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Journal of a Royal Visit to Norway

Journal of a Royal Visit to Norway by ANONYMOUS (1868)

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Title: Journal of a Royal Visit to Norway
Year: 1868
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: Norway
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £600
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Added under Manuscripts  

[pp] 51 and blanks. Manuscript journal from 1868 of a royal fishing trip to Norway written by a courtier onboard a Royal Yacht who was part of the retinue of an unnamed British 'H.M.' and his Princess during the tour of Norway's fjords and islands. Dating from a few weeks before the second confinement of the Princess of Wales it doesn't seem possible that the couple could be the future Edward VII and his wife which leaves the identity of 'H.M.' a mystery.

The courtier-writer has used a small deep burgundy half roan over marbled paper-bound lined notebook with marbled endpapers, stamped by the stationer 'H. Rodrigues 42 Piccadilly'. The trip began on May 31 and lasted until June 28 1868. Writing in brown ink the writer starts his narrative coming 'down to Portsmouth with C. Molyneux and lunched with Henry... C Molyneux very anxious to operate on the trout stream with an "Engine" i.e. cast net. Dined with H.S.H. of Leiningen and smoked 2 cigarettes with success' - Admiral Ernst Leopold, 4th Prince of Leiningen, (1830-1904) was the commanding officer of the royal yachts HMS Magicienne and HMY Victoria and Albert.

The group was joined on board by the senior Royal who accompanies the writer and the courtier Charles Du Plat on his first night on the yacht: 'Walked about with H.M. who had the first watch till midnight'. In the company of HMS Vivid the journal describes the trip across the north sea to Selvo Fjord where the party was joined by the Consul who 'Having lived in Bergen all his life he knew next too nothing about it!'

There are repeated attempts to fish, once a yacht runs aground and occasionally the two vessels go their separate ways as HMS Vivid 'went this morning at 4.0. am to the Hardanger Fiord taking the Prince, Princess, Durrant, Du Plat, Rideout, Dodio and Martin. They come back tomorrow when we shall start to Trondjeim.' The writer recounts how he 'Had a fence with H.M. after dinner wch made him sick! and spoilt his shirt' and there are comical escapades as he 'Fished from the paddle box and began by sliding down to the bottom of the afore mentioned and nearly into the sea. Henry laughed.'

On seeing the royal yachts an English schooner fired a royal salute with a musket at Trondjheim as the party headed to the far north, passing 'Knivskar Point... being the most northern point of Europe... saw a vessel towing a whale. The head man of Kielig hoisted the Norse Engsign on passing... Went on shore... in Hammerfest and to fish in a lake we had heard of - The stench in the town was fearful, coming from the places where they boil the fish livers down for the oil we were all sick at stomach. Thompson caught 2 Salmon and so did I. '

On June 22 1868 the flotilla recrossed the Arctic circle heading south and then onto the Shetlands, returning via Lerwick, 'H.M. and Self made enquiries about fishing but everyone seemed to think netting was the thing, so... we got a Sovereign's worth of rabble, 6 of them avergaing about 65 years of age, H.M. took command of the "army" and we caught 7 sea trout... fished for Haddock and Whiting; got 52...'
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