Author Results for W. Senior

The Navy as Penitentiary

By W. Senior

The problem of manning the fleet during the French Revolutionary Wars led to two 1795 Parliamentary Acts, which required justices to condemn convicted lesser criminals to serve in the Royal Navy. Three kinds of offenders were singled out, the unemployed, the unemployable and most importantly for the Navy, smugglers. The attraction of smugglers was that […] Read More

Filed under: French Revolution | Other (location)
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

Sir Henry Penrice and Sir Thomas Salusbury

By W. Senior

Sir Henry Penrice and Sir Thomas Salusbury were two civil lawyers who were successively Judges of the High Court of Admiralty during more than half of the eighteenth century. Sir Penrice was first appointed to the role in 1715 and remained in office for thirty-six years, until 1751. He was then succeeded by his son-in-law, […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Eighteenth C) | Pirates | Other (location)
Subjects include: Biography

The Mace of the Admiralty Court

By W. Senior

The silver oar which is placed on the table below the Bench in the Admiralty Court is the visible sign of a maritime tribunal’s authority. In his article Senior attempts to establish the date on which this symbol of the court’s standing arose. The contemporary mace is not particularly old and probably dates from the […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | High Middle Ages | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Administration

Drake at the Suit of John Doughty

By W. Senior

Thomas Doughty was beheaded in Patagonia by Drake in 1578. Doughty’s brother, John, commenced murder proceedings against Drake upon their return to England.   After establishing his locus standi, Doughty had to apply to, crucially, both the High Constable and the Earl Marshal of the Court of Chivalry for trial by combat.   Queen Elizabeth declined to […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | Atlantic | Francis Drake | Mutiny & Discipline
Subjects include: Administration

‘The Rutter of the Sea’

By W. Senior

An early use of printing in England was the production of a translation by Copland of a French ‘rutter’ between 1528 and 1560. ‘Rutter’ is a mistranslation of ‘Routier’.  Caxton set up in business in Westminster in 1476 and by 1528 the early English press was producing a manual and pilot book for the use […] Read More

Filed under: Tudors | English Channel
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

Neptune As Defendant

By W. Senior

Mr. C. W. Maw, a new cadet, refused to participate in a crossing the line ceremony on his passage to India aboard the East India Company ship, Scaleby Castle in 1801. In addition to a private infirmity, he did not want to submit to a crew who he described a mostly “orientals”. On deck he […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Indian Ocean | East India Company
Subjects include: Administration

Smugglers Again

By W. Senior

Based on the records of the subsequent court cases, the article provides an account of an operation to smuggle substantial amounts of tea and “much spirituous liquor” into Britain through Christchurch Point in 1784. The responses of the preventive services resulted in a determined and violent confrontation and the death of the Master of the […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

The Marooning of Robert Jeffery

By W. Senior

Robert Jeffery was eighteen years old on the 11th December, 1807. He was regarded in the Recruit as a skulker, and, moreover, he had been flogged in November for stealing a bottle of rum out of the gunner’s cabin. Her captain came on deck at this time and, addressing Spencer, the Master, said, “Have we […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | War of 1812 | Mutiny & Discipline | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

The Casting Away of the Adventure

By W. Senior

On a calm Sunday morning in August 1802 the square-sterned brigantine Adventure was scuttled off Brighton in a ham-fisted attempt at an insurance fraud. However, the vessel was successfully recovered and the fraud exposed.  The conspirators were brought before the High Court of Admiralty and this is the story of the conspiracy, and the fate […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Other (Nineteenth C) | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Administration | Miscellaneous

Hockin’s Case: And Incidentally of False Lights

By W. Senior

Those looking for examples of deliberate wrecking by showing false lights need to treat with care casual references to such conduct. An allegation against an early lighthouse keeper in the Scillies turns out upon enquiry into Trinity House records to be a false allegation to cover the error of the second mate of the Golden […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Miscellaneous

Some Naval Courts-Martial, 1698

By W. Senior

The author outlines courts martial presided over by Sir George Rooke and Sir Cloudesley Shovel. Of trivial significance, they give an insight into contemporary naval life, involving alleged abuse of crew members by captains and other officers, presence on board of wives or servants – the latter a “negro child”, arguments over the division of […] Read More

Filed under: Mutiny & Discipline | Other (Early Modern) | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

The Treasure Frigate “Thetis”

By W. Senior

When the 46-gun frigate Thetis was wrecked on Cape Frio, Brazil in December 1830, she was bound for England and carrying £160,000 in gold and silver. The ship sank in comparatively shallow water, but soon broke up. Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Baker (commanding the South American Station) organized the salvage of the treasure, working with […] Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C) | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Navies

The Legend of the Betsey Cains

By W. Senior

The collier brig Betsey Cains ran aground off Tynemouth in1827 and was destroyed. She was the subject of a legend that alleged that she was the ship that brought William of Orange to England in 1688, when she was called Princess Mary. The author considers this legend, using contemporary accounts of William’s voyage, finding that […] Read More

Filed under: English Channel | North Sea | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Merchant Marines

Some Naval Courts-Martial 1701-2

By W. Senior

On the 2nd and 4th October, 1701, Captains Rumsey and Litttelon, who had been lately employed in suppressing pirates in the East Indies, are tried on board the Revenge in the Downs for “irregularities and undue practices,” In Litttelon’s case it is decided that the captain ” did carry in the ship under his command […] Read More

Filed under: Mutiny & Discipline | Other (Eighteenth C) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Ship Handling & Seamanship

The Rivals

By W. Senior

The article describes the events following the capture by the French of the merchant ship “Blenden Hall” in 1813, her sighting, when drifting abandoned, by the post office packet “Eliza”, the putting of a crew on board and subsequent events. These include conflicting claims for salvage and the passage of these through the Admiralty Court. Read More

Filed under: Napoleonic War | Atlantic | English Channel
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Miscellaneous

The Battle Of New Brighton

By W. Senior

In 1755, HMS “Winchelsea” sent a barge to press merchant seamen off “Upton”, only to be met by loaded guns and cutlasses.   The “Upton” crew then sailed across to the barge, exchanged musket fire, capsized, were rescued and pressed. The “Tarleton a few days later similarly threatened the “Winchelsea” barge. The barge requested they acknowledge […] Read More

Filed under: Irish Sea | Other (Eighteenth C) | Press Gangs
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines | Navies

An Early-Victorian Windfall

By W. Senior

In June of 1844, Sir Edward Belcher and two boats from HMS Samarang were engaged in surveying the Molucca Islands when they encountered a hostile group of natives. The British retaliated by burning the local village and several prahus (outrigger canoes) drawn up on the beach. That night the natives responded by sending fifteen large […] Read More

Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers | Science & Exploration