Bouck-Standen

Edward James Standen, 1890

Edward James StandenAge: 84 years18361921

Name
Edward James Standen
Birth 5 December 1836 27 25
Christening 6 April 1837 (Age 4 months)

Birth of a brotherGeorge Horn Standen
1838 (Age 12 months)
Christening of a brotherGeorge Horn Standen
28 July 1838 (Age 19 months)

Birth of a sisterKatherine Jane Standen
8 November 1839 (Age 2 years)
Christening of a sisterKatherine Jane Standen
2 February 1840 (Age 3 years)

Birth of a brotherJoseph Henry Standen
22 June 1841 (Age 4 years)
Address: 28 High Street
Christening of a brotherJoseph Henry Standen
15 September 1841 (Age 4 years)

Birth of a brotherWilliam Hayes Standen
30 August 1842 (Age 5 years)
Christening of a brotherWilliam Hayes Standen
8 January 1843 (Age 6 years)

Birth of a sisterFlora Standen
13 March 1844 (Age 7 years)
Death of a fatherEdward Standen
25 July 1845 (Age 8 years)
Cause: Pneumonia, following attempting to walk from Sumburgh to Lerwick, Shetland
Note: Buried in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford.
Birth of a sisterSusan Elizabeth Sirman Standen
29 July 1845 (Age 8 years)
Note: registered at Headington July/Sept quarter 1845
Christening of a sisterFlora Standen
31 August 1845 (Age 8 years)

Marriage of a parentJohn WillinsCatherine Sirman SpiersView this family
17 August 1852 (Age 15 years)
Death of a brotherWilliam Hayes Standen
18 August 1853 (Age 16 years)

Birth of a half-brotherWilliam Elder Standen Willins
2 June 1854 (Age 17 years)

Event
A Voyage to Constantinople, Turkey
1855 (Age 18 years)

Christening of a half-brotherWilliam Elder Standen Willins
23 March 1855 (Age 18 years)
Death of a maternal grandfatherRichard Spiers
6 January 1856 (Age 19 years)

Death of a sisterKatherine Jane Standen
27 May 1857 (Age 20 years)

Death of a motherCatherine Sirman Spiers
24 September 1857 (Age 20 years)
Death of a brotherGeorge Horn Standen
29 December 1857 (Age 21 years)

Death of a paternal grandmotherSarah Beecham
9 June 1859 (Age 22 years)
Death of a maternal grandmotherCatherine Sirman
about 1861 (Age 24 years)

Census 7 April 1861 (Age 24 years)
Note: Edward J Standen was listed as single and a secretary on this Royal Navy Vessel, and was with John Stokes British Commissioner.
Event
A Diplomatic Mission, 1868 with various diversions to some capital cities of Europe
1868 (Age 31 years)

Civil marriageHelen Eliza Spottiswoode BrodieView this family
5 July 1879 (Age 42 years)
Shared note: No issue
Note: Married at the British Embassy
Death of a sisterSusan Elizabeth Sirman Standen
31 March 1885 (Age 48 years)
Address: ? Holingwood Lodge (difficult to read) Laton Road
Cause: Phthisis (Tuberculosis) for 6 years
Note: Her brother Joseph Henry Standen was present at her death.
Adoption of a sisterFlora Standen
1885 (Age 48 years)

Death of a wifeHelen Eliza Spottiswoode Brodie
21 February 1888 (Age 51 years)
Note: Notice dated 25/2/1888
Religious marriageOde Jeanne Marie Angelique FellemansView this family
18 July 1891 (Age 54 years)
Note: Witnesses Georgina Home Payne and R S Standen
Occupation
British representative on the board of the Suez Canal Company
between 1876 and 1891 (Age 39 years)
Note: previously secretary to Sir John Stokes on the Danube Commission 1857-1872, see notes
Birth of a son
#1
Percy Edward Standen
14 May 1892 (Age 55 years)
Census 1901 (Age 64 years)

Address: 16 Castle Street, Reading
Census 1911 (Age 74 years)
Address: 9 Nevern Mansion
Note: Occupation: Retired from Foreign Office and living with his wife, son and one servant.
Death of a brotherRichard Spiers Standen
29 July 1917 (Age 80 years)
Address: Cupernham House
MarriagePercy Edward StandenMarjorie BouckView this family
9 April 1918 (Age 81 years)
Marriage of a childPercy Edward StandenMarjorie BouckView this family
Type: Religious marriage
9 April 1918 (Age 81 years)
Address: Percy: Strathcote, Eaton Crescent Marjorie: Bovey Tracey, South Devon
Death of a half-brotherWilliam Elder Standen Willins
7 August 1918 (Age 81 years)
Note: registered Willesden Sept quarter 1918
Death of a sonPercy Edward Standen
31 October 1918 (Age 81 years)
Address: 2 Christchurch Road, Clifton, Bristol
Cause: Influenza
Burial of a sonPercy Edward Standen
5 November 1918 (Age 81 years)
Cemetery: Westbury-on-Trym
Death of a sisterFlora Standen
1920 (Age 83 years)

Death 1 November 1921 (Age 84 years)
Burialyes

Cemetery: Brookwood
Note: Grave number 186092
Family with parents - View this family
father
mother
Marriage: 23 April 1833Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
11 months
elder sister
19 months
elder brother
14 months
himself
2 years
younger brother
22 months
younger sister
19 months
younger brother
14 months
younger brother
18 months
younger sister
17 months
younger sister
Mother’s family with John Willins - View this family
step-father
mother
Marriage: 17 August 1852St Giles, Oxford, England
21 months
half-brother
Family with Helen Eliza Spottiswoode Brodie - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: 5 July 1879Paris, France
Family with Ode Jeanne Marie Angelique Fellemans - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: 18 July 1891St Mary Abbotts, Kensington, London, England
10 months
son
Arthur Carnegie Standen + Ode Jeanne Marie Angelique Fellemans - View this family
nephew
wife
Marriage: 9 July 1923

