Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)MS46/A/1/1
Datec 1890s-c 1910
DescriptionJohn Blunt worked on his reminiscences from the early 1890s up to 1910 and fair copy in typescript was produced and circulated for comment. It was never published in his lifetime but the majority has been edited and published in two parts by Douglas Austin: Chapters 4 to 9 (part 1) and 10 in "Blunt Speaking", Crimean War Research Society, Special Publication No. 33, 2006 and Chapters 1-3, 11 &12 in a forthcoming supplement.

He divided his reminiscences into 12 chapters (with chapter 9 being split into two) and relate largely to the period of his life from his earliest memories up to about 1857, predating his marriage. They are heavily weighted towards the period of his life as aide to camp to Lord Lucan during the Crimean War covered by Chapters 4-8. Chapters 2, 3 and 10 relate largely to his early diplomatic career including his first vice-consular appointment in 1854. There is some evidence that he intended to continue with his reminiscences but there are no drafts. Information about the later period of his life can be gleaned from his diaries and from printed reports.

Chapters 9, 11 and 12 are less chronological and in these he wrote about the role and activities of Turkish troops in the Crimea and more generally up to the later 1890s (Chapter 9), the subject of brigandage in Turkey and his personal involvement with a kidnap in 1881 (Chapter 11), and anecdotal consular memories (Chapter 12).

The reminiscences have been arranged by chapter and the papers relating to each chapter consist of two copies of the typescript version, two or more manuscript versions and, in some cases, additional notes. The typescript versions include some manuscript annotations and many of these also include notes on the back of the last page in John Blunt's hand which indicate chapter number and some content information.

There has been no attempt to work out the date order of the compilation of the manuscript versions and some are more complete than others. There are some clear differences between the versions, notably in the spelling of place and personal names. Some of the chapters begin with summaries of their content by John Blunt. Original annotations, chapter titles and chapter summaries shown in double quotes. Original pagination noted in plain. Pagination added in cataloguing shown in brackets.

Some copies are stamped with an armorial crest showing the sun "in splendour" (i.e. with a human face and surrounded with many rays) encircled with the motto " LUX TUA VIA MEA", which is described here as "the sun motif". This motto and variants of the same crest have been used by several families called Blunt or Blount.

Versions of chapters 4 to 9 (part 1) and 10, edited by D. J Austin, were published in "Blunt Speaking", Crimean War Research Society, Special Publication No. 33, 2006; this publication includes some biographical notes on the people mentioned in those chapters. Versions of the remaining chapters are to appear as a supplement to this publication.
NotesWas main part of MS46/78
Access StatusOpen


    Some of our most significant collections