William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
G.A. Rooke Log Book, 1891-1893

Finding aid created by
Cheney J. Schopieray, 2005

Summary Information
Title: G.A. Rooke log book
Creator: Rooke, G. A.
Inclusive dates: 1891-1893
Extent: 266 pages
Log book kept by G.A. Rooke of the Royal Navy while aboard four different ships: the HMS Camperdown , the HMS Rodney , the HMS Australia , and the HMS Champion . Various manuscript maps, watercolors, and sketches of scenery and ships illustrate the log.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1988. M-2421.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

G. A. Rooke Log Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


G. A. Rooke, a member of the Royal Navy, kept ships' logs for four different ships between the years 1891 and 1893. These ships were stationed almost exclusively around Northwestern Europe and in the Western Mediterranean. The four ships were the HMS Camperdown , the HMS Rodney , the HMS Australia , and the HMS Champion.

The HMS Camperdown was a battleship built in 1885 and commissioned in July 1889. During the time Rooke kept this log (in 1891), HMS Camperdown was a flagship in the Channel Squadron. In 1893 it was involved in a collision with HMS Victoria . It was sold and scrapped in 1911.

The HMS Rodney was an Admiral class barbette ship, launched in 1884. It was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1888. In 1906 it was placed in the Chatham Special Reserve until it was scrapped in 1909.

The HMS Howe was an Admiral class battleship, sister ship of the HMS Rodney . It was launched in 1885. In 1893 the HMS Howe was grounded in Ferrol Bay off the coast of Spain. Rooke details this event in his log. The HMS Howe was repaired and was part of the Mediterranean Fleet until 1910.

The HMS Australia was a Royal Navy Coastguard ship built in Glasgow. It was made a first-class cruiser in 1888 and sold in 1905.

The HMS Champion , a ship of the Royal Navy, was located off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, in September 1893.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This log, spine marked "S. 625 Log Book for use of Junior Officers Afloat," is a 266-page manuscript volume written by G.A. Rooke. Rooke maintained the log from August 1, 1891 to September 30, 1893 while aboard four different ships: the Battleship HMS Camperdown ; the Admiral class barbette ship HMS Rodney ; the Royal Naval Coastguard ship HMS Australia ; and the HMS Champion . The log itself consists of entries made three times daily and includes information regarding wind, weather, barometric pressure, temperature, and additional remarks. A typical entry reads "Mustered by Divisions. Read Prayers. Training class at gun drill. Exercised maneuvers. Ordinary Seamen at Seamanship…" (pg. 108). Within the volume are 58 illustrations and 2 photographs. The illustrations include 15 original watercolor paintings of Flagships ( Philadelphia , Charleston , Baltimore , and Newark , among others), seven watercolors of mechanical equipment and machinery, 29 maps of ship routes, one pencil sketch, five ink drawings of ships and scenery, and one ink drawing of a person. The maps are almost exclusively of shipping routes around Northwestern Europe, with the exception of three: one from Gibraltar to Bermuda; one map of Bermuda; and the third from Bermuda to the Chesapeake Bay. The text written on the maps matches the handwriting of Rooke, though none of the illustrations are signed. Most of them are initialed by both a Captain and a Naval Inspector. One of the photographs is of the HMS Rodney , and the other is of the half-sunken HMS Howe . Included in the log is a four page description of the stranding of HMS Howe and the methods used to lighten its load and remove it from the rocks (pgs. 160-163).

Subject Terms

    • Australia (Ship)
    • Camperdown (Ship)
    • Champion (Ship)
    • Great Britain. Royal Navy.
    • Naval drafting.
    • Naval tactics.
    • Refloating of ships.
    • Rodney (Ship)
    • Seamanship.
    • Ship handling.
    Genre Terms:
    • Manuscript maps.
    • Watercolors (paintings)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    G. A. Rooke log book,  1891 August 1-1893 September 30 [series]
    Page   1-20  
    HMS Camperdown ,  1891 August 1-1891 October 31
    Page   31-198  
    HMS Rodney ,  1891 November 4-1893 March 11
    Page   198-229  
    HMS Australia ,  1893 March 12-1893 June 4
    Page   229-256  
    HMS Rodney ,  1893 June 5-1893 August 31
    Page   259-266  
    HMS Champion ,  1893 September 1-1893 September 30
    Additional Descriptive Data

    List of illustrations and page numbers:

