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Beaufort (Sir Francis) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Scope and Contents
  • Material Cataloged Separately
  • Related Materials
  • Arrangement
  • General

  • Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
    Title: Sir Francis Beaufort papers
    Creator: Beaufort, Francis, Sir, 1774-1857.
    Identifier/Call Number: mssFB
    Physical Description: 42 Linear Feet (38 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1710-1953
    Date (bulk): 1780-1890
    Abstract: This collection is comprised of three sets of distinct papers concerning members of the Beaufort, Edgeworth, and Larpent families. The bulk of the collection consists of the papers of Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857), hydrographer of the British Navy and member of the Royal Society, as well as papers of other members of the Beaufort family. Subject matter includes naval operations of the British Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars; geography and hydrography; Irish affairs; the Royal Society and scientific affairs in England; and family affairs. In addition there are also papers of Beaufort's daughter Lady Strangford, Emily Ann Smythe (1826-1887), a travel writer and illustrator, and papers of English diplomat John James Larpent (1783-1860) and his family.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.

    Conditions Governing Use

    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]. Sir Francis Beaufort papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Purchased from Francis N. Beaufort-Palmer, 1968-1973.

    Processing Information

    This collection was initially processed by Huntington Library staff, and cards for individual items were created and filed in the chronological and alphabetical sections of the Manuscripts Catalog. In 2000, the finding aid was encoded and revised by Xiuzhi Zhou. In 2016, Dorothy Auyong and Diann Benti updated and expanded the finding aid.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection is comprised of three sets of distinct papers concerning members of the Beaufort, Edgeworth, and Larpent families that were purchased from a shared descendant. The bulk of the collection consists of the papers of British hydrologist and admiral Sir Francis Beaufort and his family; in addition there are also papers of Beaufort's daughter Lady Strangford, Emily Ann Smythe (1826-1887), a travel writer and illustrator, and papers of English diplomat John James Larpent (1783-1860) and his family. Some organic material [dried plant specimens] is contained in the collection.
    Sir Francis Beaufort Papers (1,967 pieces in 35 boxes) The papers of Sir Francis Beaufort, dating from 1710-1953 (bulk 1780-1890), consist of diaries, journals, account books and correspondence of Beaufort and members of the Beaufort and Edgeworth families including his father Daniel Augustus Beaufort, first wife Alicia Magdalena Wilson Beaufort (died 1834). The collection includes information related to British naval history (especially during the Napoleonic Wars), Irish affairs, hydrography, scientific research in England in the early 19th century, and the Near East, including research for Sir Francis's work Karamania (1817).
    Emily Smythe, Viscountess Strangford Papers (78 pieces in 1 box) The papers of Emily Smythe, Viscountess Strangford, dating from 1836-1888, contain correspondence of Lady Strangford and her husband, Percy Ellen Frederick William Smythe, as well as Lady Strangford's travel journals (1876-1877) from Bulgaria, and various legal papers.
    John James Larpent, Baron de Hochepied, Papers (98 pieces in 3 boxes) The papers of John James Larpent, Baron de Hochepied papers, dating from 1814-1859 and consisting of diplomatic correspondence accumulated by Larpent during his term as British consul in Belgium. These items notably document diplomatic relationship between England and Belgium, particularly at the time of the French Revolution of 1830. In addition, there are letters from Larpent's sister-in-law Catherine Elizabeth Reeves, the diary (1853-1859) of his daughter Clarissa de Hochepied Larpent James, and the journal (1860-1876) of his wife, Georgiana Frances Reeves Larpent.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    1. Anna Margaretta Larpent diaries (mssHM 31201)  
    2. John Larpent papers (mssLA 1-2503)  

