Archive Collections – Another Royal Connection

The archive collections of Dom Martin Salmon continue to reveal real gems, mainly from personal items of his grandfather, Admiral Nowell Salmon VC. 

Nowell Salmon won a Victoria Cross during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, and rose to become the Naval Aide de Camp to Queen Victoria. Several items of his form a significant part of the collections of Dom Martin Salmon, including many letters. 

One such letter, written to Salmon when he was Captain of HMS Swiftsure in 1878, was from a royal source, the then Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred the second son of Queen Victoria. He had served in the navy since 1858 and eventually became an Admiral. The letter has quite an interesting theme – ‘I have just received a note from Mrs Salmon telling me that she has sent to Malta for me the hare’s head you were kind enough to have stuffed for me…’ Quite a unique gift for a prince!

The letter is interesting for a second reason, that Prince Alfred wrote it whilst in command of HMS Black Prince, sister ship of the famous HMS Warrior. These ships were the first iron clad ocean going iron hulled warships and for a time were the most powerful warships in the world. Whilst HMS Black Prince was scrapped in 1923, HMS Warrior is preserved at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth. 

To read more about the Downside Archives and Library click here.

The images below show Admiral Salmon and also his reviewing the fleet at Spithead for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.