Sam Willis

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  • Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    From Peta Knott on Facebook: ‘You could ask the Nautical Archaeology Society Research Group to do the archive work. They do that sort of thing all the time for overseas researchers. Nas@nauticalarchaeologysociety.org

    There are also freelance researchers who you could pay for the work. I can introduce you to some if that would help.

    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    From Peta Knott on Facebook: ‘You could ask the Nautical Archaeology Society Research Group to do the archive work. They do that sort of thing all the time for overseas researchers. Nas@nauticalarchaeologysociety.org

    There are also freelance researchers who you could pay for the work. I can introduce you to some if that would help.

    in reply to: German Sergeant serving in Royal Marines 1797-1814 #23078
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Some interesting replies on our FB page:

    Ric Smith: ‘The Royal Marines have plenty
    Of records at the public Records Office at Kew. The other place to try is the Royal Navy Museum at Portsmouth where the records from the Royal Marine Barracks went to upon its closure.’

    Emma Cooper: ‘Just found some pension info through Find My Past. If you use the name Propstring, he was an outpensioner from 19 May 1814 (No 1372) then briefly in Greenwich Hospital before becoming an out pensioner again from 26 Aug. 1836 (No 3035). Slight warning with ‘Find My Past’ – if their records are split into left-hand and right-hand pages….. they are not always in the right sequence. There was a reference (ADM 96) which said that he was a CHATHAM marine.’

    Found a few German marines…..Plymouth ADM 158/239 –

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    in reply to: Mariner’s Mirror Search #22834
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Sounds like a great topic. For that you need to browse on the website of the journal’s publisher. You can get to the right area of the publisher’s website by opening up any article and then hitting ‘open on publisher’s website’ then hit ‘list of issues’ and scroll down to the period you are looking for. Good luck!

    in reply to: Unknown Portrait of young Richard Admiral Lord Howe #22765
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    From Ric Smith on Facebook:

    Ric Smith
    In 1748 Lord Anson introduced the dress code and the embroidered Blue dress coat with White facings came in and was maintained for about 20 years. When a working rig came in.
    Epaulettes did not come in until the 1790’s
    So my guess would be that the photo above would fit in the period 1748 – 1767.

    in reply to: Keltridge and decreasing breadth sweeps #22734
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Hi Donatas,

    Frank Fox or Richard Endsor may be able to help. I will pass on the request.
    S

    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Thanks for getting in touch Russell! I would encourage you to read some primary sources to get a real feel for what is going on. If it is naval history you are interested in, you simply can’t do better than Admiral Pasley’s Journals. The Navy Records Society’s Logs of the Great Sea Fights is where I started. And James Cook’s journals are astonishing.

    Sam

    in reply to: The Mariner’s Mirror Podcast #22331
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Many thanks for getting in touch Stephen.
    S

    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Thanks for this Malcolm – we are currently working on a transcription of the interview, which will be published online here:

    in reply to: The Oldest Vessel Afloat #22014
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    An important contribution from Frank Higham:

    ‘Would LV50 would be a contender? – built in 1879 and still afloat?’

    Absolutely! LV50 one of the oldest floating wooden lightships in the UK!

    in reply to: Gong Stand #21856
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Some great contributions from Twitter on this:

    @AlansaysCOYH recommends this blog
    http://russiadock.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-beatsons-ship-breaking-family-in.html?m=1

    @Pearcey___
    Part of the flooring in a Falmouth pub, from memory?

    @charlieconnelly
    found the attached newspaper? account.

    @IRotherhithe
    In St Mary’s Church #rotherhithe are 2 bishop chairs & an altar table They were originally made for the Beatsons’ local church St Paul’s very near to their yard. When St Paul’s was demolished in the 1955 the furniture was transferred to St Mary’s, the parish church.

    Beatson made 12 dining chairs from the ship’s timbers & his brother took 2 when he emigrated to New Zealand in 1851
    One is now in Whanganui Regional Museum. The Times,12th October 1838 ,reported a former Temeraire sailor was given timber for a new wooden leg!

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    in reply to: Gong Stand #21846
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Thanks Rob,

    I’d also be very interested to hear about any other artefacts from the Temeraire – or ‘supposedly’ from the Temeraire.

    S

    in reply to: HMS Calliope at the Battle of Jutland #21745
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Some great responses on Twitter – thanks guys:

    @Testudo_aubreii

    – “Exceptional officer in all ways; magnificent leader of men” and “extremely popular with all” it says. For the CGM see the Gazette of 15.09.16. Awarded the French MM 10.02.19. The log is at Kew: ADM 53/36691. The list of casualties is ADM 18458/127. Her movements in the battle are ADM 137/303/2. Cdre Le Mesurier’s report is in ADM 137/302/4. His service record is ADM 196/154/351 and ADM 188/669/11010.

    Calliope was in the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron with the Iron Duke and was involved in supporting its ‘turn-away’. It came under fire from the Westfalen.

    @DavidUnderdown9

    Up to 1925 and even later will be available in record series ADM 362 and ADM 363 at TNA in fact

    @yorkshire_5

    At the risk of telling you something you already know there are several references to Calliope in John Campbell’s book Jutland. In the thick of it with 39 casualties including 10 killed.

