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  • Title
    William Mogford Hamlet papers, ca. 1818-1931
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 8862
  • Level of description
  • Date

    ca. 1818-1931
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    1.36 metres of textual material (5 boxes and 1 outsize)

    William Mogford Hamlet (1850-1931), chemist, government analyst and bushwalker was born in Portsmouth England. He studied science at Bristol Trade and Mining School and physics, chemistry and metallurgy at the Royal College of Chemistry South Kensington. He graduated with honours and won the the Queen’s Medal for Inorganic Chemistry, 1873. He worked in the UK and the West Indies as a chemist before arriving in Sydney in 1883. He was a government analyst in NSW from 1887 to 1915. His biography has been published by his relative Howard McKern. He married Ada Murray (1857-1943), daughter of George Leslie Murray R.N. (1804-1885) who was elected by the Admiralty to join in the search for Sir John Franklin. In 1854, George married Mary Talmey (1832-1926) and lived in Dover in Kent. George Murray had earlier served in naval engagements in the Battle of the Baltic during the Crimean War

    Hamlet was also a keen walker. In 1895 he was a co-founder of the Warragamba Walking Club, of which his friend Professor John Le Gay Brereton was also a member. Another walking companion was Henry J. Tompkins, a colleague from the Department of Health, who was first secretary of the club and author of the walking handbook With Swag and Billy (1906). He walked twice from Brisbane to Sydney (1907 and 1913) and in 1912, with Tompkins, from Sydney to Melbourne along the Princes Highway, covering some 750 miles (1200 km) in thirty-three days. He was also an accomplished organist and built ‘Barrington House’ names after s village in Somerset in which his brother Rev Joseph Hamlet was Vicar and Sub-Dean of Wells Cathedral. After his retirement in 1916 he sold the house to W.S. Roper, Under-Secretary to the Lands Department

    Compiled from the collection
    Australian Dictionary of Biography. (accessed 26 February 2013)
  • Scope and Content
    This collection includes correspondence, illuminated addresses, medals, coat of arms, scientific notebooks, scrapbooks of newscuttings, diaries of walks to Melbourne and Brisbane, and photographs

    BOX 1
    Letters written by William M. Hamlet., 1881-1920

    Notebook on organ-building notes on literary lectures, ca. 1888-1916

    Music manuscript for hymn tune ‘Glenbrook’ for service of Holy Communion with Mrs. Sheila Simpson-Lee at St Peter’s Anglican Church Glenbrook, no date

    Research notes and material relating to Sir Henry Parkes comments on William Mogford Hamlet’s appointment as Government Analyst, no date

    Letter from Dr Adrien Loir to William Hamlet, 1919

    Printed book ‘William Mogford Hamlet 1850-1931 Gentleman and Scholar’ by Howard McKern, 1995

    Printed material including three booklets on science, 1842-1861, and three volumes of the Surinam Record, 1881-1882

    Pocket watch and key in carved wooden case of Grandfather William Mogford Hamlet (1850-1931)

    Inkwell presented to William M. Hamlet 1899 by Mosman Swimming and Life Saving Society

    Medals presented to William M. Hamlet for Adelaide Exhibition 1887 with letter from President, National Prize in Science awarded by the Science and Art Department of Great Britain (The Queens Medal) for Inorganic chemistry 1873 and two badges of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science Sydney meetings of 1898 and 1911

    Framed autographed photograph of Louis Pasteur presented to Hamlet in recognition of Hamlet’s scientific cooperation in the anthrax experiments in New South Wales, 1888

    BOX 2
    Portrait photographs of William Mogford Hamlet and Ada Hamlet and relating to Hamlet family as well as the Warragamba Walking Club, with newscuttings and printed ephemera, 1870-1931

    Illuminated address presented to William M. Hamlet by the Members of the Choir of St Clements Anglican Church Mosman NSW, 1 May 1899

    Research papers, letters, family records and printed material, 1847-1931

    Research papers and notes by William M Hamlet on science, diet and exercise, ca. 1850-1931

