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The Old Scots Navy from 1689 to 1710
The Absorption of the Scots Navy, 1707 - 1710


INTRODUCTION

On the 1st of May, 1707, the legislative union of England and Scotland was consummated ; and the Scots and English navies were united, and became known as the British navy. In actual fact the result was small. The flag was changed. The white cross of Saint Andrew on the blue banner of Scotland no longer indicated a Scots man-of-war. Its place was taken by the Union Jack and the red, white, or blue ensign, from the canton of which the St. George's Cross was removed, to be replaced by the combined crosses as in the Union Jack, In effect the small Scots naval force of three ships was, during the ensuing few months, quietly absorbed by its all-powerful neighbour. The Royal William and the Royal Mary, which were stationed on the east coast of Scotland, were placed on the new establish­ment as fifth and sixth rates early in August. As there were men-of-war in the English navy of the same name, the Scots ships were renamed the Edinburgh and Glascow respectively ; and were at once employed as a standing convoy to the trade between Scotland and the Nore. Their absorption in the English navy was un­popular with the Scots seamen. Early in October one hundred of Captain Gordon's men mutinied at Leith, having got into their heads ' a notion of being sent to the West Indies which frightens them mightily.' Earlier in August Captain Gordon of the Edinburgh, commodore of the Scots navy, and Captain Hamilton of the Glascow had their commissions renewed ; but for long there were difficulties with the British Admiralty as to the dates their rank as captains in the British navy counted from. In August, 1707, they represented to the Admiralty that they should rank in the navy according to the dates of their commissions from the Queen as captains,—Captain Gordon from 17th July, 1703, and Captain Hamilton from 7th November, 1705 ; but there was considerable delay and official obstruction before service in the Scots navy was allowed to count. On 9th February, 1708, Captain Gordon wrote to the Secre­tary of the Admiralty as follows[Admiralty, I, vol. 1824, P.R.O.] :—

' The kind part you have always had in my affairs, since I had the honor to be known to you, makes me now take the liberty to pray you to give some signification of what you were pleased to tell me at Windsor both from the Prince and Mr. Churchill, that I was to have rank from the date of my commission in the Edinburgh, the then Royal William, which is 7th November, 1705. This is only in case of mortality in the squadron; I am going to prevent any dispute that may arise between me and other gentlemen, younger officers than myself, who possibly on such an occasion may pretend to command me. I am persuaded from the goodness of your own temper you will forgive this trouble, and if you will add to the favor the honor of your commands, it will be the greatest obligation in the world.'

 

Gordon's rank continued to give him trouble even after this, for on 14th Feb. 1709, he forwarded the following memorial to Lord Pembroke, Lord High Admiral of Great Britain:—

' From the beginning of the present war I have had the honour to command her Majesty's ships of war in Scotland till after the commencement of the Union. Then I was commanded by his late Royal Highness as Lord High Admiral of Great Britain to renew my commission, before which I desired to know my rank in the Royal Navy, and after a survey and report from the Navy Board of the dimension and rates of the two ships I had commanded, there was objection made against my taking rank from my first commission, being that the ship was rated as a sixth rate, but was assured from her Majesty and his Royal Highness that I should have rank in the Navy from her Majesty's to me for the Royal William, now the Edinburgh, bearing date the 7th November, 1705—which I accepted of as being agreeable to the rules of the Navy of England, tho' it was four years short of her Majesty's commission to me giving me rank as captain from the Royal Navy. Now I find in the list of captains I am only ranked from the commencement of the Union, which obliges me to give your excellency this trouble, humbly begging you would be pleased to do me justice in this affair, and to signify the same to prevent mistakes that may arise betwixt other gentlemen and me who are younger officers. This will render me more capable to do her Majesty further service under your excellency's direction '

 

