Guide to the Collections of the Portsmouth City Records Office (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Portsmouth City Records Office
Collections of the Portsmouth City Records Office (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1787 - 1938
Collection Number
29 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

Calendars of prisoners tried at General Quarter Sessions 1842-1854.

Papers 1896-1906 of Hewett and Anderson Families of Titchfield containing family news from New Zealand.

Papers 1931-1938 relating to the First Fleet, including addresses given at memorial services for Capt. Arthur Phillip.

Letter 23 August 1863 from George Atkins of Melbourne to Harry J. Atkins of Fareham referring to unemployment in Victoria and growth of merchant navy.

Letters 1905-1920 from relatives in Wellington, Dunedin and Waikuri to Norman and Katherine Stanley of Southsea.

Letters April-May 1787 of Newton Fowell to his father concerning imminent departure of HMS Sirius.

Letters 1848-1850 of Francis Shields of Sydney to Charles Vignoles, mainly dealing with development of railways.

Papers 1878-1901 of Edney Family, including letters of James and Frank Edney in New Zealand.

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

Material selectively filmed at the Portsmouth City Record Office, Portsmouth, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, (AJCP Reels: M2117). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Portsmouth History Centre and Records Office. 3 Museum Road, Portsmouth PO1 2LJ, England.

For further information, see Portsmouth History Centre and Records Office (

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.


Anderson Family (Titchfield); Australia; Atkins, George; Atkins, Harry J.; Convicts; Dunedin, New Zealand; Edney Family; Edney, Frank; Edney, James; Fowell, Newton; Great Britain; Hewett Family; New Zealand; Phillip, Arthur, Admiral; Portsmouth, England; Railways: Australia; Shields, Francis; Sirius, HMS (ship); Stanley, Katherine; Stanley, Norman; Victoria: economic conditions; Vignoles, Charles; Waikuri, New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 378, pp.143-144.

Item Descriptions

Fonds S.. Sessions, 1842 - 1854

1 item

Series S7. Calendars of prisoners, 1842 - 1854

1 item
Borough of Portsmouth. Calendar of prisoners tried at General Quarter Sessions, 1842 - 1854 (File S7/1)

(194 pp.)

The calendars give the following details about each convict: name, occupation, age, literacy, by whom committed, nature of charge, and sentence. Many of the convicts were sentenced to transportation.

Fonds 16A. Papers of Hewett and Anderson Families of Titchfield, Hants, 1855 - 1924

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Power of attorney granted by Anderson J. Hewett of Auckland to his mother Agnes F. Hewett of Titchfield concerning management of estates and receipt of rents (copy, 6pp.), 18 May 1898 (File 60)

Letters of Hewett Family, 1855 - 1924 (File 146)

2 items
Emily Powell to Anderson Hewett, 6 July 1896 (Item 35)

Refers to his impending departure for New Zealand.

Agnes Hewett and Mabel Hewett (Titchfield) to Anderson Hewett, 1900 - 1906 (Item 42-51)

Family news; Hewett's activities in New Zealand; financial matters; shearing in New Zealand; Sir Peirry Brett and voyage of Capt. G. Anson; Hewett's impending return to England. (10 letters).

Fonds 212A. Papers deposited by H.T. Jantzen, bookseller, of East Grimstead

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Power of attorney granted by Patrick Burke of Riverview College, Sydney, to Rev. Peter Kernan of Portsea relating to property at Portsea (4pp.), 16 November 1[?]85 (File 13/3)

Fonds 230A. Papers deposited by G.W. Didymus of Southsea, November 1924 - April 1936

3 items

Filmed selectively.

