Lot 337: India.- Diary.- Nicholetts (Henry, killed in Borneo, 1840-57), Diary, autograph manuscript, title and 134pp., original half morocco, gilt, 8vo, 1855.
November 16, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: India.- England to India diary.- Nicholetts (Henry, killed in Borneo, 1840-57) Diary of a Voyage from England to India via the Cape of Good Hope... Monarch Captain Wiltshire, autograph manuscript, title and 134pp., slightly browned, original half morocco, slightly rubbed, gilt spine, tail of spine chipped, brass clasp, 8vo, 26th July - Thursday 15th November 1855. ⁂ A lively account of life on board a ship sailing from England to India as recorded by a boy of 15. Nicholetts records various anecdotes, such as playing quoits, talks and dances with young ladies, gives his opinion of Miss De Vercia, "she has auburn hair, light eyes, rather pretty (Mrs Coghill says she squints but I do not think so)", a dinner guest getting drunk, a dog being brought out for an Indian Army officer falling overboard, a visit by 'Neptune', overhauling a Blackwall frigate on the way to Sydney, sighting a whale, putting on a play, "Prince Charlie", playing a female role in the play Bluebeard etc., before reaching Calcutta where the manuscript ends. Sadly Nicholetts' future career in Borneo was cut short when he was killed in the uprising at Kuching in 1857, one source suggesting that he may have been executed in the belief that he was Sir James Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak. "H Nicholetts born in Somersetshire at a place called South Petherton. Went to school first at a dames then to Merchant Taylor's in London; after having been there 5 yrs I left at the end of July 1854 I went home and ran wild until December, was then packed off to a clergyman's near Cambridge to pick up what I had lost; after staying there about 6 wks I was marched off to Rugby. I had been at Rugby a little more than 3 months when I heard from my father that if I liked I may go to Borneo and be governor (that word sounds large from a boy of 15) of a district; of course, I accepted the appointment without any hesitation and started on Thursday 26th of July 1855 by the Monarch... Ship Captain Wiltshire." - Henry Nicholetts.