Skip to main content

Cambridge University Libraries are providing a blend of online and controlled in-person services. Please see our website for more details.

William M. Dawes' correspondence during the establishment of an observatory at Port Jackson, New South Wales, 1786 - 1792

 Item
Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 14/48: 238-308

Scope and Contents

Twenty six letters sent by William Dawes to Nevil Maskelyne, covering his initial preparations for departure, his passage via Rio de Janeiro, the establishment of the observatory at Port Jackson, his work there, and his eventual return on HMS Gorgon six years later.
The letters include detailed accounts of setting up the observatory in Sydney where he hoped to observe a comet, and of the difficulties encountered there (particularly shortages of supplies and Dawes' own disagreements with the Governor, Arthur Phillip).
The series also includes five letters from William's father, Benjamin Dawes, petitioning the case for his eventual return, including a letter in which he describes the rations at the settlement, where food supplies were running short after the loss of HMS Sirius [RGO 14/48: 305-306].

Dates

  • 1786 - 1792

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Extent

72 folio(s) (72 ff.) : Paper

Language of Materials

English

Originator(s)

Dawes, William M.

Original geographic information

Australia [subject]

Original geographic information

Sydney [subject]

Finding aid date

2011-12-17 13:17:37+00:00

Creator

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Contact:
Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom


The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.