VIII. The Albion


Navy Record Society



D. Bonner-Smith (editor)

Year published




Citation Show another format:

'VIII. The Albion: Letters', The Barrington Papers, volume 1: Publications of the Navy Records Society, vol. 77 (1937), pp. 417-442. URL: Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


(Min 3 characters)

The Albion - Letters

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1495)

Beckett, near Faringdon, Berks. 17 September, 1770.

On hearing of the Guardships being manned to their highest complement, as likewise the Albion and Prince of Wales ordered to be prepared for the same purpose, I beg leave to offer my service, as I should be sorry not to take this earliest opportunity of shewing their Lordships my readiness to serve on all occasions.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

Admiralty Office. 31 October, 1770.

I have read to my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your letter of the 27th instant acquainting them that Le Roux, a Frenchman, who appears to be an intelligent Man and good Pilot for the coast and ports of France and Spain as far as Cape Finisterre, has offered himself to serve on board the Ship you command; And in return I am commanded by their Lordships to acquaint you that besides ordering the sum of ten guineas to be advanced this Man, they have recommended it to him to repair to the Ship, and I have their Lordships' commands to signify their directions to you to receive and bear him on the Ship's Books as part of her complement till further order.
I am, &c.,
Php. Stephens.

Hon. Captain Barrington, Albion, Chatham.


War Office. 22 November, 1765.

Whereas there are seldom more for great part of the year than two Regiments in Chatham Barracks which are spacious enough to contain three, and whereas it is represented by the Lords of the Admiralty that there are always at Chatham a certain number of Marines who could be quartered with more convenience in the spare room of the said Barracks, on which account their Lordships have desired that the said Marines may be permitted to lodge therein, His Majesty has been pleased to allow thereof, the Admiralty being at any charges which shall be needful in order to separate the Soldiers and Marines according to a plan herewith inclosed, as likewise any other extraordinary expence on account of the said Marines being quartered there; But as there will not be sufficient room for the Troops without the Ordnance Office will give up to them what was originally set apart for the Artillery, it will be necessary that the Lords of the Admiralty should prevail with that Board to give up the said part to be occupied by the Troops.

I am also to acquaint you for the information of their Lordships that one absolutely necessary condition of admitting the Marines into Chatham Barracks is, that they shall immediately leave them and be quartered elsewhere whenever notice is sent from this Office to the Admiralty that all the said Barracks are wanted for the use of His Majesty's Land Forces.

Whenever I am informed by you that it is agreeable to the Admiralty that the Marines should go into the Barracks on this footing, and that the Ordnance have ceded their Buildings, I will take care for the immediate reception of the Marines into that part which is allotted to them.
I am, &c.,

Admiralty Office. December 5, 1770.

Having laid before my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your letter of the 29th of last month, acquainting them with your arrival in the Downs and that your Landmen had been so willing and behaved so well coming round from the Nore that they deserve every encouragement from you and that you had therefore rated them Able; I am commanded by their Lordships to acquaint you that although they wish to have all proper encouragement given to Landmen, they cannot approve of your having rated them Able Seamen so contradictory to the 33rd Article of your Instructions, merely for having behaved well and shewn a willingness to learn the duty of Seamen in their passage from the Nore to the Downs; And it is their Lordships' direction therefore that you continue them upon your Books as Landmen until they shall be better qualified to do the duty of Able Seamen.
I am, Sir,
Your very humble Servant,
Php. Stephens.

Hon. Captain Barrington, Albion, Spithead.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1495)

Albion, Spithead. 7 December, 1770.

