Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
HMS Glasgow Log Book, 1815

Finding aid created by
Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, April 2012

Summary Information
Title: HMS Glasgow log book
Creator: Williamson, James
Inclusive dates: 1815
Extent: 1 volume
This log book covers the journey of the English 50-gun frigate HMS Glasgow under the command of Captain Henry Duncan between February 1, 1815, and August 28, 1815. The log records daily information on weather, longitude and latitude, distance, and incidents onboard.

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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2761.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

HMS Glasgow log book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The 50-gun English frigate HMS Glasgow was launched in 1814. Captain Henry Duncan (1786-1835) took command of the ship later that year, following his return from service in the Mediterranean Sea onboard the Imperieuse . The Glasgow cruised between the Isles of Scilly, Great Britain, and the Iberian Peninsula until early 1815. Following Napoleon Bonaparte's return to Europe from the island of Elba, the Glasgow joined the fleet of Admiral George Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith. Captain Duncan led a squadron assigned to the Bay of Biscay, where the Glasgow remained until Napoleon's surrender. The ship had returned to Plymouth, England, by late August.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume, entitled "Log of The Proceedings of H.M.S. Glasgow" (73 pages) chronicles the ship's travels around the Bay of Biscay between February 1 and August 28, 1815. Midshipman James Williamson recorded daily information about the weather, the ship's course, and incidents onboard. The first 3 pages contain a chart of the ship's course, position, and bearings, maintained daily between February 1 and August 5, 1815; the dates April 1-May 24 are not included. Each day of the week is represented by an astrological symbol in a repeating pattern used throughout the entire volume. The longer log entries commence on February 1, 1815, and cover the ship's course, winds, and remarks about events on the ship, such as the arrival and departure of visitors, discipline of sailors, maintenance work, ships encountered, change of course, weather, and other daily occurrences. The Glasgow moored in Plymouth Sound and "Hamoau" between April 1 and May 25, at Plymouth between June 5 and June 9, and at Sheerness and Chatham, England, between August 8 and August 28. A color-coded map showing the progress of the Glasgow between southwest England and the Bay of Biscay is pasted into the volume between the pages covering May 6 through May 24.

Subject Terms

    • Biscay, Bay of (France and Spain)
    • Glasgow (Frigate)
    • Great Britain. Royal Navy--Sea life.
    • Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815--Naval operations, British.
    • Plymouth (England)
    • Sailing ships.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Atlantic Ocean--Maps.
    • Biscay, Bay of (France and Spain)--Maps.
    Genre Terms:
    • Ships' logs.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    HMS Glasgow log book,  1815 [series]:
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Marshall, John. Royal Naval Biography: Or, Memoris of the Services of All the Flag-Officers, Superannuated Rear-Admirals, Retired-Captains, Post-Captains, and Commanders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.