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'William Fitzwilliam Owen: hydrographer of the African coast': PhD thesis

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 47

Scope and Contents

A Ph.D. thesis for the University of Syracuse, 1972 (348 pages), with related correspondence between R.T. Brown, D.H. Simpson, R.C.S. Librarian, and Dr Peter K. Mitchell of the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham, 1978-1979 (1 envelope).


  • Creation: 1972 - 1979


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 Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Robert Thomas Brown was born on 3 April 1943 in Gouverneur, New York. He attended the Rural Free School, Elmdale, and Dean High School, Gourverneur, before joining the State University of New York, Geneseo (B.S., 1965). Brown carried out graduate work at Syracuse University, and became a member of the History Department at the State College of Westfield, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. William Fitzwilliam Owen (1774-1857), Vice-Admiral, entered the navy in 1788, and served on ships on stations at home and in the West Indies. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1797, and was given command of the Seaflower brig in 1803, in which he travelled to the West Indies. Owen explored the Maldive Islands during 1806, and that year discovered the Seaflower Channel off the coast of Sumatra. He fought against the Dutch in the East Indies, and was captured and held by the French from 1808 to 1810. After his release Owen enjoyed successive promotions before returning to England in 1813. He surveyed the Canadian lakes, 1815-1816, and the west and east African coasts, 1821-1826, and in 1827 he settled a colony at Fernando Po. Owen was made Vice-Admiral in 1854. He died on 3 November 1857 at St John's, N.B.


.013 cubic metre(s) (1 volume and 1 envelope) : paper

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference

Case A72

Other Finding Aids

MSS Addenda, vol. I.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Robert Thomas Brown, 1979.


This collection level description was created by RAS using information from the original typescript catalogue. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on William Fitzwilliam Owen in Sidney Lee, ed., 'Dictionary of national biography', vol. XIV (London, 1909), p. 1352.


Brown, Robert Thomas, b 1943, historian

Includes index.
2003-09-08 14:28:51+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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