On 3rd February, 1708, Captain Gordon was posted to the Leopard, 50 guns, and distinguished himself off Montrose in the running sea fight between the British under Byng and the French under Forbin, when he captured from the French the sole trophy of the fight, the Salisbury man-of-war. [Seafield Correspondence (Scottish History Society), pp. 460,462.] Records in the Admiralty Library, Whitehall, show that the Edinburgh, a fifth rate 2 decker of 364J tons and 32 guns, length (gun deck) 99 feet, breadth 28 feet 8 inches and depth 11 feet 2 inches, with an establishment of 145 men, was sunk at Har­wich for a breakwater on 10th August, 1709. On 5th November, 1711, Captain Gordon was posted to the Moor; and on 6th May took over the command of the Advice. In February, 1716, it is said that after declining to take the oath of allegiance to George I he resigned his commission. On 1st June, 1717, he took service   under Czar Peter   the   Great in  the  Russian Navy, in which he reached the rank of Admiral, and Governor of Kronstadt. He died on 18th March, 1741. Much information is given about him in the Stirling - Home - Drummond - Moray papers, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1885; Sir Cyprian Bridge's ' History of the Russian Fleet,' Navy Records Society, vol. xv.; in a brilliant monograph upon him, by J. M. Bulloch in his ' Gordons under Arms,' New Spalding Club publications, 1912 ; and in the present volume.[See also Charnock's Biographia Navalis, vol. iii, pp. 309-10.]

A portrait of Captain Gordon as an Admiral in the Russian Navy recently identified by Mr. Bulloch and the Editor in Gordon Castle is, through the courtesy of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, reproduced for this volume.

 

Captain James Hamilton was on 26th December, 1707, appointed from the Glascow captain of the Lark. He died in the West Indies on 22nd December, 1708.[Ibid., vol. iii, p. 392.] Records in the Admiralty Library, Whitehall, show that the Glascow, a sixth rate of 2841 tons and 24 guns, length (gun deck) 92 feet 6 inches, breadth 26 feet 4 inches, depth 10 feet 10 inches, with an establishment of 115 men, served in the Channel from 1708 to 1712 under Captains Thomas Egerton (January, 1708-February, 1708) and Walter Massay (February, 1708-June, 1712). She was subsequently commanded by Thomas Dennitt (June, 1712-November, 1714), and by William Lloyd (February, 1715-November, 1718). In 1715 her name appears as ' Glasgow ' at Portsmouth under orders for the Plan­tations (America). The Glascow was sold on 20th August, 1719, for £115.

 

It was only on 22nd October, 1707, that Captain Mathew Campbell of the Dumbarton Castle, who had been cruising in the western seas between Dublin Bay and Tory Island, came into Port Glasgow, and reported himself to Prince George of Denmark, Lord High Admiral of Great Britain. On 5th December next his ship was put on the new establishment of the Royal Navy as a sixth rate of 24 guns, with an establishment of 115 men, and was thereafter ordered from Glasgow to Kinsale in Ireland to refit for Channel service. After a spirited defence she was on 26th April, 1708, while engaged on convoy duty, captured by a French privateer of 42 guns off Waterford. Captain Campbell, who was taken prisoner, was confined for some time in St. Malo castle and thereafter at Dinan in France. In June, 1709, he was in England, either having escaped or having been exchanged. The capture of his ship was subject of trial, and he was honourably acquitted after a court martial held on the 21st of next month. For a year thereafter he continued to press the Admiralty unsuccessfully for payment of the victualling of the Dumbarton Castle from 5th September, 1707, to 20th April, 1708. How it all ended the Editor has not traced further. He does not appear to have received any other command. According to Charnock he died at Leith on 27th April, 1723.


 

CHAPTER VI

 

Admiralty, Secretary, Minutes.   P.R.O.

Tuesday, 29th July,  1707.

Upon reading her Majesty's order in council of the 21st inst. directing what colours shall be worn aboard the ships and vessels of the Royal Navy since the union of the two kingdoms, re­solved that a copy of the same be sent to the Navy Board, and they directed to cause them to be supplied with colours accordingly with all possible dispatch, and for the speedier and cheaper doing the same, they are to order St. George's cross to be taken out of all the ensigns and a Union Jack flag put into them in room thereof, or to alter the said colours in such other manner as they shall judge best for the service.

 

Ibidem.

Monday, 4th August, 1707.

Present Sir D. Mitchell. . . . The Secretary to be acquainted that Sir D. Mitchell proposes the Royal William to be called the Edinburgh and the Royal Mary the Glascow, two Scotch ships.

 

Ibidem.

Tuesday, 5th August, 1707.

 

Present Mr. Churchill and Mr.  Paget. . . .

Captain Thomas Gordon, commander of the Royal William,   and Captain  James  Hamilton, commander  of   the  Royal  Mary,  attended the Board, and the Secretary's letters to them of the 18th July last were delivered to them, and they produced their commissions and instructions which were read.    The Navy Board to be ordered to survey these two ships and report their opinion what men and guns are proper to be established on them, and of what rates they propose them, and to add them to the list of the Royal Navy by the names of the Edinburgh and Glascow, and commissions to be made out for these two captains. The Prince to be moved for giving  these ships orders to  execute the remaining part  of their instructions from Lord Wemyss ;   and then the Council propose to have them employed as a standing convoy to the trade between Edinburgh and the Nore. ... Mr Warter to inform himself of Mr.  Elrick whether it is  necessary for   the Commissioners  for  collecting  the sixpence   per man a month out of the seamen's wages to have their commissions renewed upon the union of the two kingdoms.

 

Orders of Prince George of Denmark (Lord High Admiral) to the Navy Board, from MS. in the Admiralty Library.

Admiralty Office.    5th August, 1707.

 

Genttl'—I do hereby desire and direct you, to cause the two men-of-war of North Britain, . now at the buoy of the Nore called the Royl William and Royl Mary, the former of which I have named the Edinburgh, and the latter the Glascow, to be added to the list of the Royl Navy by those names, and that they be forthwith survey'd, sending me an account of their dimen­sions, what condition they are in for the sea, and what tackle, apparel, furniture and stores do belong to them respectively, together with your opinion what rates, what numbers of men and numbers and natures of guns you judge proper each of them should be established with.

I am

Your affece. friend,

GEORGE.

 

Admiralty I, Vol. 1823.   P.R.O.

 

From a memorial by Captain Thomas Gordon and Captain James Hamilton :—

Whereas Captain Thomas Gordon, commander of her Majesty's ship the Royal William and Captain James Hamilton, commander of the Royal Mary, being ordered to attend his Royal Highness in order to renew their commissions and thereby be ranked on the Royal Navy of Great Britain, so it's humbly expected by the two captains that his Royal Highness will give such orders as he shall think fit, that they may take rank in the navy according to the date of their commissions from her Majesty as captains, viz., Captain Gordon's from the 17th July, 1703, and Captain Hamilton from the 7th November, 17O5-

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1876 (resume).

 

On 14th August, 1707, Captain James Hamilton applies to the Admiralty for a supply of provisions for the Glasgow ' as formerly.'

 

Admiralty, Secretary, Minutes.   P.R.O.

Admiralty Office.    Saturday, 16th August, 1707.

Present Sir D. Mitchell, Mr..Walpole. . . . Upon reading a letter from the Navy Board of the 14th with the surveys of the Edinburgh and Glascow, resolved that orders be given to the Navy Board for establishing them with the same number of men and guns as proposed by them, and established as 5 and 6 rates ; and since 'tis pro­posed to have them brought into a dry dock, the Navy Board to be writ to, to know where they would propose to have them brought for that purpose.

Orders of Prince George of Denmark {Lord High Admiral) to the Navy Board, from MS. in the Admiralty Library.

Admiralty Office.    16th August,  1707.

Gentlm—You having by your letter of the 14 inst. transmitted to my Secretary the surveys of her Maf's- ships the Edinburgh and Glascow, and given it as your opinion that the following numbers of men and guns are proper to be established on them, vizt-:—

 

EDINBURGH A FIFTH RATE

 

No.

Number of Men

 

 

145

Guns Lower 

 

9

 

10

  “  “   Upper 

  Deck

6

Pounders

18

  “  “   Quarter  

 

4

 

4

 

 

GLASCOW A FIFTH RATE

 

No.

