Series 62: Papers concerning publication of the account of Lord Macartney’s Embassy to China, 1797 (possibly later)
Documents 1-3 in this series, previously located at DL MS Q158, were part of the personal library of Sir William Dixson which was bequeathed to the State Library of New South Wales in 1952. Dixson's bequest was formally handed over when the Dixson Library was opened in 1959.
Document 4 in this series was previously located at ML A79-5. It was purchased in 1884 from Lord Brabourne by Sir Saul Samuel, the Agent-General for New South Wales. It was transferred to the Mitchell Library in 1910 and was part of the accession which became known as the Brabourne collection.
The first British Embassy to China, for the promotion of science and commerce, under the leadership of Lord Macartney, set sail form Spithead on 26 September 1792. Two years later, on 6 September 1794, they returned to England from China.
Sir George Staunton, Secretary to the Embassy, was charged with producing the official account of the Embassy after their return. Sir Joseph Banks was responsible for selecting and arranging engraving of the illustrations.
In July 1797, Banks received his copy of Staunton's An authentic account of an Embassy [sic] from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China, taken chiefly from the Papers of the Earl of Macartney, Embassador [sic], and Sir E. Gower, Commander of the Expedition, London: George Nicol. 1797