Collection of William McQuie Mather, Maritime Historian
Personal collection of William McQuie Mather, Maritime Historian and first Director of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. Books and photograph albums are remainders from library bequest. Also includes notebooks and family documents: wills. See attached list.
From Guide to Collections volume II: The McQuie family, originally from Galloway, Scotland, settled in Liverpool in 1790. The collection includes extracts from the journal of Captain Peter McQuie, who was a captain involved in privateering and the slave trade to the West Indies. He lost his life during an insurrection of slaves on board his ship, Thomas, on 2 September 1797. In 1857 several members of the family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia and to Illinois, U.S.A.
In 1846 Peter Robinson McQuie compiled three volumes of family chronicles which were preserved with other family papers by his descendant, William McQuie Mather (1898-1963). Unable to pursue a career in the Royal Navy, William McQuie Mather served as a wireless officer in the Merchant Navy during World War I, and later joined the family business of chemical merchants. He was interested in maritime history and was involved in the foundation of the Liverpool Nautical Research Society and his bequest, funds the Mather Fellowship, a research post at the Centre for Port and Maritime History. He was also an enthusiastic model-maker and his model of the HMS Victory is on display in the World of Models gallery at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, and is seen by many as one of the finest ever built.