The Barrington Papers, Vol. 77. Originally published by Navy Record Society, London, 1937.
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VII. The Venus
The Earl of Shelbourne, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, having informed Us, by his Letter of this date, that His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland intending to serve on board His Majesty's Ship Venus under your command, it is His Majesty's Pleasure that immediate preparations should be made on board the said Ship for the reception of His Royal Highness and his Retinue; And We having given directions to the Navy Board to cause those preparations to be made accordingly. You are hereby required and directed to receive His Royal Highness and his Retinue on board her, bearing His Royal Highness as a Midshipman and his Retinue as part of her allowed Complement, till further Orders.
Given under our hands the 24 June 1768. (fn. 1)
|To the Hon. Captain Barrington of His Majesty's Ship Venus, at Woolwich.||Edward Hawke. C. Townshend. Percy Brett.|
The Order of the 24th of June which I received yesterday, surprised me much, as I found that His Royal Highness and Retinue were to be borne as part of the Complement; but upon conversing with the Clerk of the Checque I find it must be a mistake, as he had Orders to go as far as two hundred and twenty, leaving room for the Marines, which is complied with to about five Men. I do assure you that if it was intended that the Retinue were to be borne as part of the Complement, the Ship in my opinion, in difficulty, could never be brought out of it. I always thought two hundred and forty few enough, and if his fifteen Retinue, who are of disservice rather than otherwise, are to be borne as part of two hundred and twenty, as I never made a difficulty in my life, I shall not begin now, but for the safety of the Duke of Cumberland shall still bear two hundred and twenty without them, and pay for their Wages and Victuals. To shew you how disinterested I am, I now go five Servants short, which I fill with Men. I hope this is only a mistake and that I shall receive Orders to bear the Retinue for Victuals only, or not to bear them at all.
I am, &c.,
Since I wrote to you, I find it was always Sir Edward Hawke's intention that the Duke of Cumberland's Retinue should be borne as Supernumeraries, and I have it in command from him to desire I may have an Order (fn. 2) for that purpose, for fear he should forget it. The Order for the Marines is gone to Portsmouth, but none for Mr Painter, (fn. 3) the Lieutenant; the sooner it is sent the better. I am still detained here by the wind, and the Pilot will not break the Ship loose. I shall propose to him warping, if the wind continues, and shall be happy if I can prevail on him to do so.
I am, &c.,
Whereas you have been directed to receive and enter as part of the Complement of His Majesty's Ship under your command His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland and his attendants: You are hereby required and directed when His Royal Highness and his attendants are embarked, to put to sea with the first opportunity of wind and weather and proceed to Gibraltar; and having taken in there, such a supply of Provisions and Water as you may have occasion for, You are to proceed to Portmahon, where you are likewise to take on board such Supplies as you may stand in need of; and having so done and made such stay as may be thought necessary for His Royal Highness to see such parts of the Island of Minorca as it may be his pleasure to visit: You are to return to Gibraltar, and from thence after staying a proper time to recruit your Provisions and Water, proceed to Spithead, unless His Royal Highness should desire to go a second time to Portmahon before he returns to England; in which case, You are to proceed to Portmahon accordingly, stopping again at Gibraltar in your return, if it be thought necessary and taking care to arrive at Spithead by the end of October or beginning of November, if it be agreeable to His Royal Highness; but if not, You will either shorten or protract the voyage as His Royal Highness may desire; and sending us an account of your arrival and proceedings, remain at Spithead till further Orders.
Given under our hands the 30 July (fn. 4) 1768.
|To the Hon. Captain Barrington of His Majesty's Ship Venus at Spithead.||Ed. Hawke. Percy Brett. C. Spencer.|
Having executed every part of Their Lordships' Order of the 30th July last and landed His Royal Highness The Duke of Cumberland, in perfect health, at Portsmouth this morning, I beg their permission to come to London.
|To Philip Stephens, Esq. Sec. to the Admiralty, London.|
His Royal Highness The Duke of Cumberland having
greatly admired the Standard put on board the Venus on
his account, I desire your approbation for having made him
a compliment of it.