Census
Edward J Standen was listed as single and a secretary on this Royal Navy Vessel, and was with John Stokes British Commissioner.
Marriage
No issue
Marriage
Married at the British Embassy
Marriage
Witnesses Georgina Home Payne and R S Standen
Occupation
previously secretary to Sir John Stokes on the Danube Commission 1857-1872, see notes
Census
Occupation: Retired from Foreign Office and living with his wife, son and one servant.
Burial
Grave number 186092
Note
Addresses 17/02/1891 - 6 Rue de la Bienfaisance, Paris 07/07/1891 - 6 Rue de la Bienfaisance, Paris 18/07/1891 - Fairbank(s), Christchurch The property was built circa 1885. The name was changed to Shortwood, Magdalen Lane, off Barrack Road, Christchurch. At the time EJS leased the house it was in Hampshire, it has been in Dorset since 1974. My father concluded that EJS must haveleas ed the house for a short time while finding a house in London.However in 1895 he is recorded as living at "Oakfield", Caversham Park Place, Caversham, Oxford. 9 Nevern Mansion, Nevern Square, Kensington, London 1921 - 37 Queens Gate Gardens, South Kensington, London Information send to Debrett for insertion in the Companionage list, Debretts peerage Born December 5th 1836 St Marys Parish Oxford Educated at Cowley School Educated Kings College School (now in Wimbledon), London 1847 - 1852 Kings College, Engineering and Applied Sciences Department 1852 - May 1855 Elected associate of KCL 1854 Entered Turkish Contingent Engineers and served with the force at Kertch and Yenikale Crimea 1855-56 Returned to England after the war 1856 Crimean Medal, Turkish issue. Apppointed secretary to British High Commissioner (Major John Stokes) on European Commission of the Danube 1857 Stationed at Galatz on Danube Returned to England Spring 1872 Appointed resident Director in Paris to represent her Majestys government on Council of Suez Canal Company, June 27th 1876 With two colleagues visited Egypt & prepared report on state of canal.1878 Awarded a Civil Service certificate 1877 Suceeded Baron Jules de Lesseps as member of the managing committee of the Suez Canal January 1888
Note
Created Companion of the Bath 1st January 1891 on his retirement The Companion of the Order of the Bath Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdon of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India and Sovereign of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath. To our trusty and well-beloved Edward James Standen, Esquire,Bri tish representative on the council of the Suez Canal Company, Greeting; Whereas we have thought fit to nominate and appoint you to be an ordinary member of the civil division of the Third Class or Companions of our said Most Honorable orderof the Bath, we do by these presents grant unto you the dignity of a companion of our said order, and hereby authorize you to have hold and enjoy the said dignity and rank as an Ordinary Member of the civil division of the third class orcompanions of our aforesaid order, together with all and singular the privileges thereunto belonging or appertaining; Given at our court at Osborne under our sign manual and the seal of our said order this thirteenth day of January 1891 in the fifyfourth year of Our Reign. By the Sovereigns command, Edward Stanhope. Signed, "Victoria".
Note
A Voyage to Constantinople A Journal kept by Edward James Standen during his voyage in 1855 to Constantinople in the Sailing Transport "William", 700 tons, No 192. with a biography of the Author, a forward and some historical notes by Charles Michael Bouck-Standen Biography Edward James Standen, the second son of Edward Standen, was born on 5th December 1836 in St Mary's Parish, Oxford. He and his two brothers, Joseph and Richard were educated at Kings College School, London. Edward James continued as a student at King's College London in the department of Engineering and Applied Sciences and he was elected an Associate of Kings College London in 1854. In May 1855 he obtained a commission as a Lieutenant in the Turkish Contingent Engineers ( q.v.) and in the same year went with the force to Kertch to serve in the Crimean War returning to England in 1856. He wrote a diary which recorded the journey by sea from London to Constantinople. In May 1857 he went to Galatz in Romania, (then a part of the Ottoman Empire), as the secretary to the British representative on the European Commission of the Danube (q.v.) serving under Major John Stokes until 1871 and then under Lieutenant Colonel Charles James Gordon, ("Chinese Gordon"). In 1868 he was employed on a diplomatic mission to various European governments to obtain their guarantees to a loan being raised by the Commission. He returned to England in the spring of 1872. In June 1876 he was appointed one of the three representatives of the British Government on the Council of the Suez Canal company and resided in Paris. In early 1878 he visited Egypt with two French colleagues and subsequently produced a report on the condition of the Canal. On the 1st January 1888 he succeeded Baron Jules de Lesseps as a statutory member of the managing committee of the Canal and held that post until his retirement in January 1891 when he was created a Companion of the Bath. He died in November 1921. He married Ode Jean Angelique Fellemans, his second wife, in July 1891 and had one son, Percy Edward, who served in the Hampshire Regiment during the Great War. Percy Edward was married in 1918 to Marjorie Bouck and had one son, Charles Edward Barlow Bouck-Standen. His eldest son Charles Michael Bouck-Standen, now retains possession of his Great Grandfather's diary and papers. Forward The career of Edward James Standen, my paternal great grand-father, represents a Victorian success story which began with his great grandfather Joseph Standen in the 18th century. Joseph prospered sufficiently, as a Sussex farmer, to provide funds for his younger sons to set themselves up in the Textile trade in Dover. Edward James' father moved to Oxford and, as a successful hosier and woollen trader, was able to have his sons well educated. He also passed on a thriving business which later moved to London. The narrative covers only a short period in the life of the author and nothing else has been passed on apart from some brief notes concerning his trip around Europe in 1868. However the record of the two months in 1855 forms, in my opinion, not only a valuable part of my Family History but also provides an insight into the values and mores of middle-class Victorian England. There is, for example, the detail of the substantial meals which were apparently consumed despite "Mal-de-mer", and I wonder what the present view is of the compulsion to attempt to shoot every living thing in sight even when it was unlikely to have provided a meal. I have also found it a little strange that there are no descriptions of his fellow officers, the servants or the crew of the ship. In fact the author's only comment on the latter is to express his surprise that they took ablution s and he presumably held the view, at 19 years old, that they were simply a part of the "Great (and inferior) Unwashed". The voyage seems to have been extremely lucrative for a young man fresh from college. I calculate that for his 9 months service he received, in cash and benefits, the equivalent of about £35,000 for doing very little. As a director of the Suez Canal Company, he earned £1000 per annum, or say £60,000 in today's money. I have included some relevant historical details. It is interesting to see that Edward James' career closely followed that of Capt Stokes who recruited him in 1855 though always at a lower level. An example of the working of patronage in the age when Britain was at the pinnacle of her powers. In editing the diary I have taken only the liberty of converting the daily records into the form of a narrative and providing chapter headings as useful divisions of the text. I have made only minor alterations to the detail, spelling and grammar. Charles Michael Bouck-Standen December 1999. The English Channel On Monday the 3Oth July at 2pm our good ship weighed anchor and with a fair wind and a stought pilot left Gravesend for the East passing the "Lady Anne" transport, our consort, who was also moored off Tilbury Fort and was expected to sail the next day. Besides the Officers and Crew of the vessel we had on board eight officers of the Turkish Contingent, (four Captains, two Surgeons and two Engineering Clerks). Also six or eight servants. Our freight consisted chiefly of stores,waggons, pontoons etc for the Engineering Train of the Contingent besides four horses belonging to officers. The "Lady Anne", No 130, carried eight officers and about one hundred and twenty men with four horses and engineering tools and equipment. Under the influence of the breeze the river soon grew perceptibly wider and after passing Rochester, Chatham and the Isle of Sheppey we rounded the North Foreland and anchored for the night off Margate. Early the following morning we started and about 12 0' clock anchored for the night off Deal. The pilot left us here and for the time being was transformed into a twopenny postman. I myself troubled him with two letters but we did not, however, leave the Downs as soon as I had expected for we had to wait until the evening for the "Lady Anne" and then for a fair wind. To amuse ourselves we practised with our revolvers and managed to smash a bottle which was tied by a line to the stem of the ship and about 25 paces distant. The next morning, as the Captain of the ship was going ashore for the day, I and three others resolved to do the same. We left the ship at about 11 o'clock and within 20 minutes we were on Deal beach. We first ordered dinner at the Royal Hotelfor4 o'clock and then strolled around the town and along the beach in the direction of Walmer Castle. At dinner we were joined by an officer from the "Lady Jane". Fried sole, roast duck, veal cutlets and cherry and raspberry tarts with sherry and ale to wash it down proved most enjoyable, the more so as we had every reason to believe that this was the last meal we would have in England for a long time. We left Deal for our ship at about 7 o'clock. Both ships weighed anchor the next morning but since the wind was in the west we had to tack so frequently that we made little headway and only arrived about six miles off St Helens at about 12 noon on Sunday. Eventually we lost sight of the"Mary Anne". All the second week we were tacking about from Portland Point to the Lizard with the wind dead ahead. By degrees we passed Exmouth, Teignmouth and Torquay and eventually passed the Lizard on Friday the 10th and were off the Scillies by Saturday morning. Since we were then becalmed we persuaded the Captain to let down one of the ship's boats and five of us with the third mate and a sailor rowed about one mile ahead of the ship and then returned all the while being serenaded on a cornet by an officer. In the meantime those who had remained on board had rigged out two lines with large hooks baited with pork in the hope of catching a shark. They had a bite about ten minutes after we regained the ship and, by using the boat that was still afloat , a shark about six feet long, was secured and hauled aboard where the Captain severed his tail. At about noon that day the wind began to freshen a little and a brigantine which we had seen in the offing earlier bore down upon us. Supposing that she was bound for England we hurriedly scribbled letters home and these were collected and transferred to the brigantine by boat. The vessel, the "Mary Stuart", was bound for Falmouth and Plymouth. I have to say that I had my share of sickness down the Channel and any attempt at writing made me feel dizzy. Nevertheless I did send a letter home to assure the family of my safety and good health. I did not, however, thanks to the sea air and breeze, lose my appetite. Breakfast was served at half past eight, luncheon at noon, dinner at four and tea about seven. At about eight 0' clock the grog was brought out and stowed away again at 9.30. Although, when the steward came to summon us to dinner etc. exclamations such as, "What!, dinner already, we have just had lunch", or, "I really can't eat any!", were sure to be heard, we always seemed to do justice to the meal. Biscay to Trafalgar On the Saturday morning the wind sprang up and shifted to the north-east which enabled us to get through the dreaded Bay of Biscay in double quick time. In fact the Bay was beautifully smooth and by Monday evening we were off Cape Finisterre having averaged about 9 knots. (I should mention here that we had a service each Sunday morning at 10.30 but in the the absence of a chaplain there was no sermon). On the Tuesday the wind fell light and we made very little progress. That evening we saw a whale blowing and spouting within a mile of the ship and frequently during the week we were amused by watching the porpoises chasing the small fish which were actually leaping out of the water to escape them. On one occasion we broke out our revolvers and fired two or three shots but the porpoises gave us a wide birth. The noise of a whale blowing is very peculiar and resembles the snorting made by a Hippopotamus after a swim under water but much louder. The sights and sounds of the whales and porpoises served as a distraction from our Turkish grammars which we found rather dry and during the week, as a further amusement, we got up a sweepstake. Ten members subscribed five shillings each and each member drew a paper on which the day of the month was written. The numbers were from 1 - 10 and the holder of the number of the particular day that the