Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist]. John F. W. PAYNTER.
Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist].
Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist].
Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist].
Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist].
Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist].

Logbook of HMS Hercules…
Log of H.M.S. Hercules. B. Baynton Esq. Commander. Kept by S.F.W. Paynter. Commencing October 26th 1852. Ending 26th of December 1853 [with log of a subsequent passage in H.M.S. Royalist].

At Sea and various ports: 1852-54.

Small folio, a neatly tabulated and written manuscript comprising 114 pp of Hercules Log [followed by 2 pp partly written and abandoned, at one time concealed by pasting together], and 28 pp of Royalist Log; altogether 22 images (see note); original journal binding of half green roan leather with marbled boards and endpapers.

Original log of a troubled Scottish emigrant voyage to Australia

A desirable original midshipman's log of a particularly interesting voyage to Australia, illustrated with most attractive unpublished drawings including a suite of four charts showing a dated track of the voyage, a fine double-page map of "Port Phillip 1853" with detailed soundings, and a series of sixteen coastal drawings, ten of them depicting Australian locations such as Kangaroo Island, Cape Shanck, North Head Port Jackson, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Paynter, a "master's assistant" (approximately midshipman at this time of changing naval ranks), kept a diligent and very complete record of the voyage, carefully illustrating his log with these fine coastal profiles and maps.

A desirable original midshipman's log of a particularly interesting voyage to Australia, illustrated with most attractive unpublished drawings including a suite of four charts showing a dated track of the voyage, a fine double-page map of "Port Phillip 1853" with detailed soundings, and a series of sixteen coastal drawings, ten of them depicting Australian locations such as Kangaroo Island, Cape Shanck, North Head Port Jackson, Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Paynter, a "master's assistant" (approximately midshipman at this time of changing naval ranks), kept a diligent and very complete record of the voyage, carefully illustrating his log with these fine coastal profiles and maps.

This fateful voyage was commissioned by the Highlands & Islands Emigration Society, a charitable enterprise which, conscious of the need for settlers in the colonies, sought to resettle impoverished Scots and thus (perhaps not so charitably) release Scots landlords by a clearance of unprofitable tenancies. The Hercules took on some 840 of these emigrants, headed for South Australia and Victoria. They could have been forgiven for thinking themselves ill-fated: the ship sailed from Campbeltown (Argyllshire, Scotland) on 26 December 1852 but ran into a storm which forced them after five days into an anchorage off Rothesay, in the Isle of Bute. After weathering the storm, the ship set out again on 14 January 1853 but almost immediately both smallpox and typhus broke out aboard and as a result the Hercules had to put into Ireland and undergo a three-month quarantine off Cork before finally sailing, arriving on 26 July in Adelaide, where 194 disembarked, and sailing on to Port Phillip where the remaining 183 emigrants were landed. Sydney was also a port of call.

The ship then went on to Hong Kong where she was to be used as a hospital hulk for the garrison. She served this purpose until being deemed unseaworthy and beyond repair in 1865.

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One of those affected by the smallpox epidemic off Cork was Paynter himself, appearing on the ship's sick list with "variola" on 26 February 1853; two days later he was put ashore to the Haulbowline naval hospital in Cork (source: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/h/C4107014 and https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/record?catid=-6112800&catln=7). He would survive, though the ship's surgeon and nurse matron were not so fortunate, and fifty-six emigrants died; seventeen consequently orphaned children were returned to Scotland. Many of the emigrants were assigned to other ships and in the process several family groups were separated for the voyage to Australia. Only 380 emigrants finally sailed; the remaining 300 or so were distributed between twelve various vessels in 1853.

Paynter did not miss a day in his log as he moved from the Hercules once in Hong Kong to an eastbound sloop, the Royalist, beginning his log of that ship the very next day; that section occupies the final 28 pp. as "Log of H.M. Sloop Royalist. W.J. Bate Esq. Commander" and records all details from Hong Kong (27 December 1853) to Simons Bay - modern Simon's Town, Cape Town - where the log finishes on 24 March 1854.

Paynter's record of the Hercules voyage includes daily details of the working of the ship, and of the places that came in sight as they approached or reached land. Largely because of the enforced quarantine off Ireland and the arduousness of the voyage itself, there are significantly more details about the emigrants than one might expect to find in a more standard log of the type and period. In terms of new information, Paynter records such things as the death of individual passengers and includes many details of the route that was taken.

The visits to Adelaide and Port Phillip are of extra interest, dating as they do from a time when the population and emigration explosions were reflecting the gold rushes of the early 1850s. Also, we should note the special features of the so-called "Highland project" which brought so many new immigrants to such cities as Adelaide and Port Phillip which as freely-settled were quite different from the penal colony cities.

The volume of Scottish immigration from the 1830s to the 1850s has proved a very substantial field for study with a wide-ranging literature already in print, no doubt in part addressing the pride of descendants. The Scottish diaspora has been increasingly celebrated, for example in the wonderful exhibition "For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation" at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 2014.

The images

The images added to his log by Paynter have a real presence. They comprise:

A full page "Plan of the Holds"

Four full-page attractively drawn charts showing the progress of the voyage, with dated tracks, from (1) Queenstown to the Equator; (2) from the Equator to the Cape of Good Hope; (3) through the Indian Ocean showing the African coast, Madagascar, Bourbon and Mauritius, St Paul and Amsterdam Islands; (4) along the south coast of Australia to Port Philip showing entire coast as well as Tasmania and Bass Strait.

A double-page map entitled "Port Phillip 1853" with detailed soundings.

Sixteen drawings, mostly of Australian locations, are as follows:

South Africa

Cape of Good Hope

Noahs Ark and a cape beyond from anchorage in Simon's Bay

Australia

Cape Willoughby and Lighthouse Kangaroo Island

Cape Flinders New Holland

Cape Shank South Australia

Sir Roger Curtis Group Bass's Strait

Sydney North Head

Sydney Watsons Bay

Balls Pyramid

Lord Howe Island [and] Balls Pyramid

Philip Island

Norfolk Island

Melanesia

Mitre Island [looking north]

Mitre Island [looking east]

Micronesia

Oulam or Strong's Island

Pedro Blanco

Literature on the voyage

There is a considerable literature on this voyage, starting with W.B. Clark's HMS Hercules Scottish Emigration Ship (1989), and followed by a number of recent studies including Robin Haines's Doctors at Sea: Emigrant Voyages to South Australia (2005), Rowan Strong's Victorian Christianity and Emigrant Voyages to British Colonies (2017), and Ian McPhee's The Naked Clansmen on Mull & Iona (2020).

There is also much online: for example, the Highlands & Islands Emigration Society in Australia has collected extensive material (see http://www.theshipslist.com/accounts/hies_hercules.shtml). A list of the ship's passengers can be found at http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/hercules1853.shtml. In Scotland, the National Records has further relevant details at https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/record-guides/highland-and-island-emigration-society-records#Ship%20sailings. The maintenance of these records attests to the ongoing importance of the voyage for the descendants of those who emigrated and still today revere their Scottish and Highland heritage.

Another website devoted to the Hercules can be found at http://www.angelfire.com/ns/bkeddy/HIES/hercules.html.

Provenance: Recent private owner in the US who advised that "In terms of provenance, I bought this item a long time ago at a high-end antique show in New Jersey."

Price (AUD): $22,500.00  other currencies Ref: #4505153

Condition Report