A souvenir of Portsmouth on the occasion of the visit of H.M.A.S. Adelaide (49pp.), November 1924 (File 1/2)

A souvenir of Portsmouth presented to officers and men of H.M.A.S. Melbourne (49pp.), April 1936 (File 1/3)

Booklet commemorating visit of H.M.A.S. Australia to Portsmouth, (40pp.), 24 July 1935 (File 1/5)

Fonds 564A. Papers relating to First Fleet, 16 July 1836 - 11 October 1938

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Papers relating to First Fleet, 1931 - 11 October 1938 (File 1)

6 items
D. Hope Johnston. Governor Phillip's registration of baptism; a London discovery (7pp., photocopy), 1931 (Item)
D. Hope Johnston. The founder of Australia; an important historical discovery (5pp., photocopy), 1936 (Item)
Viscount Wakefield. Address given at second annual service of thanksgiving in memory of Admiral Arthur Phillip (6pp., photocopy), 11 October 1934 (Item)
Rev. John W. Ward. Address given at third annual service of thanksgiving in memory of Arthur Phillip (13 pp., photocopy), 11 October 1935 (Item)
Sir Archibald Weigall. Address given at fourth annual service of thanksgiving in memory of Arthur Phillip (14 pp., photocopy), 13 October 1936 (Item)
S.M. Bruce. Address given at sixth annual service of thanksgiving in memory of Arthur Phillip (6 pp., photocopy), 11 October 1938 (Item)

Papers relating to First Fleet, 16 July 1836 - 4 November 1837 (File 2)

2 items
List of stores delivered to Sir Frederick Maitland at Portsmouth for shipment on H.M.S. Buffalo for New Zealand chief Patone (photograph), 16 July 1836 (Item)
Receipt, signed with Patone's mark, for suit of armour and suit of green clothes presented by King William IV and conveyed on H.M.S. Buffalo (photograph), 4 November 1837 (Item)

Fonds 691A. Papers of Harry J. Atkins of Fareham, 23 August 1863

1 item

Filmed selectively.

George Atkins (Melbourne) to Harry Atkins, 23 August 1863 (File 4/8)

Acknowledges letter and Times; growth of Merchant Navy; family news; work as auctioneer's clerk; mixture of nationalities among poorer classes in Victoria; unemployment. (typescript)

Archival History

The original letter was part of another series (748A/1/5) at the time of filming, but was in a very dilapidated condition.

Fonds 694A. Rowlings Collection, 17 April 1787 - July 1920

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Series 12/1. Papers of Stanley and Stalkartt Families, 17 April 1787 - July 1920

3 items
Subseries 12/1/3. Correspondence, 28 June 1878 - July 1920
1 item
Letters from New Zealand relatives to Norman and Katherine Stanley (Southsea) (19 letters), 1878, 1905-1920 (File 7)
Isabella Stanley (Dunedin) to J.L. Stanley, 28 June 1878 (Item)

Does not expect to return to England; legal suit; financial matters.

Isabella Stanley (Wellington) to Katherine Stanley, 1905 - 1906 (Item)

Family news; health; visit to Christchurch; growth of Wellington. (9 letters).

Wilhemina Jack (Wellington) to Katherine and Norman Stanley, 1911 - 1919 (Item)

Family news; health; Coronation of King George V. (4 letters).

Leslie Hunt (Waikuri) to Norman Stanley, 6 February 1919 (Item)

Ill-health; family news; liquor poll.

Keith Jack (Wellington) to Norman Stanley, February 1920 - July 1920 (Item)

Illness and death of Wilhemina Jack; relatives; New Zealand Squadron. (4 letters, 1 cable).

Subseries 12/4. Miscellanea, 17 April 1787 - 10 May 1787
2 items

Filmed selectively.

Newton Fowell (HMS Sirius) to father, 17 April 1787 (File 4)

Hopes to leave England soon; chance of preferment; inquiry about convict Widdicombe on Charlotte.

Newton Fowell (HMS Sirius) to father, 10 May 1787 (File 14/1)

Arrival of Capt A. Phillip; pay due to men; imminent departure (photocopy and transcript).

Fonds 1072A. Papers of Charles Vignoles, 26 February 1848 - 28 April 1850

7 items

Related Materials

The diaries of Charles Vignoles are held by the British Library, Manuscript Department, Add. Mss 34528 to 34536. The Portsmouth Records Office has a photostat copy of the diaries.