ship drops anchor will win the sweepstake. I drew No 5 and that holds good for the 5th, 15th and 25th. We came in sight of land on Thursday (16th August), the first we had seen since we left England. This was the Berlengas or Borling Isles, six miles off the Portugese coast, and after dinner the convent of Mafra was visible about 40 miles distant. I n the evening the captain hailed a vessel as it passed us. She was a brig from Algiers bound for Cardiff already having 30 days passage and 22 days from Gibraltar, a distance of about 360 miles. Both wind and tide had been against her the whole time. We gave our name and requested her to report us and,aft er wishing her a pleasant voyage, we were soon several miles distant. The phosphorescence of the sea this evening was very beautiful, the wake of the ship seemed on fire. We were off the Spanish coast early on Friday, about 60 miles south of the Tagus, but the wind veered round to nearly south and we had to stand out on a south-west course and then at 4.30 in the afternoon tack and stand into land. The next morning we were passed by three large steamers and two more in the evening but we made little progress. We sighted the light on Cape St Vincent and doubled it on Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful and we had service on deck and all the officers wore their uniforms, the first time since leaving Gravesend. The captain hailed an English brig, the "Racehorse", bound for Scutari and a Spanish vessel, the " Manuel", from Havannah. The wind was fair though light and we averaged 4knots. On Monday (2Oth August) the wind shifted to the east and fell light and we made little headway for the next three days. Two whales passed within 150 yards of the ship and the surgeon struck one with a ball from his fowling piece without doing any apparent injury. The wind freshened on Thursday and we came off Cadiz about 12 miles distant. The effect of the sun shining on the white houses was very fine and made one long to set foot again on "terra firma". We saw two dolphins and an immense shark was reported while we were at tea. We rushed on deck and a huge hook with about 2lbs of pork was let down but without success. We also, while passing two small Spanish fishing vessels, managed to exchange some salt beef for fish, onions, and tomatoes and gave them two or three good cheers which amused them but which they could not quite understand. The Straits of Gibraltar We sighted Cape Trafalgar on Friday and were glad to find that we were fairly in the current which flows through the Straits as we had little or no assistance from the wind and on Saturday we sighted the high land of Cape Spartel on the African coast. As we entered the strait we were enveloped in a thick fog and as we proceeded we could hear the foghorns sounding in all directions and now and then vessels could be seen looming through the mist. Our surgeon, having brought his cornet on deck, gave a musical challenge to each vessel that we passed. On account of the fog we hardly knew our position but the Captain gave out that we were off Gibraltar and that we had better have our letters ready for the post in case we came across a ship that was going in. This exercise was, however, in vain. At about 2 o'clock the fog began to clear and the sun shone out revealing the most lovely sight. On the one side was the coast of Spain with the town of Tarifa on the sea-shore with it's surrounding hills and dales intersected with hedgerows and covered for the most part with olive trees. On the other side were the rugged and barren peaks of the land of the Moors. The channel of the straits was literally lined with vessels of all descriptions and the Captain counted 174 around us atone time . Soon, as we drifted along with the current, we caught sight of the rock of Gibraltar and opposite the frowning peak of Ape's Hill, the two known as the Pillars of Hercules to the Ancients. As we neared them our hopes of being able to put in increased and we ardently wished for either a dead calm or an easterly wind. To our mortification we passed the noble rock without even being able to put our letters ashore. The fog returned in the evening and it was only by the prompt action of the mate that we avoided a collision with a brig that had drifted down upon us. On Sunday I was awakened by the sound of shots. I hurried on deck to be confronted with a marvellous sight. At about 100 yards distant from the ship and, for about a mile and a half on each side, the surface of the water was covered with porpoises tumbling about in all directions. There must have been thousands of them and the ship's officers said that they had never seen so many altogether before. Several of them came close and one of my companions shot one with his revolver. I might have done the same had I been up in time but I watched them until they were out of sight and then turned in again, for with a scotch mist falling, it was a miserable morning. The wind remained contrary for some days and it was not until Thursday that we came near to the African coast. During that time we had torrential rain and at night there was thunder and some brilliant lightening. After we had weathered the island of Alboran on Tuesday the arms chest was cleared out. The muskets, which by the by were flintlocks, were inspected and cleaned and the cutlasses polished up a little, as we intended to give any pirates, who were venturesome enough to attack us, a very warm welcome. We could muster about 80 barrels with the muskets and revolvers together, three dozen cutlasses, ten officers swords and two twelve pounder carronades. We were about 50 in number and could hope to make a pretty stout resistance. Africa and Malta We passed the Island of Habebas on Thursday with a fair wind and a clear sky. We hailed a brig at about 10 o'clock but since there was no reply we supposed that she was a foreigner, perhaps Greek. At midday on Friday we exchanged colours with an English barque, the "Glenmore", from Newcastle and bound for Algiers which lay behind Cape Caxine. We passed the city at about 6 p.m. on Saturday but although we could distinguish houses and buildings on the outskirts Algiers itself lay too far back to be distinctly seen. After Sunday service on the 2nd September the wind dropped and we were becalmed. Having espied two or three turtles floating on top of the water the Captain had a boat lowered and the chief mate, the boatswain, and two or three men pushed off to try and capture them. They soon succeeded in turning one over and hoisting him into the boat. They rowed back in triumph to the ship and the prisoner was hauled up on deck. Some more were soon discovered and the exercise was repeated. Although the turtles were small, measuring about 20 inches by 15, they made a very acceptable addition to our livestock. Soon after the return of the boat we heard some loud splashes at the bows of the ship and to our surprise we saw several of the sailors indulging themselves with the luxury of a bath. Two or three of our officers made the same attempt but the winds prang up and they were obliged to haul themselves up the side of the vessel rather sooner than they had intended. One, who was rather heavier than he had imagined was unable to pull himself up the rope and had to be hauled on deck. We stood into shore that afternoon and from about 3 miles we could clearly distinguish houses, a windmill and a fort. There were five or six people in the fields in one of which the corn was being cut ready for harvest. We supposed that the place was a French settlement called Jigali. We passed Cape Bougarli, or the Seven Capes, on Monday evening and had one of the turtles cooked for dinner. I never tasted a richer or nicer soup. The following night a north-westerly breeze sprang up and, accompanied by rain thunder and lightening we passed Bonah, the last French settlement on the coast, which is distinguished by the revolving light off the Cape. For the next two days we had a fair wind and averaged about 7 knots. We passed the Island of Galita and the rocks known as "Fratelli" on Wednesday, Cape Bon during Thursday night and by eight o'clock that morning we espied the Island of Pantellaria which we passed in the afternoon. A day later we descried Gozo and Malta about 25 or 30 miles to the north-east but the wind was then dead ahead and we had to tack and tack and made only 20 miles in eight hours. Eventually we were becalmed near Cape Calambri on the Italian coast and, when the wind did freshen, it was from the east and we were forced to tack between Sicily and Malta whose lights were visible about 10 miles distant. Sicily and the Aegean Sea The coast of Sicily came in sight at about 6 o'clock on Sunday but the wind remained contrary and we were obliged to resort to that tedious system of tacking and did not near Sicily again until 5 in the afternoon. As we were then just off Cape Passero we had a beautiful view of Mt Etna and, although about 70 miles distant, could see its peak rearing high like some huge giant above the mountain ridges which seemed to do homage at its feet. In the evening there were three full rigged ships in sight and one, a frigate, appeared to be English. By eight o'clock, much to our delight, the wind was fair and we started off for Cape Matapan. The light on Cape Passero disappeared below the horizon at midnight and we had said goodbye to land for 5 or 6 days. On the Tuesday the wind was beautifully fresh all day and we made a capital run. The frigate, who was about 8 miles ahead, at first kept her ground but we began to steal on her in the evening and we passed her next morning. We exchanged colours and she proved to be Norwegian and not English as we had supposed. About noon a Heron paid us a visit and flew past and over our vessel two or three times. A fowling piece was instantly got out, but owing to a delay in getting at some small shot, his life was spared. Towards evening, having made a quick passage from Sicily, we came in sight of land and had to shorten sail as we could not run the passage between Cerigi and Cervi without danger. However, as soon as the morning dawned, we started off on our right course again. By breakfast time on Thursday, after passing Cape Matapan, we were sailing through the narrow passage which is about 5 miles wide. We had a capital view of both shores which are as barren and rocky as the mainland. A fine French frigate passed us as we entered the strait, returning from the East. We, of course, hoisted our colors, and the next minute the French tricolor was seen flying at her mizzen. So different to the Americans who seldom, if ever, return a compliment of this description. We soon doubled Cape Malea but in a light wind made little progress and passed between the isles of Karavi and Belopoulo towards the evening. On Friday morning we entered the channel between Zea and Thermia. We could clearly distinguish the olive trees but there was no other foliage to be seen on the steep and rocky shores. Several windmills were visible along the mountain ridges on Thermia and, after we had fairly passed the channel, we saw a pretty looking village further to the east. The houses were all a beautiful white as indeed was the case with all the towns or villages that we had passed in the Mediterranean. After a wearisome period of tacking we were able to steer away on a course for the Doro channel which is between the Negropont, or ancient Euboa, and the Island of Andros. We reached there the next day and its resemblance to the strait between Zea and Thermia w as very striking. Some fragments of a wreck floated past and we fancied that we saw two men clinging to one of the pieces but they were, in fact, parts of the unhappy vessel. Several steamers have passed us in the last two or three days and on Thursday the Transport "Bahian", No 160, was hailed by us. She had returned from the East but had no news. A whale also came within 150 yards of us that morning but was too far off by the time the guns had been brought on deck. Two or three random shots were fired however as we had not had a shot at a fish for some time. In the afternoon we passed the islands of Psara and Knios on our right and Skyros on our left quarter and in the evening, under a good breeze, we came in sight of Mityleni which we passed during the night. The Dardanelles We entered the passage between Tenedos and the mainland of Asia on the Sunday morning and, when the wind changed to north-east, (the famous Etesian Winds of the Ancients), we made one tack up as far as we could get and brought the ship to anchor in Goukyeri Bay. Two French frigates had arrived just before us and there was another French frigate anchored higher up in the Bay. During the day vessels brought up as they came in and by the afternoon about 60 of all sorts and sizes were anchored within two or three miles of us. It blew quite a gale of wind in the night and a schooner that was anchored just ahead of us dragged close past us and was obliged to ship another anchor to enable her to hold her ground. We lay at anchor the whole of Monday and could not persuade the Captain to let us have a boat as the breeze was still fresh. The wind was still dead ahead the following morning. Nevertheless we weighed anchor and endeavoured to get as high up as the mouth of the Dardanelles. We only succeeded in getting as far as Besika Bay after passing near to the quaint looking town of Tenedos. At one o'clock a salute of 20 guns was fired from a war schooner that lay off the fort belonging to the town. We supposed that it was in commemoration of the anniversary of the battle of Alma, or else one of their feast days, but in fact it was to celebrate