Bodleian Library logo

Department of Special Collections
Contact Information
Search All Online Catalogues

Collection Level Description: Logbook of Ascension Island kept by Captain William Bate

Reference: GB 0162 MSS.Atlan.r.1
Title: Logbook of Ascension Island kept by Captain William Bate
Dates of Creation: 1 January 1834 - 31 October 1835
Extent: 1 volume (ca. 150 pages)
Name of Creator: William Bate

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Following Napoleon's exile to St. Helena in October 1815, a small British naval garrison was established on Ascension Island. By the time of Napoleon's death in 1821 the island had became a sanatorium and victualling base for ships engaged in suppressing the slave trade on the coast of West Africa. In 1823 the first Royal Marine commandant arrived on the island and it remained a naval possession. This volume is a logbook of Ascension Island kept by Captain William Bate, commandant of the island from 1828 to 1838. Bate was responsible for much of the building work carried out on the island and also for naming the settlement "Georgetown" in 1829. He died on the island in April 1838.

Scope and Content

Logbook containing daily logs from Thursday 1 January 1834 to Saturday 31 October 1835. Each log gives details of thermometer and weather conditions and at the end of each is a statement of the number of gallons of water consumed by the garrison that day. Also included are records of ships calling at the island (including American whalers, English whalers, ships from Sydney and Van Diemens Land, and Royal Naval vessels), details about the extensive building work being carried out on the island (especially at Fort Cockburn) and occasional entries noting the military exercises being conducted, courts martial, parades and fatalities.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in January 2004.

Access Conditions

Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Reproduction Restrictions

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Further Information

Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Access Points

Bate | William | d 1838 | Captain Commandant of Ascension Island

Great Britain | Royal Navy | Officers

Great Britain | Royal Navy | Military life

Great Britain | Royal Navy | Records and correspondence

Great Britain | Royal Marines


Ascension Island (Atlantic Ocean) | Description and travel

Ascension Island (Atlantic Ocean) | Social life and conditions

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
13 December 2011