Guide to the Papers of Cicely Fox Smith (as filmed by the AJCP)


M3048 - M3050

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Smith, Cicely Fox
Papers of Cicely Fox Smith (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
28 August 1791 - 4 October 1936
Collection Number
M3048 - M3050
31 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

Logs and remark books kept on the Blackwall 1851-1852 and Prince of Wales by H.R. James, Rodney 1887-1890 and Hesperus 1890-1895 by F.W. Corner, and City of Adelaide 1891-1901 by various members of the crew.

Autobiography of G. Sorrell containing details of voyages 1860-1880 including journeys on the River Murray.

Autobiography of Capt. T. Young describing voyages to Australia on the City of Agra 1865-1893.

Correspondence 1925-1936.

Notes and cutting concerning the loss of HMS Pandora 1791 and the wreck of HMS Porpoise 1803.

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 National Maritime Museum Section 4: Personal collections, London, as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1993 (AJCP Reels: M3048-3050). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

National Maritime Museum, Park Row, London.

Collection reference: NMM Section 4 FXM. For further information see Cicely Fox Smith at the National Maritime Museum (

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.


Blackwall; City of Adelaide; City of Agra; Comer, F.W.; Hesperus; James, H.R.; Murray River, Australia; Pandora, HMS; Porpoise, HMS; Prince of Wales; Rodney (ship); Shipwrecks; Smith, Cicely F.; Sorrell, G.; Writers; Young, T., Capt.


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition , published 1998. Entry 418, p163.

Biographical / Historical

Cicely Fox Smith (1882-1954), the daughter of a barrister, was born in Lymm, Cheshire. She was educated at Manchester High School for Girls and published her first book of poems when she was 17. In 1911-13 she travelled with her sister in Canada and lived for some time at Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Talking to seamen and others on the wharves and seafront at Victoria increased her interest in ships and the sea. On her return to England she moved with her family to Hampshire. In later years she lived at Bow in Devon.

Smith was a prolific poet whose work appeared over a period of 40 years in a wide range of journals, magazines and newspapers. Many of the poems are nautical in content. The complete poems of Cicely Smith, edited by Charles Ipcar and James Saville, was published in 2012, with a new edition in 2015.

Smith also wrote novels, short stories, articles and non-fiction works. Her nautical books included Songs in sail and other chanties (1914), Ships and folks (1920), Sailor Town days (1923), A book of famous ships (1924), Full sail (1926), Tales of the clipper ships (1926), A book of shanties (1927), There was a ship: chapters from the history of sail (1929), Ocean racers (1931), Adventures and perils of the sea (1936), Thames side yesterdays (1945) and Ship models (1951).

Item Descriptions

Series 1A. Logs on Blackwall, London to Sydney and return and Prince of Wales, London to Calcutta, kept by H.R. James, 1851 - 1852

1 item

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3048.

Log of Blackwall (123p.), 23 August 1851 - 17 June 1852 (File)

Details of: course, winds, remarks - sails set, weather; duties; sighting other ships; arrival Port Jackson; voyage back to England.

Includes: details of ship; ship's crew; lists of passengers; Neptune's song.

Series 2. Remark Book on Rodney, and Hesperus, London/Sydney kept by Captain F.W. Corner, 14 October 1887 - 29 June 1893

Rodney, 14 October 1887 - 17 January 1890; Hesperus, 8 October 1890 - 29 June 1893.

Details of: course, wind, weather, remarks - setting sails, duties; weather; gales; sighting other ships; race with Cutty Sark; hurricane in Indian Ocean, 26 March 1893.


Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3048.

Series 3A. Remark book on Hesperus, London/Melbourne kept by F.W. Corner, 8 October 1893 - 20 April 1895

Details of: course; wind; weather; remarks - weather; crew duties; sighting other ships; setting sails.


Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3048.

Series 3B. Remark book on Hesperus, and Rodney, London/Melbourne kept by F.W. Corner, 21 April 1895 - 1 July 1896

Hesperus, 21 April - 15 June 1895; Rodney 31 October 1895 - [1 July] 1896.

Details of: course; wind;weather; remarks - voyage to London Hesperus, weather; discharging cargo at St Helena; voyage to Melbourne and return on Rodney - weather; gales; loosing sails; speaking to other ships; rounding Cape Horn.


Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3048.

Series 4. Logs of City of Adelaide kept by various members of crew, 1891 - 1901

5 items


Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3049.

Log of City of Adelaide, 18 July 1891 - 25 June 1892 (File [A])

Details of: course; wind; weather; remarks - setting sails; weather; crews' duties; pumping; unloading cargo; taking on ballast; loading timber Port Townsend; loading dynamite and powder in Sydney for Noumea; loading cement and ballast.

Places visited include: Newcastle, NSW; San Francisco; Port Townsend; Port Blakeley; Sydney; Noumea.

Log of City of Adelaide, 31 August 1892 - 15 September 1893 (File [B])

Details of: course; wind; weather; remarks - voyage Sydney to Valparaiso; crews' duties; loading and discharging cargoes; voyage New York to Adelaide.

Places visited include: Valparaiso; Pisaqua; New York.

Log of City of Adelaide, 16 July 1894 - 9 January 1895 (File [C])

Details of: course; wind; weather; remarks - duties; weather; pumping; crew leaving and joining ship; voyage New York to Dunedin.

Places visited include: Philadelphia; New York.


