Manuscripts: Three folio Volumes, containing meticulously arranged logs of the voyages of Royal Navy Ships from 1876 - 1881, with photographs of the ships and copiously illustrated with neatly dawn maps & diagrams of the ships. All bound in hf. mor., with anchor motif on spines. (1) Logs of "H.M.S. Duke of Wellington" 22 Dec. 1876 to 30 Jan. 1877"; H.M.S. Assistance 7 to 15 Feb. 1877; "H.M.S. Minotaur, Capt. Lord Walter Kerr, 19th Feb. 1877 to 1st July 1878.
(2) Lots of HMS Minotaur, Capt. Rawson, 2 July 1878 to 18 Aug. 1879; and HMS Newcastle 19 Aug. 1879 to 7 Sept. 1880.
(3) Log of HMS Minotaur, Capt. H. Rawson, 8 Sept 1880 to 3 April 1881.
HMS Minotaur, the ship that features most prominently in these volumes, was a five-masted armoured frigate, completed in 1867; she formed the lead ship in a class of four – the longest single-screw warships ever built. From 1875 she served as flagship of the Channel Squadron, and in 1876 became the first ship in the Royal Navy to be permanently equipped with an electric searchlight.
Her commander from 1875 was Lord Walter Kerr, who later played an important role in modernising and rearming the Navy. He was succeeded in 1877 by Harry (later Admiral Sir Harry) Rawson, who is chiefly remembered for overseeing the Benin Expedition of 1895, regarded today as either a highly successful punitive expedition or a disgraceful episode of massacre and looting, depending on your point of view; in 1896 he was knighted for commanding in the Anglo-Zanzibar War, the shortest war in history (38 minutes).