I am, Gentlemen,
Your most humble Servant,
|To the Principal Officers & Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy, London.|
We have received your letter of yesterday with the Muster Book for the Venus, under your command, therein mentioned; and acquaint you that you have our approbation for having made His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland a compliment of the Standard.
We are, Sir,
Your humble Servants, (fn. 5)
|To the Hon. Captain Barrington, Venus, Spithead.||Tho. Slade. J. Williams. E. Mason.|
London. (fn. 6) 4 April, 1769.
Enclosed I send you a letter from Lieutenant Hawker of His Majesty's Ship under my command, informing me that George Fell and William Wells belonging to the said Ship were taken, attempting to desert and on the road to London. I beg their Lordships will be pleased to order that they may both be tried by a Court Martial for the said offence. I should not have troubled their Lordships upon this occasion, had not the frequent desertion (after every indulgence Seamen can possibly wish for) made an example absolutely necessary.
I am, &c.
Yesterday I received Mr Morris's letter and according to your Orders I herein send you the particulars of our catching George Fell and William Wells. On Wednesday March the 29th when Mr Morris (fn. 7) went on shore (which was in the forenoon) he gave them leave to go on shore with him; and I think they were to have been off that night or the next day, but of that Mr Morris can best inform you. Between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, as I was walking the Quarter Deck, Gideon Davis told me he imagined that Wells and Fell were gone with an intention to walk off. I asked him why he thought so. He told me that Wells had broke open a letter of Thomas Watts's (which he got at the Post Man's) wherein was an Account of 12 pairs of Shoes for Watts at the Blue Posts, and that they had been to ask for a parcel there; but the Book Keeper not being there, they got none. On which the Letter was sent by one of the Boat's Crew to Watts. But in this affair there is some excuse; for Wells did expect a parcel down, and the direction of the Letter was very ill wrote and spelt, so that there might be a mistake in all that. But I will now come to the point: On Davis's telling me of their intention, I sent immediately Mr Edwards and Pendar on shore to look for them. They heard from the Centinel at Landport Gate they had gone that way. They pursued them, and on the road overtook a person on horse-back. They wanted to borrow the horse, but the person told them he could not lend his horse, but if there was anybody on before they wanted stopped he would ride on and have them stopped at Postbridge which he did; and Mr Edward and Pindar there took them and brought them on board about 8 o'clock. They had taken all they could of their clothes on their back. Concerning everything of the Ship, Mr Morris no doubt has informed you.
I am, &c.
When the Signal is made for the Squadron to tack all together, every Ship, when about, is carefully to preserve the same bearing as before the Signal was made to tack so that supposing they were drawn up in a Line of Battle ahead NE & SW, all the Ships when about are to bear on those Points from each other, taking it from the Centre and making or shortening sail so as to preserve the distance assigned by the Signal for the line.
|To the Hon. Capt. Barrington of the Venus.||Henry.|
When I would have the Squadron, upon a wind, form a line on each other's Bow and Quarter, without respect to the Order of Battle, each Ship bearing from the other on the Point of the Compass they will lay on the other Tack, always taking it from the Venus, I will hoist a Red Pendant, under the Signal for the line ahead. And if I should afterwards make the Signal for the Ships to Tack together, in order to form a direct line ahead on the other Tack, the Ship that then becomes the headmost is to continue to lead without paying any respect to the prescribed Order of Battle.
When the Squadron is in a line ahead and I would have them all pay away large, preserving their distance and bearing from each other as before, always taking it from the Venus, I will hoist a Flag, half Red, half White, at the Flagstaff at the Foretopgallant Mast-head, and fire a Gun for every Point of the Compass I would steer from the wind, keeping, at the same time, the Signal for the line flying. But when I haul down the Red and White Flag the Ships are then all to come to the wind again and form a direct line ahead.