the battle at Tehernaya and the capture of the south side of Sebastopol. The steamer "Great Britain" passed us that day full of troops and a large steam frigate with a detachment of the Guards. We telegraphed to be taken in tow but they were not able to gratify our wishes. We anchored in Besika Bay in the evening not far from a Sardinian sloop of war. As we were anxious to hear any news as many of our officers as the boat would hold were pulled to the sloop. They were well received by the Sardinian officers and then went on board a Sardinian steamer which had come down the Dardanelles that evening for the purpose of towing the sloop through. While they were gone we had a visit from the Captain of a steam tug. When our Captain thought it time for the boat to return we fired one of the 12 pounder carronades twice and this had the desired effect. The Sardinian set off for the Dardanelles early next morning, Wednesday 19th, with a letter from our commanding officer to the Consul requesting to be towed through. At about 10 o'clock that day a boat was lowered and we all went on shore taking our guns and pistols as we expected to find some game to shoot. On reaching the shore we found that at about 100 yards or so from the sea there was a marsh extending for a mile or two in length so that we could not get far inland without going some distance around. We had not been on shore for more than a quarter of an hour when the ship hoisted a flag for us to return and we were obliged very reluctantly to get in the boat again and join the vessel. However during that short stay on the shores of Asia we saw amongst other things, eagles, herons, moorhens, wild ducks,camels, a tortoise and a green tree-frog besides abundant traces of rabbits so that had we remained there for an hour or two we might perhaps have had some sport As soon as we were on board we weighed anchor and again endeavoured to reach the entrance to the Dardanelles. After tacking about and gaining a little during the earlier part of the day, as the wind fell light towards the evening, we lost ground on account of the strong current to such an extent that we were obliged to anchor about a mile lower down than where we had been the day before. The next morning we again set sail and with a pretty fresh wind we made about 5 miles before we anchored about 2 miles north-east of the Rabbit islands. On Friday we again made sail and worked about near the Isle of Imbros where we were free from the current and, much to our delight, at about 10 o'clock that night we came to anchor off Cape Greco, the north side of the entrance to the Dardanelles, and within half a mile of land. We found ourselves in company with about 30 other vessels which had worked up there within the last few days but could get no further until the wind changed. On Saturday although the wind was very strong and the swell in the sea rather great a boat was lowered and the Captain and four of our officers left for the shore. They found that the English Consul did not live there as we had supposed, but about 20 miles further up the straits. The Turkish officers at the fort, the "Newcastle of Europe", received them very kindly. They smoked pipes and had coffee together and the Commandant of the fort had the regiment parade and put through their various evolutions in honour of the visitors. They strolled a little way into the country and had a ride on a pony. About four in the afternoon they returned having spent 3 or 4 hours on shore very pleasantly and not forgetting to bring a small store of fruit with them as some small compensation for the tedious day endured by the four who had remained on board. At about 8 o'clock on Sunday a steam tug came up to us and shouted that the wind was too high to tow then but he would take us in tow in the evening if the weather moderated. This was the best news we could have had as we were beginning to think that we should have to lie there until the winds changed which might have been a week or more. We telegraphed with a ship that was at anchor about a mile from us and from her we learned that she had seen the "Lady Anne" last Sunday not far from there. In the course of the day our Captain went on board the steam tug. They had towed the "Lady Anne" through the Dardanelles on Tuesday and she had reached Constantinople on the Wednesday. Thus while we had been at anchor last Monday in Goukyeri Bayou r consort was moored about 6 miles further up off the town of Yenikoi. The tug came along side at 7 o'clock that evening and within half an hour a hawser had been made fast and we were under tow. It was a beautiful moonlit night, though not sufficiently bright for us to see the shore. The wind was very strong and very cold and I turned in at about 11 o'clock. On going on deck early next morning I found to my surprise that we were right through the straits and Gallipoli was 8till visible about 3 miles in our rear. The steamer still kept on steadily and we began to hope that she would take us the whole way but when we were about 14 or 15 miles past Gallipoli he signalled us to make sail. The wind was dead ahead and the current strong so we told him to goon.H e refused, however, and after some palavering said he should cast off Nevertheless he went on again until 9 o'clock and then he told us to make sail. We told him that the service demanded that he should still tow us under the circumstances. He refused and cast off and we set sail as soon as possible and had to beat up against the wind.We reached the Island of Marmora at about 5 o'clock having made only about 15 miles since the steamer left us. It fell light in the evening and a storm passed within a mile of us. Constantinople The next day, Tuesday the 25th, was my number for the first prize in the sweepstakes and it seemed very probable that I would be the lucky one. The wind, however, was very light in the early part of the day and we coasted along the shores of Turkey north of the sea of Marmora. The wind changed in the afternoon and we made very little progress. We passed the villages of Perioli, Heraclista, Rhodosto and Eretuli during the course of the day. The coast here was much more richly cultivated than any land we had passed since leaving England, grapes and melons were seemingly more common than any other fruit. We also encountered a great many small sailing boats of a rig peculiar to the Turks and Greeks. The owners were always very friendly to all appearances as they seldom failed to salute us, and, with a wave of their caps wish us a pleasant voyage.A meteor passed through the air this evening apparently within 100 yards of the ship. It consisted of a ball of fire which fell with great rapidity and, when within a short distance, burst, leaving behind it a long narrow streak of fire reddish and violet in color. We had only made as far as Cape Bala by nightfall and all my chances of winning the first prize were lost. Constantinople was just visible when I rose the next morning but with contrary winds we only made a few miles and eventually anchored in the evening about 6 miles off Seraglio Point. Then the City of the Sultans, in all its beauty, lay before us. We noticed a wreck a mile down from us which one of the sailors said was a transport which had run aground last year and we congratulated ourselves on having been more fortunate than that lucky vessel. In the following two days we managed to gain only 3 miles but we had a much finer view of the city and, from our anchorage, we looked down the harbour backed by the princely mansions of Pera, the residences of the Ambassadors and all foreigners. The Captain and our commanding officer went ashore and returned with several letters. They also brought some exciting news. We were ordered on to Kertch where a great part of the Turkish Contingent had already gone. The "Lady Anne" was sent at once to Verna but then was ordered to go to Kertch. From the newspapers we also heard of the destruction of Sveaborg and the evacuation of Petro Paulovski. Immediately after breakfast on Saturday the Captain and three of our officers went ashore and then sent the boat back when the rest of us went for a ramble. The streets were very narrow and dreadfully dirty, crowded moreover with people of almost every nation, principally Turks, Greeks, Americans and Jews besides hundreds of French soldiers. We at first betook our steps to the Hotel d'Angleterre, the only one, I believe, in the place. While there we polished off a bottle of Claret for which they charged us the moderate sum of 7 francs and I then accompanied an officer to some merchants with whom he had business. By the time we had finished these calls it was about 3 o'clock so we walked back to the quay where our boat was and, being joined by two or three others, pulled off to the ship. It was a miserable row back as just as we started it began to rain and continued raining until late evening. However it was a beautiful morning on Sunday and at about 10 o'clock we went off in a boat to the shore. On landing we made the best of our way to the top of the hill. We called at the hotel but those that had stayed there to sleep had left,they t old us, about an hour before. The streets were in a dreadful state and we made an attempt to get away from the town and into the open country. We walked on for a couple of miles and on the heights of Pera and Tophaus had a beautiful view of the mouth of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn with Scutari just opposite. The harbour was crowded with shipping but the flags of England and France were most conspicuous. We walked on as far as the French Hospital and as we began to feel hungry we turned into a miserable French restaurant where we had some very good bread, very bad cheese, and a bottle of ale. We then walked leisurely back to the Golden Horn and, slipping into a caique, we let the boatman pull us across and land us near the Bazaar . We had no sooner landed than we were besieged by a number of guides, both men and boys. We succeeded however in driving away all but one whom we put up with. The Diary rather ungrammatically ceases at this point leaving us in mid air. In truth, however, there was probably little to record for although the Contingent moved on to Kertch there was no serious fighting after the fall of Sebastopol on 8th September. When peace was signed in Paris in March 1856 the Contingent was broken up and the British personnel returned to England. Historical Notes (1) In 1854 Britain, in close alliance with France and later Sardinia, sent an expeditionary force to the Black Sea to protect Turkey from Russian aggression. However the British had only a small standing army and, with no organised reserve system, were incapable of the rapid expansion that was necessary to meet the needs of a continental war. Although the Turkish army consisted of first class fighting men it was poorly equipped and suffered from extensive corruption in both its supply and administrative services. Since Britain was financially sound and Turkey on the verge of bankruptcy the two governments entered into an arrangement whereby Turkey undertook to hand over a complete corps of 20,000 trained men which would be received in to the pay and service of Britain for the duration of the war. After some time it became clear that the Turks were unable to produce any Engineer units for the Contingent and in April 1855 the War Department in London appointed Capt. J Stokes to raise the appropriate force in England. The full details of Stokes' duties and efforts have been recorded elsewhere*, it suffices here to recount that although Stokes was permitted to recruit regular officers to assist in the initial organisation of the Contingent Engineers he was obliged to engage civil engineers as regimental officers. The civilians were offered £700 a year with free rations for themselves and one servant apiece. They were also promised a gratuity of six months pay on discharge for a years service. (2) After the Crimean War an international conference was held in Paris to settle the "Eastern Question". The Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were placed under the guarantee of the Great Powers and a Commission, based at Galatz, was set up to regulate traffic on the Danube. In the years that followed order was restored to the Danube delta and a 100 mile stretch of the river was made navigable for ships up to 2000 tons. In 1862 the legislatures of Moldavia and Wallachia united to form one autonomous principality within the ottoman Empire. The state of Romania gained full independence in 1877 but the navigation of the Danube remained under the control of the Commission until 1939. (3) Sir John Stokes, (knighted in 1877), had a distinguished career after the Crimean War. He held the post as the British representative on the Danube Commission from 1856 to 1871. He was consulted by Disraeli on the subject of the purchase of the shares of the Suez Canal and became one of the directors appointed to represent the British Government on the Board of the Suez Canal Company. *A full report by Lieut Col ME. S. Laws is held at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London. The information in the biography of the author has been obtained from private papers and confirmed by various sources which include an entry in "Who was Who", Foreign Office and Treasury papers held at the Public Record Office, (FO 78/2540, 78/4399, T250/12 [The Welby File]), an obituary published in the "Times" on November 7th 1921 and from the archives at Kings College London.
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A Diplomatic Mission, 1868 with various diversions to some capital cities of Europe