    • Inside Cover. Pen sketch of person wearing a pointed hat and a long cloak.
    • Front Free End Paper. Watercolor of H.M.S. Rodney.
    • Pg. 10. Watercolor- Mechanical diagram of “"Elevating gear of Leary Gun"
    • Pg. 20. Map- "Track Chart of H.M.S. Rodney…" Great Britain, France and Spain.
    • Pg. 29. 3 View Mechanical Diagram.
    • Pg. 30. Map- "Courses of H.M.S. Camperdown" Southern England.
    • Pg. 39. Sectional View of "Side Armour"
    • Pg. 40. 3 View Mechanical Diagram.
    • Pg. 49. Map- "Courses of H.M.S. Rodney…" Coast of Spain.
    • Pg. 50. Map- "Plan of Arosa Bay…" Coast of Spain.
    • Pg. 59. Mechanical Diagram of a Nordenfelt Gun.
    • Pg. 60. Map- [Untitled] Straits of Gibraltar.
    • Pg. 69. Black and White Photograph of H.M.S. Rodney.
    • Pg. 70. Map- [Untitled] Mediterranean islands Iviza, Majorca and Minorca. Includes small ink sketch of a ship.
    • Pg. 79. Map- [Untitled] Vigo Bay (Northwestern Spain).
    • Pg. 80. Mechanical Diagram.
    • Pg. 90. Map- "Courses of H.M.S. Rodney…" England, France and Spain.
    • Pg. 109. Map- [Untitled] Ireland; Bere Island.
    • Pg. 110. Map- [Untitled] Great Britain and Northern France. Shows a ship route.
    • Pg. 119. Map- [Untitled] Southern England; Isle of Wight.
    • Pg. 120. Map- [Untitled] England; Dorsetshire and Portland.
    • Pg. 121. Pencil sketch of "Killary Bay August [18]92" 13 ships in Killary Bay.
    • Pg. 123. Ink drawing of an island with a castle on top.
    • Pg. 129. Map- [Untitled] Southern England; English Channel.
    • Pg. 130. Map- [Untitled] Great Britain and Northern France. Shows a ship route.Pg. 139. [Diagram] Cross section of ship showing location of Stores, Water Ballast, Boiler Room, etc.
    • Pg. 140. Map- [Untitled] Southern England. Shows a ship route.
    • Pg. 149. Map- [Untitled] Great Britain, France and Spain. Shows a ship route.
    • Pg. 150. Watercolor of a ship.
    • Pg. 159. Watercolor of a ship.
    • Pg. 160. Watercolor of a half-sunken ship H.M.S. Howe. Small photograph of half-sunken ship H.M.S. Howe. Pg. 160-163 is a description of the sinking and subsequent lightening of the H.M.S. Howe.
    • Pg. 173. Map- "Track Chart of H.M.S. Rodney…" Spain; Coruna Bay.
    • Pg. 174. Map- [Untitled] Spain; Ferrol Harbour.
    • Pg. 192. Watercolor of Ship H.M.S. Melampus. 24 March 1893.
    • Pg. 193. Map- [Untitled] Northwestern Africa, Spain, France and Southern England. Shows a ship route.
    • Pg. 194. Map- [Untitled] Spain; Gibraltar Bay. Includes small ink sketch of "Gibraltar from SW." 17 March 1893.
    • Pg. 200. Map- [Untitled] Southern Spain, Northwestern Africa. Shows ship route. 24 March 1893.
    • Pg. 203. Map- "Track Chart of H.M.S. Australia from Gibraltar to Bermuda." 4 April 1893.
    • Pg. 204. Watercolor of ship.
    • Pg. 208. Map- [Untitled] Bermuda. 14 April 1893.
    • Pg. 210. Watercolor of ship "U.S.S. San Francisco" 21 April 1893.
    • Pg. 211. Map- [Untitled] Ship route, Bermuda to Chesapeake Bay. 12 May 1893.
    • Pg. 213-214. 4 Watercolors of ships "U.S. Flagship Philadelphia," "U.S. Flagship Newark," "U.S.S. Baltimore," and "U.S.S. Charleston." 19 May 1893.
    • Pg. 215. Map- Dock in New York City showing placement of ships.
    • Pg. 217. Ink drawing titled "The Big Britisher" H.M.S. Blake, 26 May 1893.
    • Pg. 221. Ink drawing titled "Round the fleet 50 cents" Steamship Louise.
    • Pg. 223. Map- [Untitled] New York; Brooklyn, Bay Bridge. Showing placement of visiting ships.
    • Pg. 228. "Result of Herald Races, New York May 6, 1893" with colored drawings of flags.
    • Pg. 229. Ink drawing titled "Caravel 'Santa Maria' sailing down the lines"
    • Pg. 237. Map- [Untitled] Southern England.
    • Pg. 238. Watercolor of ship.
    • Pg. 241. Watercolor of ship.
    • Pg. 243. 2 Black and white watercolors of ships.
    • Pg. 247. Map- [Untitled] Irish Sea. Shows a ship route.
    • Pg. 248. Map- "Battle of Isle of Man 29th July 1893" map of positions, and list of ships engaged.

    Cranston Fine Arts. http://www.battleships-cruisers.co.uk/ (accessed 2005)