Captain Thomas Alexander, C.B., R.N., served in the Mediterranean as acting captain of the gunship 'Superb' during 1808. He participated in the Napoleonic Wars as captain of the 'Colossus', and served against the United States during the war of 1812-1815, in which he took part in the attack on Baltimore. At the time of the journal he was captain of H.M.S. 'Alligator', which formed part of the naval force in India and took part in the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1825. Alexander died on 7 November 1825, and was succeeded as captain of the 'Alligator' by Captain Chads.
The volume begins with 'Remarks on proceeding to the Persian Gulph from Trincomalee in 1822', describing a voyage of 21 September 1822 to 22 February 1823, following this route: Madras, Cudalore, Porto Novo, Negapatam, Trincomalee, Colombo, Quilon Coast of Malabar, Cochin, Calicut, Cannanore, Mangalore, Bombay, Goa, Bombay, Muscat, Bushire, Bussorah (Basra), Anger Sound (anchorage between Anger Island and Kishma), Muscat, Bombay. Alexander describes the places where he stops and the people he meets there, provides descriptions of the conditions for sailing and anchorage, and gives advice to visitors.
The journal continues with a detailed account of the voyage of H.M.S. 'Alligator', which constitutes the largest part of the volume. The voyage began on 28 November 1823 and concluded on 31 December 1824, following this route: Sangor Roads (?), Bombay, Muscat Cove, Bussorah, Bushire, Muscat, Bombay, Trincomalee, Madras Roads, Gulf of Martaban, Rangoon, Rangoon River, Gulf of Martaban, Hoogly River, Calcutta, Hoogly River, Madras, Trincomalee, Kedgiree, Calcutta. The account begins with a general description of the voyage before switching to more detailed daily diary entries from 13 February 1824. The latter are described as 'Remarks', and concentrate on weather and sailing conditions, including coordinates. Alexander records his dinners with local figures during his stops on land and reports their news. He also describes the transportation of a Persian Prince from Bombay to Bussorah, which was carried out between January and February 1824, and makes occasional references to his wife Charlotte and their children.
Running from the back of the volume are entries taken from Walter Hamilton's 'East India Gazetteer' on Bombay, Trincomalee, Colombo, Madras, Penang and Calcutta, including a physical description and information about their agriculture, trade, inhabitants and history. There are also notes by Alexander on his time in Penang, May-July 1823, including descriptions of the local wildlife; a table of the weather at Pulo Penang in the months of May, June and July 1823, taken at Mr Balhetchet's house in the shade; a diary entry at Trincomalee, 26 September 1823, regarding deaths among the local population, including those from fever; and a table entitled 'A Statement of the Thermometer and Weather kept in Mr. Balhetchets House, Penang in the Months of May, June and July, 1823'.
In the inside front cover of the volume are written the names of Shaik Abdel Russool Khan, Governor of Bushire, and Mahummed Zekee (?) Khan, Minister to the Prince of Sherauz, both dated February 1824.
The volume also includes several loose items: a table entitled 'Range of Thermometers in the Factory at Bussora, in the Months of July and August 1823', 1 sheet; diary entries of 10th, 18th and 19th February, labelled 'In the Euphrates', including a description of the visit on board ship of the Sheikh of Hamarah on the 18th and his getting drunk, to the annoyance of the travelling Persian Prince (this event is also described in the journal), 1 sheet; and 'Account of the betrothing Ceremony of Parsee. Captn. Taylors Dragooman at Bussora - March 4th 1824', 1 sheet.
Presented by Lady Rutherford, 1 June 1950.