    Related Materials

    1. Beaufort, Francis, Sir. Karamania, or A brief description ... (1817).   Author's proof copy.
    2. Microfilm copies of diaries and journals of Cornelis, Daniel Augustus, Louisa Catherine, Mary Waller Beaufort and correspondence of William Lewis are available in the Library upon request. The microfilms were taken from originals at the Trinity College Library, Dublin, and are not to be reproduced without the Trinity College Library's permission.
    3. Beaufort family [microform] : manuscripts (MSS MFilm 00688, reels 1-2)  
    4. Beaufort, Daniel Augustus, 1739-1821. Diaries and journals [microform] : ca. 1808-1880 (MSS MFilm 00693)  
    The information file for this collection also includes the following relevant items:
    1. David, Andrew C. F. A Description of the Surveys of Sir Francis Beaufort Held in the Archives of the Hydrographic Department, Ministry of Defence, Taunton Somerset, England. 1977 (19 pages)
    2. Ellison, C. C. "Remembering Dr. Beaufort." Published in the Quarterly Bulletin of the Irish Georgian Society. Jan.-Mar. 1975 (36 pages)
    3. Waller, M. W. B. Craig. The History of Some of Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort's Possessions, A Note by Commander M. W. B. Craig Waller, D.S.C., R.N. 1976. (6 pages)
    4. Waller, M. W. B. Craig. Some Notes on De Hochpied and Larpent. Also notes from a letter re the spelling of Emily Anne (Beaufort) Smythe, Viscountess Strangford. 1976 (3 pages)
    5. Friendly, Alfred. Solution to Sir Francis Beaufort's cipher. 1974 (1 page)
    For a fuller description of the collection please see:
    1. Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Guide to British historical manuscripts in the Huntington Library.  


    Organized in the following series:
    1. Sir Francis Beaufort Papers (Boxes 1-34, 38)
    2. Emily Smythe, Viscountess Strangford papers (Box 35)
    3. John James Larpent, Baron de Hochepied papers (Boxes 36-37)


    Individual call numbers included in the collection: mssFB 1-1920.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Consuls -- Great Britain -- Correspondence
    Diplomats -- Great Britain -- Correspondence
    Geographers -- Great Britain -- Archives
    Hydrography -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
    Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815 -- Naval operations -- Sources
    Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878 -- Civilian relief -- Personal narratives
    Travelers' writings, English.
    Women philanthropists -- Great Britain -- Archives
    Women -- Great Britain -- Diaries.
    Belgium -- History -- Insurrection, 1830 -- Sources.
    Belgium -- History -- Revolution, 1830-1839 -- Sources.
    Belgium -- Foreign relations -- 19th century.
    Belgium -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain.
    Bulgaria -- History -- Uprising, 1876 -- Civilian relief -- Personal narratives
    Egypt -- Description and travel
    Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- 1800-1837 -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- Belgium.
    Great Britain -- Foreign relations -- Netherlands.
    Great Britain -- History, Naval -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- History -- 18th century -- Sources.
    Great Britain -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Ireland -- History -- 1760-1820 -- Sources.
    Netherlands -- Foreign relations -- 1815-
    Netherlands -- Foreign relations -- Great Britain.
    Turkey -- Description and travel
    Mediterranean Coast (Egypt) -- Nautical charts.
    Mediterranean Coast (Turkey) -- Nautical charts.
    Account books -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain.
    Diaries -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Ephemera -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Family papers -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Manuscripts -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Personal papers -- Great Britain.
    Professional papers -- Great Britain.
    Travel literature -- Great Britain -- 19th century
    Aleksandŭr I, Prince of Bulgaria, 1857-1893 -- Correspondence.
    Beaufort, Daniel Augustus, 1739-1821 -- Archives
    Beaufort, Francis, Sir, 1774-1857 -- Archives
    Beaufort, Alicia Magdalena Wilson, -1834 -- Archives
    Edgeworth, Richard Lovell, 1744-1817 -- Archives
    Edgeworth, Maria, 1768-1849 -- Archives
    Eliot, George, 1819-1880 -- Correspondence.
    Hillyar, James, 1769-1843 -- Correspondence.
    Larpent, John James de Hochepied, Baron, active 1825-1837 -- Correspondence.
    Lear, Edward, 1812-1888 -- Correspondence.
    Strangford, Emily Anne Beaufort Smythe, Viscountess, -1887 -- Archives
    Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, 1819-1901 -- Correspondence.
    Great Britain. Royal Navy -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Great Britain. Hydrographic Department -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Royal Society (Great Britain) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Aleksandŭr I, Prince of Bulgaria, 1857-1893
    Beaufort, Daniel Augustus, 1739-1821
    Beaufort, Alicia Magdalena Wilson, -1834
    Edgeworth, Richard Lovell, 1744-1817
    Edgeworth, Maria, 1768-1849
    Eliot, George, 1819-1880
    James, Clarissa Larpent de Hochepied.
    Larpent, Georgiana Frances Reeves de Hochepied.
    Reeves, Catherine Elizabeth.
    Lear, Edward, 1812-1888