I have received your letter of the 5th instant and beg leave to observe to their Lordships that when I was first commissioned for the Albion, I thought it my duty to get her ready for sea as soon as possible; and in order to do so, told all my Landmen that as soon as they could hand and reef I would rate them Able. I make it a rule never to break my word with them; and as those I have rated can do so, I have told them of it. I flattered myself that this promise of mine had its effect, and that their Lordships did not think that a 74-gun Ship was backward in fitting, even if I had all Seamen, in being ready to go to Blackstakes in three weeks from the Ship's going out of dock, and before the Ship herself was fit for the People to lay on board her, and these excellent Fellows without clothes, without beds, and not four good days' [weather], the rest of the time in wind and rain, without a single complaint of the hardships they underwent. The 33rd Article of my Instructions tells me I am to rate none Able Seamen but such as have been at sea three years. Every Ship must have constantly almost in War had Men that have been at sea twenty years and upwards, without ever having been aloft. I therefore beg leave to submit it to their Lordships, whether my People that can hand and reef are not entitled to Able pay in preference to the Man who has been so long, and of no use. They cannot steer or heave the lead. How few there are of that sort in every Ship I will likewise submit to their Lordships. I have therefore not yet altered the Rates until I have their Lordships' further directions. I must confess I always looked upon it that a Captain was a judge of the desert of his People. If it is their Lordships' pleasure notwithstanding, they will please to let me know whether I am not to rate them until they have served three years at sea. I should hope their Lordships will indulge me in my promise, otherwise [I] conceive that from a good and willing Ship's Company, that [sic] they will turn out not only a slow, but an inactive one.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

[P.S.] You will please to observe although they are rated, they did not receive Bounty as such. Many have, I believe, that do not deserve it so much.

Admiralty Office. 12 December, 1770.

Having communicated to my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your letter of the 7th instant, acquainting them in return to the direction you had received from them by my letter of the 5th respecting the Landmen whom you had rated Able Seamen upon the Books of the Ship you command, that you rated them Able in consequence of a promise you made to them that they should be so rated as soon as they could hand and reef, and expressing your hopes that their Lordships will indulge you in keeping your promise; I am commanded by their Lordships to acquaint you that you ought not to have made such promise and that they cannot indulge you in your request without making a precedent that could not fail of being attended with great inconvenience and prejudice to His Majesty's Service at this time.
I am, &c.,
Php. Stephens.

Hon. Captain Barrington, Albion, Spithead.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty

Albion, Spithead. December 15th, 1770.

Their Lordships' Orders are obeyed, and I have the pleasure to acquaint them, that a few days since when it blew very fresh, the Mainsail of the Albion was furled in a seaman-like manner by fifty of the Men I have now disrated in obedience to their commands. The rapid progress these Landsmen have made may appear surprising until their Lordships are informed by me of the infinite merit of the Officers (fn. 1) of the Albion, who I must beg leave to recommend in the highest manner to their favour and protection.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1495)

Albion, Spithead. December 23rd, 1770.

The Salt Beef sent from London to His Majesty's Ship under my command shrinks so much in boiling that I have always many complaints from the People on that occasion. I mentioned this to the Victualling Board, knowing full well by the Instructions they had no other remedy than the making up any deficiency in weight after the Salt was shaken off, or its being surveyed. It was to little purpose my applying for the latter, as the Meat is sweet, and therefore only desired the Provisions might be changed; but as that was not granted, I think it my duty to acquaint their Lordships of the sufferings of the People without a remedy. I should suppose as the undermentioned Meat is only twelve months corned, the occasion of its shrinking so much must be owing to the badness of the Meat when killed.

Sixty pieces of Beef with Salt shaken off weighed218
— do. — after boiled126½
Shrunk after boiled91½
Three pieces which ought to have weighed 10½ pounds, weighed only when Salt shaken off9
When boiled6
Short of the proper weight
Six pieces with Salt shaken off which ought to have weighed 21 pounds according to the Instructions, weighed only13½
When boiled9
Short of the proper weight12

You will perceive, Sir, that the first sixty pieces, although 2 pounds overweight, by the Instructions, after boiled falls so short that I do not suppose if the Bone was taken from the Flesh that there would remain one pound in each piece. (fn. 2)
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty

Albion, Spithead. 5 March, 1771.

