Skip to main content

George Maclaren, Naval surgeon: Journals

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9528

Scope and Contents

George Maclaren (fl.1810-37) served as a naval surgeon with the Royal Navy during the 1830s. He wrote two journals which provide detailed descriptions of the places that he visited, with some comments on his medical work as an assistant surgeon and a regular record of temperatures. The first journal covers the period Dec. 1831 - Jun. 1835, during which time he served on board 'HMS Magicienne' in the East Indies [Malay Archipelago]. Upon his return to Portsmouth in Mar. 1835 he qualified as a full surgeon and travelled to Belfast and then Edinburgh to visit his family. The first journal ends with his orders to join the West Indies squadron. The second journal covers the period Jul. 1835 - Sept. 1837, when Maclaren served on the brig-sloop 'HMS Serpent' in the West Indies and North American stations — though his ship was engaged principally in the suppression of the slave trade in the waters around Cuba. Note the contents of the journals include description of enslavement and enslaved peoples, including racist and outdated language.


  • Creation: 1831-1837


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 (


2 volume(s)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Full description available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased at auction Stride & Son, 6 October 1998, lots 298-99.

Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 22 June 2022: This catalogue was revised by Sally Kent to address offensive, inappropriate and inaccurate language used in the original catalogue description. The collection level description was revised. to provide more contextual information and direct quotations from the journal text were removed. A previous version of the catalogue is available on request.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom