Royal Naval Museum


CH Binstead kept a diary whilst serving on the West Africa Squadron

The diaries of CH Binstead

Cheesman Henry Binstead was Admiralty Midshipman on HMS Owen Glendower, serving on the West Africa Squadron 1823-1824.  He was later promoted to acting Lieutenant.  To learn more about CH Binstead click here.

Binstead’s diaries, featured in the Chasing Freedom exhibition, describe the reality of anti-slavery service off West Africa.  The first diary, dated 21st January to 1st May 1823, contains excellent descriptive detail of Binstead's work going as much as 190 miles up the River Casamanza in the ship's boats.  It covers his impressions of indigenous people and fears of attack and imprisonment. 

The second diary, kept from 10th May 1823 to 16th January 1824 describes HMS Owen Glendower, the Commodore's flagship, performing anti-slavery duties and Binstead's journeys in the ship's boats up the Calabar and Bonny Rivers.  The diary describes prizes taken, slaves freed, disputes with indigenous people and the effects of fever on the crew.

To read extracts from Binstead's diaries click here.


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