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Author Topic: Press Gang, records who caught?  (Read 1155 times)

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Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2018, 09:03:26 »

I have lost the train of thought on this, does this help -

John Stimson 'Misfortunes that befell HMS LICHFIELD on the coast of Barbary', 1758

John Stimson 'Misfortunes that befell HMS LICHFIELD on the coast of Barbary', 1758-. HMS Lichfield was wrecked on the Barbary Coast (29th?) November 1758 in bad weather when part of a fleet including HMS Torbay, HMS Prince Edward , HMS Fougueux, HMS Roman Emperor and HMS Nassau. Two hundred and twenty crew were saved and one hundered and thirty one lost but many who survived and got to shore were captured by ‘moors’. The journal contains descriptions of the crews' experience in North Africa , including descriptions of customs and culture and the punishments they endured at the hands of their captors. It also includes lists of those who survived, as well as those who died on land and at sea.

Please see here -
Royal Museums Greenwich


Thank you Longpockets.

Yes I have this, in fact there are four accounts of the HMS Lichfield all strangely the same!  Some are word to word perfect but all seem to be based on a report first published when the crew returned to England. Lt James Sutherland seems to have published first with his account and details all those crew who made it ashore safely.

With nearly nothing at the National Archives, except an official report of the sinking, I am not sure where to go next.


Kind Regards



Mike
Mike Gunnill

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Offline Longpockets

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2018, 15:04:25 »

I have lost the train of thought on this, does this help -

John Stimson 'Misfortunes that befell HMS LICHFIELD on the coast of Barbary', 1758

John Stimson 'Misfortunes that befell HMS LICHFIELD on the coast of Barbary', 1758-. HMS Lichfield was wrecked on the Barbary Coast (29th?) November 1758 in bad weather when part of a fleet including HMS Torbay, HMS Prince Edward , HMS Fougueux, HMS Roman Emperor and HMS Nassau. Two hundred and twenty crew were saved and one hundered and thirty one lost but many who survived and got to shore were captured by ‘moors’. The journal contains descriptions of the crews' experience in North Africa , including descriptions of customs and culture and the punishments they endured at the hands of their captors. It also includes lists of those who survived, as well as those who died on land and at sea.

Please see here -
Royal Museums Greenwich

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2018, 13:54:15 »
Hmm, silly me for not thinking of that one. The muster book was probably lost with the ship. Doh!!
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2018, 09:48:30 »


I made an email enquiry with the National Archives, as I couldn't find very much on HMS Lichfield. This is the reply:


Thank you for contacting The National Archives of the United Kingdom.
We do not appear to have any muster lists for HMS Lichfield for that period and a general search of ADM (Admiralty) records does not turn up very much either. We do have a research guide on Ships wrecked or sunk which suggests some other sources that may be useful, most notably Admiralty Correspondence, ADM 1, on the loss of HMS Lichfield.


Well, that's one door closed then!  Off to Faversham Grammar School.


Mike
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Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2018, 22:00:55 »
If all of the men (including those that had been pressed) were released at the end of a campaign, would this not mean that anyone still serving ten years later would have done so voluntarily?

I'm sure that some men eventually took a liking to their enforced life at sea, perhaps Mike's ancestor was one of them.

Its a distinct possibility. When a vessel was laid up in the Ordinary, a skeleton crew was left aboard to look after her until she was recommissioned or broken up. The ship would have been in the care of the Master Attendant at the Royal Dockyard and he would have recorded who was aboard. Once more, only a trip to Kew will reveal the answers.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline mikeb

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2018, 18:49:11 »
mikegunill, I  have found this account of the stranding in Morocco by Lt. Sutherland who was on board. His account starts from page 109.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Qy0-NE5lXOUC&vid=OCLC01319586&dq=shipwrecks+of+east+africa&jtp=109&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Offline smiffy

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2018, 16:51:07 »
If all of the men (including those that had been pressed) were released at the end of a campaign, would this not mean that anyone still serving ten years later would have done so voluntarily?

I'm sure that some men eventually took a liking to their enforced life at sea, perhaps Mike's ancestor was one of them.





Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2018, 12:27:01 »
Although Winfield does not state where HMS Lichfield paid off in 1749, he does state that the ship was surveyed and underwent minor repairs at Chatham in the summer of 1752, which would indicate that she paid off at Chatham and went into the Ordinary or fleet reserve there. Winfield also states that HMS Lichfield was fitted for sea between November 1754 and March 1755, recommissioning under Captain Charles Stevens in the January.

At the time the ship recommissioned, the French and Indian War was underway in North America; a conflict which was to escalate into the Seven Years War when the British declared war on France in 1756. Press Warrants were not issued until the outbreak of the Seven Years War, by which time HMS Lichfield was already on the other side of the Atlantic having sailed on the 22nd April 1755. Immediately before her departure, Captain Stevens had been replaced in command by Captain Matthew Barton.

HMS Lichfield did see action in this commission. On the 12th of July 1756, in company with HMS Torbay of 90 guns and HMS Norwich of 50 guns, she captured the French ship L'Arc en Ciel of 50 guns. On the 30th of November 1756, she captured the small French privateer Le Volcan and on the 11th of May 1757 in company with HMS Centaur of 22 guns, the French privateers Le Hasard and L'Invincible (both of 16 guns) were taken.

The ship never returned to Kentish waters. She was in Irish waters when she received orders to sail to the French-held island of Goree, off the west coast of Africa, departing on the 19th of October 1758. She didn't make it and was wrecked off the coast of Morocco on the 29th of November 1758.