A Diplomatic Mission, 1868 with various diversions to some capital cities of Europe

Edward James Standen made some brief notes which record a journey across Europe in late 1868 in order to obtain the signatures of various Heads of State on a contract which guaranteed a loan which was raised by the Danube Commission to finance essential works.

Sunday 20th December 1868

Embarked on board the "Messina", Austrian Lloyd's boat at 10 o'clock, evening.

Monday 21st December 1868

Started at 7 a.m., thick fog on river, reached Toultcha at 3 p.m. waited there an hour and a half then steamed on, brought up by thick fog and lay 4 miles below Toultcha.

Tuesday 22nd December

Thick fog, got up steam and started at 10.30 a.m., at 12 ran ashore on a bend but got off easily. Reached Sulima [Sulina - was the seat of the Danube Commission 1856 to 1939 ] at 4 p.m. Harry came off to meet me. Great excitement at Sulima. Many Greeks leaving. About 40 came on board, bound for the Islands. Mr. Viscovitch joined as on his way to Trieste. Stayed 2 hours at Sulima and then put to sea at 6pm. Lovely night, quite calm.

Wednesday 23rd December

In morning brisk south wind sprang up. Lovely day and mild, reached Bourgas at 7 p.m., would not grant quarantine so had to anchor for the night.

Thursday 24th December

Very lovely morning. Brisk south breeze blowing, the country looking very bright and inviting. Owing to a tiff between the Quarantine doctor and the Lloyds Agent we did not get our clearance papers till midday. The Captain naturally very indignant prepared a protest for the "direction". The wind south-west and very favourable we hoisted all sail and ran through the water at 10 knots, the "Messina's" average speed being 7 only. A delightful run all day. At 6 pm. saw the Akbourian light and at 9 p.m. the Bosphorus light. Entered the Bosphorus by moonlight at 10.30 that evening and anchored a mile down at the Cavate light.

Friday December 25th - Christmas Day

Most lovely bright and warm morning. South-west wind. Steamed down the Bosphorus at 8 a.m. and anchored in the Golden Horn at 10. Went up to Misseris, Breakfast and then to the Memorial Church, saw Mr Curtis in the vestry after Church. About 17 people at service. Had luncheon with the Misseris who were taking their Christmas dinner early with a few friends, then crossed the Bosphorus at 4 and under the escort of Miss Page arrived safely at the Christian's who were delighted to see me and just in time for their Christmas dinner. The Pages, (Mr and Mrs and two Miss Pages) the two Miss Wards, Mr Todd and myself were the guests, and the cosy little party of 10 sat down to a capital dinner, a very pleasant evening, Mrs Page and Miss M. Ward indulging us with music.

Saturday 26th December

Crossed the Bosphorus and to the Hotel. Then paid a visit to the Embassy. The Ambassador's son having just arrived from England prevented him granting me an interview then, but he asked me to see him the following day. In the evening to Opera, "Il Prophete".

Sunday 27th December

In the morning to the Embassy Chapel, very well attended but singing poor. After service went to see Mr Elliot who received me very cordially and on my leaving asked me to dine the following evening. Called on the Italian Ambassador who received me well, and on the French Ambassador who was at the Serai.

Monday 28th December

Called on the French Ambassador, found him at home. Rather shorter in his manner but still very civil and gave me a letter to Khalib Bey who could assist one at the Porte with Safvil Pasha. Went to luncheon at Mr Curtis' and then for a walk with hi m round Galata to see several curious buildings. At 7 to dinner at the Embassy. Captain Vyner, who was staying at the hotel went with me. Made the acquaintance of Mrs Elliott who was remarkably kind in her manner to me. The Oriental Secretary, Attaches, Capt. Vyner and myself were the guests. Mrs Elliott placed me at her left hand at dinner. The service all silver and very handsome. After dinner to the billiard room for a smoke. His Excellency had a game with the Oriental Secretary, then adjourned to the drawing room where Mrs Elliott presided at the tea table. We sat round, enjoyed a cup of tea and chat. At 10.30 the Ambassador retired and we left shortly after. Miss Elliott and her governess, Miss Brunswick, had joined our party in the drawing room.

Tuesday 29th December

Left cards at the Embassy, went for a long stroll in the Bazaars calling first at the Bank to see Mr Christian, and then paid a visit to Mr Gilbertson. At the Bazaars bought two hunting knives. Returned to Hotel at 4. Found a letter from Count Pisani asking me to call at the Embassy the following morning. Strolled out again and took a stall at the Opera. Dinner at Hotel and then to see the "Barbiere", Figaro, Don Basilio and Dr Bartolo all very good indeed.

Wednesday 30th December

Went to Embassy, appointment with Count Pisani at 12. Drove with him to the Porte. Interview with Safvel Pasha, Guarantee signed and sealed by him. Returned to Pera, sent off telegram to Commission at Galatz. Down to Bank and crossed to Kadikenoi with Mr Christian, spent the evening there and returned with him the following morning.

Thursday 31st December

Called at Embassy. Stroll in gardens with Mr Saurin (attaché). Took leave of Mr Elliott, messengers’ passport. To Municipality to see Constant. Took ticket by Lloyds steamer 'Austria" for Corfu. Met Mr Christian and went over to Kadikenoi. The Miss Wards to dinner and Mr and Mrs Walker, Mr and Mrs Page, Mr Todd, Miss Page in evening. Music and singing, very pleasant evening. Broke up at 2.30.

Friday 1st January 1869

Went to the Scutari burial ground for a walk. Miss M Ward, Mr and Mrs Walker, Miss Page and self, delightful walk. Made the acquaintance of S. Hynes and family, said goodbye to Kadikenoi and crossed to Galata. Met Mr Christian on bridge and said goodbye. Dined at Hotel and in evening to Alcazar and Cafe.

Saturday 2nd January

Went on board the "Austria" at 9 o'clock, anchor fouled, did not start till 11. Lovely weather, reached Syra at 5 the following evening, made the acquaintance of Mr Callinates and Cretan companions. Started from Syra, (where Admiral Hobart was at anchor with frigate, 2 iron-clads and 2 despatch boats) at 3.30 a.m. on Monday 4th.

Tuesday 5th January

At 2 o'clock entered Corfu Harbour. Took luggage on board Adriatic-Italian boat, went in carriage for a drive round the town of Corfu and out to the one gun battery. Returned to steamer at 4. Dinner and started at 6 p.m. At 8 wind freshened and we began to knock about, awful rolling the whole night, queer but not sick. Early morning Wednesday 6th steamed into Brindisi harbour. Took baggage up to Hotel d'Orient and visited the two churches and the prison (Bagno) during the day. Dined at 4.30 and then to railway station. Started for Florence at 6.45. Reached Ancona at 9.20 a.m. Thursday 7th and Bologna at 2.30. Here parted with Mr Callinates and his Sphakiote companion. Reached Florence at 8.30 Thursday evening drove to Hotel de Paix, bath and tea and bed

Friday 8th January

To breakfast at restaurant, then with a Commissioner visited the Church of St Lorenzo - Academy of Arts, Modern Paintings - Museum National, Pretorial Palace, Mosaic Museum and St Marco-the Duomo, Campanile and Baptistry. Called on His Excellency, Sir Augustus Paget. Dined at Hotel and in evening to Dong's Cafe.

Saturday 9th January

The Uffizi Gallery, Corsini Palace Gallery.

Sunday 10th January

Across from the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace, by the Bridge Gallery-Tapestry. Pitti Palace Gallery, Boboli Gardens, Church of St Croce, St Maria Novella and Annunziata. Promenade, Pergola Theatre

Monday 11th January

Palazzo Vecchio, Hall of Deputies and reading rooms. Interview with Count Menabrea [Prime Minister of Italy 1867-1869] and Monsignor Peirollni. Buonarotti Gallery and Museum of Natural History, Galileo Tribune etc. Academy of Arts-Oil Paintings.

Tuesday 12th January

Uffizi and Pitti Galleries. Foreign Office and called on Mons Peirolini, no reply to telegrams. Bought some photographs of pictures and views. Band at Palace square-Cafe de Paris. Wrote to Colonel Stokes.

Wednesday 13th January

To Palazzo Vecchio, saw Mons Peirolini, contract guarantee signed the previous evening, last look at Uffizi galleries - To Pagliano Opera house. Bad Orchestra and bad company, "Trovatore" miserably given.

Thursday 14th January

Morning, start in rain for Paris. Snow storm over Appenines, Turin at night, sleep and early morning to Susa. Felli Railway over Mt Cenis. Lovely weather and charming trip across. Reach Paris Saturday morning. Bad cold and fearful headache.

Sunday 17th January

In bed with bad headache and cold, sent to Embassy and to Baron d'Avril. The latter called at 12 o'clock and took Contract. Embassy sent for despatches.

Monday 18th January

Up after breakfast, short walk, Palais Royal. The Emperor opens chambers. Dined at Hotel and wrote to Dick, to Mrs Stokes and Mr Christian.

Tuesday 19th January

Cold still very heavy, short walk to Railway Station. Dine in Restaurant. At 8.30 to spend evening at Baron d'Avril, made Madame’s acquaintance. Two or three old swells looked in, the last at 12.30 to spend the evening when I left.

Wednesday 20th January

Contract guarantee signed. Left for Berlin at 5 o'clock, cold night and no sleep. Cold very bad. Reached Cologne early morning, waited there 2 hours and then on at 7.45 a.m. At about 3 p.m. snowing a little, found that the frosts had been very severe in these parts for 3 days, ice 4 inches thick. Reached Berlin, Hotel de Russie at 9.45. Tea and to bed, bad headache and cold still very heavy.

Friday 21st January

Slept till 11 o'clock. Breakfasted. Called on Lord Loftus [Lord Augustus William Frederick Spencer Loftus], very amiable, he forwarded me to Mons. Thille. The latter appointed an interview at 1 the following day. Called on Mr Gill [I assume this was Henry Gill] and went with him for a stroll to the Tier Garten to see the skating, very gay sight, nearly as many ladies on skates as gentlemen. Saw some clever things done that would astonish our English club. In the evening went to the Concert Haus. Some very well selected pieces arid all well played. The Ladies mostly had their needlework, knitting and crochet with them. Refreshments of all kinds, a charming place to chat and spend the evening.

Saturday 23rd January

Went at 10.30 by appointment to Mr Gill's office and then with him to see the Museum. There till 1.30 and then to Foreign Office with Contract. Saw Mons. Thille the Director who promised that the signature of Mr Bismark should be given on Monday. Requested me to call on that day at 2 o'clock. Snow falling all day from early morning till 5 o'clock. At 3 table d'hote at Hotel. Head aching so all day that I did riot feel up to going out in evening, tea and early to bed. Cold still awfully heavy and headache neuralgic.

