Colchester Ketch – 1667

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    David Hepper

      Can anyone cast light on the true fate of the Colchester Ketch? She was a 72 ton ketch built for the Royal Navy at Colchester in 1664, and was commanded by Thomas Langley between 1665 – 1666.
      Pepys, in his Register of Ships, records her as being “Taken by the French; she being bound to the North-West Passage” in March 1667 (NRS: Catalogue of Pepys’ Naval Manuscripts vol.1 p.291). I presume this could mean 1667/68.
      The only expedition at this time that I can find reference to, was that under Radisson and des Groseulliers which was sponsored by Prince Rupert in early 1668, but accounts only mention the Eaglet and Nonsuch ketches being used. Was the Colchester Ketch also associated?… or was Mr Pepys’ mistaken? (there are other errors in his list….)

      Cy Harrison

        I have a note here Colchester on, citing Rif Winfield’s ‘British Warships in the Age of Sail 1603 – 1714’, that the Colchester Ketch was “Taken by the French while bound for the North-West Passage to re-supply the Hudson’s Bay settlements”.

        This would imply that it was an independent voyage and not part of an exploratory expedition.

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