La Roche, a subject of France and Pilot for the French and Spanish coast, who has been entertained by their Lordships' directions in His Majesty's Ship under my command and rated Midshipman, has desired me to represent to them that as there is no longer any prospect of a War with Spain, he apprehends he can be of no further use and therefore desires to be discharged; should their Lordships think proper to comply with his request, (fn. 3) [I] beg there may be a particular order for the Wages due to be paid him immediately as it would be hard for him to wait until the Ship is paid.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

Admiralty Office. 30th April, 1771.

Mr Bowden, the Deputy Marshall of the Admiralty, who was ordered to apprehend Owen Cassedy and George Cool, two Deserters from the Ship you command, having acquainted the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that he has been in search of them, and that they are supposed to be returned to their duty; I am commanded by their Lordships to send you an extract of Mr Bowden's letter relative thereto for your information. (fn. 4)
I am, &c.,
Php. Stephens.

Hon. Captain Barrington, Albion, Spithead.

Extract of a letter from Mr Bowden, Deputy Marshall of the Admiralty, to Mr Stephens, dated April 26th, 1771.

You will be pleased also to acquaint their Lordships that diligent search hath been made after Owen Cassedy and the only intelligence I could get was that he had been with his Wife in Dyot Street, St Giles's, but was returned again on board His Majesty' s Ship Albion. I also have made a diligent search after George Cool, another Deserter from His Majesty's Ship Albion, and two of my assistants had intelligence that he was at the Sun in Devereux Court, Temple Bar; but while one of my assistants was come to the Commons for me, the other observed that Cool was preparing to depart, on which he seized him, but Cool immediately took up a poker and struck him across the arm in such a manner as to prevent his holding him, as every one present refused to aid or assist, but since hear that Cool has wrote to his Commander and begged forgiveness and returned to his duty.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty

Albion, Spithead. May 3rd, 1771.

I have received your letter of the 30th ult. inclosing one from Mr Bowden, the Deputy Marshall of the Admiralty, acquainting their Lordships that he had been in search of Owen Cassedy and Geo. Cool, two Deserters from His Majesty's Ship under my command, and that the intelligence he received was that they were returned to their duty. Their Lordships might be assured that if they had, I should have wrote for a Court Martial on them. The desertion from the Fleet has been such as to make examples highly necessary and they may rest persuaded that I never presume to take upon me to pardon one. Cassedy I should suppose is in London and hope may still be found there. Cool I have traced to Bristol where he went about six or seven weeks ago, but think he may shortly return to the Temple.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

By the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain and Ireland, &c.

You are hereby required and directed to repair forthwith in His Majesty's Ship under your command to Plymouth and remain there until you receive further Order. Given (fn. 5) under our hands the 4th day of May 1771.

To the Hon. Captain Barrington, Commander of His Majesty's Ship the Albion at Spit head.Sandwich. J. Buller. Palmerston.

By command of their Lordships, Php. Stephens.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty

Albion, Spithead. 11 May, 1771.

I have received their Lordships' Orders for reducing the Complement, but as I should be very sorry not to comply with the Plan according to their intention, must beg leave to desire an explanation of what they mean by the Article Seamen, as there are many necessary Men in a Ship that go under that denomination. For instance, a Cooper, Barbers (at least one to every hundred Men, without which it's impossible to keep a Ship's Company clean or healthy).

It has been customary for the Officers to have a Man to attend on them, under the title of Steward of the Wardroom, and another as Cook. As for my own Menial Servants, their Lordships' Orders are perfectly clear, and they shall be rated accordingly; although I beg leave to inform them they are not only strong and able, but have been long at sea, one of them fourteen years; was with me all the last War, and gained credit by his skill in working a twenty-four Pounder on several occasions against the Enemies of Great Britain. I shall likewise be glad to know if their Lordships will allow those young Gentlemen Midshipmen above my established Complement to be rated Able, as they would rather serve in that manner with me than be rated in another Ship. My Sail Maker, an excellent workman, has twice left one of the King's Yards to follow my fortune, and I shall take it as a particular favour if their Lordships will please to direct that he may be entered in one again, if they do not choose to let him remain in the Albion.