A Voyage to Constantinople

A Voyage to Constantinople

A Journal kept by Edward James Standen during his voyage in 1855 to Constantinople in the Sailing Transport "William", 700 tons, No 192. with a biography of the Author, a forward and some historical notes by Charles Michael Bouck-Standen

Biography

Edward James Standen, the second son of Edward Standen, was born on 5th December 1836 in St Mary's Parish, Oxford. He and his two brothers, Joseph and Richard were educated at Kings College School, London. Edward James continued as a student at King's College London in the department of Engineering and Applied Sciences and he was elected an Associate of Kings College London in 1854.

In May 1855 he obtained a commission as a Lieutenant in the Turkish Contingent Engineers ( q.v.) and in the same year went with the force to Kertch to serve in the Crimean War returning to England in 1856. He wrote a diary which recorded the journey by sea from London to Constantinople.

In May 1857 he went to Galatz in Romania, (then a part of the Ottoman Empire), as the secretary to the British representative on the European Commission of the Danube (q.v.) serving under Major John Stokes until 1871 and then under Lieutenant Colonel Charles James Gordon, ("Chinese Gordon"). In 1868 he was employed on a diplomatic mission to various European governments to obtain their guarantees to a loan being raised by the Commission. He returned to England in the spring of 1872.

In June 1876 he was appointed one of the three representatives of the British Government on the Council of the Suez Canal company and resided in Paris. In early 1878 he visited Egypt with two French colleagues and subsequently produced a report on the condition of the Canal. On the 1st January 1888 he succeeded Baron Jules de Lesseps as a statutory member of the managing committee of the Canal and held that post until his retirement in January 1891 when he was created a Companion of the Bath. He died in November 1921. He married Ode Jean Angelique Fellemans, his second wife, in July 1891 and had one son, Percy Edward, who served in the Hampshire Regiment during the Great War. Percy Edward was married in 1918 to Marjorie Bouck and had one son, Charles Edward Barlow Bouck-Standen. His eldest son Charles Michael Bouck-Standen, now retains possession of his Great Grandfather's diary and papers.

Forward

The career of Edward James Standen, my paternal great grand-father, represents a Victorian success story which began with his great grandfather Joseph Standen in the 18th century. Joseph prospered sufficiently, as a Sussex farmer, to provide funds for his younger sons to set themselves up in the Textile trade in Dover. Edward James' father moved to Oxford and, as a successful hosier and woollen trader, was able to have his sons well educated. He also passed on a thriving business which later moved to London.

The narrative covers only a short period in the life of the author and nothing else has been passed on apart from some brief notes concerning his trip around Europe in 1868. However the record of the two months in 1855 forms, in my opinion, not only a valuable part of my Family History but also provides an insight into the values and mores of middle-class Victorian England.

There is, for example, the detail of the substantial meals which were apparently consumed despite "Mal-de-mer", and I wonder what the present view is of the compulsion to attempt to shoot every living thing in sight even when it was unlikely to have provided a meal. I have also found it a little strange that there are no descriptions of his fellow officers, the servants or the crew of the ship. In fact the author's only comment on the latter is to express his surprise that they took ablution s and he presumably held the view, at 19 years old, that they were simply a part of the "Great (and inferior) Unwashed".

The voyage seems to have been extremely lucrative for a young man fresh from college. I calculate that for his 9 months service he received, in cash and benefits, the equivalent of about £35,000 for doing very little. As a director of the Suez Canal Company, he earned £1000 per annum, or say £60,000 in today's money.

I have included some relevant historical details. It is interesting to see that Edward James' career closely followed that of Capt Stokes who recruited him in 1855 though always at a lower level. An example of the working of patronage in the age when Britain was at the pinnacle of her powers.

In editing the diary I have taken only the liberty of converting the daily records into the form of a narrative and providing chapter headings as useful divisions of the text. I have made only minor alterations to the detail, spelling and grammar.

Charles Michael Bouck-Standen December 1999.

The English Channel

On Monday the 30th July at 2pm our good ship weighed anchor and with a fair wind and a stought pilot left Gravesend for the East passing the "Lady Anne" transport, our consort, who was also moored off Tilbury Fort and was expected to sail the next day. Besides the Officers and Crew of the vessel we had on board eight officers of the Turkish Contingent, (four Captains, two Surgeons and two Engineering Clerks). Also six or eight servants. Our freight consisted chiefly of stores,waggons, pontoons etc for the Engineering Train of the Contingent besides four horses belonging to officers. The "Lady Anne", No 130, carried eight officers and about one hundred and twenty men with four horses and engineering tools and equipment.

Under the influence of the breeze the river soon grew perceptibly wider and after passing Rochester, Chatham and the Isle of Sheppey we rounded the North Foreland and anchored for the night off Margate. Early the following morning we started and about 12 0' clock anchored for the night off Deal. The pilot left us here and for the time being was transformed into a twopenny postman. I myself troubled him with two letters but we did not, however, leave the Downs as soon as I had expected for we  had to wait until the evening for the "Lady Anne" and then for a fair wind. To amuse ourselves we practised with our revolvers and managed to smash a bottle which was tied by a line to the stem of the ship and about 25 paces distant.

The next morning, as the Captain of the ship was going ashore for the day, I and three others resolved to do the same. We left the ship at about 11 o'clock and within 20 minutes we were on Deal beach. We first ordered dinner at the Royal Hotelfor4  o'clock and then strolled around the town and along the beach in the direction of Walmer Castle.

At dinner we were joined by an officer from the "Lady Jane". Fried sole, roast duck, veal cutlets and cherry and raspberry tarts with sherry and ale to wash it down proved most enjoyable, the more so as we had every reason to believe that this was the last meal we would have in England for a long time. We left Deal for our ship at about 7 o'clock.

Both ships weighed anchor the next morning but since the wind was in the west we had to tack so frequently that we made little headway and only arrived about six miles off St Helens at about 12 noon on Sunday. Eventually we lost sight of the"Mary Anne". All the second week we were tacking about from Portland Point to the Lizard with the wind dead ahead. By degrees we passed Exmouth, Teignmouth and Torquay and eventually passed the Lizard on Friday the 10th and were off the Scillies by Saturday morning.

Since we were then becalmed we persuaded the Captain to let down one of the ship's boats and five of us with the third mate and a sailor rowed about one mile ahead of the ship and then returned all the while being serenaded on a cornet by an officer. In the meantime those who had remained on board had rigged out two lines with large hooks baited with pork in the hope of catching a shark. They had a bite about ten minutes after we regained the ship and, by using the boat that was still afloat , a shark about six feet long, was secured and hauled aboard where the Captain severed his tail.

At about noon that day the wind began to freshen a little and a brigantine which we had seen in the offing earlier bore down upon us. Supposing that she was bound for England we hurriedly scribbled letters home and these were collected and transferred to the brigantine by boat. The vessel, the "Mary Stuart", was bound for Falmouth and Plymouth. I have to say that I had my share of sickness down the Channel and any attempt at writing made me feel dizzy. Nevertheless I did send a letter home to assure the family of my safety and good health.

I did not, however, thanks to the sea air and breeze, lose my appetite. Breakfast was served at half past eight, luncheon at noon, dinner at four and tea about seven. At about eight 0' clock the grog was brought out and stowed away again at 9.30. Although, when the steward came to summon us to dinner etc. exclamations such as, "What!, dinner already, we have just had lunch", or, "I really can't eat any!", were sure to be heard, we always seemed to do justice to the meal.

Biscay to Trafalgar

On the Saturday morning the wind sprang up and shifted to the north-east which enabled us to get through the dreaded Bay of Biscay in double quick time. In fact the Bay was beautifully smooth and by Monday evening we were off Cape Finisterre having  averaged about 9 knots. (I should mention here that we had a service each Sunday morning at 10.30 but in the the absence of a chaplain there was no sermon). On the Tuesday the wind fell light and we made very little progress. That evening we saw a  whale blowing and spouting within a mile of the ship and frequently during the week we were amused by watching the porpoises chasing the small fish which were actually leaping out of the water to escape them. On one occasion we broke out our revolvers and fired two or three shots but the porpoises gave us a wide birth.

The noise of a whale blowing is very peculiar and resembles the snorting made by a Hippopotamus after a swim under water but much louder. The sights and sounds of the whales and porpoises served as a distraction from our Turkish grammars which we found rather dry and during the week, as a further amusement, we got up a sweepstake. Ten members subscribed five shillings each and each member drew a paper on which the day of the month was written. The numbers were from 1 - 10 and the holder of the number of the particular day that the ship drops anchor will win the sweepstake. I drew No 5 and that holds good for the 5th, 15th and 25th.

We came in sight of land on Thursday (16th August), the first we had seen since we left England. This was the Berlengas or Borling Isles, six miles off the Portugese coast, and after dinner the convent of Mafra was visible about 40 miles distant. I n the evening the captain hailed a vessel as it passed us.

She was a brig from Algiers bound for Cardiff already having 30 days passage and 22 days from Gibraltar, a distance of about 360 miles. Both wind and tide had been against her the whole time. We gave our name and requested her to report us and,aft er wishing her a pleasant voyage, we were soon several miles distant. The phosphorescence of the sea this evening was very beautiful, the wake of the ship seemed on fire.

We were off the Spanish coast early on Friday, about 60 miles south of the Tagus, but the wind veered round to nearly south and we had to stand out on a south-west course and then at 4.30 in the afternoon tack and stand into land. The next morning we were passed by three large steamers and two more in the evening but we made little progress. We sighted the light on Cape St Vincent and doubled it on Sunday morning. The weather was beautiful and we had service on deck and all the officers wore their uniforms, the first time since leaving Gravesend. The captain hailed an English brig, the "Racehorse", bound for Scutari and a Spanish vessel, the " Manuel", from Havannah. The wind was fair though light and we averaged 4knots.

On Monday (20th August) the wind shifted to the east and fell light and we made little headway for the next three days. Two whales passed within 150 yards of the ship and the surgeon struck one with a ball from his fowling piece without doing any apparent injury.

