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William Almack: Journal

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9529

Scope and Contents

A bound journal of 164 pages, plus a further 17 pages of miscellaneous items at the end. The journal describes Almack's voyage out to China on the barque Anna Robinson, and thereafter provides a clear and detailed record of the events leading up to the first Anglo-Chinese or Opium War (1840-1842). The account also covers the principal events and military engagements at the outset of the war, leading up to the convention which ceded Hong Kong to the British crown in 1841. There are numerous references to, and judgements about, the role played by the British Superintendent, Sir Charles Elliot (1801-1875). At the back of the volume are a number of handwritten transcripts. There are two accompanying documents: a set of commercial introductions written on Almack's behalf on going to Canton in 1837, and a written oath by Robert Wylie Wilson, Captain of the Euphrates, dated 4 March 1844, attesting to Almack's death during the voyage home.


  • Creation: July 1837-July 1841


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 (


1 collection

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

There is a detailed description of the collection in the Additional Manuscripts Catalogue, available in the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased at auction, Stride & Son, 6 October 1998.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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