The Admiral & the Egyptian Notebook

'The Sphinx taken on the spot, 1811' It is very strange how things suddenly slot into place when you are undertaking research. Ever since I began this project I have known that the Admiral must have spent time in Egypt while he was Captain of HMS Espoir. I have  his ship’s log which has just one entry written in Alexandria. And research has thrown up no official connection to Egypt. Yet family history has told me he became good friends with Muhammad Ali, Khedive of Egypt and undertook the job of supervising the building of the Egyptian navy’s first corvette in or around 1810/11. Indeed the Khedive was supposed to have been so pleased with Captain Mitford that he rewarded him by giving him ‘Cleopatra’s needle’ (I think he gave it to many people, safe in the knowledge that none of them would actually be able to take it away!) It was however eventually removed, of course (not by the Admiral!) and ‘our’ needle now stands on the Embankment in London!

But today proof arrived miraculously through the post, along with some other papers. It is just a tiny notebook, but you can imagine how thrilled I was to see this image which shows quite clearly that the Admiral was in Egypt at just the right time!!

3 Replies to “The Admiral & the Egyptian Notebook”

  1. My great grandfather James Carter 1839-1921 of Foulden held tenancies of Didlington Estate Farms, eg Everetts Farm and Horrex Farm and maybe others. To help my research into my Norfolk ancestry, I would be very interested to know the names of the Carters who were working on the Estate shown on the document given to William Amherst, which was found by a member of the public in a Suffolk attic, which you mention in your blog. Thank you very much.

    1. My great grandfather was also James Carter 1839-1921 and I have also been researching my Norfolk ancestry- perhaps we can exchange information?

      1. Dear Sue,

        Many many apologies – my website alerts often go straight to my junk folder and I have been very busy and haven’t checked the website for comments for far too long! I would love to discuss your Norfolk connections. This last weekend I was talking to someone who has Carter connections and has been working through the list of Carters who worked on the Didlington estate and she was telling me that an astonishing number of the Didlington workers were in fact related to her… It sounds like you may also have connections with her! So please do get back in touch….
        Very best,


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