The worldwide travels of a young British Gentlemen

A somewhat enigmatic travel document approaches. Our focus is on a British passport ensconced in a wallet crafted from green leather. This document was granted in the year 1851 within the confines of London. Alongside the bearer’s signature graces the page, one can find the prominent endorsement of Lord Palmerston.

Noteworthy for having held the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice during the mid-19th century, Lord Palmerston’s bold signature leaves its mark. worldwide travels British Gentlemen

Visa Entries worldwide travel British Gentlemen

Presented below is a comprehensive enumeration of all the visas contained within the passport, some of which may be duplicated, spanning more than 56 pages.

The worldwide travels of a young British Gentlemen
Visa of the Austrian Legation in London, 1860

Chief Secretary’s Office, Malta – with a courier in the name of George Frankle 1851
British Consulate, Beirut for Constantinople
British Embassy, Constantinople for Triest
Royal Bavarian Embassy in Vienna
The Sublime Porte, also known as the Ottoman Porte or High Porte was a synecdoche for the central government of the Ottoman Empire, in this case, in Vienna.
British Embassy, Constantinople for Athens
British Embassy, Athens for Alexandria
Italian Consulate, Malta for Naples
British Embassy Naples for Rome
Italian Embassy Naples
Vatican Embassy Rome
British Consulate Rome for Florence
Austrian Embassy, London 1860 (last entry)

Upon my initial reception of the document and my perusal of its pages, the notion crossed my mind that the holder might have been a courier (a presumption that ultimately proved untrue, yet…). Seeking assistance in delving into the matter, I enlisted the support of my British associate, Andy, whose prowess in genealogical research is truly remarkable.

Who was Robert Henies Dudley Scott?

Born in the quaint town of Bath, Somerset, in the year 1833, he saw his first light. By 1851, he found himself as a student in Bath, pursuing his education as an undergraduate. In the year 1861, a seemingly consequential juncture, he appeared to be boarding on Jersey, lodging with a wine merchant as a lodger. Notably, he had his young daughter, Agnes Ellen, all three years old, in his company, attentively cared for by a nurse.

Transitioning to 1871, a new chapter was unveiled in Hove, Sussex, where he bore the mantle of a landowner. Here, his life was intertwined with that of Anna, his lawful spouse, and their offspring, a pair of sons aged four and two years. However, his earthly journey found its closure in the year 1880, with his final resting place being the serene lands of Jersey.

Of his progeny, Agnes Ellen Scott, born during the waning days of 1857 within England, remained in Jersey during this period. It appears that Agnes Ellen’s origin is shrouded in the veil of illegitimacy. Notably, she is recorded as a ‘gentleman’s daughter’ in the 1871 census, a peculiar yet intriguing distinction. Meanwhile, Anna, his truehearted wife, was brought into this world upon the very shores of Jersey. worldwide travels British Gentlemen

The convergence of those four names—Robert Herries Dudley Scott—amounts to a rather uncommon amalgamation, yielding little to no potential parallels in my search.

Remarkably youthful at the tender age of 17, the issuance of his passport finds its place in history. Intriguingly, the endorsements embedded within the passport serve as signposts, indicating that he perhaps wasn’t the sole courier himself. Instead, he seemed to have undertaken his journey in the company of George Frankle, presumably an elder figure, where the role of the true courier rested with Frankle. Does this narrative align logically?

The Passport In Detail Worldwide travels British Gentlemen



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FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...

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