Log of City of Adelaide, 15 February 1897 - 3 October 1897 (File [D])

Details of: course; wind; weather; remarks - crews' duties; loading and discharging cargo; voyage to Fremantle.

Places visited include: Lyttelton; Sydney; San Diego; San Francisco; Samoa.

Log of City of Adelaide, 11 January 1901 - 29 August 1901 (File [E])

Details of: course; wind; weather; remarks - weather; crews' duties; sails set; discharging coal at Honolulu; loading timber at Eureka; voyage to Sydney.

Places visited include: Newcastle; Honolulu; Eureka, Cal.

Series 5. Log of unnamed ship (possibly City of Adelaide), 1895 - 1896

1 item

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3049.

Ship's Log, 7 December 1895 - 4 December 1896 (File)

Details of: course; winds; remarks - weather; sails set; crews' duties; voyage Honolulu to Pudget Sound/Sydney; names of crew joining ship; loading coal.

Places visited include: Port Blakely; Sydney; Navuao, Fiji; Pudget Sound; Melbourne.


Series 6A and B.. Autobiography of G. Sorrell: Twenty years wandering (301p.), 1860 - 1880

Details of voyages in several ships over twenty years.

Lady Daly on Murray River in 1864

Ben Lomond to Sydney

Celestial Queen to New Zealand

Harriet Armitage to Sydney

Darling Downs Sydney to England

Himalaya to New Zealand

Volunteer of Lyttelton

Juno to Melbourne

Waradgery up the Murray River

Cuzco to Adelaide and Sydney in 1880

Kapunda to London

Includes details of visits on shore and life on board ship

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3050.

Series 7. Autobiography by Captain Young, c.1865 - 1893

Filmed selectively: pp. 50-111

Descriptions of several voyages to Australia on City of Agra carrying cargo and passengers

Details of: ships; crews; gales; friends made in Melbourne; voyage taking Reverend Hilliard and family to Melbourne; taking horses from Melbourne to Madras; distressed migrants at Lyttelton; the harbour at Lyttelton; strike at Newcastle in 1874; loading wool at Circular Quay, Sydney; heard Ilona de Murska sing at Melbourne 'all Melbourne went mad over her'; partitioning ship to carry migrants; mess arrangements; removing firearms from boxes of fenians; carrying Queensland migrants for Anderson Anderson and Co; taking coal from Newcastle to Melbourne; loading wool at Geelong; chartered by New Zealand Shipping Company to carry cargo and passengers to Auckland (c.1879); effects of eruption of Krakatoa, 1883; last voyage from Melbourne in City of Agra in 1889; voyage on Barunga to Port Pirie and Kooringa to Brisbane with large water pipes, 1890; Pitcairn Island; apathy of the natives 'seem contented and satisfied with their own lot'; voyages to Adelaide; coal from Newcastle to Honolulu; timber from Port Townsend to Callao.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3050.

Series 8. Correspondence, 1924 - 1936

15 items

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3050.

George Irvine (Christchurch) re his interest in the sea. (3p.), 6 July 1925 (File)

George Irvine (Christchurch) enclosing photograph of ship's model, 25 April 1926 (File)

A.J. Brown (London) re memories of Marlborough and other ships leaving Lyttelton, 28 December 1929 (File)

G.F. Payne (Fremantle) re memories of Captain Young and other captains. (3p.), 25 August 1930 (File)

L. Emiers (?) (Ottawa) with memories of Australian voyages. (8p.), February 1924 (File)

W. Wade (Sydney) with memories of Australian voyages. (7p.), 29 October 1924 (File)

Henry Christie (Wellington) with memories of ships loading wool in New Zealand. (9p.), 4 April 1925 (File)

Richard C.Harbord (Bluff) with memories of Murihikio. (4p.), 12 December 1925 (File)

Leslie Hudson (Kirribilli) re Australian shipping. (7p.), 2 December 1926 (File)

T. Young (London) sending photograph of painting of City of Agra, 5 February 1927 (File)

Captain W.R. Barnes (Cowes) re memories of voyages to Australia in Blackwall and other ships. (7p.), 2 February 1928 (File)

H.T. Gibson (Auckland) re Miltades. (2p.), 17 December 1928 (File)

John Gibson (Sydney) with memories of sea captains in Melbourne. (3p.), n.d. (File)

J. Tomory (Glasgow) with details of Armadale and her Australian voyages. (3p.), 22 April 1931 (File)

Mrs C.B. Maxwell (Sydney) re her research on Thomas Beckford Simpson. (2p.), 4 October 1936 (File)

Series 9c. Notes and Newspaper cuttings, 1791 - c.1866

4 items

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M3050.

Reminiscences of octogenarian blackwaller The Hogue by T.B. Foreman. 24p, n.d. (File [A])

Details of voyage in The Hogue to Australia, Captain John Williams in 1866; other members of the crew; man overboard; crossing the line; arrival at Sydney 'in my simplicity I had naively imagined a primitive township…it was London over again on a small scale'; numbers of Chinese; rowing matches on Parramatta River; loading wool for England; carrying exotic birds for London market; voyage home.

Loss of the Pandora frigate, (3p.), 28 August 1791 (File [B])

Wreck of HMS Porpoise on a reef in the Pacific Ocean, (18p.), 17 August 1803 (File [C])

Account of loss of Betsey, bound for New South Wales, (5p.), 24 November 1805 (File [D])