When the Squadron is in a line on each other's Bow and Quarter and I would have the headmost Ship lead down and engage the Enemy's Rear, I will hoist a Flag, checquered Blue and Yellow, at the Foretopgallant Masthead. The second Ship to the leader is then to double round her, under cover of her Fire, and attack the second Ship from the Enemy's Rear, and so on until my sternmost Ship is opposed to the Enemy's Van.
|To the Hon. Captain Barrington, of His Majesty's Ship Venus.||Henry.|
When the Squadron under my command is turning to windward on the Enemy in a Line of Battle, and my sternmost Ship can't weather them on the other Tack, she is to make it known to me by hoisting a Pendant at the Foretopgallant Mast head, which is to be repeated by every Ship ahead of her, until I am informed of it. My sternmost Ship is likewise to do so if I should be to windward of the Enemy and he thinks himself far enough astern of the Enemy's rear to tack and lead down to it out of the sternmost Ship's line of fire.
|To the Hon. Capt. Barrington, Venus.||Henry.|
Additional Signals by H.R.H. The Duke of
When the Signal is made for the Squadron to tack together, every Ship when about is carefully to preserve the same bearing as before the Signal was made. Suppose they were drawn up in a Line ahead N.E. and S.W., all the Ships' Main Masts when about are to bear on those Points of the Compass from each other, taking it from the Centre, making or shortening sail so as to preserve their Stations with the distance prescribed by the Signal. In case of the Wind shifting, the Ships' Main Masts are to bear from each other on the Point of the Compass they will lay on the other Tack (always allowing twelve Points) which when they are about, will bring them into the most direct Line ahead.
When I would have the Squadron on a Wind form a Line on each other's Bow and Quarter (which for the future we will call Bow and Quarter Line) without paying any respect to the prescribed Order of Battle, each Ship bearing from the other on the Point they will lay on the other Tack, always taking it from the Centre; I will hoist a Red Pendant under the Signal for a Line ahead, and if I should afterwards tack to form a Direct Line, the Ship that becomes the headmost is to continue leading, without paying respect to the Order of Battle. If the Ships in Order of Sailing keep their Stations according to the Order of Battle (which they are always most carefully to preserve) the Admiral's Seconds on his Quarters and the Leaders on the Wings, the Weather part of your Line is always formed, and the Ships on his Lee Quarter have only to make sail on his Lee Bow, the Leading Ship the headmost and leewardmost, and so on until the Admiral's Second is next to him on his Lee Bow, the other on his Weather Quarter and the other Leader the sternmost and weathermost, all the Ships preserving their bearing from each other on the Point they will lay on the other Tack. When every Ship has her proper bearing from the other, their Main Masts will be in one, and of consequence in one when they tack together, which will form the most Exact Line ahead.
When the Squadron is in Bow and Quarter Line, and I would form a Line ahead, I will haul down the Red Pendant from under the Signal for the Line, but if I would have them form a Line ahead, each Ship doubling round the other until the Sternmost becomes the Leader, and the Headmost brings up the Rear, I will hoist a Yellow Pendant under the Signal for the Line ahead.
When the Squadron is in a Line ahead and I would have my headmost Ship tack first and continue to lead in Bow and Quarter Line, every Ship forming in succession as she is about, I will hoist a Blue Pendant under the Signal for Tacking.
When the Squadron is in a Line ahead and I would have them Wear and form a Bow and Quarter Line on the other Tack, I will hoist a White Pendant at the Foretopgallant Mast-head. The Leading Ship is then to Wear first, stearing on the opposite Point of the Compass to that on which she lay on the former Tack, until all the Ships have wore in succession and formed a direct Line after her. Whenever the White Pendant is hauled down, the Ships are then to haul their wind together and the Bow and Quarter Line is formed.
When the Squadron is turning to windward on the Enemy in a Line of Battle, and my headmost Ship thinks she can weather them, she is to make it known to me by hoisting a Pendant at the Mizentopmast or Topgallant mast head, which is to be repeated by every Ship astern of her until I am informed of it. But if I should think proper to stand on until my sternmost Ship thinks she can weather them, she is to make it known to me by hoisting a Pendant at the Foretopgallant Mast-head, which is to be repeated in the same manner as before. My sternmost Ship is likewise to do so if I should be to windward of the Enemy, and her Commander thinks himself far enough astern of their Rear, to tack and lead down out of her Line of fire.
