Guide to the Papers of Sir William F.D. Jervois (as filmed by the AJCP)


M1822 - M1824

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Jervois, William Francis Drummond, Sir
Papers of Sir William F. D. Jervois (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1874 - 1897
Collection Number
M1822 - M1824
14 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Official and family correspondence, notebook, letter-books, newspaper cutting books and a journal. Official correspondence 1875-93 relates to Jervois' activities as Governor of the Straits Settlements, South Australia and New Zealand, and his surveys of Australian and New Zealand defences. Subjects include: political and military affairs; Australian defences; annexation of New Guinea; Imperial Federation; irrigation; taxation; and Jervois' properties in South Australia. Correspondents include Lord Normanby, Sir George Bowen, Sir Hercules Robinson, Sir William Morgan, Sir Samuel Way, H.E. McCallum and Sir Peter Scratchley.

The journal was kept by John Jervois on his voyage from Adelaide to New Zealand and while travelling in New Zealand in 1881.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the private residence of Mr J.W. Jervois, London, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1983 (AJCP Reels: M1822 - 1824). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

The private residence of Mr J.W. Jervois, London, England.

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.


Adelaide, South Australia; Army and defence; Army officers; Australia; Australia: defence; Bowen, Sir George F.; Governors and Governors General: New Zealand; Governors and Governors General: South Australia; Governors and Governors General: Straits Settlements; Great Britain; Imperial federation; Irrigation; Jervois, John; Jervois, Sir William; Land: South Australia; McCallum, Henry E.; Morgan, Sir William; New Zealand; New Zealand: politics and government; Papua New Guinea; Papua New Guinea: annexation; Phipps, George A.C., 2nd Marquess of Normanby; Robinson, Sir Hercules G.B., 1st Baron Rosmead; Scratchley, Sir Peter; South Australia; South Australia: politics and government; Straits Settlements; Taxation; Way, Sir Samuel


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 256, p95.

Biographical / Historical

Sir William Francis Drummond Jervois (1821-1897). Commissioned in Royal Engineers in 1839 and rose to be Lieutenant-General and director of works for fortifications in 1862. Carried out survey of Australian and New Zealand defences in 1877. Governor of Straits Settlements 1875-1877, Governor of South Australia 1877-1882, Governor of New Zealand 1883-1889.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Official Correspondence, 1875 - 1893

Letters mainly relating to Jervois' activities as Governor of the Straits Settlements, South Australia and New Zealand and to his surveys of Australian and New Zealand defences. The subjects discussed include political affairs in the Straits Settlements, disturbances at Perak, relations between the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly in Victoria, the reports on Australian defences, South Australian politics, Jervois' transfer to New Zealand, honours, the supply of armaments to the colonies, appointments of governors, the annexation of New Guinea, Imperial Federation, Australian contributions to naval defence, S. Baker and affairs in Tonga, Jervois' properties in South Australia, his return to England in 1889, Lord Kintore and South Australian affairs, the development of northern Australia, and the secret transfer of two Fenian informers to New Zealand in 1883.

The correspondents include Sir William Jervois, Sir Charles Brooke, Lord Northbrook, Lord Normanby (Wellington, Melbourne), Sir George Bowen (Melbourne), Sir Hercules Robinson (Sydney), H.E. McCallum (Singapore), the Maharajah of Johore, Sir Henry Parkes (Sydney), R.M. Laffan, G. Brodrick, C. Todd (Adelaide), Sir William Morgan (Adelaide), Lord Carnarvon, Lord Augustus Loftus (Sydney), Sir Peter Scratchley, Sir Arthur Gordon (Wellington), Sir Henry Loch (Melbourne), Sir Samuel Way (Adelaide), E.H. Steward, Sir Julius Vogel (Wellington), G.S. Whitmore (Gisborne), J.W. Fortescue (Wellington), Sir George Tyron, Sir Anthony Musgrave (Brisbane), Lord Carrington (Sydney), Sir Frederick Broome (Perth), W. Barclay (Wellington), F.W. Pennefather (Adelaide), Lord Spencer.

128 letters.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1822.

Series 2. Typescript transcripts of official letters by J.W. Jervois

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1822.

Series 3. Family Correspondence, 1877 - 1895

Letters written mainly by members of the Jervois Family, including Sir William Jervois, Lady Jervois, John Jervois, W.H.H. Jervois, Arthur Jervois, Amy Jervois, Carrie Jervois, Alice Jervois, Florence Jervois. They refer to Jervois' arrival in South Australia, Sir James Fergusson, the appointment of John Jervois as Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General, the voyage of John and W.H.H. Jervois to Australia in 1883, life in Adelaide, South Australian politics, Jervois' properties at Wellington, South Australia, the transfer of John Jervois to New Zealand in 1885, family history, Lord Onslow, the return of Jervois to England in 1889, and the death of Lady Jervois in 1895. There is also a brief diary of Lady Jervois recording the visit of Prince Albert and Prince George to Adelaide in 1881.

38 letters.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1823

Series 4. Typescript transcripts of family letters by J.W. Jervois

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1823.

Series 5. Notebook of Sir William Jervois

A small notebook containing brief references to the role of governors in Australia, South Australia and the Riverina trade, Chinese immigration, and Federation.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1823.

Series 6. Letterbooks of Sir William Jervois, 1885 - 1897

Two books containing rough copies of letters mainly relating to the Jervois properties at Wellington, South Australia. They refer to the appointment of agents, acquisition of freehold, wool and stock sales, irrigation, taxation and other matters. The principal recipients were Arthur Jervois (Wellington), John Jervois, W.J. Brook (Adelaide), T. Young.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1823.

Series 7. Typescript transcripts of letterbooks by J.W. Jervois

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1823.

Series 8. Newspaper Cutting Books, 1874 - 1893

Two volumes of cuttings mainly relating to the career and activities of Sir William Jervois, but also including a few general articles on such subjects as colonial defences and the Straits Settlements. The main papers represented are the Times, Globe, Army and Navy Gazette, United Service Gazette, Royal Engineers Journal, South Australian Register, South Australian Advertiser, Adelaide Punch, Adelaide Observer, New Zealand Times, New Zealand Herald, Otago Daily Times, Evening Press, Lyttelton Times.

Vol. 1: 1874-1887

Vol. 2: 1887-1893

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1823.

Series 9. Journal of John Jervois, 24 January 1881 - 22 March 1881

Journal in two volumes of John Jervois of a voyage from Adelaide to Auckland and of his travels in New Zealand. It describes in some detail the countryside and towns and encounters with people, including Sir Arthur Gordon. Among the places visited were Auckland, Lake Tarawera, Hokitika, Wellington and Christchurch.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1824.

Series 10. Typescript transcript of journal of John Jervois by J.W. Jervois

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1824.

Series 11. Miscellaneous Papers, 1885-c. 1897

4 items

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1824.

Statement by F.A. Carrington, founder of New Plymouth, on the origin of the Maori Wars, (5pp.) (File (i))

J.R. Hind. 'Note on the track of the total phase in the solar eclipse of Sept. 8 1885 in its passage across New Zealand'. (2pp.) (File (ii))

Map of isochronal lines for beginning and end of solar eclipse, 9 September 1885 (File (iii))

Obituary of Sir William Jervois published in Royal Engineers Journal (35pp.), c.1897 (File (iv))