    Four notebooks on science and chemistry, ca. 1883

    Slide rule used by William M Hamlet in professional work, ca. 1850-1931

    BOX 3
    Poem ‘A Ballad of the Sea’ and ‘The Queen of New Cambria’ by William M. Hamlet published in printed periodicals, 1922-1928 and manuscript ‘Fragmenta Poetica’ no date

    Newscuttings relating to walking 1912-1966, receipt for land in Shadforth St Mosman 1885 and other records and correspondence relating to Barrington House, 1994

    Scientific publications by William M Hamlet, ca. 1888-1909

    Map of Royal National Park with annotations by William M Hamlet, drawn by P.B. James, no date

    Two pocket notebooks ca. 1897-1904 including notes by Sheila Simpson-Lee, granddaughter of William M. Hamlet, ca. 1909-1910 relating to walking tours

    Printed walking guide with additional notes from the Government Tourist Bureau, 1907

    Printed book ‘Lavengro : scholar, gypsy, priest’ by George Borrow gift from walking companions Henry J. Tompkins on the occasion of their walk from Sydney to Melbourne, 1912

    Seven notebooks containing accounts of walking tours mainly south coast NSW, Queensland to Sydney, Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane to Sydney, 1906-1913

    Scrapbook of newscuttings of series of articles ‘Pictures of Travel’ in the Sydney Morning Herald 7 March 1908-31 January 1914, with manuscript drafts of revised texts

    Two copies of portrays of eminent chemists which William Hamlet had hanging in the wall of his laboratory, no date

    Framed portrait photograph of Rebecca Hamlet nee Mogford, mother of William M Hamlet, ca. 1818-1889

    BOX 4
    Illuminated address from friends and colleagues on William M Hamlet’s retirement from public service, 14 May 1915 with souvenir menu and musical program

    Scrapbook of newscuttings relating to science, ca. 1876-1916

    Music manuscript for ‘A new setting of the Music for the Service of Holy Communion by William M Hamlet in memory of Reverend Prebendary Hamlet sub-dean of Wells Cathedral, no date

    Invitations to William M Hamlet to the Swearing in of the Earl of Hopetown as First Governor General of Australia, from the Citizens Royal Reception Committee for concert attended by Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and State Banquet in Sydney Town Hall in honor of visit of United States Fleet to Sydney, 1901-1908, with program of toasts and music

    BOX 5
    Printed books ‘The Great Frozen Sea’ 1878 and ‘Arctic Miscellanies’, 1852

    Probate of the will of George Murray and Mary Murray, 16 September 1885 and 9th November 1885, letters and notebook, ca. 1872-1926

    Printed maps of Bindoock Highlands by Myles Dunphy 1937 and Geological map of the Yerranderie Silver Field, 1925 and Manuscript map of specimens of volcanic rocks in Yerranderie, no date

    Two medals; The Queens Medal for Arctic Discoveries awarded to George Leslie Murray R.N. 1818-1855 and the Baltic medal 1854-1855

    Pictorial material, records, printed publications and newscuttings relating to mines and mining companies Silver Peak Mining Company, The Yerranderie Silver Field, ca. 1909-1972, includes photographs, postcards and carte de visites relating to the Hamlet family and Colong caves

    Glass negatives of Yerranderie and Colong Caves, 1910

    BOX 6X
    Framed Hamlet coat of arms given to Howard Hamlet Gordon McKern from his grandfather William Mogford Hamlet, no date

    Two photographs of Towra Botany Bay and Manly Beach, ca. 1870-1880 by James McKern
  • Source
    Presented by Howard Hamlet Gordon McKern, August 2001
  • Access Conditions

    This material is held offsite and can take up to four days to retrieve.
  • Copying Conditions
    Copyright status:: In copyright - This collection has multiple rights owners
    Research & study copies allowed: Applies only to material in which the author has been deceased for more than 50 years
    Please acknowledge: : Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • Description source

    Information upgraded as part of the Manuscripts Unprocessed eRecords Project 2012-2013
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