||Dr Edward Hodges Cree was born on January 14th 1814, Devonport. He studied medicine at Dublin and Edinburgh Universities, graduating from the latter in 1837, receiving his M.R.C.S and M.D ten years after. Cree entered the Navy in 1837 where the journals begin, which subsequently continue until 1861. Cree's first appointment began in 1837 as assistant surgeon to the ROYAL ADELAIDE, ordered to do duty at the Naval Hospital, Stonehouse. He then establishes his career as a surgeon on board His Majesties vessels VOLCANO, CEYLON, FIREFLY, RATTLESNAKE, VIXEN, FURY, SPARTAN, EAGLE, RUSSELL, ORION and SATURN. Throughout his career he visited many parts of the world, including the Far East, where he witnessed actions in the First Opium War of 1839-42. His service led him to take action against piratical Chinese fleets, engagements and actions against the Russians in the Baltic; and was involved in the final stages of the Crimean War, being present at the Capture of Sebastopol and Kinburn. The water-colour illustrations and sketches contained within his journals create and rich and colourful depiction of the period whilst serving in the Navy. In addition, the book entitled The Cree Journals: The Voyages of Edward H Cree, Surgeon R.N., as related in his private journals, 1837- 1856, edited by Michael Levien; is a useful supplement to the collection.
||The collection includes volumes one to twenty-one of the Journals of Dr Edward H Cree, 1837- 61, and comprises Cree's personal journals while serving at sea. The text is supplemented by circa seventeen hundred watercolours and sketches. The journals account details of his sea voyages, experience while in foreign lands, his impressions of people and places, his recollections among family and friends and writings concerning his life at home and with his wife. In addition to the illustrated journals are his 'rough journals' 1841, 1847, 1849, 1851-2 and 1854, his medical journal kept 1841-7, journal notes (1837), sketchbook (1839), rough sketches and watercolours, newspaper cuttings, service records and certificates and invitations. An index to the journals provides useful information on the vessels served on, the places visited and the illustrations within. There is also a copy of a letter by Cree's son Percy (also a naval surgeon) concerning an incident on board HMS TURQUOISE in 1880.