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Henry Tiffin Commonplace Book

Henry Tiffin Commonplace Book

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Open Finding Aid

HENRY TIFFIN COMMONPLACE BOOK, 1748-1776





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Tiffin, Henry
Title:Henry Tiffin Commonplace Book
Dates:1748/1776
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Henry Tiffin commonplace book is a commonplace book that was kept by Tiffin from 1748 to 1776.
Collection Number:MSS 322

Series List


Scope and Content Note

The Henry Tiffin commonplace book is a commonplace book that was kept by Tiffin from 1748 to 1776. The contents of the book are not chronological and include a collection of narratives, including a lengthy one on his voyage aboard the East Indiaman Eagle to India in 1774, poems, songs, treatise on navigation, and a number of watercolors of ships and places. Tiffin also includes comments about a voyage on board the HMS Tavistock from 1748 to 1749 to the West Indies, and voyages on board the Royal Duke in 1752 from the Straits of Malacca to China, as well as voyages to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and from Jamaica to Boston.


One example of the detailed contents includes "A [Succinct] List of the Royal Navy for 1774," in which Tiffin presumably names all of the vessels, including types and armament, from first rates down to sloops of ten guns in the Royal Navy of the period. He also lists all of the places to which he has sailed. There are essays on "Cruelty and Lust," an " Elegy to a Lady," and a long epistle on the death of General Wolfe at Quebec in 1859, in addition to essays on geometry, trigonometry, astronomy, and navigation. The book has numerous watercolor illustrations throughout. For a detailed appendix of these illustrations, see the collection register at the front of the box.


Biographical Sketch

Henry Tiffin was a British sailor who lived during the eighteenth century. He appears to have been well educated in navigation, mathematics, English prose and poetry, and was an accomplished watercolorist. He appears to have served as a common seaman on board Royal Navy vessels, as well as merchant ones.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Eagle (Packet ship)
Royal Duke (Ship)
Tavistock (Ship)
Astronomy
Commonplace-books
Essays
Geometry
Navies--Great Britain
Navigation
Poetry
Sailors
Sailors' writings, English
Sea songs
Shipping--Canada--Nova Scotia
Shipping--East Indies
Shipping--India
Shipping--West Indies
Trigonometry
Voyages and travels
Watercolor painting--18th century
Great Britain--History, Naval--18th century

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Henry Tiffin Commonplace Book, MSS 322, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was deposited at the Peabody Museum of Salem on July 10, 1981. It was donated to the museum by Alexander O. Vieter on June 7, 1982 (accession #22,536).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Robert F. Craig, May 2002. Updated by Hilary Streifer, April 2015.


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