Merchant Navy Treasures

The Newall Dunn Collection – Progress and Volunteering
Some of you will have visited our introductory exhibition to highlight the Newall Dunn Collection earlier this year. For the purposes of this small scale display we were only able to show items from three companies, but we were delighted that so many of our visitors enjoyed this glimpse of things to come.







From the Port Line folder of large photographs




The Newall Dunn Collection offers a rich and diverse photographic and ephemera resource for Merchant Shipping history; a treasure trove of material from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. It is a rich source of information on cargo vessels and shipping companies as well as passenger services covering everything from ocean liners to pleasure boats and tugs.
Converting a privately held collection into something users can find on a library catalogue and view in the reading room involves organisation and effort. Each folder of material needs to be arranged, analysed and recorded before being re-packaged and labelled. We hope that the work we are doing will make the riches in this collection accessible to all – whilst taking care of it for the future. This is a challenge, but one we are happy and privileged to accept.










Just some of the material when it arrived at Guildhall Library










Staff and volunteers at Guildhall Library have been busy listing and ordering material and then carefully transferring it into conservation grade folders and sleeves. Over five hundred information files, going back to the early 1930s, have now been listed on a spreadsheet, re-housed and labelled. These files are in two series: shipping companies from Aberdeen to Zim and subject folders. The latter is wide ranging, covering such themes as figureheads, hospital ships, lightships, railway steamers and propellers. Types of material include news cuttings, journal articles, press releases, deck plans and sketches.



The Prince Line information file before listing and re-housing







Some content from the Bibby Line file






An example of the large photograph collection before listing and re-packaging



The collections of small and large photographs are under way. Like the information folders these are largely arranged by shipping company with some sections ‘by subject’.





The new folders on the shelves



We are very grateful for the work of our volunteers who have contributed so much toward bringing this collection to library users. Without their generosity we would not be able to release material for many years to come. Would you like to join us? We need your help; you do not need to commit to more hours than you are comfortable with. Some volunteers give a regular morning or afternoon, others do a full or half day as and when they can. If you think you may be interested, contact us at without obligation.
The Newall Dunn Collection will be available to order in stages, as we complete and catalogue the various series. We are not ready yet but keep an eye on our blog and other social media platforms for updates.

Jeanie Smith, Assistant Librarian, Guildhall Library.




Menus from the Newall Dunn Collection at Guildhall Library

One of the highlights of unpacking our new collection has been the discovery of these beautifully designed menus which complement our internationally important food and drink collections.

This menu was printed by the Parisian company Lemercier and produced with ready-made spaces for the shipping company to fill in the dishes of the day. This particular menu was completed for the 1st Class passengers aboard the mail boat “Yarra” for 29th April 1890.

This Norddeutscher Lloyd breakfast menu offers quite a feast. The dishes offered include Saratoga Chips – a nineteenth-century crisp. This menu, written in German and English, was eaten and hopefully enjoyed aboard the steamer “Jahn” on 17th July 1899.

In the twentieth-century the Union-Castle Line produced beautiful menus to reflect their destinations including series depicting South African flowers and animals. The collection also offers a variety of menus depicting birds such as the waxwing and the kingfisher.









Union-Castle employed artist Will Owen (1869-1957), of Bisto Kids fame, to design a series of menus for their tourist-class, fancy-dress dinners. These portrayed literary characters from Shakespeare and Dickens; those below depict Falstaff, Dolly Varden and Sam Weller.

We have four volunteers and Guildhall Library staff working on listing, cataloguing and conserving the Newall Dunn Collection to enable us to make it accessible to library users. In the meantime, you can get a preview of just some of the collection by visiting our exhibition “Merchant Navy Treasures” which continues until 24th May. This offers displays on Union-Castle, Orient and Cunard Lines but the wider collection covers international cargo and passenger ships as well as smaller vessels such as tugs and fishing boats.

The Newall Dunn Collection was built by shipping historian Peter Newall and was gifted to Guildhall Library in 2018.

Jeanie Smith, Assistant Librarian.

