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Leonard G. Carr Laughton, 1871-1955, naval historian


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details Leonard G Carr Laughton, son of Professor Sir John Knox Laughton (q.v.) by his first wife, shared his father's passion for maritime history. Little is known of his early life including his date of birth or details of his education. He seems to have worked alongside his father, collecting many notes and references on a vast variety of naval subjects from documents kept at the Public Record Office, British Museum, Pepysian Library and many other repositories. He also studied archaeology and etymology. He made a study of ship decoration and published Old Ship Figureheads and Sterns in 1925.He was involved in the restoration of HMS VICTORY and wrote a Report to the VICTORY Technical Committee, 1927-32, giving information that would help in restoring her to her condition at the time of Trafalgar. He was the prime mover, alongside others such a Harold H Brindley, Cdr C N Robinson, Sir Alan Moore, William Wyllie and Harold Wyllie, in the formation of The Society of Nautical Research in 1928. He had always wanted to produce a 'Nautical Encyclopaedia or Dictionary', and was one of the Society's main objectives, but L G Carr Laughton was never satisfied he had found out enough to justify publication. He died in 1956.
Description The papers came in two parts, the first was presented in 1956 by Dr RC Anderson, executor to L G Carr Laughton; and in 1964 by Laughton's niece, Isabella Dunning. The collection consist of mainly notebooks, both in his hand and that of his father's, containing their research at the Public Record Office, British Museum and other repositories, relating to various aspects of nautical history. Among these are notes on Nelson, extracts from Pepys' diary and notes for articles on HMS VICTORY. There are also blueprints used in the restoration of HMS VICTORY, together with the Technical Committee minutes of meetings, 1927-8 and the Advisory Committee minutes, 1929. There are a series of notes on lectures given by Professor Sir John Knox Laughton, including those given at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich in the early 1900s. The collection contains a typed copy of L G Carr Laughton's 'Nautical Dictionary'; a card index for Dictionary of National Biography entries; a number of albums containing newspaper cuttings; and various correspondence including letters with Dr R C Anderson, 1925-37. Finally, there are some manuscripts written by others including Harold H Brindley and a copy of a personal logbook kept by Dudley Stone on board the ship MONKBARNS, 1913, Buenos Ayres to Australia.
Date made

Finding Reference LAU
Catalogue section Personal collections
Creator Laughton, Leonard G. Carr
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent Overall: 260 cm
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