WT Kains manuscript HMS Victory letter Certificate of service
Antique Prints

Since 1763 the name 'Russborough' has been synonymous with collecting and dealing in fine art. In the closing decades of the last century the historic town of Port Hope has become home to Lord Russborough's Annex, which specialises in an individual mix of antique maps, paintings and prints.

While Lord Russborough's Annex features a great many works of museum calibre, we also offer a wonderful selection of prints priced at under $100.

An extract of our manuscripts currently available:

W.T. Kains. MS letter written on board HMS. Victory
W.T.Kains Certificate of Service 1853


Fine Art
British Paintings in oil
Antique Maps
Omnium Gatherum
Specialty Services


click for enlargement



Four page Holograph letter, signed: Thomas Kains, to his wife Mary. Dated H.M.Ship Victory, Portsmouth 1st. March 1853. Written in iorn-gall ink in a neat, minuscule semi-italic hand, double sided, on good quality blue/grey wove paper with blind embossed Fleur d’lys (top left), folded to a four page spread.
Together with: Certificate of Service

The letter contains much interesting genealogical family details together with comtemporary details regarding both the state of HMS. Victory, and general living conditions on board.

I fear we shall be no better off on our return than when I left, for we have alterations almost every day and the talk now is that the Victory shall be made a school ship and another ship taken for the Commander-in-chief.  I ought to get £700 but they are to cut down everything they can lay their hands on you will see by this that I have paid my tailor £45. My steward £70…… although if I could afford it I would much rather return to Canada to freeze than stay here too long to stew ! I have been ailing since New year time - cold upon cold

Also explicit instructions to his wife regarding her proposed trip to England “You must see that you have not less that £10 in your pocket on landing as it will take you something to take you to London.” Also Canadian land transactions.

Size  7 x 8 7/8 ” ( 17.8 x 22.5 cm.) [7 x 4 ½ ” folded]

Ref: KS 1&2 / pr./ o.anng>ool pr.                PRICE CODE D    Click Here for Pricing Details   SOLD

Together with:




A manuscript certificate, signed John Carter, senior commanding officer of His Majesty’s Sloop Hyacinth, dated Lisbon, August 7th 1810. Written in Iron–gall ink on a sheet of laid slightly stained folded paper. 8 x 7 7/8”(20.3 x 20 cm.) 
Stating that the principal officers and Commissioners of His Majesty’s Navy certify that W. Thomas Kains served as clerk on board H.M. Sloop Hyacinth from 2nd February 1809 until August 7th. 1810, (1 year, 7 months, 11 days) “during which time he preformed his duty in every respect, behaved with diligance and sobrity and was always obedient to command.”

Captain Thomas William Kains (1790-1855) Following service in HMS. Hyacinth as a clerk 1805-10. He is next recorded as a member of the party that set fire to the US. Presidential residence during the War of 1812. (After being whitewashed to cover the smoke damage from this fire, it became known as the White House.)
At the time of the Crimean War, Thomas Kains was a half-pay officer in the Royal Navy. Having been called back to active service as purser aboard HMS Victory. Victory had been Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar. He rose to the rank of captain of the Ottawa River steamer Shannon. He married Mary, neé McMillan, daughter of Archibald of Murlaggan. Both are buried in the Old English cemetery, St Thomas, Ontario.

Further background details are available to the purchaser of this item


Home | Contact | Location | Links | Antique Prints | Fine Art | Antique Maps | Omnium Gatherum | Specialty Services