Private Journal - Captain Robert Jenkins [1825-94] 1857 to 1858 The original 320 page hand-written journal of Captain Robert Jenkins, during his time as Commander of HMS Actaeon for the year 1857 and HMS Comus in 1857, both ships active off the coast of China, mostly around Canton. Included is a hand drawn and water coloured sketch of Chinese villagers being forced to kowtow to the Union Jack. Finely bound in contemporary black calf and brass locks.

HMS Actaeon was commissioned in 1857 to serve as a survey vessel off the coast of China, under the command of Captain William Thornton Bate. She was present at the bombardment of Canton in 1857,where Bate was shot and killed on 29th. December. Captain Robert Jenkins took over the command of the ship and his journal refers to the bombardment of Canton, surveying factories, disputes over land between British and Chinese merchants. It also covers skirmishes with armed junks and defence of the Barrier. Locations include Hong Kong ,Canton, Macao and Amoy.

According to the Journal it appears that Jenkins was wounded seriously on June 30th 1858, and on September 16th ‘Joined Commander J Ward, [vice?] Captain R Jenkins discharged to Half Pay’, September 18th ‘I went to Shanghai with Commander Ward’, from wence Jenkins travelled to Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Galli, Aden, Alexandria, Malta, Gibralter, Falmouth, arriving in Southampton 19th November, one month after leaving Shanghai.

(29 x 23.5 cm) pp. [4] [144 (1st January to 31st December 1857 as Commander of HMS Comus)] [9 (Summary of year 1857 as Commander of HMS Comus)] [1]; [7(January 1-19th, last days as Commander of HMS Comus)] [1] [92 (January 20th to 19th November as Commander of HMS Actaeon)] [4] [8 (Summary of year 1857 as Commander of HMS Actaeon)] [50]. Paper watermarked ‘1852’ ‘Fellows’.

320
  Robert Jenkins R.N.
‘Admiral Robert Jenkins died at Charlton Hill, Shrewsbury, last week. Born in 1825, he entered the Navy in 1838, and saw a good deal of service. He served as midshipman on the Hastings on the coast of Syria in 1840, and on the Blonde in the China war, 1842, being mentioned in gazetted despatches for Woosung and especially for Ching-Kiang-Foo. He was for ten months at the Buffalo River landing troops, horses, and stores for the Kaffir war, 1851.

In 1854 he commanded the Talbot Arctic expedition, and in 1855-6, as commander of the Comus, he was engaged in suppressing piracy in China, recaptured a Portuguese lorcha, and destroying nine piratical junks at Meichin Sound. He served in the China war of 1856-7. Assisted by the Hornet, the Comus beat off the Fatshan fleet, two fire junks foulling the Comus. He sent a pinnace with her Majesty's Consul from Amoy to the city of Chang Chow, by which action the mandarins were induced to recover $20,500 plundered from the agents of British merchants.

Captain Jenkins commanded the Actaeon in the China war of 1858, headed five expeditions, composed of gunboats, boats, and marines of the squadron, and the second division of the Naval Brigade, in the expedition to the White Cloud Mountains, and was very seriously wounded in command of the boats' crews and marines of the Tribune and Actaeon in a village on the French Island, when returning with prisoners, having frustrated an attempt to burn the docks on both sides of the river at Whampoa, and the ships on the river.

As captain of the Miranda he took a message from Sir John Young declining the offer of Thakombau and the chiefs of Fiji to become subjects of the British Crown. He settled all matters between Europeans and Fijians without resort to force. In 1863-4 he served in the New Zealand war, transported four cargo boats overland from Auckland to the Manukau, plated them with iron, and fitted them with 12-pounder Armstrongs and cohorns for service in the Waikato. He commanded the Thames on the Tauranga and Maketu expeditions, and the reserve of the Naval Brigade in the assault en the Gate Pah. Admiral Jenkins was made a C.B. in 1864.’ -
Death of A Gate Pah Veteran - Bay of Plenty Times 16 November 1894.


Service Record of Robert Jenkins - 1846 Lieutenant, 1853 Commander, 1857 Captain, 1875 Rear-Admiral, 1880 Retired Vice-Admiral.
2 May 1849 - Lieutenant in Castor, commanded by Christopher Wyvill, Cape of Good Hope
1 March 1854 - October 1854 - Commander in Talbot (from commissioning at Deptford), conveying stores for the relief of Edward Belcher's artic expedition (Assistance)
23 July 1855 - Commander in Comus, East Indies (including 2nd Anglo-Chinese War).
30 December 1857 - 24 September 1858 - Captain in Actaeon, coast of China and Tartary.
29 August 1861 - 3 June 1865 - Captain in Miranda (until paying off at Sheerness), Australia (during the New Zealand War).
(January 1869) - 31 December 1869 - Captain in Royal George (until paying off at Plymouth), Coast Guard, Kingstown (and May 1869, cruise of the Reserve Fleet) until replaced by Pallas.