    @macilreedefence

    Jutland, 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart quotes some very graphic descriptions of what happened onboard HMS Calliope when she was hit. There is a suggestion that she was the fastest “man of war” in
    @RoyalNavy

    From Battleships in Action Vol 2 by HW Wilson p159: In the pursuit Calliope suddenly sighted 3 German Dreadnoughts in the mist at 8.26, and was hit 5 times and somewhat badly damaged with a loss of 19 men before she could retreat. She fired one torpedo at 6,500 yards … … against the leading German battleship of the KAISER class, but missed.

    https://battleofjutlandcrewlists.miraheze.org/wiki/HMS_Calliope_Crew_List

    in reply to: Building HMS Terror #21551
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    I’ve had this reply from Ed Williams-Hawkes…

    All records state Terror was built in ‘Topsham’ with no specified yard. Ships built upstream, in the two Countess Wear yards: Glass House (aka Gut) and the slightly upstream Gulpit (aka Were, Wear, Gullpit) although part of Topsham, were all specifically registered as ‘Gulpit’, ‘Were’ or ‘Glasshouse’.

    The four yards in lower Topsham at this time: Upper (aka Higher, Passage, Davy’s, Holman’s, Furlong), Strand (aka Bishops, Sanfords, Owens, and Strand Court), Lower Strand (Rising’s, Ayles’, Tideways, Anchor House) and Rivers-meet (aka Owen’s, Davy’s) were all registered and Gazetted solely as ‘Topsham’. I think we can therefore safely discount the two Countess Wear yards as the building place.

    In 1989 I pondered this mystery and tried to find the answer. Francis Luscombe arranged a meeting, at Rivers-meet with Clive Ponsford, considered the most knowledgeable historian of Topsham’s shipbuilding. Ponsford thought Terror was likely to have been built at Higher Passage Yard, but admitted he had no proof and that it was possibly elsewhere, in another Topsham yard.

    The currently promulgated ‘fact’ is that Terror was built at Davy’s Higher Yard (Furlong). My thoughts are that she may well have been built at Rivers-meet, Strand Yard, Bishop’s Quay (Strand Court), or even Lower Strand Yard (Anchor House).

    Francis Davy was the son of shipbuilder Robert. He was also a senior member of the National Seagull Protection League, and was the subject of a public libel for his political left-wing radicalism in the local press by the more privileged Earl of Egremont. Writing after his father Robert’s death in 1862, he refers to the busiest time of Topsham shipbuilding (i.e when the Terror was built):

    ‘At one period Mr. Davy had ships building at one place and the other of various tonnage amounting on the whole to upwards of 1800 tons. He (Robert Davy) was so exact and prompt in completing his Government contracts within the time specified, that he never had any complaint, while many others were fined most heavily. But when the Government offered handsome premiums per day during the hottest part of the war, just prior to the close of it, about say 1812 to 1815, to all those who would complete their contracts prior to the time stated, he received very large sums in that shape having finished all his ships more or less before the time. The Admiralty offered him, as a mark of appreciation, several more ships to build, and sent men to survey the river to induce him to go on; but, in consequence of his health at this period (about 1815-16) getting rather indifferent together with his eyesight beginning to fail, he declined the offer.’

    Importantly Francis also states above that his father, Robert, used more than one yard during the 1813 era when he was building more than 1800 tons. He also implies that Robert was the power house of the business and that Naval contracts were refused, as he was “getting rather indifferent”; rather than entrust new contracts to his second son and business partner, Daniel Bishop Davy, he stopped warship building in 1814. Robert knew the secret of growth and also the enticing danger of over trading. After Robert’s retirement, due to blindness, his younger sons, Francis and Samuel became partners, in 1834, joining second son, Daniel, who had already partnered his father, for a number of years. The family partnership was dissolved 10 years later, in 1844, when Francis built Rivers-meet and Daniel a few years later built Grove Hill. Robert’s eldest son, also named Robert (b.1795-1870), was a barrister and lived in Ringwood. He was the only son to marry and have children, all daughters. With the decline in wood and sail shipbuilding, the Davy sons soon sold out their yards and lime kilns and invested in railway development. There are reports of 4 Davy-built ships being sent “downriver in one tide”.

    If the statement is correct it must have been in 1813 – the ships, Vesuvius, Clinker, Adder and Terror, were launched between 1st May and 15th July 1813. A local press report from the time suggests that one of the four mentioned above – Vesuvius – sailed alone to Portsmouth. This meant she had been at least partially rigged in the Exe with a Captain on board: maybe that is why she was called a sloop (ketch) when I believe she was commissioned (27th September 1813) with 3 masts, fully rigged. The Skipper, a local boy, John Parker, who retired as a Rear Admiral, was obviously impressed with the shipbuilding efforts of Davy as, on his retirement, he commissioned Robert to build two schooners for his son, John Jnr. for coastal trading; the Mary (1816) and the Britannia (1822).

    in reply to: Wreck of the Association 1707 #21487
    Sam Willis
    Keymaster

    Hi Charles,

    Do you have a photograph of the cannonball and stand?
    S

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 48 total)