The Barrington Papers, Vol. 77. Originally published by Navy Record Society, London, 1937.
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As you will remember Lord Anson's intentions (fn. 1) of obliging me with Lieutenants I'Anson and Simonton from the Achilles, I must beg you will be so good as to mention it at the Board, who I hope will indulge me so far as to appoint them to the Hero. There is at present a vacancy for Simonton, Lieutenant Reynolds, the late fourth of the Hero, being already appointed to the Princess Amelia; and I should think there can be no great hardship in Lieutenant Lower going into the Achilles with his old Captain, in the room of Lieutenant I'Anson. I hope you will forgive the liberty I have taken, and believe me, &c.
When I would speak with the Captain of any of His Majesty's Ships undermentioned, I will put abroad a Pendant as against that Ship's name expressed; if with a Lieutenant, a Weft at the Ensign Staff; and for a Boat without an Officer, the Weft will be hoisted half staff.
Whereas the Enemy are fitting out Ships at Bordeaux and other Ports, to carry Troops and Ammunition to their Settlements in the West Indies, You are hereby required and directed to proceed with H.M. Ships named in the margin [Hero, Lyon] to a Station between the Port of Ferrol and the Latitude of 467° 30' N., where you are to cruize and use your utmost endeavours to intercept any of the said Ships; Taking care to give all the Protection in your power to the Trade of His Majesty's Subjects.
You are to cruize upon this service till the 27th of this month, when you are to repair to my Rendezvous off Ushant, and upon your not finding me there, to make the best of your way to Torbay, acquainting the Secretary of the Admiralty of your arrival there, if I should not be in that Road.
Line of Battle. (fn. 2)
On the 14th instant I received Orders from Vice-Admiral Durell to proceed to Plymouth. But finding that with my assistance the Dilligence might be got off and carried into Brigsome Pier, I thought it a duty incumbent on me to remain here until it was effected, which I have now the satisfaction of acquainting their Lordships of.
The Purveyor that was sent round from Plymouth is gone there, to acquaint the Admiral with the condition of the Sloop, that he may have such assistance from the Yard as to make her capable of being (with Jury Masts) carried there, which I hope will be done at a small expence.
Whereas the Rt. Hon. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, foreseeing difficulties and distresses to which many of the Seamen of His Majesty's Fleet, who have so gallantly distinguished themselves in the course of the War, may be reduced by being paid off and discharged from H.M. Service at a considerable distance from their Families and Friends, and Their Lordships having come to a resolution to alleviate and soften these difficulties and distresses as far as they are able, by appointing proper Vessels to carry, as near as may be to their respective places of abode, either in Ireland, Scotland or distant parts of England, such of those Seamen as shall desire it, immediately after H.M. Ships shall be put out of commission, for which purposes Their Lordships have directed the Navy Board to consider and report to them, what number and nature of Vessels it may be proper to retain or take into H.M. Pay at Plymouth, towards carrying Their Lordships' resolutions into execution with due efficiency and expedition.
You are therefore hereby required and directed to cause notice of Their Lordships' humane intentions to be given as soon as possible to the Company of H.M. Ship under your command, and that the Vessels provided for the above-mentioned purpose will sail with such Men as are willing to go with them, towards their respective places of abode, immediately after the Ship under your command is paid off, or as soon as the wind and weather will permit; and further that they may, if they choose it, be victualled on board those Vessels till they do sail.
And you will cause this Notice to be affixed up in writing in the most public places in the Ship, at least four or five days before she is put out of commission, that none may plead ignorance thereof. You are likewise to make me proper Returns of the Men that choose to accept of this indulgence, and the places that they intend to go to, that directions may be given for their embarking.
Whereas hurry and confusion generally arise in dismantling H.M. Ships when ordered to be paid off, which puts the Warrant Officers to difficulties in returning their Stores in proper order, and the Rigging receiving great injury by being through carelessness, frequently cut and rendered unserviceable. To prevent which inconveniency,
You are hereby required and directed to leave all the Rigging of H.M. Ship under your command standing, and to employ your Men in getting out the Guns, Carriages and Powder and returning such of the Victualling Stores as can be got out with convenience, without retarding the paying the Ship off, if the Books are ready for that purpose; and in order that the Ship may be cleared of the remainder of the Stores, You are to give notice to any of the Quarter Masters, Mates, Yeomen of the Storerooms, and others you shall think most discreet and orderly, and best to be confided in (not exceeding in the whole to above twenty Men) that they may have liberty to continue on board the Ship, at the same Pay, but to be borne on the Ordinary Books of the Yard, until the Ship is cleared, which Men are to be employed on this service under the direction of the Master of the Ship, who will be continued in pay (to be paid by Bill) so long as shall be deemed necessary to superintend the performance of this work, and to prevent any concealment or embezzlement of Stores.
It is the Admiral's directions that the Centinels on board H.M. Ship under your command, are to discharge their pieces on the contrary side of the Ship to the Dock Yard, pointing them down to the water, to prevent accidents.