Skip to main content

Diary of a tour through the Pyrenees and Spain

 Collection — Volume: 1
Call Number: MS C213


The unnamed keeper of this travel diary is a young woman, Louisa Herring, who has come from England with her companion, Mrs. Hanson, to join Jane Griffin (1792-1875) and her father, Mr. Griffin, a wealthy silk merchant, on a tour through the Pyrenees and Spain during the autumn of 1826. The diary, marked as a continuation (Spencer does not have the first volume if it existed), records their itinerary and sightseeing activities during the second half of the journey (October 1-November 12, 1826) but includes few personal details. The identification of Louisa Herring is based on references to her in the diary and letters of Jane Griffin, later Lady Franklin (wife of Sir John Franklin (1786-1847).


  • Creation: October 1-November 12, 1826


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Identification of diary authorship

Mentions of the author's traveling companions, "Jane," "Mrs. Griffin" and "Mrs. H," have made it possible to identify the keeper of the diary.

According to Jane Griffin's diaries (Jane Franklin Collection, Scott Polar Research Institute Archives, Cambridge), she and her father left England for Guernsey in the Spring of 1826 and went on to France that August, where they were joined by friends Mrs. Hanson and Louisa Herring for a tour through the Pyrenees and Spain before returning to England in December 1826.

The diary in Spencer Research Library refers to "Mrs. H.", so it must have been Louisa's diary. The formality of "Mrs. H." suggests they were not mother and daughter. Louisa Herring was one of Jane Griffin's childhood friends. It is possible to place the 1826 tour of the Pyrenees and Spain in the chronology of Jane Griffin's life.

In 1825 Jane's dearest friend, Eleanor, had died shortly after her husband, Sir John Franklin, left on an Arctic expedition. The tour of the Pyrenees and Spain took place in autumn 1826. Having returned to England in 1827, Franklin would marry Jane in 1828. While Franklin was on naval duty in the Mediterranean from 1830-1833, Jane's diary records further that Mrs. Hanson and Louisa Herring visited her in Malta in 1833. Thus the diaries of Jane and Louisa provide evidence of a continuing friendship.


1 volume : Ornamentation: One tiny sketch of a fa├žade in Lerma; refers to sketching scenery. ; Volume is no taller than 25 cm.

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This travel diary is marked as a continuation and covers the second half of a tour through the Pyrenees and Spain, from October 1-November 12, 1826, by an Englishwoman. It describes both interesting sights and activities and the inconveniences of travel.

The diary begins with a heading "Tour in the Pyrenees cont'd" and is dated October 1-9. It covers the route St Gaudens, Toulouse, Auch, Tarbes, Pau, Orthes, Bayonne, Chateau of Bell_y, Peyrchorade, Bayonne.

A section entitled "Journey to Madrid" dating from October 10-18 covers the route Bayonne, Hernani, Villa Real, Mondragon, Salinas, Vitoria, Miranda, Pancorbo, Burgos, Lerma, Bahabon, Fresnillo, Loyosuela, Somo Sierra, Buitrago, Loyosuela, Pass of Cabiera, Madrid.

The travelers remained in Madrid from October 18-30. Details include the author relying upon Mr Wiseman, the banker, to show them the sights, including the opera, dancing, a bull-fight, a segar manufactury. Lengthy descriptions of interior of Royal Palace and Escorial (where they glimpse the King's party). Tours the country as far south as Aranjuez.

The travelers went from Madrid to Bayonne October 30-November 12. Descriptions cover the route Escorial, La Granja, St. Ildefonso, Segovia, Valladolid, Burgos, Torquemada, Briviesca, Pancorbo, Vitoria, Villa Real, Tolosa, Hernani, Bayonne.

The back cover ends "Thus ended our Spanish Journey which in the retrospection, may probably afford me many pleasing ideas, however unpleasant at the moment, I felt many circumstances connected with it. Bayonne, November 12th 1826" and includes some notations about expenses for the trip.

Physical Location

MS C213

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bristow, 1973

Guide to the Diary of a Tour through the Pyrenees and Spain in 1826 Collection
Diary of a tour through the Pyrenees and Spain
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1973; 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
Diary of a Tour through the Pyrenees and Spain in 1826, MS C213, 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