When the Squadron is in Bow and Quarter Line, or in any other Position, and I would have my headmost Ship lead down out of her Line of fire, and attack the Enemy's Rear, I will hoist a Flag checquered Blue and Yellow at the Foretopgallant Mast-head. The Second from the Leader is then to double round her, under the cover of her fire, and attack the second Ship from the Enemy's Rear, and so on until my sternmost Ship becomes the Leader and opposed to the Enemy's Van.
When the Squadron is in a Line ahead and I would have them pay away Large at me and the same time, preserving their bearing and distance as before, always taking it from the Centre, I will hoist a Flag half Red half White at the Foretopgallant Mast-head and fire a Gun for every Point of the Compass I would have them steer from the Wind, keeping at the same time the Signal for the Line flying. But when the Red and White Flag is hauled down again, the Ships are immediately to come to the Wind together and form the Line ahead. You are to observe that the intention of this Signal for paying away Large is to answer the purpose of every Ship pointing for her Opponent in the Enemy's Line.
If I should chace with the whole Squadron, and would have those Ships that are nearest, attack the Enemy, by my Headmost opposing their Sternmost, the next doubling round under the cover of her fire and engaging the second from the Enemy's Rear, and so on in succession as they may happen to come up, without respect to seniority or the prescribed Order of Battle, I will hoist a Blue and Yellow checquered Flag at the Foretopgallent Mast-head and fire a Gun, keeping at the same time the General Signal for Chace flying.
When the Squadron is sailing in a Line abreast and I choose to form them into two Divisions, each Division ahead of the other at the distance prescribed by the Signal, I will hoist a Red Flag with a White Cross at the Maintopgallant Mast-head and make those Ships' Signals I would have form the Rear Division, who are immediately to shorten sail, while the headmost make more until they are at their proper distance from each other, and each separate Division closed to their former distance.
Whatever Signals are made while thus formed are to be executed by the different Divisions at one and the same time. When I would form the Squadron into one Division again, I will hoist a Flag half White half Blue at the Maintopgallant Mast-head. The Ships of the Rear or Weathermost Division are then to fall into their proper Stations, and those of the Head or Leewardmost to double their distance to leave space for their forming.
You are hereby required and directed to follow the Orders you shall receive from the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty for your further proceedings in His Majesty's Ship the Venus under your command. (fn. 8)
|To the Hon. Captain Barrington, of His Majesty's Ship the Venus.||Henry.|
Your Royal Highness has done me much honour, not only by communicating your letter to Sir Edward Hawke, but also by the most flattering message delivered to me by Captain Hollwall (fn. 9); for both, Sir, you will please to receive my most grateful acknowledgments. My attachment to your Royal Highness be assured was not from any other motive but the love I have ever borne you and the Service I so much honour, and therefore hope you will never give yourself any trouble or uneasiness on my account; for although the Jamaica Command, had it been immediately thought of for me by His Majesty, would greatly have flattered my vanity, yet it would have been of no other use; my fortune would not have been increased by it, most likely the contrary, which I may venture to affirm has chiefly been the case ever since I had the honour of serving him, except from the Bounty of France. Be assured, Sir, the making Morris (fn. 10) a Captain, Covey (fn. 11) a Master-Attendant, and Painter (fn. 12) promoted in his way would give me [more] real pleasure than any Command the King can bestow on me. I hope, Sir, you will forgive my reminding you that poor Painter has nothing but his pay to depend on, and although you do him great honour and make him very happy in your countenance and protection, yet I am certain it must be attended with that expence which must greatly distress him.
I am now convinced, Sir, that what I have always
dreaded, and have taken the impertinent liberty in inform
ing you of, is so obvious that you can no longer conceal it.