Number of Men

 

 

115

Guns Gun 

Deck

6

Pounders

20

  “  “   Quarter  

4

4

 

I do hereby signify to you my approval thereof, and do desire and direct you to cause them to be established with the said number of men and numbers and natures of guns, and enter'd and register'd on the list of the Royl Navy the Edin­burgh as a fifth and the Glascow as a sixth rate accordingly.

I am,

Your affect- friend,

GEORGE.

Ibidem.

19th August,  1707.

The Edinburgh and Glascow to be ordered to Chatham to be refitted for Channel service, cleaned and graved and victualled for three months for the complements of men established on them.

 

Admiralty, I, Vol. 1824.   P.R.O.

23rd August,  1707.

Captain  Thomas  Gordon to the Secretary, Westminster.

 

Be pleased to communicate to his Royal Highness Council that I am informed that the masters of the ships bound for North Britain are to petition the Prince for convoy. I thought it my duty to acquaint you that the ship the Edinburgh which I command is every way in a condition to perform that service with the assistance of a new foremast, if his Royal Highness pleases to give such orders.

 

Admiralty, Secretary, Minutes.   P.R.O.

Admiralty Office.    Saturday, 23rd August,  1707.

 

. . . There being occasion for the Edinburgh to convoy the trade bound for North Britain, she is to be ordered to set a new foremast at the Nore, which the Navy Board are to cause to be done, and to complete her victualling to three months for Channel service, and to furnish her with stores proper for the same upon a letter from Captain Gordon giving an account that she is fit for that service.

Upon reading the petition of John Spence master of the John of Leith on behalf of himself and others bound for Scotland, resolved that orders be sent to the commander of the Edinburgh that when she is ready for the sea he takes under his care and protection the trade bound to North Britain, and sees them safe into Leith where he is to continue till the ships he carries with him shall be ready to return, and then come with them to the Nore; and he is to bring along with him all the trade at Fraserburgh, Aberdeen and Montrose.

 

Admiralty I, Vol. 1824.   P.R.O.

Westminster.    25th August, 1707.

Captain Thomas Gordon to the Secretary Depute to the Admiralty.

 

... I am informed at the Victualling Office that they have orders for victualling the ship Edinburgh for three months, 145 men. That number I have aboard of sailors, besides 50 soldiers of the Queen's footguards of North Britain. So, Sir, I humbly desire you to com­municate this to his Royal Highness' Council, that they may give what further directions they think fit.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1876.

To Mr. Crawley, Secretary Depute to the Admiralty.

 

Sir,—I humbly desire you to acquaint the Prince's  Council  that  having  notice  from  the Victualling Office of orders given to them for victualling her Majesty's ship Glascow at the rate of one hundred and fifteen men, I beg to know their pleasure anent the party of forty men of Colonel Grant's[Alexander Grant of Grant, eldest son of Ludovick, eighth of Freuchie and of Grant, afterwards Brigadier-General and Chief of the Grants.] regiment as to their being victualled and quartered till further orders. . . .

JAMES HAMILTON.

 

Admiralty, Secretary, Minutes.   P.R.O.

Admiralty Office.    Monday, 25th August,  1707.

... A letter read from Captain Gordon of the Edinburgh giving an account that he has 50 soldiers aboard of the Queen's footguards of North Britain, and another letter from Captain Hamilton of the Glascow advising that he has 40 more of the said guards: resolved that Captain Gordon be ordered to bear them all super­numeraries for victuals during his passage to Leith, and when he comes there to return them to their proper companies, and Captain Hamilton to be ordered to put his soldiers on board the Edinburgh.

 

Admiralty I, Vol. 1876.   P.R.O.

 

Sir,—I beg the favour of you to acquaint the Prince's Council that, according to orders given me, I have brought up the Glascow under my command to Chatham in order to docked. I find she cannot be put in until next spring, at which time the Chatham comes out whose dock is appointed for her. I have likewise put the marines formerly on board my ship on board the seen on this coast of a long time. How soon I get the men back shall I execute the rest of my orders.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Thomas Gordon to the Admiralty.

Leith.    18th October, 1707.