The wind freshened on Thursday and we came off Cadiz about 12 miles distant. The effect of the sun shining on the white houses was very fine and made one long to set foot again on "terra firma". We saw two dolphins and an immense shark was reported  while we were at tea. We rushed on deck and a huge hook with about 2lbs of pork was let down but without success. We also, while passing two small Spanish fishing vessels, managed to exchange some salt beef for fish, onions, and tomatoes and gave them two or three good cheers which amused them but which they could not quite understand.

The Straits of Gibraltar

We sighted Cape Trafalgar on Friday and were glad to find that we were fairly in the current which flows through the Straits as we had little or no assistance from the wind and on Saturday we sighted the high land of Cape Spartel on the African coast. As we entered the strait we were enveloped in a thick fog and as we proceeded we could hear the foghorns sounding in all directions and now and then vessels could be seen looming through the mist. Our surgeon, having brought his cornet on deck,  gave a musical challenge to each vessel that we passed. On account of the fog we hardly knew our position but the Captain gave out that we were off Gibraltar and that we had better have our letters ready for the post in case we came across a ship that was going in. This exercise was, however, in vain.

At about 2 o'clock the fog began to clear and the sun shone out revealing the most lovely sight. On the one side was the coast of Spain with the town of Tarifa on the sea-shore with it's surrounding hills and dales intersected with hedgerows and covered for the most part with olive trees. On the other side were the rugged and barren peaks of the land of the Moors. The channel of the straits was literally lined with vessels of all descriptions and the Captain counted 174 around us atone time . Soon, as we drifted along with the current, we caught sight of the rock of Gibraltar and opposite the frowning peak of Ape's Hill, the two known as the Pillars of Hercules to the Ancients.

As we neared them our hopes of being able to put in increased and we ardently wished for either a dead calm or an easterly wind. To our mortification we passed the noble rock without even being able to put our letters ashore. The fog returned in the evening and it was only by the prompt action of the mate that we avoided a collision with a brig that had drifted down upon us.

On Sunday I was awakened by the sound of shots. I hurried on deck to be confronted with a marvellous sight. At about 100 yards distant from the ship and, for about a mile and a half on each side, the surface of the water was covered with porpoises tumbling about in all directions. There must have been thousands of them and the ship's officers said that they had never seen so many altogether before. Several of them came close and one of my companions shot one with his revolver. I might have done the same had I been up in time but I watched them until they were out of sight and then turned in again, for with a scotch mist falling, it was a miserable morning.


The wind remained contrary for some days and it was not until Thursday that we came near to the African coast. During that time we had torrential rain and at night there was thunder and some brilliant lightening. After we had weathered the island of Alboran on Tuesday the arms chest was cleared out. The muskets, which by the by were flintlocks, were inspected and cleaned and the cutlasses polished up a little, as we intended to give any pirates, who were venturesome enough to attack us, a very warm welcome. We could muster about 80 barrels with the muskets and revolvers together, three dozen cutlasses, ten officers swords and two twelve pounder carronades. We were about 50 in number and could hope to make a pretty stout resistance.

Africa and Malta

We passed the Island of Habebas on Thursday with a fair wind and a clear sky. We hailed a brig at about 10 o'clock but since there was no reply we supposed that she was a foreigner, perhaps Greek. At midday on Friday we exchanged colours with an English barque, the "Glenmore", from Newcastle and bound for Algiers which lay behind Cape Caxine. We passed the city at about 6 p.m. on Saturday but although we could distinguish houses and buildings on the outskirts Algiers itself lay too far back to be distinctly seen.

After Sunday service on the 2nd September the wind dropped and we were becalmed. Having espied two or three turtles floating on top of the water the Captain had a boat lowered and the chief mate, the boatswain, and two or three men pushed off to try and capture them. They soon succeeded in turning one over and hoisting him into the boat. They rowed back in triumph to the ship and the prisoner was hauled up on deck. Some more were soon discovered and the exercise was repeated. Although the turtles were small, measuring about 20 inches by 15, they made a very acceptable addition to our livestock.

Soon after the return of the boat we heard some loud splashes at the bows of the ship and to our surprise we saw several of the sailors indulging themselves with the luxury of a bath. Two or three of our officers made the same attempt but the winds prang up and they were obliged to haul themselves up the side of the vessel rather sooner than they had intended. One, who was rather heavier than he had imagined was unable to pull himself up the rope and had to be hauled on deck. We stood into shore that afternoon and from about 3 miles we could clearly distinguish houses, a windmill and a fort. There were five or six people in the fields in one of which the corn was being cut ready for harvest.

We supposed that the place was a French settlement called Jigali. We passed Cape Bougarli, or the Seven Capes, on Monday evening and had one of the turtles cooked for dinner. I never tasted a richer or nicer soup.

The following night a north-westerly breeze sprang up and, accompanied by rain thunder and lightening we passed Bonah, the last French settlement on the coast, which is distinguished by the revolving light off the Cape. For the next two days we had  a fair wind and averaged about 7 knots. We passed the Island of Galita and the rocks known as "Fratelli" on Wednesday, Cape Bon during Thursday night and by eight o'clock that morning we espied the Island of Pantellaria which we passed in the afternoon. A day later we descried Gozo and Malta about 25 or 30 miles to the north-east but the wind was then dead ahead and we had to tack and tack and made only 20 miles in eight hours.

Eventually we were becalmed near Cape Calambri on the Italian coast and, when the wind did freshen, it was from the east and we were forced to tack between Sicily and Malta whose lights were visible about 10 miles distant.

Sicily and the Aegean Sea

The coast of Sicily came in sight at about 6 o'clock on Sunday but the wind remained contrary and we were obliged to resort to that tedious system of tacking and did not near Sicily again until 5 in the afternoon. As we were then just off Cape Passero we had a beautiful view of Mt Etna and, although about 70 miles distant, could see its peak rearing high like some huge giant above the mountain ridges which seemed to do homage at its feet. In the evening there were three full rigged ships in sight and one, a frigate, appeared to be English. By eight o'clock, much to our delight, the wind was fair and we started off for Cape Matapan. The light on Cape Passero disappeared below the horizon at midnight and we had said goodbye to land for 5 or 6 days.

On the Tuesday the wind was beautifully fresh all day and we made a capital run. The frigate, who was about 8 miles ahead, at first kept her ground but we began to steal on her in the evening and we passed her next morning. We exchanged colours and she proved to be Norwegian and not English as we had supposed. About noon a Heron paid us a visit and flew past and over our vessel two or three times. A fowling piece was instantly got out, but owing to a delay in getting at some small shot, his life was spared. Towards evening, having made a quick passage from Sicily, we came in sight of land and had to shorten sail as we could not run the passage between Cerigi and Cervi without danger.

However, as soon as the morning dawned, we started off on our right course again. By breakfast time on Thursday, after passing Cape Matapan, we were sailing through the narrow passage which is about 5 miles wide. We had a capital view of both shores which are as barren and rocky as the mainland. A fine French frigate passed us as we entered the strait, returning from the East.

We, of course, hoisted our colors, and the next minute the French tricolor was seen flying at her mizzen. So different to the Americans who seldom, if ever, return a compliment of this description. We soon doubled Cape Malea but in a light wind made little progress and passed between the isles of Karavi and Belopoulo towards the evening.

On Friday morning we entered the channel between Zea and Thermia. We could clearly distinguish the olive trees but there was no other foliage to be seen on the steep and rocky shores. Several windmills were visible along the mountain ridges on Thermia and, after we had fairly passed the channel, we saw a pretty looking village further to the east. The houses were all a beautiful white as indeed was the case with all the towns or villages that we had passed in the Mediterranean. After a wearisome period of tacking we were able to steer away on a course for the Doro channel which is between the Negropont, or ancient Euboa, and the Island of Andros. We reached there the next day and its resemblance to the strait between Zea and Thermia w as very striking. Some fragments of a wreck floated past and we fancied that we saw two men clinging to one of the pieces but they were, in fact, parts of the unhappy vessel.

Several steamers have passed us in the last two or three days and on Thursday the Transport "Bahian", No 160, was hailed by us. She had returned from the East but had no news. A whale also came within 150 yards of us that morning but was too far off by the time the guns had been brought on deck. Two or three random shots were fired however as we had not had a shot at a fish for some time. In the afternoon we passed the islands of Psara and Knios on our right and Skyros on our left quarter and in the evening, under a good breeze, we came in sight of Mityleni which we passed during the night.

The Dardanelles

We entered the passage between Tenedos and the mainland of Asia on the Sunday morning and, when the wind changed to north-east, (the famous Etesian Winds of the Ancients), we made one tack up as far as we could get and brought the ship to anchor in  Goukyeri Bay. Two French frigates had arrived just before us and there was another French frigate anchored higher up in the Bay. During the day vessels brought up as they came in and by the afternoon about 60 of all sorts and sizes were anchored within two or three miles of us. It blew quite a gale of wind in the night and a schooner that was anchored just ahead of us dragged close past us and was obliged to ship another anchor to enable her to hold her ground.

We lay at anchor the whole of Monday and could not persuade the Captain to let us have a boat as the breeze was still fresh. The wind was still dead ahead the following morning. Nevertheless we weighed anchor and endeavoured to get as high up as the mouth of the Dardanelles. We only succeeded in getting as far as Besika Bay after passing near to the quaint looking town of Tenedos. At one o'clock a salute of 20 guns was fired from a war schooner that lay off the fort belonging to the town.

We supposed that it was in commemoration of the anniversary of the battle of Alma, or else one of their feast days, but in fact it was to celebrate the battle at Tehernaya and the capture of the south side of Sebastopol. The steamer "Great Britain"  passed us that day full of troops and a large steam frigate with a detachment of the Guards. We telegraphed to be taken in tow but they were not able to gratify our wishes. We anchored in Besika Bay in the evening not far from a Sardinian sloop of  war. As we were anxious to hear any news as many of our officers as the boat would hold were pulled to the sloop.