If the Sea was ever so disagreeable to you, why would you
continue longer in the Service; be assured, Sir, it would
do you more honour to quit than forever to appear unhappy
in a circle of Men that love, honour, revere, and would serve
you with the most disinterested zeal. I hope, my dearest
Prince, you will forgive this last liberty I will ever presume
to take, and that you will do me the honour to believe
that I am ever, with the most sincere attachment, your
Royal Highness's devoted, obliged, and most obedient
At Sir Edward Hawke's going out of Town yesterday evening, I received it in command from him to acquaint you that at his return to Town next week, he will commission you for the Arrogant at Portsmouth if such appointment be agreeable to you.
I am, &c,
A. Chorley. (fn. 13)
My pride was never more mortified than by the receipt of a letter from Mr Chorley with your offer of the Arrogant. Could you possibly imagine, Sir, that the man you honoured with the care of the King's Brother (for whose sake and the good of the Service he so much honours, [he] refused your unsolicited offer of the Newfoundland Command) could have so little regard for his own reputation as to accept of a Guardship. Indeed I flattered myself that Sir Edward Hawke had a higher opinion of me than to make the offer; but what opinion, had I accepted, must His Majesty have entertained of me, after the many flattering things he has been graciously pleased to say, and through you convey to me. I must therefore beg leave to refuse the command of the Arrogant which I hope you will confer on some poor, but good officer of silent merit. It is reported that there is soon to be a promotion of Flag Officers; should this prove true, and it should go so low as to make a Marine vacancy, I hope you will honour me so far as to give my name with others to His Majesty. Was this appointment to go by seniority, I hope you have too good an opinion of me to suppose I would be a candidate when a Senior Officer was on the List, and I do not really desire a mark of the King's favour if he does not think I deserve it. You told me the last vacancy that a Memorial of my service was not the proper mode; I therefore desisted, and indeed did not think it of any consequence, when you so well know my pretensions which I flatter myself reflected honour on the King's Colours not only in the last, but former War. It has ever been the rule of my conduct to make my words and actions correspond; it is therefore necessary to acquaint you, Sir, that I have been informed that the Duke of Cumberland had asked for the Jamaica Command for me. Do me the justice to think it was done without my knowledge or solicitation; and I hope, for the vindication of my honour in this respect, that you will please to ask him if I ever desired or gave the least hint for any promotion whatsoever. These were not the terms on which I ever served him with the most disinterested zeal.
I cannot conclude without mentioning Mr Hawker (fn. 14)
who was second Lieutenant of the Venus; he is a good
officer and [has] a large family, and therefore I must
naturally conclude you meant to serve him; his high expectations from that quarter are now vanished, and you
must suppose serving in a Ship with the King's Brother has
put him to an additional expense; a Guardship therefore at
this Port would be of use to him. You will forgive me the
liberty I have taken in mentioning this circumstance of
Mr Hawker, and believe me to be with respect, &c.,
I received your letter which I must confess surprised me very much, as I could not have conceived that your pride could have been hurt, or that you would have been affronted at my offering you the Arrogant. Had you done the favour to have reflected but a few minutes upon my behaviour to you ever since I have been in office, you could not have been so unjust to me as to suppose me capable of doing anything to lessen you as an officer, more particularly designedly to affront you. What induced me to offer you the ship was from the accidental circumstance of hearing that the Duke of Cumberland had a house near Gosport, and therefore it happened to strike me that you might possibly like to have that ship for a time. Imagining you might often be down with His Royal Highness, your having the command of a Guardship at Portsmouth might be attended with some circumstances of convenience, or at least not disagreeable to you. This was my motive in offering you the ship, and as such might have drawn from you a refusal unattended with those marks of high offence at the proposal; however it will learn me to be careful in future how I take a liberty of that kind.
