This collection consists of a sketchbook and a minute book, both authored by Sir James Hawkins Whitshed, an officer in the British Navy. The sketchbook (1812-1813) contains numerous depictions of naval ships (including smaller naval vessels and a fishing boat) at sea. The front paste-down of the sketchbook includes an apparent self-caricature of Whitshed himself.
The minute book (1821-1822) contains a careful list of letters received and sent out by Whitshed, plus a summary of the day’s events. At the time the minute book was written, Whitshed was commander-in-chief at Portsmouth. The book also contains various orders to the Fleet, and there is also a large sketch of a plan of attack drawn by Whitshed himself.
Stored offsite at the Library Service Center and require 24-hour notice for retrieval. Please contact the Woodson Research Center at 713-348-2586 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish material from the Sir James Hawkins Whitshed Collection must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
Biographical / Historical
Sir James Hawkins was born in 1762, joined the British Navy, and in 1773 was entered on the books of the Ranger sloop and then on the Irish station. He served on the Newfoundland and North American stations and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on September 4, 1778. Whitshed studied for three years at Oxford, attended lectures on astronomy and traveled the continent, mainly Denmark and Russia. In 1791 he assumed the last name of Whitshed, the surname of his maternal grandmother, in accordance with the terms of a cousin’s will.
Whitshed took part in many naval battles and received many honors and promotions. On July 31, 1810, he was promoted to the rank of admiral, and was appointed as commander-in-chief at Portsmouth from January 1821 to April 1824. He was also made a G.C.B. (a British order of chivalry) in November 1830, a baronet in May 1834, baron of the kingdom of Hanover in 1843, and Admiral of the fleet in January 1844.
Whitshed married Sophia Henriett Bentinck in 1791, and they had two sons and four daughters. The eldest son was killed in 1813 while he was a midshipman of the Berwick. His second son, St. Vincent Keene, who succeeded to the baronetcy, died in 1870; and on the death of the second baronet’s only surviving son the following year, the baronetcy became extinct.
Whitshed died at his house in Cavnedish Square, London, on October 28, 1849.
This collection consists of a sketchbook and a minute book, both authored by Sir James Hawkins Whitshed, an officer in the British Navy. The sketchbook contains numerous depictions of naval ships and a self-caricature of Whitshed himself. The minute book contains a careful list of letters received and sent by Whitshed, plus a summary of the day’s events during the years 1821-1822.
This collection was purchased from a dealer (Myers) with Friends of Fondren Library funds in 1953.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Sir James Hawkins Whitshed Minute Book and Sketchbook, 1812-1822, MS 226, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University http://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/184 Accessed November 29, 2022.