They were well received by the Sardinian officers and then went on board a Sardinian steamer which had come down the Dardanelles that evening for the purpose of towing the sloop through. While they were gone we had a visit from the Captain of a steam tug. When our Captain thought it time for the boat to return we fired one of the 12 pounder carronades twice and this had the desired effect. The Sardinian set off for the Dardanelles early next morning, Wednesday 19th, with a letter from our commanding officer to the Consul requesting to be towed through.

At about 10 o'clock that day a boat was lowered and we all went on shore taking our guns and pistols as we expected to find some game to shoot. On reaching the shore we found that at about 100 yards or so from the sea there was a marsh extending for a mile or two in length so that we could not get far inland without going some distance around. We had not been on shore for more than a quarter of an hour when the ship hoisted a flag for us to return and we were obliged very reluctantly to get in the boat again and join the vessel. However during that short stay on the shores of Asia we saw amongst other things, eagles, herons, moorhens, wild ducks,camels, a tortoise and a green tree-frog besides abundant traces of rabbits so that had we remained there for an hour or two we might perhaps have had some sport

As soon as we were on board we weighed anchor and again endeavoured to reach the entrance to the Dardanelles. After tacking about and gaining a little during the earlier part of the day, as the wind fell light towards the evening, we lost ground on account of the strong current to such an extent that we were obliged to anchor about a mile lower down than where we had been the day before. The next morning we again set sail and with a pretty fresh wind we made about 5 miles before we anchored about 2 miles north-east of the Rabbit islands.

On Friday we again made sail and worked about near the Isle of Imbros where we were free from the current and, much to our delight, at about 10 o'clock that night we came to anchor off Cape Greco, the north side of the entrance to the Dardanelles, and within half a mile of land. We found ourselves in company with about 30 other vessels which had worked up there within the last few days but could get no further until the wind changed.

On Saturday although the wind was very strong and the swell in the sea rather great a boat was lowered and the Captain and four of our officers left for the shore. They found that the English Consul did not live there as we had supposed, but about 20 miles further up the straits. The Turkish officers at the fort, the "Newcastle of Europe", received them very kindly. They smoked pipes and had coffee together and the Commandant of the fort had the regiment parade and put through their various evolutions in honour of the visitors.

They strolled a little way into the country and had a ride on a pony. About four in the afternoon they returned having spent 3 or 4 hours on shore very pleasantly and not forgetting to bring a small store of fruit with them as some small compensation for the tedious day endured by the four who had remained on board. At about 8 o'clock on Sunday a steam tug came up to us and shouted that the wind was too high to tow then but he would take us in tow in the evening if the weather moderated. This was the best news we could have had as we were beginning to think that we should have to lie there until the winds changed which might have been a week or more. We telegraphed with a ship that was at anchor about a mile from us and from her we learned that she had seen the "Lady Anne" last Sunday not far from there.

In the course of the day our Captain went on board the steam tug. They had towed the "Lady Anne" through the Dardanelles on Tuesday and she had reached Constantinople on the Wednesday. Thus while we had been at anchor last Monday in Goukyeri Bayou r consort was moored about 6 miles further up off the town of Yenikoi.

The tug came along side at 7 o'clock that evening and within half an hour a hawser had been made fast and we were under tow. It was a beautiful moonlit night, though not sufficiently bright for us to see the shore. The wind was very strong and very  cold and I turned in at about 11 o'clock. On going on deck early next morning I found to my surprise that we were right through the straits and Gallipoli was 8till visible about 3 miles in our rear.

The steamer still kept on steadily and we began to hope that she would take us the whole way but when we were about 14 or 15 miles past Gallipoli he signalled us to make sail. The wind was dead ahead and the current strong so we told him to goon.H e refused, however, and after some palavering said he should cast off Nevertheless he went on again until 9 o'clock and then he told us to make sail.

We told him that the service demanded that he should still tow us under the circumstances. He refused and cast off and we set sail as soon as possible and had to beat up against the wind.We reached the Island of Marmora at about 5 o'clock having made only about 15 miles since the steamer left us. It fell light in the evening and a storm passed within a mile of us.

Constantinople

The next day, Tuesday the 25th, was my number for the first prize in the sweepstakes and it seemed very probable that I would be the lucky one. The wind, however, was very light in the early part of the day and we coasted along the shores of Turkey north of the sea of Marmora. The wind changed in the afternoon and we made very little progress. We passed the villages of Perioli, Heraclista, Rhodosto and Eretuli during the course of the day. The coast here was much more richly cultivated than any land we had passed since leaving England, grapes and melons were seemingly more common than any other fruit.

We also encountered a great many small sailing boats of a rig peculiar to the Turks and Greeks. The owners were always very friendly to all appearances as they seldom failed to salute us, and, with a wave of their caps wish us a pleasant voyage.A meteor passed through the air this evening apparently within 100 yards of the ship. It consisted of a ball of fire which fell with great rapidity and, when within a short distance, burst, leaving behind it a long narrow streak of fire reddish and violet in color. We had only made as far as Cape Bala by nightfall and all my chances of winning the first prize were lost.

Constantinople was just visible when I rose the next morning but with contrary winds we only made a few miles and eventually anchored in the evening about 6 miles off Seraglio Point. Then the City of the Sultans, in all its beauty, lay before us. We noticed a wreck a mile down from us which one of the sailors said was a transport which had run aground last year and we congratulated ourselves on having been more fortunate than that lucky vessel. In the following two days we managed to gain only 3 miles but we had a much finer view of the city and, from our anchorage, we looked down the harbour backed by the princely mansions of Pera, the residences of the Ambassadors and all foreigners.

The Captain and our commanding officer went ashore and returned with several letters. They also brought some exciting news. We were ordered on to Kertch where a great part of the Turkish Contingent had already gone. The "Lady Anne" was sent at once  to Verna but then was ordered to go to Kertch. From the newspapers we also heard of the destruction of Sveaborg and the evacuation of Petro Paulovski.

Immediately after breakfast on Saturday the Captain and three of our officers went ashore and then sent the boat back when the rest of us went for a ramble. The streets were very narrow and dreadfully dirty, crowded moreover with people of almost every nation, principally Turks, Greeks, Americans and Jews besides hundreds of French soldiers. We at first betook our steps to the Hotel d'Angleterre, the only one, I believe, in the place. While there we polished off a bottle of Claret for which they charged us the moderate sum of 7 francs and I then accompanied an officer to some merchants with whom he had business. By the time we had finished these calls it was about 3 o'clock so we walked back to the quay where our boat was and, being joined by two or three others, pulled off to the ship. It was a miserable row back as just as we started it began to rain and continued raining until late evening.

However it was a beautiful morning on Sunday and at about 10 o'clock we went off in a boat to the shore. On landing we made the best of our way to the top of the hill. We called at the hotel but those that had stayed there to sleep had left,they t old us, about an hour before. The streets were in a dreadful state and we made an attempt to get away from the town and into the open country. We walked on for a couple of miles and on the heights of Pera and Tophaus had a beautiful view of the mouth of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn with Scutari just opposite. The harbour was crowded with shipping but the flags of England and France were most conspicuous. We walked on as far as the French Hospital and as we began to feel hungry we turned  into a miserable French restaurant where we had some very good bread, very bad cheese, and a bottle of ale. We then walked leisurely back to the Golden Horn and, slipping into a caique, we let the boatman pull us across and land us near the Bazaar . We had no sooner landed than we were besieged by a number of guides, both men and boys. We succeeded however in driving away all but one whom we put up with.


The Diary rather ungrammatically ceases at this point leaving us in mid air. In truth, however, there was probably little to record for although the Contingent moved on to Kertch there was no serious fighting after the fall of Sebastopol on 8th September. When peace was signed in Paris in March 1856 the Contingent was broken up and the British personnel returned to England.

Historical Notes

(1) In 1854 Britain, in close alliance with France and later Sardinia, sent an expeditionary force to the Black Sea to protect Turkey from Russian aggression. However the British had only a small standing army and, with no organised reserve system,  were incapable of the rapid expansion that was necessary to meet the needs of a continental war. Although the Turkish army consisted of first class fighting men it was poorly equipped and suffered from extensive corruption in both its supply and administrative services. Since Britain was financially sound and Turkey on the verge of bankruptcy the two governments entered into an arrangement whereby Turkey undertook to hand over a complete corps of 20,000 trained men which would be received in to the pay and service of Britain for the duration of the war.

After some time it became clear that the Turks were unable to produce any Engineer units for the Contingent and in April 1855 the War Department in London appointed Capt. J Stokes to raise the appropriate force in England. The full details of Stokes' duties and efforts have been recorded elsewhere*, it suffices here to recount that although Stokes was permitted to recruit regular officers to assist in the initial organisation of the Contingent Engineers he was obliged to engage civil engineers as regimental officers. The civilians were offered £700 a year with free rations for themselves and one servant apiece. They were also promised a gratuity of six months pay on discharge for a years service.

(2) After the Crimean War an international conference was held in Paris to settle the "Eastern Question". The Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia were placed under the guarantee of the Great Powers and a Commission, based at Galatz, was set up to regulate traffic on the Danube. In the years that followed order was restored to the Danube delta and a 100 mile stretch of the river was made navigable for ships up to 2000 tons. In 1862 the legislatures of Moldavia and Wallachia united to form one autonomous principality within the ottoman Empire. The state of Romania gained full independence in 1877 but the navigation of the Danube remained under the control of the Commission until 1939.

(3) Sir John Stokes, (knighted in 1877), had a distinguished career after the Crimean War. He held the post as the British representative on the Danube Commission from 1856 to 1871. He was consulted by Disraeli on the subject of the purchase of the  shares of the Suez Canal and became one of the directors appointed to represent the British Government on the Board of the Suez Canal Company.

*A full report by Lieut Col ME. S. Laws is held at the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London. The information in the biography of the author has been obtained from private papers and confirmed by various sources which include an entry in "Who was Who", Foreign Office and Treasury papers held at the Public Record Office, (FO 78/2540, 78/4399, T250/12 [The Welby File]), an obituary published in the "Times" on November 7th 1921 and from the archives at King's College London.