Guide to the collections held by the West Devon Area Record Office (as filmed by the AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

West Devon Area Record Office
Collections held by the West Devon Area Record Office (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1800 - 1952
Collection Number
22 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

Papers 1800-26 of Mayor and Town Clerk of Plymouth concerning convicts and transportation.

Papers 1859-89 of Petherbridge Family relating to properties in Adelaide.

Papers 1923-36 concerning William Bligh, including research into his birthplace and education, and notes on genealogy.

Logbooks 1858-65 kept by Samuel W. Jordan on the Prince of Wales and the Walmer Castle on voyages to Melbourne.

Lecture 1952 by F.S. Blight on Capt. Tobias Furneaux.

Papers 1826-27 of Major Edmund Lockyer referring to his expedition to Swan River and King George's Sound.

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 West Devon Area Record Office, Plymouth, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1984 (AJCP Reels: 2054). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Since 1998 the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office has been operated by the Plymouth City Council.

Existence and Location of Originals

Plymouth and West Devon Record Office. Unit 3, Clare Place, Coxside, Plymouth PL4 0JW, England

For further information see Plymouth and West Devon Area Record Office catalogue (

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.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Adelaide, South Australia; Albany, WA; Army officers; Australia; Bligh, William, Capt.; Blight, F.S.; Convicts; Furneaux, Tobias, Capt.; Genealogy and genealogies; Great Britain; Jordan, Samuel W.; Lockyer, Edmund, Major; Petherbridge Family; Plymouth, England; Prince of Wales (ship); Melbourne, Victoria: visits to; Walmer Castle (ship)


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 489, p190.

Item Descriptions

Fonds P1. Unreformed Corporation of Plymouth, 1800 - 1826

1 item

Series 45. Administrative Papers, 1800 - 1826

1 item
Subseries 45/10. Convicts (W682), 1800 - 1826
1 item
Papers concerning convicts and transportation, 1800 - 1826 (File)

Correspondence of the Mayor and Town Clerk of Plymouth, mainly with the Home Office, concerning the transfer of convicts from Plymouth Gaol to the hulks of N.S.W. convict ships, petition seeking reduction of sentence, and the return of convicts from N.S.W.(29 documents).

Fonds Acc. 105. Papers of C.R. Fox of Plymouth, 1886

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Francis W.M. Fox. Colonization of the future London (8pp), 1886 (File 217)

Fonds Acc. 116. Photographs of woodcarvings of Rashleigh Pinwill, 1913

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Biographical / Historical

The wood-carving firm of Rashleigh, Pinwill & Company was set up in 1890 by Mary, Esther and Violet Pinwill, the daughters of Edmund Pinwill, the vicar of Ermington in Devon. It moved to Plymouth in 1900. It specialised on ecclesiastical commissions and their work can be found in nearly 200 churches in Devon and Cornwall.

Photograph of armorial bearings of H.M.S. New Zealand carved by Rashleigh Pinwill, 15 February 1913 (File 100)

Photograph of King George V, W.S. Churchill, New Zealand Ministers, Capt. L. Halsey and officers of H.M.S. New Zealand (2 copies)

Fonds Acc. 146.. Records deposited by Messrs. Broadbent and Huddart, solicitors, of Plymouth, 1859 - 1889

5 items

Subseries 146/16. Papers of Petherbridge Family, 1859 - 1889

5 items

Filmed selectively.

Sale plan of two acres in Waymouth and Currie Streets, Adelaide, property of William, John, Benjamin and Alfred Petherbridge (printed), 1859 (File 2)
Conveyance and mortgage of Town Acre 138, Adelaide, from Alfred Petherbridge to John W. Colton, Alfred C. Colton and William E. Longbottom (Copies), 14 October 1882 (File 7)
Correspondence and accounts of R. Ingleby and F. McAree relating to Petherbridge properties in Adelaide, 1866 - 1889 (File)

(Five documents)

Accounts of Alfred Petherbridge with H.E. and H.F. Downer, 1882 - 1883 (File)
Lease of Town Acre 138, Adelaide, from Alfred Petherbridge to J. Colton and W. Longbottom., 10 January 1889 (File)

Fonds Acc. 240. Miscellaneous Letters, 1836

1 item

Filmed selectively.

D. Harrison (London) to J. Ingle (Plymouth), drafting of deed of conveyance for property in Hobart rented by Lewis, 9 January 1836 (File 5)

Fonds Acc. 261. Papers of R.A.J. Walling, 1895

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Alfred John Walling (1869-1949) was a reporter on the Western Daily Mercury (Plymouth) and later the editor and managing director of the Western Newspaper Company. Wanderings in the interior of New Guinea (1875) was a fictitious account published under the name of Captain J.A. Lawson. The author may have been Lieutenant Robert Armit, a naval surveyor who promoted a scheme for the colonisation of New Guinea in 1875-76.

J.A. Lawson to [R.A.J. Walling], 5 December 1895 (File 2)

Remarks in Western Daily Mercury about Lawson's Wanderings in New Guinea allegations that work was hoax; criticisms of Capt. J. Moresby.

Fonds Acc. 323. Papers of C.W. Bracken, 1923 - 1936

3 items

Biographical / Historical

Charles William Bracken (1868-1950) was the headmaster of Plymouth Corporation Grammar School from 1908 to 1929. He was the author of History of Plymouth and her neighbours (1931) and other works on local history and natural history. Captain William Bligh (1754-1817), the commander of HMS Bounty, was born in Plymouth.

