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Great Great Grandpa's Scrapbook

Great Great Grandpa's Scrapbook is a collection of newspaper and magazine cuttings of mostly unknown origin, from a Victorian scrapbook in the possession of the Dalton family and submitted by Tony Dalton (

Captain James Dalton 1817 - 1882 & Captain Peter Dalton 1847-1911

James Dalton was born in 1817 in Cumberland, England and went to sea aged 12 on the schooner "Pious Hope" which traded around the Irish Sea. By the age of 18 he was deep-sea (he had his 18th birthday in Punta Arenas whilst on the brigantine "Hebe"). The earliest entry in his scrapbook is 1840, when he was 23 years old and 2nd Mate. He must have carried his scrapbooks with him for there are entries from many foreign newspapers. At home, his mother kept parallel scrapbooks from British sources.

In 1847 his son Peter was born, also in Cumberland. He went to sea when he was 15 on fishing boats, and was deep-sea when he was 20. He, too, kept his own scrapbook. Both of them rose in rank to Captain.

James died in 1882, aged 65, and his last command was the "Selamat", a schooner owned by a Dutch consortium in Surabaya, Indonesia. Previously, amongst other appointments, he had been 1st Mate during the Crimean War on "Transport No.21" and "Transport No.27" - whatever they were, and, it is thought, 1st Mate on the "Far East" in 1864. There is uncertainty about this for many family papers were destroyed during the war.

Peter, meanwhile, had found his way to the Orient and served on a number of vessels trading around the China Sea. Family records are sketchy or non-existent during this period, however, but it is known that, about 1878 (?), Peter was 1st Mate on what appears to have the been the yacht-cum-gunboat of the Sultan of Johore. His first command was the "Antinous" (?) (semi-legible) in 1880 and his last command the s.s. "Good Temple" (?), "Good Templar" (?) "Good Temper" (?) in 1908. Peter retired from the sea the same year and died in La Rochelle, in 1911, whilst visiting a friend.

Both James and Peter seem to have been restless spirits for they had lived in, or rented, accommodation in Singapore, Macassar, Liverpool, London, Swansea and Waterford (Ireland), In any event, both they and their families in the UK had been in the grip of scrapbook mania and their collection of over 600 were recently re-discovered in tea-chests when clearing some outbuildings. The contents were tattered, torn and mouse-nibbled but sufficient pages have survived to provide a source of thousands of cuttings.

Index To GGGPa's Scrapbook


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