I observe throughout the whole of your letter that you
are displeased at something; if you have any doubt that
I have not done you justice with the King, the Duke of
Cumberland can unravel that mystery to you whenever he
pleases, as I do not doubt but His Majesty will tell His
Royal Highness the whole of everything I have said to him
relating to you. I should not have inserted your name in
the list of competitors for the Jamaica Command if I had
not been desired to do so in a particular manner by the
Duke of Cumberland. Had the King been pleased to have
named you for the Command and you had not liked it, I
apprehend His Majesty would also have been pleased to
have dispensed with your taking it; of this you must be
sensible. Upon the whole, when the promotion of Flag
Officers shall be made which you mention, I hope you will
have a better friend than myself to promote your interest
upon that occasion.
I am, &c.,
I was but last night favoured with yours of the 10th instant, and should not have given you this trouble was it not in vindication of myself against a crime my soul abhors. Ingratitude I did not imagine my enemies (if I have any) would accuse me of. In my letter of the 6th you will perceive an acknowledgment of the honour you did me by your unsolicited offer of the Newfoundland Command. I have frequently told you how much I was obliged to you and as frequently acknowledged it to my friends; it was my greatest pride to be thus distinguished by the first officer in our Service. Be assured, Sir, you mistake me much if you suppose I could possibly imagine you had not done me justice to the King; let me entreat you not to harbour such a thought. I am afraid you do not know me so well as I could wish, but hope for the future you will honour me with a better opinion; be assured I never have or will deceive you.
I am sorry you have taken up my letter so warmly; I did not mean to offend and I have not the least doubt but on further consideration you will commend me for the refusal of the Arrogant. You will please to remember, in conversation just before the Venus was paid off, you told me I should be in the way to solicit for a Command should there be a vacancy. I then told you that if His Majesty or you thought proper to employ me, it would always do me honour and make me happy; but on the terms of solicitation, I would not accept one. Your answer was, I could not have it on any other. After this, Sir, I could never suppose you would have inserted my name (as I never desired it) for the Jamaica Command; it was solicited, be assured, without my knowledge, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland was too delicate ever to mention it until it was refused him. He will do me the justice to say that I then acknowledged my obligations to him, and to convince him of my integrity, desired he would never give himself the least uneasiness on my account.
You will please to recollect that I should not even have been so indelicate as to have desired you to insert my name in the list to the King in the last Marine vacancy, had you not told me it could not otherwise be done. I have done no more on the supposition of a Promotion; it's all I desire and hope will not be denied; or, at least, if I am not to expect that favour that you will do me the honour to inform me of it. I must beg leave to remind you, Sir, that you told me you had never solicited anything for yourself; I am happy in following so good an example. Anyone, you know full well, can get promoted by interest; it's therefore in my opinion no longer honourable to accept it on those terms.
That your Memorialist has had the honour of serving in your Royal Navy ever since the year 1740; from which time, until he was paid off in 1763 on the late Peace, he was so constantly employed that every leave of absence which he had, including the short time he was out of Commission, did not exceed nine months.
That your Memorialist has twice had the good fortune of shewing the strength of your Majesty's Arms, by taking and bringing into your Ports two French ships of equal force to those he commanded. In the year 1747 your Memorialist in the Bellona of thirty guns took the Duke de Chartres of the same force, but near as large again; and in the year 1759 he, in the Achilles of sixty guns, took the Count de St Florentine of the same force. It was in this year the Marquiss of Conflans was defeated by Sir Edward Hawke, and in consideration of Lord Howe and Rear-Admiral, then Captain, Keppel having distinguished themselves in that Action they were appointed Colonels of Marines, although neither of them, at that time, so high on the Naval list, or of so long service as your Memorialist at present. Your Memorialist therefore most humbly apprehends that this appointment was first instituted as a reward for military merit, not length of service. It is on this presumption he humbly hopes for the next Marine vacancy, which he neither desires or deserves, if on enquiry your Majesty should find any officer senior to your Memorialist with equal, or any junior with superior pretensions.
Your Memorialist being appointed to the command of the Albion which may probably occasion his being absent when that event may happen, he has presumed to leave this Memorial of his services with your Majesty. (fn. 15)