Series 28. Papers on William Bligh, 1923 - 1936

3 items
Letters to C.W. Bracken, Headmaster of Plymouth Corporation Grammar School, 1923 - 1936 (File)

From G. Mackaness (Sydney), J. Warren (London), Alice Oakes (Plymouth), T. Hony (Fowey), and O. Ruber (London), research into birthplace and education of W. Bligh. (9 letters).

Newspaper cuttings concerning W. Bligh, his birthplace and Plymouth connections, and his Governorship of N.S.W., 1924 - 1936 (File)
Notes on W. Bligh and genealogy of Bligh Family (File)
Notes on Sir George Grey and his departure from Plymouth on H.M.S. Beagle in 1837 (File)

Fonds Acc. 365. Records deposited by W. Ivor Thompson, solicitor, of Plymouth, 1872

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Power of attorney from Robert G. Little and Henry L.R. Little of New Zealand to Arthur J.G. Little of Brixton concerning estate of Daniel Little, 22 November 1872 (File 1/26)

Fonds Acc. 528.. Logbooks of Samuel W. Jordan, 1858 - 1865

2 items

Biographical / Historical

The Prince of Wales was an armed merchantman, built in 1842 for the Blackwall Line. In 1860 it reached Melbourne in 77 days. It was sold in 1864. The Walmer Castle was a wood clipper, built in 1855 for the Blackwall Line. It was mostly employed on the London to India trade, but sailed to Australia on a few occasions. Samuel W. Jordan was a midshipman on the Prince of Wales (1858-61), fifth officer on the Walmer Castle (1861-62), and fifth officer on the Prince of Wales (1863-65).

S.W. Jordan. Abstract logs of Prince of Wales and Walmer Castle (1 volume), 1858 - 1865 (File 1)

6 items

Includes lists of crews and passengers.

Prince of Wales, Capt. J. Watson, London - Melbourne - London, 20 December 1858 - 2 August 1859 (Item)
Prince of Wales, Capt. J. Watson, London - Melbourne - London, 10 November 1859 - 3 July 1860 (Item)
Prince of Wales, Capt. J. Watson, London - Melbourne - London, 6 October 1860 - 13 June 1861 (Item)
Walmer Castle, Capt. C. Ormsby, London - Calcutta - London, 1 October 1861 - 18 July 1862 (Item)
Prince of Wales, Capt. R. Deacon, London - Melbourne - London, 5 May 1863 - 19 January 1864 (Item)
Prince of Wales, Capt. R. Deacon, London - Melbourne - London, 5 May 1864 - 31 January 1965 (Item)

S.W. Jordan. Logs kept on voyages of Prince of Wales and Walmer Castle (1 volume), 1859 - 1862 (File 2)

3 items
Prince of Wales, Capt. J. Watson, London - Melbourne - London, 10 November 1859 - 3 June 1860 (Item)
Prince of Wales, Capt. J. Watson, Melbourne - Portsmouth, 20 May 1861 - 10 June 1861 (Item)
Walmer Castle, Capt. C. Ormsby, London - Calcutta, 1 October 1861 - 20 January 1862 (Item)

Includes "Abstracts from the Logs of the Prince of Wales and East Indiaman Walmer Castle" (4p.)

Fonds Acc. 850.. Records of Stoke Public Higher School, Devonport, 1952

1 item

Filmed selectively.

F.S. Blight. Lecture on Capt. Tobias Furneaux, R.N., Commander of H.M.S. Adventure from 1772-1775, 1952 (File 26)

Given to Plymouth Institution and Devon and Cornwall Natural History Society, 6 March 1952. (typescript, 37pp)

Biographical / Historical

Tobias Furneaux (1735-1781) was born at Swilly, near Plymouth, and enlisted in the Royal Navy in 1755. He was second lieutenant on HMS Dolphin>, which sailed to the Pacific in 1766-68, and commanded HMS Adventure on James Cook's second expedition to the Pacific in 1772-75.

Fonds Acc. 981.. Papers of Major Edmund Lockyer, 1784 - 1860

5 items

Photocopies of typescripts.

Biographical / Historical

Edmund Lockyer (1784-1860) was born in Plymouth and enlisted in the 19th Regiment in 1803. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1819 and was transferred to the 57th Regiment in 1824. He arrived in Sydney in 1825 with a detachment and was immediately sent to Moreton Bay to explore the Brisbane River. In 1826 he led a party of soldiers and convicts to Western Australia to establish a settlement at King George Sound (Albany). He resigned his commission in 1827 and became a landowner in New South Wales.

Journal of expedition to King George's Sound, 8 November 1826 - 30 March 1827 (File 1)

Remarks on Swan River (2pp) (File 2)

E. Lockyer (King George's Sound) to A. Macleay (Sydney), 2 April 1827 (File 3)

Report on establishment; provisions; capture of sealers who murdered Indigenous Australians.

Fair copy of journal, 22 January 1827 - 29 March 1827 (File 4)

Report on advantages of settlement at King George's Sound, 2 April 1827 (File 5)

Including topography, harbour, fauna, Indigenous Australians, strategic value, sealing. (5pp)