I have a Man to assist my Clerk as is customary, without which he was not able to go through his business. I beg to know if he may still be borne as an Able Seaman; or any Carpenters above the established number that choose to remain with me. I need not say how useful they are, and how few [are] to be had to serve in any of His Majesty's Ships.

I must likewise beg you will inform me which of the Lieutenants and Surgeon's Mates are to be discharged.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

By Richard Spry, Esq., RearAdmiral of the White and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels at Plymouth.

Pursuant to an Order from the Right Honble the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, you are hereby required and directed to reduce the Complement of the Ship under your command to three hundred and fifty Men by discharging from her such Officers and Servants as she now has over and above the number mentioned in the annexed scheme, and by discharging from her Books to a Supernumerary List for Wages and Victuals such a number of her Men who are the least fit to be kept in His Majesty's Service as may be necessary for that purpose; And you are hereby strictly enjoined not to enter any of your Menial Servants except your Cook in any other quality than Captain's Servants. Given under my hand on board the Lively in Hamoze 12 May 1771.

To the Hon. Captain Barrington, of His Majesty's Ship the Albion.R. Spry.

By command of the Admiral, Francs. Stephens.

Surgeon's Mates2
Master's Mates2
Boatswain's Mates2
Gunner's Mate1
Carpenter's Mate1
Quarter Masters3
— Do —Mates2
Quarter Gunners8
Purser's Steward1
Captain's Clerk1
Master at Arms1
Captain's Cook1
Servants as above26

To the Secretary of the Admiralty

Albion, Plymouth Sound. 17 May, 1771.

Murdock McKenzie belonging to His Majesty's Ship under my command who was sent on board by Admiral Hughes as a deserter from the Hospital and who was ordered to be tried at a Court Martial there, was so very ill that the order could not be complied with and I was obliged to bring him here. He is now recovering slowly but very weak, and I should be glad to know when he is well their Lordships' pleasure about him. The Marine Officer and his guard who apprehended him and whose name I do not know are, I believe, at Portsmouth and without their evidence I apprehend the attempt to desert cannot be proved. The poor creature has been so terrified at the different examples that were made before I left Spithead, as constantly to prevent his recovery.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

By Richard Spry, Esq. RearAdmiral of the White and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels at Plymouth.

His Majesty's Ship under your command being one of those which the Right Honble the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty intend shall be stationed as Guardships at this Port under my command, as well for the preservation and defence of the Ships in Ordinary and the Storehouses and Magazines of this Yard from danger either by accident or design as that they may be always in a proper condition to be sent upon any service at the shortest notice; You are in pursuance of their Lordships' Orders hereby required and directed to observe and execute the following Instructions and Signals:

You are to keep the complement of the Ship under your command complete from time to time agreeable to the scheme which you received with my letter of the 12th instant, and to entertain none but able and healthy Seamen to serve before the Mast, such as are fit and meant to be taken to sea; And you will take proper care by timely washing, airing, working the Ventilators as often as you have opportunity, and other requisite means, to promote healthiness in the Crew and for the preservation of the Hull and Stores.

The Ship under your command is always to have her established number of Guns, but when in Hamoze only to have fifty stand of Small Arms, with a suitable proportion of Gunner's Stores except Powder whereof the requisite quantity will be supplied occasionally and is to be demanded in such proportions as may be necessary and to be disposed of either in a Chest in the Roundhouse or in the After Powder Room which disposition of it will allow of a Scuttle to be cut between the Bits to open into the Hold and the doors of the Magazines to be left open to give Air to those parts of the Ship. But when the Ship is in Plymouth Sound, she is to be supplied with Small Arms in proportion to her complement and such further quantity of Powder and Gunner's Stores as may be proper.

