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Autobiography of George, a sailor from Lincolnshire

Call Number: MS P447


Autobiography by George, a sailor from Lincolnshire, England. Topics include the Workhouse; being a farmer's boy and runaway; serving as a Trent and Humber sailor; working in coatwise and London shipping. Crew on convict ship bound for Botany Bay, 1797; mutiny by French prisoners; imprisoned in Argentina (Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Montevideo, etc.) Convert to Catholicism; escaped to the United States, 1802; returned to England. Became a Baptist; religious meditations, verse, and vision.


  • after 1830


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.


1 folder (1 volume in 1 folder) : Binding: Sewn and stabbed. Probably never any covers. Foliation: pp 1-91 [92-96]. Inserted leaf (formerly wafered on page 5) beginning. "for fear he should see me...", watermark 1832. Inserted leaf (formerly wafered on page 23) beginning "One time we was Laying at-Burton" ... 11 (The first inserted leaf was found at page 15; but context and the wafer-mark indicate page 5.). Collation: Single gathering. Material: Paper. Watermark: None, except on first insert: ...N & SON ...32.

Scope and Contents

Incipit: "I was born at Burringham in the County of Lincolnshire of Poor Parents. My father Being Brought up in A Small Sloop..."

Authorship: addressed (page 11) as "one of Poor Jenny Dribikals Ba[r]nes"; addressed (page 63) as "Don George"; took the name of Simeon Swift when pretending to be an American.

It was original cataloguer's opinion that this work is probably not fiction, but influenced by works of fiction. The writer is fairly literate for his station, but he says one of his masters taught his servants to read and write. The author has probably done a good bit of religious reading.

Physical Location

MS P447

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Mott, 1974

Existence and Location of Copies

A digitized version of this volume, in pdf format, is available. Contact staff at or (785) 864-4334 for assistance.

Guide to an Autobiography of George, a Sailor from Lincolnshire Collection
Autobiography of George, a sailor from Lincolnshire
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1974; revised by ksc, 2006. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2006.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Autobiography of George, a Sailor from Lincolnshire, MS P447, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States