HMS Comus (1828-62. launched as Comet, renamed Comus in 1832).
462 ton sloop, wooden hull, sail, 18 guns.
9 May 1839 - 1841 - Commanded by Commander Evan Nepean, West Indies
January 1842 - May 1842 - Commanded by Acting Commander George Evan Davis, West Indies
(January 1843) - Out of commission at Chatham
14 December 1844 - 9 November 1846 - Commanded by Commander Thomas Sparke Thompson, south-east coast of America
(November 1845) - Commanded by Acting Commander Edward Augustus Inglefield, during the Anglo-French action in Uruguay
17 November 1846 - Commanded by Commander Edwin Claton Tennyson D'Eyncourt, south-east coast of America
3 May 1853 - Commanded (from commissioning at Sheerness) by Commander William Abdy Fellowes, East Indies
23 July 1855 - Commanded by Commander Robert Jenkins, East Indies (including 2nd Anglo-Chinese War)
30 December 1857 - 7 June 1858 - Commanded (until paying off at Chatham) by Commander Richard Dawkins, East Indies and China

HMS Actaeon [1831-1889], wooden, 6th rate, sail, 620 tons, 16 guns.
Note 1856 survey ship. 1866 hospital ship. 1870 hulk
25 November 1830 - 4 September 1834 - Commanded by Captain Frederick William Grey, Mediterranean
14 August 1838- 1842 - Commanded by Captain Robert Russell, South America
(January 1843) - Out of commission at Plymouth
14 December 1844 - Commanded by Captain George Mansel, west coast of Africa
1 August 1856- 29 December 1857 - Commanded by Commander William Thornton Bate, Coast of China and Tartary (until he was killed while serving with the Naval Brigade on shore during bombardment of Canton during the second Anglo-Chinese war)
30 December 1857- 18 September 1858 - Commanded by Captain Robert Jenkins, coast of China and Tartary
18 September 1858- 19 June 1862 - Commanded (until paying off at Portsmouth) by Commander John Ward, coast of China and Tartary.

She was paid off at Portsmouth in 1848, but was recommissioned again in 1857 to serve as a survey vessel off "the coast of China and Tartary", under the command of Captain William Thornton Bate. She was then present at the bombardment of Canton in 1857, during the Second Opium War, where Bate was shot and killed on 29 December. He was replaced by Robert Jenkins on 30 December, and then by John Ward on 18 September 1858. Ward carried out surveys for further military operations in August 1859, before returning to Britain. Actaeon was at Shanghai on the night of Sunday, 7 April 1861 for the British census.

Extracts from the
Times newspaper - 20 June 1862 - “The Actaeon, surveying frigate, Capt. John Ward, was paid out of commission at Portsmouth yesterday, under the superintendence of Capt. H. Broadhead, commanding the steam reserve at the port, and the crew were granted the ordinary leave of absence. This ship was commissioned in August, 1858, for Commander W. Thornton Bate, then on surveying service in China. After the death of Capt. Bate at the bombardment of Canton the Actaeon was engaged in the survey of the Canton River until August, 1858, when Capt. Jenkins was succeeded in the command by Commander John Ward, and the ship sailed for the North and the Coast of Tartary (Manchooria), returning to Canton in the end of December of the same year. In February, 1860, she sailed for the Gulf of Pecheli in company with Her Majesty's ships Sampson, Algerine, and Dove; surveyed Ta-lien-whan Bay and part of the gulf as a rendezvous for the combined fleets of England and France. She was afterwards engaged with the Dove tender, Cruizer, Algerine, Leven, and Slaney in completing the survey of the whole coast of the gulf of Pecheli and the north coast of Shantung. The Actaeon's next labours were in surveying the lower part of the Yangtze river, above Shanghae. In May, 1861, she sailed for Japan, and on arrival there continued surveying, assisted by the Dove, Algerine, and Leven, until December, when she returned to Hongkong, and finally sailed for England on the 9th of January, 1862.”
  Bound in contemporary full black calf, blind tooling to panels with double fillet border enclosing decorative border, edges and turn-ins hatched in blind, marbled endpapers, brass lock.   Condition: Very good, rubbing and marks to binding, brass lock does not function, internally fine.   Ref: 105360   Price: HK$ 130,000