NAVAL Log book of the schooner John Williams, J.H. Ridley, commander, together with a copy of Ridley's printed treatise, Losses at Sea and a volume of mainly maritime notes
Lot 146
NAVAL
Log book of the schooner John Williams, J.H. Ridley, commander, together with a copy of Ridley's printed treatise, Losses at Sea and a volume of mainly maritime notes
Sold for £1,625 (US$ 2,542) inc. premium

Lot Details
NAVAL
Log book of the schooner John Williams, J.H. Ridley, commander, sailing from Lisbon to Buenos Aires and from there to the Rio Negro, West Indies and Britain; with verses, prayers, recipes and other matter entered reversed at the end; together with a copy of Ridley's printed treatise, Losses at Sea: Their Causes, and Means of Prevention (1854), bearing his presentation inscription and letter of 1873 by him pasted in to Dr Kenealy of Gray's Inn Square ("...I have noticed in the papers the statement about the loss of the 'Bella', which the other side trys to make look impossible..."); and a volume of mainly maritime notes and observations bearing his ownership inscription, in three volumes, the logbook in original vellum, others in cloth, bindings loose, some leaves removed, paper browned etc., 4to and 8vo

Footnotes

  • The third volume contains numerous drafts of letters to Lord Palmerston and others, written at the time of the Crimean War, including one to Dickens about an article on Wrecks at Sea in Household Words.
    EVIDENCE USED AT THE TRIAL OF THE TICHBORNE CLAIMANT, one of the most famous trials of the nineteenth century and the longest at nisi prius on record, the case coming to law in 1871 and being decided against the Tichborne claimant in 1874. The claimant, a butcher calling himself Tomas Castro from Wagga Wagga, Australia (but probably Arthur Orton of Wapping), was laying claim to the baronetcy and fortune of Sir Roger Tichborne who had last been seen alive on a ship called the Bella – see Ridley's letter to Kenealy above – which left Rio de Janeiro on 20 April 1854, bound for Kingston, Jamaica, but which was never seen again. Castro claimed that the Bella had been overturned during a storm but that he had survived in a lifeboat and had been rescued by a ship bound for Melbourne. In Australia he had worked as a cattle rancher, married, and settled down to life as a butcher. Edward Kenealy, his erratic and flamboyant leading counsel during his trial for perjury, cited Losses at Sea in court and called its author, J.H. Ridley, as a witness, as part of his defence of claimant and in order to demonstrate the plausibility of his version of events. The defendant was to receive fourteen years for perjury, and Kenealy disbarred for his unprofessional conduct.

Saleroom notices

  • The third volume contains numerous drafts of letters to Lord Palmerston and others, written at the time of the Crimean War, including one to Dickens about an article on Wrecks at Sea in Household Words.
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