The Watch will be set every night by beat of Drum and firing a gun from the Ship in which my Flag is hoisted at 8 o'clock from Michaelmas to Lady day and at 9 o'clock the rest of the year, and the same will be done for the relief of the Watch at daybreak in the morning, which is to be answered from each of the other Guardships by firing three Musquets and by one Musquet from each Ship in Ordinary.

The Ship under your command is to be kept complete in her standing Rigging but to have no Sails bent or running Rigging reeved more than shall be absolutely necessary, and only such proportion of Boatswain's and Carpenter's Stores as may be wanted from time to time for present use. She is to be furnished with her spare Topmasts, Topgallant Masts and Yards, and to have one entire suit of Sails on board, and whenever she is in Hamoze is to be victualled according to the rules of Petty Warrant, keeping neverthe less her ground Tier of Water always complete; but when she is in Plymouth Sound she is to be in Sea Victualling and to be victualled to two months with all species of Provisions except Beer of which she is to be supplied with only one month at a time.

The Seamen and Marines belonging to the Ship you command are to be frequently exercised at the Cannon and Small Arms, and in order that their Lordships may be enabled to judge of the ability of the Marine Officers and the progress they have made in the discipline of the Marines for service on shore as well as their other duties so far as the same is practicable whilst they remain embarked, I shall upon application from the Commanding Marine Officer at the port give leave for a Field Officer of Marines from the Division to go on board in order to review and exercise the Detachments embarked in the different Ships, or shall cause the Marines of the several Ships to be landed in order to be reviewed and exercised in the Field, of which I shall give notice by the Signal for that purpose; and the times they have been so exercised are to be set down in the Weekly Accounts. The Marines are to be exempted as much as possible from the ordinary and more laborious works of the Ship and allowed the most time that may be to become perfect in their several duties, fitting them for service by Land and Sea.

You are to cause a Marine Guard to be mounted and to do duty in the Ship you command day and night, as their numbers and the other more pressing services will admit, and also a sufficient number of Seamen to be appointed for duty in rotation with a Commission and Warrant Officer in each Watch, the Master to have charge of a Watch in turn as a Commission Officer and the Master's Mates to be considered as Warrant Officers on this occasion; and immediately after my setting the Watch all Fire and Candle is to be put out, and no person whatsoever is to lodge below the Gun Deck. Two Commission Officers at least (the Master to be considered as one) are to lie on board every night.

Their Lordships having directed two not less than sixoared Boats fitted with Small Arm Chests to be supplied to the Ship you command when she shall be in Hamoze, for Guard Boats, you are during her continuance there always to keep a Guard Boat manned and armed, which is to row Guard in turn with the Boats of the other Guardships in Hamoze according to seniority one each night under the command of a Commission Officer to whom you are to give the following Instructions:—

First: He is to pass at least twice during the hours of Guard by the Ships of War lying up in Ordinary not at any certain or prefixed time but such as shall appear most proper for discovering whether the Officers or other persons belonging to the said Ships are attentive to the performance of their duty by keeping a strict and careful Watch; And if in passing by any Ship the Boat shall not be hailed from her, the Officer is to board such Ship and inform himself of the reason thereof and see what Officers are wanting and not upon the Watch, and if he shall find any neglect of duty or disorder in the Ship he is to report the particulars the next morning to me. He is likewise to take notice of the omission in the same manner and examine into the occasion thereof, in case he should pass any of the Guardships from which he shall not be duly hailed.

Secondly: He is to take care that no Fire or Candle be burning in any Ship in Ordinary after 8 o'clock except the Candle necessary for the Watch, which is always to be kept in a Lanthorn for that purpose.

Thirdly: To look into the Creeks or other places where any Boats or Vessels may probably be harboured as well for preventing thieving and embezzlement of the King's Stores or clandestine running of goods as any surprize by an Enemy or attempts by evil disposed persons to the prejudice of His Majesty's Service.

Fourthly: If he discovers or has any reason to apprehend any danger by fire or otherwise, or shall have need of assistance to intercept or seize persons attempting to carry off any of the King's Stores which they may have embezzled, he is immediately to make the same known by the Signals for that purpose.

