Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Charles Egerton Harcourt-Vernon (1827-1872)

Charles was the fourth son of Granville Harcourt Vernon (1792-1879) of Grove Hall, M.P. for Retford, Nottinghamshire.

He joined the Royal Navy and reached the rank of Lieutenant in 1849 and Commander in 1855. Between September 1851 and October 1854 he was a member of the crew of HMS Discovery Ship Plover, which was moored in the Bering Strait in Alaska to assist in the mission in search of Sir John Franklin's expedition.

Charles commanded HMS Surprise in 1856, and on 11 April 1857 took command of the new ship HMS Cordelia, in which he travelled from Plymouth to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. On 5 December 1860, during the Second Maori War, he left HMS Cordelia to take command of HMS Iris at Auckland, New Zealand. His naval career after this point is not known. 


He married in 1865 Louisa Anne Garth. They had no children.

Archive Collections

  • Ships' logs kept by Captain Charles Harcourt-Vernon are part of the Eyre collection held in Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham (Ey 522-529).

Published Sources

The journal of Commander Rochefort Maguire, the commander in charge of HMS Plover in Alaska, contains further information about the expedition:

  • John Bockstoce (ed.). The Journal of Rochefort Maguire 1852-1854 (London: The Hakluyt Society, 1988) [Hallward Library DA9.H25/2.169 and Hallward Library DA9.H25/2.170]


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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