Items re Willie Dailey, apprentice on ship Benares, 1886.



William James Dailey (Willie) was born in 1870 in Rowley Regis, Stafford, England, to Robert Dailey, a schoolmaster from London and his wife, Jane. Despite the lack of a seafaring tradition in the family, Willie wanted to go to sea and in 1886 joins the ship Benares, owned by Watsons of Glasgow, as an apprentice for a voyage, Dundee - Cardiff - Coquimbo, Chile - San Francisco and back. The collection contains letters to and from William Dailey and his family, an essay written by Willie about his first year as an apprentice and two photographs, one of Willie's mother and children and one of Willie in uniform. In his letters and essay Willie stresses the monotony of life at sea and the companionship he feels towards his fellow apprentices. His mother expresses her concern for his welfare, commenting on his diet and clothing. His father also expresses concern for his health and his morals, recommending a treatment for crabs and reminding Willie not to be persuaded to carry out 'that private matter I mentioned in Dundee ....'. The collection provides an insight into the lives of apprentices and the effects of their departure from home on their families. All the manuscript items have been transcribed. Transcripts are available with the catalogue in the Maritime Archives & Library Searchroom, and the original items will not be produced. The Maritime Archives & Library holds a number of apprenticeship indentures in its collections and also a number of journals written by apprentices while at sea, for example, SAS/23a/5/1, DX/1135, DX/1167, DX/1528 and DX/1856. The original items cannot be photocopied due to their fragile condition. The transcripts can be photocopied. The copyright of the transcripts belongs to National Museums Liverpool.