Fifthly: He is to make a report to me the next morning in writing under his hand of what has occurred in the course of the preceding night Guard.

You are not to suffer any Ships, Vessels or Boats to pass the Ship you command (whether in Plymouth Sound or Hamoze) during the night without being hailed, that it may be known what they are, from whence they come, and on what business they are bound; and if an answer is refused, or the account given shall not be satisfactory, so that there may be reason to suspect that such Vessels are meant to be employed for some unfit purpose, you are to seize the Boats or compel the Vessels to anchor near the Ship and detain them till you shall have acquainted me with the particulars and received my Orders thereupon; And you are to proceed in the same manner with all suspected persons who may be stopped by the Guard Boats.

Whenever the Ship under your command shall be taken into dock, the Officers and Men belonging to her are to be left on board some other Guardship or Ship in Ordinary, in order to prevent her refitting being retarded by their continuing on board the hazard of fire as well in dressing their Provisions as from candles, the frequent temptations the Men may be under of being guilty of embezzlements and other inconveniences which may arise from their interfering with the Centinels and Patrols by having a communication with the Yard at unseasonable hours.

And in order also to prevent any inconveniences which may otherwise happen to the service from the too frequent and ill-timed absence of the Officers of the Ship under your command, you are to make known to me, or the Commanding Officer for the time being, the occasion for any leave of absence meant to be requested that it may be so regulated consistent with the desires of the other Officers of the same rank, that the said indulgence may be the most equally partaken of amongst them.

Given under my hand on board the Fame in Plymouth Sound the 31 of May 1771.

To the Hon. Captain Barrington of His Majesty's Ship the Albion.R. Spry.

By command of the Admiral Fras. Stephens.

For the Marines to be landed.
When I would have the Marines landed in order to their being reviewed and exercised, I will at 4 o'clock the evening before hoist a Flag half white, half blue at the Foretopgallant masthead and fire a Gun, which Flag will be kept flying an hour, to give notice that the Marines are to be got ready to land the next morning and when I would have them put off from the Ships in the morning, I will hoist a Flag striped red and white at the Foretopgallant masthead and fire a Gun, and they are not to go on shore before the Signal is made.

To be made by the Guard Boats upon discovering danger by fire.

Should the Guard Boats discover danger by fire, they are to make the same known to the Squadron by burning false fires and firing Musquets till answered by the Ships, who are to shew three Lights one over the other where they can be best seen, burn three false fires, and ring their Bells, and immediately to send all their Boats to assist in extinguishing the same.

To be made by the Guard Boats in case of wanting assistance.

Should the Guard Boats want any assistance on other occasions, they are to make the same known by burning false fires only till perceived by the Ships, who are to answer by showing three Lights only, and each Ship is to send the Boat appointed for that purpose.

Memm. You are to give a copy of the two last Signals to the Officers of the Ship under your command who shall from time to time command the Guard Boat.
R. Spry.

By Richard Spry, Esq. RearAdmiral of the White and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels at Plymouth.

Whereas the Earl of Sandwich (fn. 6) hath acquainted the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that he was well assured by all the Sea Officers he had consulted on the occasion of his late Visitation of His Majesty's Yards that it would contribute very greatly to make the Seamen on board the Guardships more easy and satisfied and be the means of rendering desertions less frequent, if they were wholly on Sea Victualling as well whilst the said Ships are in Harbour as elsewhere; and whereas Their Lordships has [sic] therefore thought fit that all the Guardships shall be henceforward in Sea Victualling (as well those in Hamoze as in Plymouth Sound) and have directed the Navy Board to cause them to be victualled accordingly to two months of all species of Provisions except Beer of which they are to be supplied only with one month at a time, You are in pursuance of Their Lordships' Order hereby required and directed, notwithstanding former Orders, to receive on board the Ship under your command and keep constantly complete the above mentioned proportion of Provisions, and to cause her Company to be victualled agreeable to the Rules of Sea Victualling accordingly.