 

... I got aboard twenty soldiers to guard what remained, upon my application to her Majesty's Privy Council. They issued forth a proclamation requiring the deserters to return to their duty betwixt that time and the thirteenth of this month ; if not, upon my representing their names, all magistrates were ordered to seize and secure their persons, that they might be punished accordingly. The proclamation of the Privy Council had a good effect for on the day prefixt 80 of  them came aboad, so I have now 130 in complement.

The wind has been at east-south-east ever since I wrote you, till just now that it is come in to the south-west; so in compliance with his Royal Highness' orders, I'm just weighing to go to the northwards. The ships in this firth bound for London will be ready to sail towards the first of November.

There's come to this road from Archangel one Capt. Liddell belonging to Stockton, bound for London, loaded with naval stores. He parted from the bar of Cork under convoy of three men-of-war, and was joined by the Flamburg at the entry of the White Sea. He lost company with the convoys the 25th September, north-east from Shetland fifty leagues distance, wind at east-south-east. He believes the convoys are put in to Shetland; which is all I can be informed.

Ibidem, Vol. 1876.   P.R.O.

To the Honourable Josiah Burchet, Admiralty Office.

 

Sir,—I presume to give you the trouble of this, begging you would inform his Royal Highness that I humbly desire he would give an order to the Navy Board bearing what time her Majesty's ship the Glasgow under my command is to enter in pay and victuals, that I may thereby be enabled to pass my accounts at the navy and victualling offices, and that his Highness would be pleased to consider the supernumeraries I carried from the first of May till his orders for recalling of them, being forty marines besides supernumerary sailors, all which from the first of May to the tenth day of August last I have victualled at my own proper cost and charge. I entreat the favour of an answer . . .

JAMES HAMILTON.

London.    October, 1707.

Admiralty, Secretary, Minutes.   P.R.O.

20th October,  1707.

The Navy Board to be directed to cause the Glascow and Edinburgh to be entered into pay and victuals in the Royal Navy of England from the 1st of May last, and the Navy Board are to allow of the supernumeraries born by Captain Hamilton of the Glascow from the 1st of May to the time of the Prince's orders for discharging them, which was the 10th August.

 

Admiralty I, Vol. 1593.   P.R.O.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

 Honoured  Sir,—Pursuant    to    the   Earl   of Wemyss,  Lord  High  Admiral  of Scotland,  his orders I have been cruising about the Western Isles of Scotland since the month of March last; and two days ago I came into Clyde, and having this day received a letter from Captain Gordon of the Edinburgh telling me that the Earl of Wemyss' commission as Lord High Admiral of Scotland was terminat by his Royal Highness being made Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, according to my duty I humbly desire that you will be pleased to send me his Royal Highness' orders lor my better government, which shall be duly observed. I beg pardon to let you know that the Dumbarton Castle which I command is much out of order for want of several necessars, and that it will be very hard for any ship to cruise in the winter where I have been this summer. I shall keep her in a sailing posture and my men aboard undischarged till I have further orders, which I shall long look for. Pray let me know if that I am to renew my commission being formerly from her Majesty. I would have writ before now, but having my frequent orders from my Lord Wemyss, and being a stranger to the methods of the Admiralty of Great Britain, I beg pardon and am, Honoured Sir,

Your most humble servant,

MATHEW CAMPBELL.

Direct my orders   for   Mr.   Alexander   Campbell,   merchant in Edinburgh.    Glasgow,   22nd  October,   1707.

 

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1824.   P.R.O.

Leith.    30th October, 1707.

Captain Thomas Gordon to the Secretary.

 

Being informed there were no merchants ships in the Orcades, I cruised to and against Buchanness.    Sometimes I was put with bad gales of wind ten leagues to the north of that. In all that way I could not discover one ship, although sometimes I stood off to sea twelve leagues to have looked for some of the straggling Russia ships. I was turning up to the windward six leagues to the northward of Montrose on the 20th, in the afternoon, I met her Majesty's ships the Folkstone and Penzance. They were bound to the north­ward, wind at south-west. For the good of the service I put aboard the Folkstone one of my mates for a pilot, they being altogether strangers on that coast.