Merchant Navy Treasures: An Introduction to the Newall Dunn Collection at Guildhall Library

The New Year finds us busy preparing our next exhibition and looking forward to showing you our new maritime collection. Many of you will have seen and consulted the Lloyd’s Marine Collection at Guildhall Library, a valuable source of information about ships, shipping movements and marine news and casualties. In the coming months, we will be able to offer shipping historians and enthusiasts a superb addition in the shape of the Newall Dunn Collection, which comprises one of the world’s richest photographic and ephemera resources for Merchant Shipping history.

This treasure trove offers material from about 1880 to the turn of the twenty-first century, featuring an extensive series of images of ocean-going liners, cruise ships, cargo vessels – in fact vessels of all types and sizes.

In addition, there are over three hundred information files consisting of press releases and cuttings going back to the early 1930s, shipping company brochures, menus & other ephemera representing a wide-ranging pictorial history.

The collection was built by shipping historian Peter Newall and was gifted to Guildhall Library in 2018. The resource he compiled includes material and photographs amassed by several previous shipping enthusiasts and writers. The most important of these was writer and artist Laurence Dunn but also includes work created by Captain Emile Sigwart of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and photographs of ships on the Thames by Jeffrey Curtis taken in the 1930s.

In the coming months and years there is a good deal of work to be done to catalogue and conserve the collection and gradually make it all accessible to users – volunteers welcome! The forthcoming exhibition will offer a flavour of what is to come, and we hope many of you will find time to drop by to take a look and come to the accompanying talk and workshops. While you are with us, we would like as many of you as possible to share stories and memories of your own journeys by sea or of Merchant Navy Service, and there will be space in the exhibition for you to sit and write these as well as look through some of the collectors’ publications which are held by Guildhall Library.

The exhibition opens on Monday 28th January 2019 and is on until 24th May. We haven’t space to highlight all the strengths of the collection but for this initial introduction we will be showing material on the Union-Castle, Orient and Cunard Lines. We are honoured that Stephen Payne, designer of the Queen Mary II will be launching the exhibition with an evening talk on 29th January. His talk is on the subject of his recent publication, co-authored with the late Peter Newall, on “Orient Line: The Last Great Liners”. You will find further details and can book your place via or by contacting us on 020 7332 1871.

Jeanie Smith, Assistant Librarian

Women, Work and the City of London

They have a cheek I’ve never been asked to by Emily Ford, 1908 Copyright Museum of London

As part of the Women, Work and Power celebrations taking place across the City of London the Guildhall Library’s new exhibition looks at the Women, Work and the City of London. Women fighting for equality at the start of the 20th century were looking for examples from the past to counteract the Victorian rhetoric of the day about the “natural” woman’s place being that of a homemaker. Activists wrote about the conditions of employment for women of the working class and how that needed to be improved. Historians and economists looked at how women’s work had changed with the rise of capitalism and industrialisation. One of the key texts on this topic is Alice Clark’s Working Women of the Seventeenth Century, first published in 1919. The book has been reprinted many times and remains a source frequently quoted by modern historians.
Alice Clark’s research focused on women working in the seventeenth century. At the time of her research women were no longer able to join many of the guilds, so discovering women had been able to do so in the past strengthened her views that women should have greater opportunities in the present.

Alice Clark from the Women’s Library LSE

Following on from Alice Clark’s example, this exhibition will look at the different roles women had within the London Guilds how their work was recorded in or, as in some cases, left out of the official records.
The exhibition features manuscripts from the 15th to the 18th centuries. The earliest is the Porlond manuscript from the Brewers Company. Written 600 years ago between 1418 and 1438. It shows that a third of the membership were women either working independently or in partnership with a husband. Between 1418 to 1424 there were between 78 and 152 women who paid their company dues each year.

Image from the Porlond Manuscipt, London Metropolitan Archives, City of London, Ref CLC/L/BF/A/021/MS05440

The exhibition also looks at women as apprentices and mistresses, often joining guilds that weren’t related to the trade they were practicing. The guild manuscripts give us a picture of how women were able to learn a trade and carry out their businesses within the City of London.
Many events associated with the exhibition have already sold out but there are still tickets for the following events, including the exhibition launch on the 18th of September.

Exhibition launch: Work and freedom: women in the London companies
Tuesday 18th September 18:00-20:00
The City of London was unique in England in requiring women as well as men to take the freedom of the city in order to trade within its jurisdiction. The records generated by that process allow unusual insight into the nature of urban women’s business activity in the 17th and 18th centuries. Feminist historians in the early 20th century discovered this evidence and used it to reinforce arguments for women’s suffrage and employment rights. Today further research is recasting the history of women’s work in early modern London.

Walk Suffragette City (of London)
Tuesday 25 September 17.30-19.00
This walk by Laura Miller celebrates centuries of women working, trading, influencing and helping to build the City. In this walk suffragettes are part of a rich historic tapestry. On our way we’ll meet rowdy individualists, steely businesswomen and skilled artisans. Wandering through alley ways, and grand thoroughfares we’ll encounter women who have thrived, survived and left their mark, if you know where to look, on the streets of the City. We’ll also run into Queens, aristocrats and, of course, suffragettes along the way.
£10 on the day no advance booking required.
Meet next to The Monument, Fish Hill Street, EC3R 8AH.

The exhibition is open now until January 2019.
Melanie Strong, Assistant Librarian

State Trials at Guildhall: Henry Garnett or Garnet 1555-1606

Henry Garnet
From a portrait by Jan Wiericx

Following on from a blog last summer about the trial of Lady Jane Grey at Guildhall, I would like to explore the trial of Henry Garnett, a Jesuit priest, which took place at the Guildhall in 1606.

Henry Garnett (1555–1606) was an English priest of the Catholic Jesuit order.
The Jesuits were a religious order founded by Ignatius of Loyola and approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. Loyola was a nobleman and former soldier, who discovered his spiritual devotion after being wounded in battle. Members of the Jesuit Society were expected to accept orders anywhere in the world, where they might be required to live in extreme conditions. Thus, the opening lines of the founding document declared that the society was founded for “whoever desires to serve as a soldier of God” (

In 1586, Garnett and another Jesuit Robert Southwell were sent to England to succeed to Jesuit Superior in England, should anything happen to Weston, the incumbent. The Jesuits were banished from England in 1585 so Garnett and other Jesuits ministered and worshipped in secret. There were very few Jesuits in England and most had been imprisoned. The Jesuits needed a network of safe houses to protect them from raids. The government increased surveillance and renewed persecution of the order in the wake of the discovery of the Babington Plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth and the planned invasion of England by Philip II of Spain. Weston was captured and arrested within a month of Garnett arriving in England and accordingly Garnett became the Jesuit Superior in England.

Anti-Catholic sentiment was high after the successful defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and the government wanted to formulate an oath whereby Catholics could proclaim their allegiance to the queen. The government required Catholics to deny the pope’s authority in England. However, Catholics argued that they would show the queen the same obedience owed to any secular prince and would do so until such a time as a papal bull excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I.

Being the leader of the banned Jesuits in the face of increased government persecution weighed heavily on Garnett’s shoulders. Things went from bad to worse after capture of his friend Southwell in June 1592. Garnett wrote: ‘While I cannot help myself in my sadness and anxiety … deprived as I am now of my companion, my dearest father and my helper [I await] his greatest achievements yet’ (Caraman, Garnet, 151).
At Southwell’s trial prosecutor Sir Edward Coke attacked the Jesuit for his use of the controversial doctrine of equivocation. Equivocation was a Jesuit logic that allowed Catholics to avoid incriminating themselves or others, without lying in the eyes of God. This included techniques such as not speaking in complete sentences and finished them by adding any qualification silently in one’s head, with the object of misleading the auditor. Unsurprisingly, English authorities distrusted equivocation: they viewed it as sinful and lying and an attack on language and meaning.

Southwell was executed at Tyburn on 21 February 1595. Garnett implored the Superior General of the Society of Jesuits, Claudio Acquaviva, to send him an assistant who would succeed him as superior. Henry Walpole was sent. Captured soon after his arrival in December 1593, Walpole was executed in York on 7 April 1595.

Upon the accession of James I, Garnett was enthusiastic about Catholic prospects in England. He wrote to fellow Jesuit Robert Persons on 16 April 1603: ‘Great hope [there] is of toleration: and so general a consent of Catholics in the [King’s] proclaiming [that] it seemeth God will work much’ (Caraman, Garnet, 305).

Ahead of his accession to the English throne, James had courted English Catholics and hinted at, but not promised, religious tolerance. Expectation among Catholics quickly turned to disappointment and anger. Rumours of Catholic plots and conspiracies even reached Rome. The Superior General of the Jesuits ordered Garnett to do everything he could to prevent Catholics from resorting to violence.

On 25 July 1605, in confession, and therefore under oath not to disclose anything from his penitent, Garnett learned of a plot from the Jesuit Oswald Tesimond. Tesimond, Robert Catesby’s confessor had been given permission by his penitent to discuss a ‘case of conscience’ with his confessor and superior Garnett. However, despite his admonitions, and warnings, Garnett failed to prevent the Gunpowder Plot. The date of the fifth of November will ever be remembered in English history and continues to be marked by bonfires and firework displays today. The discovery of the plot ended any chance of religious toleration of Catholics and provoked a frantic search for the conspirators and their associates.

On 15 January 1606 the government issued a proclamation for Garnett’s arrest along with Tesimond. It described Garnett as:
of a middling Stature, full Faced, Fatte of body, of Complexion faire: his Forehead high on each side, with a little thinne Haire comming down upon the middest of the forepart of his Head: the Haire of his Head and Beard griseled: of Age betweene fiftie and threescore: his Beard on his Cheekes cut close, on his Chinne but thinne, and somewhat short: his Gate upright, and comely for a Fatte man.
Larkin and Hughes, 133

Garnett was arrested on the 27th Jan and appeared for his first examination on 13 February. He was transferred from the Gatehouse prison to the Tower of London the next day. In early March he was charged with complicity in the Gunpowder Plot and tortured. His trial in the Guildhall began on 28 March. Among those on the bench was Sir John Popham who had known Garnett before he had become a Jesuit and was now chief justice of the king’s bench. According to Coke, Garnett, the instigator of the plot:
hath many gifts and endowments of nature, by art learned, a good linguist and, by profession, a Jesuit and a Superior as indeed he is Superior to all his predecessors in devilish treason, a Doctor of Dissimulation, Deposing of Princes, Disposing of Kingdoms, Daunting and deterring of subjects, and Destruction.
Caraman, Garnet, 403

The Arraignment of Henry Garnet from A Compleat collection of state-tryals and proceedings upon impeachments for high treason and other crimes and misdemeanours 1719 vol. 1.
Guildhall Library Store 62

Garnett defended himself against all Coke’s charges and explained Catholic teaching on papal power and equivocation which Coke had attacked during the trial. The court found Garnett guilty as charged and sentenced him to death. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered on 3 May 1606 in St Paul’s Churchyard, London.

Very soon after his execution, London theatregoers were reminded of the sinister reputation Garnett’s defence of equivocation had earned to him in protestant eyes. The porter in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, welcomes imaginary visitors, an equivocator (Garnett) and a farmer (Farmer was one of Garnett’s pseudonyms) at the gate of hell (Inverness Castle), making mocking references to Garnett and his trial: ‘Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven’ (Macbeth, ii.iii, 7–11).

Venerated by English Catholics as a martyr, there were even relics associated with Garnett, one being the famous ‘straw’, upon which a drop of Garnett’s blood bore a strong resemblance to his face which was later lost during the French Revolution. Superior General Acquaviva allowed Garnett’s cause for canonization to be initiated but the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773 halted its progression. While Garnett’s name was originally included in the list of martyrs submitted to Rome in 1874 by the archdiocese of Westminster, it was subsequently removed because of fear of possible political involvement, and it has yet to be reintroduced.

By: Isabelle Chevallot
Assistant Librarian, Guildhall Library

Philip Caraman, Henry Garnet, 1555–1606, and the Gunpowder Plot (1964)
Guildhall Library Shelfmark: B:G 235

J. F. Larkin and P. L. Hughes, eds., Royal proclamations of King James I, 1603–1625 (1973)
Guildhall Library Shelf mark: 348:02

Shakespeare Third Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, and tragedies : Published according to the true originall copies…and unto this impression is added seven playes, never before printed in folio: viz. Pericles Prince of Tyre. The London prodigal. The history of Thomas Lord Cromwel. Sir John Oldcastle Lord Cobham. The puritan widow. A York-shire tragedy. The tragedy of Locrine. Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
London : printed [by Roger Daniel, Alice Warren, and another] for P[hilip] C[hetwind], 1664.
The third folio.
Guildhall Library Shelf mark AN 19.3.4 (Please note you will need to bring one form of ID, such as a passport or driving licence or any library or archive membership card, with you when you visit in order to consult this item as is designated rare.)

A link to examination of Henry Garnett from the National Archives

London in Four Suits: Clubs – A Talk Review

One in a series of four talks by Peter Smith, each adopting a suit from a deck of playing cards; April 10th’s talk was based around the theme of ‘clubs’. Pete took listeners on a whistle-stop tour of various parishes, trade guilds, fraternities, and other such groups that have found a home in the City of London through the years. I had the opportunity to listen to this fascinating talk and find some items from the library and archive collections.

Pete discussed such a wide range of communities and places in his talk, and it would be impossible to do justice to all of these in one blog post. For this post, I am going to look at two places in the City of London which have been central to life in the City.
The first theme is the Parish community. A group of people defined by locality, united by common faith and a shared space. Parish boundaries were taught quite enthusiastically in some cases through the ‘beating the bounds’ ceremony, where parishioners would walk around the boundary to know the area, and to instil a sense of community. Often, they would ‘beat’ the boundary with sticks. The ceremony still takes place today in several parishes across England on Ascension Day, including the City’s oldest Church, All Hallows by the Tower.

As you can see from this invitation to the ceremony for the Parish of St Giles in Cripplegate from the London Metropolitan Archives main print collection (Collage Number 2685), the event was a highlight of the community calendar, and a method for the parish churches to collect much needed funds!

From the well-established parish communities of the city, we move to a new space for people to gather, do business and associate with one another. The coffee house grew in popularity in the City in the mid to late 1600’s. Charles II tried to have coffee houses suppressed in 1675 due to growing concerns that they were places for those against the crown to meet and cast defamation against the monarchy. From a proclamation from the King in 1691: “…that many tradesmen and others, do therein mis spend much of their time which might and probably would otherwise be imployed in and about the Lawful Callings and Affairs…” [ Guildhall Library PROC 13.75]. The suppression, however did not stick, and coffee houses continued to flourish in the city and elsewhere. The coffee house earnt quite the reputation for loud, sometimes rowdy political discussions and were a source for satire.

The following verse is from the 1691 poem: The School of Politicks: or, The humours of a coffee-house: a poem. Which is available for reference in the Guildhall Library [A 9.4 NO 1 IN 47]. Verses four and five show the various people who frequented the coffee house, and how all parts of society, regardless of standing came together to discuss the affairs of the day:

The place no manner of distinction knew,
‘Twixt Christian, Heathen, Turk, or Jew,
The Fool and the Philosopher
Sate close by one another here,
And Quality no more was understood
Than Mathematicks were before the Floud.
Here sate a Knight, by him a rugged Sailer;
Next him a Son of Mars,
Adorn’d with honourable Scars;
By them a Courtier, and a Woman’s Taylor:
A Tradesman and a grave Divine,
Sate talking of affairs beyond the Line;
Whilst in a Corner of the Room
Sate a fat Quack the fam’d Poetick Tom,
Pleas’d to hear Advertisements read,
Where ‘mongst lost Dogs, and other fav’rite Breed,
His famous Pills were chronicled:
The half Box eighteen Pills for eighteen Pence,
Though ’tis too cheap in any Man’s own Sense.
Lawyers and Clients, Sharpers and their Cullies,
Quakers, Pimps, Atheists, Mountebanks and Bullies,
Clean or unclean, if here they call,
The place, like Noah’s Ark, receives ’em all.
Had Lilbourn been alive to see
This Hotch-potch of Society,
Some other measures he had ta’en,
When he the Work of Levelling began;
For All here stand on equal ground.
As I have seen in Storms at Sea,
For common safety all are willing found,
To hawl a Cable, guide an Oar,
To stem the Tide, and bring the Ship to Shoar;
So in this School of Polity,
Each thinks himself as much concern’d as they
Who sit in Council Chamber ev’ry day;
And all their Maxims have a share
Of the Professions which their Masters are.
The quick-eye’d Sectary pretends to see
Under Lawn Sleeves the growth of Popery.
The Smith upon the Anvil of his Brain
Forms a new Commonwealth again.
The Carpenter in his projecting Pate
Makes Props t’uphold the tott’ring State:
The Quack too, with his Close-stool Face,
Does with his senseless Reasons urge,
The British Islands want a Purge:
And Ah!—Were he but once in Place,
He’d—but there stops, and thinks the Age not fit
To know the Wonders of his mighty Wit.

This anonymous satirical engraving from 1772 comes from the London Metropolitan Archive’s satirical prints collection [Collage p5383313]. It depicts the interior of a London Coffee-house. The clientele is engaged in conversation and the “London Gazette”, a popular newspaper at the time can be seen to be used. Such satire pointed out how anyone could engage in politics and current affairs, just through meeting in one of these houses.

Pete’s next talk is a continuation of the London in Four Suits theme. On Thursday 17th May, he will be raising a glass to London luxury in his ‘Diamonds’ talk. For more information about this talk, and to see all of Guildhall Library’s events, please visit

By: Katie Lissamore
Library Student on placement at Guildhall Library



Under the Microscope

Our current exhibition is ‘Under the Microscope’, a homage to the life and work of Olive Elizabeth Aykroyd by her daughter, Mary Pritchard. Olive studied Natural Sciences at Trinity College Dublin in the 1930s, and the exhibition brings together a variety of media and archival material, from biological slides and scientific papers to photographs and letters, revealing the personal history of Olive the scientist.

Olive was born in Dublin in 1913 into a protestant Anglo-Irish family, the youngest child of five. Education was highly regarded in the family. Olive was encouraged to go to university, although it was still a privilege for women in the 1930s.

At Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Olive took a degree in Natural Sciences which covered a wide spectrum of subjects, among which students could specialise. Although TCD was a pioneer is some respects about admitting women and granting them degrees, in the 1930s and 40s there was huge discrimination against women. For example, they were not allowed to eat in the same canteen as the men. Olive’s research was mainly around oogenesis (the formation of the ovum or egg) and she received high praise from all her supervisors for her skills and achievements.

In December 1941 Olive married Thomas Walter Freeman. They had three children who were all born in Dublin, but the family moved to England in December 1949 after Walter obtained a post in the Geography Department at Manchester University. Olive stopped doing her research and working outside the home after she got married to Walter (who was an academic all his working life). She only returned to work outside the home after about 20 years of marriage.

Mary says: ‘This exhibition is a tribute to my mother, Olive Elizabeth Aykroyd. When I was growing up I knew little of her early life as she never really spoke about it and I never thought to ask (she was very modest and unassuming, always putting others’ needs before her own).

‘When she died, I inherited her brass microscope and laboratory slides and have always been fascinated by them. I decided to research her early life – by putting it ‘Under the Microscope’. I looked at her life prior to marriage and having children and this exhibition covers the period from her birth in 1913 until her marriage in December 1941. It turned out that my brothers had many more documents, albums, drawings etc which I had not known about, which I was then able to collate and use. This exhibition is based on my mother’s extensive archive of scientific papers, biological slides, documents, letters, drawings, photograph albums, reminiscences from family members and my own personal research.

‘Working through her archive has been an emotional journey of discovery which has increased my understanding of her as a person and what was important to her. I see the exhibition as a collaboration between my mother and myself – it is an amalgam of her archive, an evocation of her milieu and my own artwork. All the work I have produced has been inspired by or derived from her archive and further research about the context in which she lived and worked. The exhibition looks at aspects of feminism and the issue of women in science and, on a more personal level, concerns the mother-daughter relationship, maternal loss, memory and the creative use of a family archive.’

The exhibition is at Guildhall Library until 16 May, and is free to visit.

By: Amy Burgess, Events and Exhibitions Officer