Given under my hand on board the Ocean in Hamoze 8 July 1771.

Hon. Captain Barrington of His Majesty's Ship Albion.R. Spry.

By command of the Admiral, Frans. Stephens.

To The Secretary Of The Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1495)

Albion, Hamoze. 19 August, 1771.

Enclosed I send you the descriptions of eleven deserters from His Majesty's Ship under my command, and as it is several months since they left the Ship, they think themselves perfectly safe. I beg therefore the Marshall may be sent after them. They have lately (most of them) been seen as described, and will with the least diligence be easily apprehended. I need not mention the necessity of these examples, as it will convince those that remain that I never quit sight of a desertion. Should the Marshall find the least difficulty in finding any of these Men, if you will send for Thomas Vincent, a Waterman discharged on the reduction of my Complement, and reward him properly, I have not the least doubt of his pointing them out to him. He lives at Mr Wiles, Cockpit Alley, Gravel Lane, near the Falcon, Southwark. I must beg you will not send for this Man in your own name, as the rest of the Watermen, as well as the People apprehended, will naturally suspect him of being the informer.

Whenever I have lost a Man, I have always sent two Midshipmen after them as far as Exeter at a very considerable expense, although I have but once succeeded in my pursuit. Will their Lordships forgive me for mentioning the subsisting a Marine from each Ship (who are well acquainted with their Company) to guard the Bristol and London road. I may venture then to assure them that by this means there will be a stop put to the horrid desertion, that with all our diligence cannot be otherwise prevented. I hope their Lordships will allow me to plead the zeal I have for the King's Service as an excuse for my assuming to make this proposal; and am, &c.,
Saml Barrington.

To The Secretary Of The Admiralty

Albion, Plymouth. 29 August, 1771.

Enclosed I send you the description of two Deserters from His Majesty's Ship under my command. I sent two Midshipmen on horseback after them as far as Exeter, returning by Totness, but without success. I therefore desire that the Marshall may be ordered to apprehend them.

It is necessary, although the Albion is in dock, that some few Men should be on board of her, and it is from her they desert, as I do not even indulge those on board the Tyger with liberty. It may appear rather odd to their Lordships that out of the whole list of Deserters I have sent them at different times, there is but one prest Man, the rest Volunteers, who nobody ever could have supposed would have deserted if they were not well acquainted with their restless dispositions, which can only be checked by apprehending and making frequent examples of them.

I am, &c.,
Saml Barrington.

To The Secretary Of The Admiralty.

Albion, Plymouth. 17 September 1771.

As I have not heard of any of the Deserters from the Ship I command being apprehended, I fear the Marshall has been unsuccessful in his pursuit, and that you have not been able to get the person I mentioned, to give you further information of them. I am persuaded their Lordships must be greatly displeased at such shameful desertion, and there fore hope they will forgive me for presuming to point out an easy and sure way of taking all the Deserters mentioned in my different lists, and that is by employing Sir John Feilding's Men, giving them their descriptions, which together with a small reward would never fail of its desired effect.
I am, &c.,
Saml Barrington.

To The Earl Of Sandwich (First Lord Of The Admiralty)

Albion, Hamoze. 1 December, 1772.

My Lord,
His Majesty's Speech (fn. 7) informs us of his intention to reduce the establishment of his naval forces. Whenever Orders is issued for that purpose, I hope your Lordship will have no objection to my resigning the command of the Albion. I am well informed of your Lordship's sentiments with respect to Captains quitting their ships when there is an appearance of service, and in that case I flatter myself that you have too good an opinion of me to suppose I would make such a request. As it is possible your Lordship may have many solicitations, I think it respectful to give you the earliest notice of my intention, assuring you at the same time that I shall be always ready, at the shortest notice, to proceed on any service you may think proper to entrust me with. I am with great respect, &c.,
Saml Barrington.

From The Earl Of Sandwich (First Lord Of The Admiralty)

Hinchinbrook. 6 December, 1772.