The only mention I can find of HMS Lichfield in Clowes is of her loss.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2018, 11:15:03 »
Mike, you are more than welcome......


So the press-gang was 1748, Faversham.  The Lichfield sailed from Ireland 1758 and sank off the Barbary Coast that year. In a report of the sinking those making it a shore were listed.  The family story from Queensland is lacking in detail as it was passed down thru the family.  The friend from Faversham, taken at the same time, was killed in action at sea while fighting the French. Notes from Edgar B Harris who wrote about Greenwood just says about the friend " he didn't last very long" I assume in naval service, before his death.

I need to start and research where the Lichfield was in 1748 and then find when they fought the French at sea.  Perhaps off Nova Scotia, I have seen note of a battle there. The dates I have then are 1748 - to - 1758. With the comment " didn't last long" , perhaps nearer 1748.  Mentioned on here, the Lichfield was paid off in June 1749, so perhaps the Faversham Two, didn't join Lichfield till after this date. First task find when she went back into service, then try and locate a muster book for that date. Cos this is getting easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Mike
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Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2018, 11:03:50 »
Just a little more on HMS Litchfield, she was launched on the 9 June 1746, but stuck on the ways having travelled 1210ft. It was not until 26th June that she was finally persuaded to enter the water! She was "pulled" into the water by use of blocks & tackle secured to a lighter.
Gleaned from "Building Britain's Wooden Walls by John Barnard, my name-sake.

Thx mike, grateful.

Mike
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2018, 22:55:06 »
Just a little more on HMS Litchfield, she was launched on the 9 June 1746, but stuck on the ways having travelled 1210ft. It was not until 26th June that she was finally persuaded to enter the water! She was "pulled" into the water by use of blocks & tackle secured to a lighter.
Gleaned from "Building Britain's Wooden Walls by John Barnard, my name-sake.

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2018, 20:56:50 »
Mike, you are more than welcome......
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline mikegunnill

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2018, 20:51:58 »
Mike ,
           Bilgerat has come up trumps for you for your crew musters,
          Try the Faversham Society they might have or know where they can be found school records for the old Grammar School the lads attended. As a point of interest the last "Guess the place" By Davpot, is the old Faversham Grammar School the boys would have attended :) Rog

Thank you Bilgerat and Grandarog

I may go down the tracing Grammar School lads route!

I know Kew makes sense, but this is very time consuming to undertake.

Very grateful

Mike
Mike Gunnill

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Otterham Kent - Your Heritage.

Offline grandarog

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2018, 19:50:30 »
Mike ,
           Bilgerat has come up trumps for you for your crew musters,
          Try the Faversham Society they might have or know where they can be found school records for the old Grammar School the lads attended. As a point of interest the last "Guess the place" By Davpot, is the old Faversham Grammar School the boys would have attended :) Rog

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: Press Gang, records who caught?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2018, 19:50:21 »
Mike,
      Do we actually know they were pressed into service directly to the Lichfield.I have only seen reference to them being taken to a ship on the Thames. Would they perhaps have been put onto a training ship before being posted to the Lichfield. As I see it it also depends on what press gang caught them .The official one based in Faversham or a gang from the Lichfield itself . I understand the Captain of the ship had authority to conduct his own press gang in certain circumstances.

Grandarog:

All I know is that the pair taken in Faversham were later signed to Lichfield. I would assume that with no naval trading at all, they would have been put on a training ship.  All I know for certain the two taken in Faversham served together on Lichfield, until the unnamed youth was killed fighting a sea battle with the French. The story from Australia, states " his school chum didn't last very long and died from wounds after a battle at sea with the French."

I have tried to trace where HMS Lichfield was at the time of the Faversham press-gang, without success-so far.

I would if possible like to name this "boy" from Faversham if I can.

Mike

Again Mike, only a trip to Kew will answer this question. Find the logs for HMS Lichfield and they will tell you where the ship was. As for what happened to the boys immediately after being pressed, one of two things will happen. In either case, they would have been taken to the press gang's Rendezvous. After that, it was either straight onto a tender or boat and thence to HMS Lichfield if it was her press gang which caught them or onto the Receiving Ship if it was the Faversham standing press-gang. They would only receive some prior training if they went into the Receiving Ship first.

"In the Thames" would mean that whatever ship they went to was at the Nore, in the Thames Estuary off Sheerness. This would make sense as HMS Lichfield was built under Navy Board contract at a shipyard owned by John Barnard in Harwich and launched in 1746. It was normal practice for a ship to go to the nearest Royal Dockyard to be fitted out and in the case of Harwich, this would be Sheerness as navigating the Medway and the Thames was difficult even for the most experienced and skilled navigators. Winfield (British Warships in the Age of Sail) has HMS Lichfield fitted out at Portsmouth, but this doesn't make sense. This is so for a number of reasons. 1 - why take the the ship all the way to Portsmouth when there were no less than four Royal Dockyards a fraction of the distance away? 2 - Why  take men from Faversham and then transport them all the way to Portsmouth, which had it's own press gangs and receiving ships? No, the ship was most likely sent to one of the Kent Royal Dockyards for fitting out and the one which makes the most sense would be Sheerness, especially if she was taking men (and boys) impressed at Faversham.

At risk of repeating myself, a look at HMS Lichfields logs and the muster book for that period will answer your questions. National Archive Catalog reference ADM 51/70 contains Captains logs from 1740 to 1752. HMS Lichfield was paid off in June of 1749 (presumably just after the end of the War of Austrian Succession), so all her surviving crew would have been released at that point.

ADM 36 contains muster books between 1688 and 1888 and again, only a trip to Kew will get what you're looking for.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

 

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