This morning I arrived in the road, and have received his Royal Highness new orders, which I shall execute how soon the trade are ready, which I expect in two or three days.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1876.   P.R.O.

Captain James Hamilton to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—It having been very difficult of late to find sufficient numbers of able seamen towards the manning her Majesty's fleet, I think it my duty humbly to lay before his Royal Highness what help may be expected from North Britain in that matter, and how far my endeavours may be useful in it. Therefore I humbly beg the favour of you to communicate this to his Highness and Council, first that the method of impressing may not be used there except in cases of absolute necessity, but on the contrary that encouragements be made to them by giving them their Majesty's bounty as usual, and that as far as can be well done assurances be given them of being discharged when the present exigencies of the service can allow it. It is likewise proper that those employed in   making   these   levies   be   people   acquainted with them and known to them. I have reason to believe that if I were sent down myself I could undertake to make two hundred able seamen, if not more, in the western parts of the country, besides what might be had from the east. I hope his Royal Highness will pardon my boldness in this, it proceeding from my devotion and zeal for the service of her Majesty. . . .

JAMES HAMILTON.

London,    11th November,  1707.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1593.   P.R.O.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Honoured Sir,—My last of the 22nd October past which I am hopeful has come safe to your hand to which refers. Having since considered that my under officers such as lieutenant boswine, carpenter and gunner will want their warrants or commission, I presume to beg the favour to send me them blank, that I may fill them up with such men as I know to be sufficiently qualified.

In my last establishment I had only eighty-nine seamen allowed me and twenty-five soldiers. And now my soldiers being ordered from me I hope you will take care there be more men allowed, for my complement is too small, and that you will do me the favour as to send me the establishment of pay as is on board such ships as I command, for I think it will differ from what it was before. The ship will want a great many things, if should be ordered out this winter. I do still keep my men on board waiting orders, which I daily expect.    Pray do me the favour that with your instructions I may have a press warrant, and I am, Honoured Sir, Your most humble servant,

MATHEW CAMPBELL.

Port Glasgow.    12th November, 1707.

 

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew Campbell to Prince George of Denmark.

 

May it please your Highness,—I have been since March last a-cruising in my station from the Bay of Dublin to the Isle of Tory in the north of Ireland. Having had my orders from my Lord Wemyss, and now knowing that your Highness does give me further instructions, I make bold to let your Highness know that I am here with the ship. I shall keep my men entire on board to wait your Highness' commands. I beg your Highness' pardon, being at sea in my station, that I could [not] write your Highness sooner, &c.

MATHEW CAMPBELL.

Portglasgow.    12 November, 1707. Annexed is given

 

Account of the Officers names on board her Majesty's Ship the Dumbarton Castle.

Captain Mathew Campbell.

Robert Russell, Mr. and Lieutenant.

Michael Gogar, Gunner.

James Mcinnlay, Boston.[Boatswain].

John Gray, Cook.

John Campbell, Doctor.

Memorandum for Mr. Burchett to send com­missions for the above officers and direct them to Colin Campbell of Blythswood, provost of Renfrew, who will take their oaths as you please to direct.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1824.   P.R.O.

 

Captain Gordon sailed from Leith on 14th November in company with H.M.S. Dread­nought and Leopard, and reached the Nore 19th November, 1707, from which he wrote the same day to the Secretary :—

The weather beginning to turn surly, we came to an anchor in Kirkcaldy road, where we lay until four o'clock next morning, wind then at north west. At twelve that day we had a violent storm at north. At eight at night I made the signal for lying at Frye, being the Coquet island, and lay so until morning, but the merchant ships durst not bring to, the sea being high. At day, I found myself to leeward of the Bar, [Tynemouth] and could not see any of the trade. So I made sail to the southward. About four at night I came up with Flamborough head and found my convoy in Burlington bay, where we also joined the Russia ships. The 17th we came to an anchor at Winterton, where I was forced to leave an anchor and cable, and at three this afternoon I came to an anchor in this road, where I shall wait his Royal Highness further orders. In the meantime be pleased to acquaint his Royal Highness that the ship has suffered much in the bad weather we had to the northward, and wants to be repaired.

