III. The Crown: Letters

Pages 99-109

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

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III. The Crown

By the Commrs for Executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain & Ireland &c.

Whereas we have appointed you Captain of His Majesty's Ship the Crown, at Portsmouth, which we have ordered to be fitted for voyage to Africa, Manned with Two hundred and Twenty men, & victualled with Eight Months' Provisions of all species, except Beer, of which she is to have as much as she can conveniently stow; You are hereby required and directed to use the best dispatch in fitting her accordingly, and then repair with her to Spithead, and remain there till further order: Given under our hands the 3rd of April 1753.

To the Honble Capt. Barrington, Commander of His Majesty's Ship Crown. Anson. Duncannon. Will. Rowley.

By Command of their Lordships, J. Clevland.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1485)

His Majesty's Ship Crown under my command being ordered to be fitted for Africa and the West Indies, I beg their Lordships will be pleased to order that an Awning and Cabins may be built on the Quarter Deck.
I am &c.
Saml Barrington.

By the Hon. Samuel Barrington, Commander of H.M.S. Crown.

Whereas the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have, by a Letter from their Secretary of the 10th inst., signified their directions to me, in regard to Dr. James's Fever Powder, & to give You my Orders to observe a due compliance with the same; You are therefore hereby required and directed to adhere to and comply with what the said Letter sets forth concerning it, as follows: viz

My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty having caused several experiments to be made of Doctor James's Fever Powder on board His Majesty's Ships, and it appearing by the Reports made thereof, that it is a very efficacious Medicine for Curing Fevers at Sea, their Lordships thereupon thought proper that Farther Trials should be made of the same for some time on board all His Majesty's Ships and Vessels in commission: And the Commissioners of the Navy and for Sick and Hurt Seamen having reported that they are of opinion the said Powders should be supplied in the following proportions, vizt No of Papers for six months for One hundred Men & so on in proportion for the Complement of a Ship or Sloop of War, employed at the places mentioned.

Channel Newfoundland Lisbon or the Mediterranean Coast of Africa & the West Indies

No Papers 25 . . . . . . 50 . . . . . . 75

Their Lordships have given Orders for the Commissioners of Sick and Hurt to take care that proper quantities of the said Powders are lodged in the hands of their Agents both at Home & Abroad, for their supplying the Surgeons of His Majesty's Ships with what may be wanted after their first fitting out, by a demand in writing signed by the Captain. And it being judged proper that when any of the Surgeons shall have occasion to make fresh demands for it, they shall at the same time transmit to the Commissioners for Sick and Hurt (if in Home Service) or to their Agent (if Abroad) a perfect and distinct account, verified by their Affidavit of the expenditure of the Powders they were before furnished with, together with the name of each person to whom they administered the same, to secure the Crown from any fraud or embezzlement.

I am commanded by their Lordships to signify their directions that you order the Surgeon of His Majesty's Ship under your command, to demand the said Powders accordingly, when he is in want of them, and at the same time to comply with what is above-directed relating thereto.
Signed J. Clevland.

Given under my hand on board H.M.S. Crown in Portsmouth Harbour this nth day of May 1753.

To Mr John Peters, Surgeon of His Majesty's Ship Crown. S. B.

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

Whereas we intend His Majesty's Ship under your Command for the protection and security of the Settlements and Trade of His Majesty's Subjects on the Coast of Africa; You are hereby required and directed, so soon as she shall be ready in all respects for the Sea, to proceed without loss of time to the Island of Madeira and there take on board a sufficient quantity of Wine for the use of the Ship's Company, to prevent the necessity of purchasing any Rum or Brandy on the Coast of Africa, which would not only be dearer, but less healthy for the Men.

From Madeira you are to proceed to the Coast of Senegal, and afterwards to stretch over to the Cape de Verd Islands, using your best endeavours to gain information if any Pirates infest those parts; and if you hear of, or meet with any, you are to endeavour to take or destroy them; But if you get no intelligence of any, You are not to stay there longer than three days, but proceed without loss of time into the River Gambia, where your remain is not to exceed seven days and then proceed to the Bananaes, from whence you are to go to Sierra Lion where you are to cause the Ship to be supplied with wood and water.

And whereas several letters were, sometime since, transmitted to us from the Committee of the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa, relating to attempts of the French to settle themselves in the River Gambia and at the Bananaes, and also expressing apprehensions of being dispossessed of the Fort of Sierra Lion by the Natives, and of its falling into the hands of the French; You are to use your best endeavours to defeat any attempts of Foreigners to make encroachments at either of those places, or upon any other part of the Coast.

