NAVAL – Edward H. ARDEN, lieutenant RN (1843-1879). Drawings and photographs from voyages aboard HMS Druid and HMS Boxer, 1874-1878, the topographical drawings aboard the Druid showing coastal and inland scenes in Madeira, Antigua, Trinidad, St Kitts (series), St Thomas, Barbados, and locations on the coasts of Spain, Portugal and elsewhere, those aboard the Boxer including ‘H.M.S. Pioneer, Boxer & Avon destroying the village of Imblama, River Niger, Aug. 17, 1877’, with two other scenes on the River Niger, further scenes of the River Congo, St Paul de Loanda, Sierra Leone (from a photograph) and Accra, also a silhouette of a naval officer and five cartoons in the style of Punch, altogether approximately 45 drawings, various sizes, the majority signed, dated and inscribed (one on a fragment of a letter); also 12 charts depicting the track of HMS Boxer, and six photographs, depicting HMS Black Prince, HMS Druid, two groups of the ship’s company, one apparently including Arden (marked with a cross), the naval hospital at Port Royal, Jamaica, and an unidentified cemetery (occasional minor browning), pasted onto the leaves of an album, large 4to (305 x 255mm), contemporary green roan by Henningham & Hollis, with bookplate of Edward Arden.
The son of a West Country clergyman, Lt Edward Arden died of yellow fever in Kingston, Jamaica, on 9 August 1879, and is buried in the Old Naval Cemetery there (probably the scene depicted in the last photograph in the present album). The wooden screw corvette HMS Druid, launched in 1872, was the last vessel to be constructed at the Deptford naval dockyards. HMS Boxer was launched in January 1868 as one of the Beacon-class gunvessels, designed to reuse the engines of gunvessels constructed for the Crimean War: of shallow draft to enable in-shore and riverine operations and intended chiefly for colonial service, they combined propellers and sail to limited effect – according to one commentator ‘they sailed like tea trays’.