By Iain Grant.
27 October 2016
Today we visited The National Archives at Kew and studied letters, documents, calendar books and pay books which, though confirming much of what was already known, did not produce any new information. There are still “holes” in the history of Hazardous that we are keen to fill but researching ancient hand written documents isn’t straight-forward or easy and involves lots of unproductive effort. While the digital resources available are amazingly good, not everything is indexed so lots of speculative guesswork is necessary!
At the start, the obvious sources produced good data but as those are exhausted so fewer “nuggets” are found. A major set back is the absence of the Captain’s log for the period of the Virginia convoy and the final wrecking of Hazardous. We have the Master’s log which though productive is extremely difficult to read and is primarily concerned with the functioning of the ship. Reading the Captains’ logs of other ships involved with the Virginia convoy does give some idea of how Hazardous was involved but no specifics. For example, the Advice Captain’s log was able to provide some information concerning the last few days of Hazardous after the death of Capt Browne.
So far we have only used the National Archives at Kew but The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich does also contain documents and records that may help and that is to be the next target for research.