You are to proceed from Sierra Lion down the Coast to Cape Palmas, and from thence to Cape Coast Castle, calling at all the Factories and places of Trade in your way thither, and informing yourself if any Pirates are in those parts; and if there are, you are to proceed in quest of them, and use your utmost endeavours to take or destroy them; but if you do not get any such intelligence from the Company's Agents, or others, you are not to stay at any of the said Factories, or places of Trade, longer than shall be necessary to examine into the state of them, but make the best of your way to Cape Coast Castle as aforesaid.

Upon your arrival at Cape Coast Castle, you are to inquire of the Council for the time being there, into the state of the Fort which has been erecting at Anamaboe, and if the same shall not be finished, and it shall be judged proper for you to proceed thither, you are to do so accordingly and remain there so long as shall be judged necessary, or as your provisions will admit, and to give all the countenance and protection in your power to the People employed thereon from any attempts that may be made to disturb or molest them.

When your stay at Anamaboe shall be no longer necessary, you are to cruise upon such stations as, upon advising with the Council at Cape Coast Castle, shall be thought proper for the protection of our Trade and Settlements and for intercepting Pirates, if the state of your provisions will admit of your doing so, and to continue cruising so long as your provisions will allow of it, and then, or upon your leaving Anamaboe, if the state of your provisions will not admit of your cruising, you are to repair either to Prince's or St. Thomas's Island, to wood and water, and refresh your Men; and having so done, you are to proceed without loss of time to Barbadoes, taking under your convoy any Trade bound that way, and after remaining there, not exceeding ten days, you are to go on with any Trade bound to Jamaica, and after a stay there not longer than three weeks, to return to England, and repair to Spithead, giving us an account of your arrival and proceedings.

In pursuance of an Act of Parliament of the 23rd year of His present Majesty's Reign, for extending and improving the Trade to Africa, you are to inspect and examine the state and condition of the Forts and Settlements on the said Coast belonging to Great Britain, and of the number of Soldiers therein; also the state and condition of the Military Stores, Slaves, Canoes and other Vessels and things belonging thereto, and to send an exact account thereof, to our Secretary, for our information.

It being difficult to procure wood and water on some parts of the Coast of Africa, some of the Men belonging to His Majesty's Ships having formerly been killed and others wounded, for attempting to supply themselves therewith without making some acknowledgment to the Natives; We do hereby empower your Purser, and you are to direct him accordingly, to procure and carry thither Goods such as you shall judge will be most agreeable to the Natives of the places where you may want to wood and water, not exceeding ten pounds in value, which he is to dispose of as you shall direct, at such places where wood and water cannot be got without it. And you are to let your Purser know, that the said Goods are to be provided out of his Standing Allowance for Necessary-Money, under the condition of being allowed credit on his Account for such part thereof, as may be expended for the aforesaid purposes, upon producing a Certificate, under the hands of the Signing Officers of the Ship, of the particular quantity and value of the Goods applied to that service; And you are to cause an invoice of the Goods, so provided by the Purser, to be lodged in the Office of the Commissioners of the Victualling.

But whereas complaints have been made that Captains of His Majesty's Ships have made ill-use of this liberty, by trading themselves on the Coast, of Africa, and have even transported great numbers of Negroes in His Majesty's Ships to Barbadoes, for public sale, to the dishonour of His Majesty's Service, the prejudice of the fair Trader, and in breach of an Act of Parliament of the 8th Year of His late Majesty, which prohibits, under severe penalties, the Commanders of His Majesty's Ships to receive on board any Goods or Merchandise in order to trade with the same; We do hereby strictly enjoin and require that you do not directly or indirectly concern yourself in any sort of Trade whatsoever, as you will answer to the contrary at your peril; and in order to prevent any evasive excuses hereafter, We do hereby declare, that if we get any information of any Goods, Slaves or other Merchandize, of what kind soever, being received on board the Ship under your command, in the way of Trade, we shall esteem the same to be your own act, and shall expect you to be answerable for the same, inasmuch as such a practice cannot possibly be carried on without your knowledge and consent.

For the preservation of the health of the Ship's Company, while you shall be on the Coast of Africa, you are carefully to observe the following Instructions:

Ist You are not to lie twenty-four hours in any River, except Gambia, nor to suffer your Officers or Men, to lie ashore, or to drink Palm Wine.

2nd You are not to let your Men cut wood, or do any work on shore, which the Natives can be hired to do for a small reward.

3rd When any of your Men are on the recovering hand from sickness, you are to cause them to be excused from duty as much as possible, until they are perfectly recovered.

In case of the death of any of your Officers, during such time as you shall not be under the command of a Superior or Senior Officer, You are to appoint such other Persons, belonging to the Ship under your command, to act in their room as by the quality of their employments ought to succeed therein.

And in case of your inability, by sickness or otherwise, you are to be careful to leave these our Instructions with the next Commanding Officer, who is hereby empowered to put the same in execution. Given under our hands the 20th of June 1753.