I am never under apprehension of your quitting a ship when there is the least probability of her being called into service; did I think that was likely to happen I should give you a hint not to desire leave to resign the Albion; as it is you will please to write an official letter to quit her. I believe it is unnecessary to add that when you wish to serve again (if I am in my present situation) you will oblige me by letting me know what ship in the Navy you would prefer to the rest. In time of actual service, my first purpose would be to put the best officers into the best ships, and I think I cannot pursue that plan more effectually than by giving Captain Barrington his choice.
I am with great regard, &c.,

To The Earl Of Sandwich (First Lord Of The Admiralty)

Albion, Hamoze. 13 December, 1772.

My Lord,
By your Lordship's letter of the 6th which I am honoured with, I fear you have mistaken my request. It was on a presumption of the Albion's Complement being reduced that I asked your Lordship's permission to resign her. No orders are yet arrived for that purpose; whenever that happens I shall certainly write an official letter as you desire. Report will have it that this is not the mode of reduction, but that those ships which are to remain in commission are to be kept up to their present establishment.

Should the Albion be one of them, I am sure your Lordship will allow me to recall my request, as I shall always look upon it as an honour to command her, while she is fit for, and capable of active service. To keep her constantly in that state, and to preserve the favourable opinion your Lordship does me the honour to entertain of me, will ever be the greatest pride of your Lordship's, &c.,
Saml Barrington.

To The Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1495)

Albion, Hamoze. 8 January, 1773.

Several of the Petty Officers, Seamen and Marines belonging to His Majesty's Ship under my command have desired Mr Fidge, the Surgeon of her, to innoculate them for the Small Pox. If their Lordships have no immediate service for the Albion, I shall be greatly obliged to them if they will order that such as I send to the Hospital may be received there; but prepared, and put entirely under the direction of Mr Fidge, whose skill in his Profession, as likewise his great care and attention to his Patients, they have had the highest proof of, and in whom they place the greatest confidence.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1496)

Albion, Plymouth Sound. 9 July, 1773.

Although it has been a custom since I have been at sea, for the Purser to be allowed an Eighth on Beer, Bread, Butter and Cheese, although I never knew by what authority, and the Company of His Majesty's Ship under my command apprehending he has not any right to such an Allowance, the Instructions being silent on that head; I must beg their Lordships will please to inform me whether it was by their authority that the Pursers have been allowed an Eighth on Provisions to make up for any loss they might receive by waste or leakage.
I am, &c.,
Saml. Barrington.


1 The Lieutenants of the Albion were: John Morris, Robert Simonton, Sir George Home, Benjamin Hill and John Blankett. On Morris being promoted (January 7th, 1771), Barrington asked (and obtained) that the others should move up one and James Brine be appointed fifth.
2 This is one of several letters on the subject to the Victualling Board and Admiralty.
3 Approved by Admiralty Order of March nth, 1771.
4 Barrington's correspondence is now taken up almost entirely with desertions. Cassedy, Barrington stated on January 29th, 1771, 'lives at the Sign of the Plow in Newport Street; is a Lamp Lighter by trade.' Cool, he stated on February 7th, 1771, 'is a Waterman by trade, plys at the Temple and may be found there or at old Barges opposite to it.'
5 Parliament was prorogued on May 8th, 1771, on which occasion the King's Speech stated: '. . . The satisfaction I have obtained from His Catholic Majesty, for the injury I had received, together with the proofs which the Courts of France and Spain have given me, by laying aside their Armaments, of their sincere disposition to preserve the general tranquility of Europe, have enabled me to reduce my Forces by land and sea . . .'
6 The Earl of Sandwich succeeded Sir Edward Hawke as First Lord of the Admiralty on January 12th, 1771.
7 On the opening of the Session, November 26th. 'It gives me much pleasure that the continuance of peace has enabled me to proceed in the reduction of the establishment of my naval forces; but you will, I am confident, agree with me, that a considerable strength at sea must be ever necessary for preserving the reputation and power of my kingdoms.'