.W.Ashley and Cunard cruise ships, including menus, dinner books, and letters reporting on dinner parties and social gatherings. In contrast, somewhat less savoury culinary descriptions were to be found among the journals of William Mogg. Written during his time on Captain Edward Parry’s expeditions to the Arctic in the 1820s, Mogg describes methods used to thaw the crew’s frozen supplies — leaving them in a fire hole for three days — as well as the Christmas festivities enjoyed by the crew.

Chris Woolgar giving his talk on food related resources

Chris Woolgar giving his talk on food related resources

The visit to Special Collections was followed by a talk by Chris Woolgar who provided a highly engaging and comprehensive analysis of a number of the items on display. The evening was then rounded off with some tea and seasonal treats!

As we plan events for the year ahead we would like to thank everyone who attended our open afternoons over the past few months. Details of forthcoming events will be announced on our blog and website in the near future.

We hope to see you in Archives soon!

Food, Glorious Food: culinary resources in the Hartley Library Special Collections

On Wednesday 9 December, the Special Collections, Hartley Library, will hold the next in its series of open afternoons, allowing visitors to explore material from the holdings and to meet the curators.

explore_food

The theme for this open afternoon will be food. Material will range across the cultivation of food, food preparation, household management, food supplies and the consumption of food. Come and find out how what was on the menu for the Patagonians visited by William Mogg during his voyage on the Beagle in the early nineteenth century.

The visit to Special Collections will be followed by a talk given by Professor Chris Woolgar and rounded off by tea.

Programme:

1530-1700: Visit to Special Collections

1730-1830: Talk by Professor Chris Woolgar, Professor of History and Archival Studies, whose latest book The Culture of Food in England 1200-1500 will be published by Yale University Press in the spring of 2016. The talk will be followed by tea.

Visitors exploring material relating to the natural world during our last open afternoon

Visitors exploring material relating to the natural world during our last open afternoon

We would be very pleased to see you at this free event; please book your place using Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-glorious-food-culinary-resources-in-the-hartley-library-special-collections-tickets-19186450189?aff=ebrowse

Whatever the weather…

As November begins, winter arrives, and we wonder what the weather will bring this season: storm, gale and flood – frost and snow and fun?! This month as part of the Explore Your Archive campaign we will be exploring the earth and the natural world through our Special Collections.

Rough Sea at Clarence Pier, Southsea (pc954)

Rough Sea at Clarence Pier, Southsea (pc954)

We cannot control the weather, but it rules our environment, affects our moods, safety, travel, communication, crops and health. No wonder man has tried to understand and predict it for centuries!

Here in Special Collections we can trace this fascination – both scientific and popular – for natural phenomena, through monographs and private correspondence, scientific periodicals and encyclopaedias. The latter brought observations and explanations of the natural world to a wider audience. Descriptions of events such as meteors and great storms were popular, such as Daniel Defoe’s account of the ‘Late Dreadful Tempest’ of 26th November 1703 [published in 1713, Rare Books PR 3404]. Incidental references to the weather appear in diaries and letters – there are many throughout the Wellington Papers [MS 61] and the Palmerston Papers [MS 62] – which contribute to a study of the weather over time.

Photo of William Mogg wearing the medal presented to him ‘for Arctic discoveries, 1818-1855’ [MS 45 A0188]

Photo of William Mogg wearing the medal presented to him ‘for Arctic discoveries, 1818-1855’ [MS 45 A0188]

Archives have also been left behind by explorers and interested amateurs whose approach was more scientific. William Mogg of Woolston, Southampton, took part in survey expeditions to the Artic in HMS Hecla, in 1821-2, and HMS Fury, in 1824-5; abstracts from the ships’ meteorological journals and notes on environmental conditions during these journeys survive in our collections [MS 45 A0187].

R.C. Hankinson’s weather diary, with charts, open to the page for September 1869 [MS 6/9 (A56)]

R.C. Hankinson’s weather diary, with charts, open to the page for September 1869 [MS 6/9 (A56)]

R.C.Hankinson’s meteorological observations, with charts, were made at Shirley Warren, Southampton from 1863-77. A Southampton banker and JP, he was born in Norfolk in 1824, and had lived in Derbyshire before coming to Hampshire by 1865. The volume includes meteorological observations for all three places. Each right-hand page records the weather for a calendar month, with daily entries for pressure, temperature, wind direction, and rainfall. From 1866, Hankinson drew temperature charts in red and black ink on the left-hand page. He often added notes on subjects that interested him: the growth of fruit and vegetables, flowers and crops, birds, the prevalence of disease locally such as scarlet fever and cholera, as well as meteorological matters: sirocco winds, gales, storms (and shipwrecks), comets, the aurora borealis, sun spots and eclipse. In September 1869 he notes:

“Equinoctial gales for 10th [September] to 19th”;

“18th [September] Storm gales. Much loss in every place. ‘Volante’ yacht wrecked off Ryde. ‘Gensa’ yacht Cherbourg.”

“20th [September] frost in grass.”

This is a fascinating record of our local environment 150 years ago.