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Charles William Paterson Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 76748-76787  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Charles William Paterson Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1777-approximately 1858
    Bulk dates: 1793-1798
    Collection Number: mssHM 76748-76787
    Creator: Paterson, Charles William, 1756-1841.
    Extent: 43 pieces. 1 box.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This small collection contains papers of British Naval officer Charles William Paterson (1756-1841), who became Admiral of the White in 1837. The twin cores of this collection are six letters from Paterson in 1793-1794 to family during his naval service chiefly in the Mediterranean, and the Navy Board's various administrative letters to Paterson in 1798.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Charles William Paterson Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Purchased from Richard Ford Manuscripts Ltd., London, September 2011.

    Biographical Note

    Charles William Paterson (1756-1841), British naval officer and ultimately Admiral of the White, began his career in North American waters serving under Admiral Lord Howe during the Revolutionary War. He was appointed to the store-ship Gorgon in 1793 and served under Lord Hood at Toulon Bay, was promoted post captain in January 1794, commanded the Ariadne and the Melpomene in the Mediterranean, and returned to England in 1795. In 1798 he was appointed to the Admiral de Vries and supervised its repair and refitting at the Chatham naval dockyard. From 1800 to 1802 Paterson commanded the Montagu and then the San Fiorenzo in the English Channel, and later in the war served at Portchester Castle and Spithead. He was promoted Vice Admiral in 1819, and Admiral of the White in 1837.
    Paterson married Jane Ellen Yeats in March 1801; they had at least one son, George Yeats Paterson, also an officer in the Royal Navy. Charles William Paterson died, probably at his home near Portsmouth, in March 1841.

    Scope and Content

    The twin cores of this small collection consist of (1) six letters from Captain Paterson to his uncle Charles William Tonyn (d. 1805, rector of Radnage in Buckinghamshire) and to his grandmother, written chiefly from the Mediterranean in 1793-1794, mentioning in passing the French Royalist uprising at Toulon in November 1793, Sir william Sidney Smith's attack on the French naval fleet and arsenal in the Inner Harbor at Toulon, and Paterson's own concerns for his family, patronage, and promotion, and (2) the Navy Board's various letters to Paterson concerning the personnel, supplies, and refitting of the ship Admiral de Vries at Chatham Yard in 1798. Other than a brief testimonial and a list of his promotions, there is virtually nothing about Paterson's earlier service in North America or his activities during the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library


    The collection is arranged in chronological order.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Buckingham, George Nugent Temple Grenville, Marquess of, 1753-1813.
    Paterson, Charles William, 1756-1841.
    Smith, W. Sidney (William Sidney), Sir, 1764-1840.
    Stockdale, John 1749?-1814.
    Admiral de Vries (Ship)
    Chatham dockyard (Great Britain)
    Gorgon (Ship)
    Great Britain. Board of Ordnance.
    Great Britain. Commissioners for Sick and Wounded Seamen.
    Great Britain. Navy Board.
    Great Britain. Royal Navy -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
    Great Britain. Victualling Office.
    Navy- yards and naval stations -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century.
    France -- History -- 1789-1815 -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Toulon (France)


    Business letters -- Great Britain -- 18th century.
    Cartes-de-visite (card photographs) -- Great Britain.
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 18th century.
    Visiting cards -- Great Britain -- 19th century.

    Additional Contributors

    Collier, George, Sir, 1738-1795, correspondent
    Tonyn, Charles William, d. 1805, recipient.
    Sheerness dockyard (Great Britain), correspondent.