IX. The Prince Of Wales: Introductory note

Page 445

The Barrington Papers, Vol. 77. Originally published by Navy Record Society, London, 1937.

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According to Tucker (Memoirs of Admiral the Right Hon. the Earl of St Vincent, I, pp. 40–47) Captains Barrington and Jervis visited St Petersburg in the summer of 1774 and undertook a cruise on the coast of France in the summer of 1775. From a letter from Lord Sandwich to Barrington in May 1775 (The Sandwich Papers, I, pp. 37–8) it would appear that if the French cruise did in fact take place, it was against the advice of the First Lord of the Admiralty.

In November 1776 Captain Barrington was appointed to the Prince of Wales, which had been paid off five and a half years earlier and was lying at Plymouth. It was April 25th, 1777, before she was ready for sea. The flag promotion of April 28th, 1777, left Captain Barrington top of the Captains' List. In anticipation of receiving his flag shortly, he apparently asked to be considered for the Leeward Islands command, in preference to receiving a divisional appointment in the North America or Channel Fleets. As a result of correspondence with Lord Sandwich, Barrington applied for leave on January 12th, 1778, and came up to the Admiralty for an interview with the First Lord. He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on January 29th, 1778.