Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
William Bentinck Logbooks, 1783-1800

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, August 2009

Summary Information
Title: William Bentinck logbooks
Creator: Bentinck, William, 1764-1813
Inclusive dates: 1783-1800
Extent: 2 volumes
This collection consists of two manuscript notebooks kept by William Bentinck, a British naval officer, that document three voyages exploring the harbors, rivers, and settlements around Nova Scotia.
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:

1960. M-1130.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

William Bentinck Logbooks, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


William Bentinck, born in 1764, was the son of captain John Albert Bentinck and Renira van Tuyll van Serooskerken. He married Lady Frances Augusta Eliza Pierrepont on October 20, 1802. Together they had five children. He died at age 48 on February 21, 1813.

Bentinck's naval promotions are detailed below:

  • Post captain, 1783
  • Rear Admiral Blue, 1805
  • Rear Admiral White, 1808
  • Vice Admiral Blue, 1810

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of two manuscript notebooks kept by British Naval Officer William Bentinck. These notebooks document three voyages. The first was H.M.S. Atalanta from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Charlotte Town, Prince Edward Island, July-August, 1784; the second voyage was H.M.S. Felicity from Halifax to Cape Breton Island in 1784, conveying Lieutenant Governor Des Barres and his suite; the third was H.M.S. Temeraire and is a partial log with sailing instructions for a number of North American and West Indian harbors, February-July 1800. These logs chart days, courses, distances (in miles?), latitudes and longitudes, bearings (noting destination) and distances in leagues, and are accompanied by remarks on the journey. The Atalanta's log describes harbors, rivers, and settlements at Knowles Harbor, Pope's Harbor, Liscomb Harbor, Chedabucto Bay, and Pictou Harbor. Bentinck made several sketches throughout the volumes, including a simple pencil sketch of "Bald Island,” Nova Scotia, and two maps of the area. The maps have been individually cataloged and include:

In addition to the journal content are seven correspondence entries of Sir James Hawkins Whitshed, 1799-1800. In the middle of the second volume are ten pages of copied transcriptions of contemporary literature, including several excepts from A Political Receipt Book, from An asylum for fugitive pieces, in prose and verse (Volume 2, 1785, edited by John Almon), and a copy of a poetic epitaph by Mr. Pulteney, Earl of Bath, among other entries. These entries are in a different hand from the Bentinck logs.

Subject Terms

    • Atalanta (Frigate)
    • British Americans--Nova Scotia--History--18th century.
    • Felicity (Ship : 1774)
    • Great Britain--Navy--Registers.
    • Navigation--Nova Scotia--History.
    • Nova Scotia--History--18th century.
    • Nova Scotia--History, Naval--18th century.
    • Pioneers--Nova Scotia--History--18th century.
    • Ships--Nova Scotia--History.
    • Ships, Wooden--Nova Scotia--Cape Breton Island--History.
    • Téméraire (Ship)
    • Des Barres, Joseph F. W. (Joseph Frederick Wallet), 1722-1824.
    Genre Terms:
    • Logbooks.
    • Sketch maps.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    William Bentinck logbooks [series]
    Volume   1  
    Volume   2  
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Related materials held at the Clements Library include: