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Voyages of the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert - Ernst Leopold Leiningen, Rear Adm - 1873. 
United Kingdom: Unpublished manuscript book, 1873 Book. Near Fine. Leather Bound. Signed by Author(s). 1st Edition. [p] 66 Manuscript log book of the Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert (1873-1877) under the command of Prince Leiningen (a cousin of Queen Victoria) illustrated with a chart, an albumen photograph of HMS Alert and Discovery and manuscript descriptions of numerous Royal visitors and voyages. Small, lined octavo sized notebook by Griffin and Co in bespoke crushed black morocco, 'Bound by Ramage, London', all edges gilt, with the title in gilt on the front cover and a tantalising 'No 4' on the spine - only one volume present here. Leiningen's colourful medievalist bookplate (1889) appears on the front pastedown and the author has signed the conclusion of the log, dated Wednesday 3rd January 1877 when he handed over command to Captain Hugh Campbell, 'The End!! Leiningen Rear Admiral'. Presumably presented to him at this event, the rest of the log appears to be in another unnamed officer's hand with Leiningen referred to in the third person, frequently travelling on other royal yachts. Particularly interesting is the albumen photograph of a painting of HMS Alert and HMS Discovery mounted opposite the 1875 entry: '29 May HM: Ships 'Alert' & 'Discovery' sailed from Portsmouth on Arctic Exploration'. (This expedition under the command of Sir George Strong Nares was an attempt to reach the North Pole by Smith Sound.) Most dramatic were the events of 18 August, 1875 with the Queen on board the Alberta and Leiningen in attendance: 'While crossing Stokes Bay a collision occurred between the "Alberta" and schooner yacht "Mistletoe". The schooner sank in 3 minutes and in spite of all efforts to save her people 3 lives were unhappily lost.' Queen Victoria recorded her reaction to this disaster in her diary as 'shock & the complete disappearance of the yacht will never be forgotten by any of us who were present'. The vessel's log begins in April 1873 with a 'trial of Engines, and steamed around the Isle of Wight (Prince Leopold and suite on board)'. The first voyage in earnest was on 23 June 1873 with a stellar guest list of passengers including 'His Majesty The Shah of Persia, H.R.H. The Prince and Princess of Wales, The Cesarewitch [future Alexander III] and Cesarena of Russia... to review the Fleet at Spithead' followed by a detailed list of attendees, events, and of the royal visits to 'the "Agincourt" "Sultan" and "Devastation"... returning into Harbor landed at the Dockyard at 2 P.M.' This is followed by a four page table of the vessels in attendance, their captains and finally an annotated printed chart showing the position of the vessels in the Solent. The log records numerous trips with the Queen, effectively taxiing the royals to and fro from the mainland such as that on Friday 11 July 1873: 'Her Majesty and suite Proceeded to Osborne in "Alberta". The "Victoria and Albert" proceeded to moorings in Cowes Roads' with Leiningen sometimes captaining other royal yachts. The future Alexander III seems to have made extensive use of the yacht during his visit in the summer of 1873, perhaps aiding in the negotiations that led to the wedding of his sister to Queen Victoria's son, Prince Alfred. Other passengers from the family of European royalty that fanned out from Queen Victoria and the late Prince Albert include 'The Crown Prince and Princess of Germany'(future Wilhelm II) whose cruise on the Solent in August 1874 was cut short by a storm. Leiningen's final departure from the yacht on achieving the rank of a full Admiral is described in some detail with the seating plan for a commemorative dinner, the passing of a 'Loving Cup' and a specially commissioned gift of a vase which is shown in a photograph tipped in. Altogether a fascinating document. Please contact Christian White at Modernfirsteditions if you would like more information..
[Bookseller: Modernfirsteditions Ltd]
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