To the Hon. Captain Barrington, Commander of His Majesty's Ship the Crown. Anson.

By Command of their Lordships, J. Clevland.

To The Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1485)

Please inform their Lordships that Sutton's Pipes fixed in His Majesty's Ship under my command, cannot possibly be of any use to her, as they do not cause the least suction, having set a Candle to the Pipe the Flame of which it would not draw to it; as likewise a Feather, which being put to the Pipe immediately fell down for want of its drawing.
I am &c.
Saml Barrington.

Crown, Portsmouth Harbour. July 9th, 1753.

P.S. The Pilot is still attending the Ship, but the Wind will not yet permit us to get out of the Harbour.

To the secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I,1485)

Crown, Spithead. 17 July, 1753.

There yesterday came on board His Majesty's Ship under my command some People from the Yard, to repair Sutton's Air-Pipes; which they accordingly took up and put down again, but all to no purpose, as they cause no more suction than before.
I am &c.
Saml. Barrington. (fn. 1)

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I,1485)

Crown, Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, 12 March 1754.

I beg you will acquaint their Lordships that on the 12th of January I arrived at Cape Coast Castle, at which place and Anamaboe I remained for the space of fourteen days; but my stay there (upon advising with the Council) being thought no longer necessary, I made the best of my way hither, where I arrived this day, after a passage of 44 days.

Pursuant to their Lordship's Orders I should have proceeded from Cape Coast Castle to Prince's or St. Thomas's; but as I had neither wind or flour sufficient to bring me directly hither, I thought there was no necessity of touching there, particularly as the water at Cape Coast was very good, my People being healthy, and not in want of any sort of Refreshments that could have been procured for them at either of those places.

Inclosed I send you the State and Condition of the African Forts, likewise that of His Majesty's Ship under my command, and am &c.
Saml. Barrington.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1485)

I beg you will acquaint their Lordships that I this day arrived at Spithead with His Majesty's Ship from Jamaica after a passage of 51 days; and that the second Lieutenant, Mr William Cony, (fn. 2) and Ship's Cook, James Gunter, having died during the Voyage, I have appointed to act in their stations the Hon. Charles Napier and Richard Powell.

Enclosed you will receive the State (fn. 3) of the African Forts as also that of H.M. Ship.
I am &c.
Saml. Barrington.

Crown at Spithead, July 10th, 1754.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. 1,1485)

I have received your favour of the nth inst. and in answer to their Lordships, desire you will please to acquaint them that the Sum of Money brought from Jamaica, as near as I can ascertain, is £50,000.

You will likewise be pleased to acquaint their Lordships that no time shall be lost in putting in execution their Order (fn. 4) of the nth instant which I also received by last Post.
I am &c.
Saml. Barrington.

Crown, at Spithead. 13th July 1754.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. 1, 1485)

Be pleased to acquaint their Lordships that I came from Spithead with His Majesty's Ship, Sunday in the afternoon and arrived at this place this morning; from thence (as soon as I have put out the Guns and Gunner's Stores) I shall proceed to Woolwich and put in execution their Lordships' Orders of the nth inst (fn. 5)
I am &c.
Saml Barrington.

Crown at Long Reach, July 17th, 1754.

To the Secretary of the Admiralty (P.R.O., Ad. I, 1485)

Be pleased to acquaint their Lordships I arrived this day, about noon, at Chatham, with His Majesty's Ship under my command; and shall use all possible dispatch in clearing her in a proper manner to be delivered into the charge of the Officers of the Yard, in conformity to their Lordships' Directions of the 18th instant.
I am &c.
Saml Barrington.

Crown at Chatham, July 22nd, 1754.


  • 1. He wrote again on the same subject, July 24th, upon which the Admiralty decided that the Crown should be supplied with one of Webber's Machines if it could be done without hindering the ship's sailing. But apparently the Crown sailed before this could be done.
  • 2. Cony died on May 24th and was buried at sea. In the vacancy Barrington gave Commissions, dated May 25th, 1754, to William Osborn to act as 2nd Lieutenant and the Hon. Charles Napier as 3rd Lieutenant. Napier, afterwards a Captain, was father of Admiral Sir Charles Napier.
  • 3. Duplicate.
  • 4. Ordering Barrington to Woolwich where, with his ship's company, he would be turned over to H.M.S. Winchester.
  • 5. Upon this letter the Admiralty informed Barrington that there being no dock to receive the Winchester at Woolwich, the Board had ordered the Norwich at Chatham to be fitted and that Orders were sent to stop the ship at the Nore. These having missed him, he was now sent an Order to proceed to Blackstakes, put out there his Guns and Gunner's Stores, and then proceed to Chatham where the Crown was to be cleared and delivered to the dockyard and her ship's company to turn over to the Norwich.