Add. Ms 34530: entries for 19-20 Oct 1842 refer to Shields and the Misses Plunkett being taken to Portsmouth and on board the St George.

Add. Ms 34531A entry for 8 June 1848 refers to receipt of letter from Miss Plunkett (dated January) in NSW.

Entry for 15 Aug 1850 refers to letter from Vignoles to Shields containing a short essay on railway management to help in the making and working of the Australian railway.

Add. Ms 34532. Entry for 2 May 1851 refers to Shields return to UK. Entry for 3 June refers to visit by Shields and comments on his action. Also mentions offering Shields a job and his later work on the North Kent railways.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Blacker Vignoles (1793-1875), who was born in Ireland of Huguenot descent, was educated at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and served briefly in the Army in 1814-17. He worked as a surveyor and from 1825 onwards and, based in Liverpool, he surveyed and constructed numerous railways in England, Ireland and Europe. He lived in the Ukraine from 1847 to 1853, working on the construction of the Kiev Bridge. He retired in 1867 and settled in Hampshire. Francis Webb Shields (1820-1906) was the Sydney City Surveyor (1843-49) and the civil engineer of the Sydney Railway Company (1849-50). He returned to England in 1851.

Francis W. Shields (Sydney) to Charles Vignoles, 26 February 1848 (File 1214)

Possible return to England; lack of prospects in Australia.

Francis W. Shields to Charles Vignoles, 6 May 1848 (File 1219)

Legislative council committee on introduction of railways; possible Sydney-Parramatta line; questions on construction.

Francis W. Shields to Charles Vignoles, 16 June 1848 (File)

Legislative council report on railways; railway 'mania' in Sydney; funding of construction.

C. Plunkett to Charles Vignoles, 31 January 1849 (File 1222)

Vignoles trip to Russia; appointment of Francis Shields engineer to the first Australian railroad; improvement in Australia' prospects; increase in emigration.

F.W. Shields to Vignoles, 15 January 1849 (File)

Offer of position as engineer in newly formed railway company; awaiting outcome; negotiations for government to guarantee public shares in case of economic failure.

Francis W. Shields to Vignoles, 4 February 1849 (File 1223)

Working for railway company; acceptance of position at railway company; plans of construction; requests for construction details; future orders for locomotives; future legislative council meeting to establish Railway Act.

Francis W. Shields to Vignoles, 28 April 1850 (File 1231)

Progress of railway; funding; extreme curves and gradients of Sydney-Goulburn line; types of locomotives; railway gauges; rail design; iron mines to be opened allowing local iron manufacturing; traffic on Sydney-Parramatta line.

Fonds 1319A. Papers of Edney Family, 18 September 1876 - 25 December 1901

9 items

Filmed selectively.

James Edney (Adelaide) to Edward Edney, 4 July 1878 (File 1/1)

Description of Adelaide; remembrance of landmarks of childhood and youth.

James Edney (Winchester) to Edward Edney, 18 September 1876 (File 1/2)

Farewell on leaving England.

James Edney (Waikato) to Edward Edney, 30 January 1882 (File 1/3)

Progress of fruit farm and sheep run; plans to marry.

Rev R. Parker (Wickham, Hants) to T.W. White (Auckland), 17 January 1881 (File 1/4)

Character of James Edney who proposes to marry White's niece.

James Edney to father: conditions on emigrant ship, n.d. (File 1/5)

Edward Edney to Lihou, [1893] (File 1/6)

Son sent to New Zealand in disgrace. (draft).

Edward Edney to Frank Edney, [1893] (File 1/7)

Exhorts him to lead better life; arrangements for family to join him.

Frank Edney to Edward Edney, 1 July 1893 (File 1/8)

Conditions in New Zealand; distances involved in obtaining stores and post; small earthquake.

Edward Edney to Frank Edney, 25 December 1901 (File 1/9)

Physical fitness; development of Wickham and Fareham districts.