 

 

Ibidem.

Captain Thomas Gordon to the Secretary.

The Nore.    23rd November,  1707.

 

I have received his Royal Highness' orders to join the Faversham, and to go to the northward in her company, in pursuance of which I have sent my purser express to London for dispatching my provisions down with all expedition. The ship being judged unfit for going to sea, until repaired, I ordered my officers to make demands only for what was absolutely necessary for per­forming my voyage to North Britain. The bad weather I had on said voyage did not only shatter the ship much, but wasted most of the stores aboard. I entreat you to acquaint his Royal Highness with the ship's circumstances, that there may be orders sent down to furnish me with what is wanting.

I wrote you formerly that several of our men had deserted when in Leith roads, so that I now want seventy of my complement; and those who are aboard are not to be trusted, for they have got a notion of being sent to the West Indies, which frightens them mightily. In my humble opinion the only way to prevent a further desertion is to change sixty or seventy of the men I have on board with as many South Britons, for which I earnestly desire an order to any of her Majesty's captains for making said exchange; and if his Royal Highness think fit, I humbly desire seventy-five marines, one sergeant, one corporal and a drum. Then I doubt not to recover the men that deserted, but also to procure sixty or seventy more. I shall always endeavour to advance her Majesty's service as far as I'm capable, which I have faithfully done hitherto,

 

Admiralty, Secretary, Minutes.   P.R.O.

28th November, 1707.

 

A commission to be prepared for Captain Mathew Campbell to be master and commander of the Dumbarton Castle, Mr. Robert Russell lieutenant, Michael Gogar gunner, Jno. Read carpenter, James Mcinnlay boatswain, Jno. Gray cook, and Jno. Campbell surgeon, the which commission and warrants except the surgeon and cook (which the Navy Board are to appoint, and first the surgeon is to be examined) to be sent to Colin Campbell of Blythswood Esq., provost of Renfrew, with power to him to give them the oaths and test.

Resolved that it be considered what orders may be fit to give to the captain of the Dumbarton Castle to come from Glasgow and a press warrant to be sent to him, and he is to be acquainted that he is now to come upon the establishment with other 6th rates.

 

29th November, 1707.

The Dumbarton frigate to go from Glasgow to Kinsale and refit and victual for Channel service, and the Navy Board to send to the Commissioner at that port to report his opinion what numbers of men and numbers and natures of guns may be proper for her.

 

5th December, 1707.

 

The Navy Board to be directed in answer to their letter of the 4th inst. to cause the Dum­barton frigate, one of the three ships of North Britain, to enter into pay and victuals as a ship of the Royal Navy from the first of May last.     

Admiralty I, Vol. 1824.   P.R.O.

Sheerness.    27th November, 1707.

Captain Thomas Gordon to the Secretary.

 

I have been with the officers of the guard, who gave their opinion to the Navy Office the 12th that the ship required to be in a dry dock. They have this day acquainted the Commissioners of Chatham of their opinion. For pursuance of his Royal Highness' orders to join the Faversham I gave in my demands for what was wanting, which Commissioner St. Loe ordered, there being one boltsprit, new 'forshreds'[Foreshrouds.] and mizzen yard wanting. The new ones were provided and in the ship put in order to be refitted in all haste, so that the ship can't be in a condition to come in to-morrow. So I desire you'll be pleased to communicate this to his Royal Highness and Council, that there may be what further orders sent me as his Royal Highness shall think fit.

 

Ibidem.

Chatham.    12th December,  1707.

Captain Thomas Gordon to the Secretary.

 

I have brought the ship under my command to Chatham, and have put her in condition for the dock. All the docks here are full at present, and the master builder can't as yet determine when any of them can be cleared. In the meantime he is to haul her to the jetty, and do all to her that can be done. Com. St. Loe is to order my men on board one of the great ships, where there shall be such care taken that none of them shall desert.

 

My private affairs press me to be at London ; so I humbly entreat that his Royal Highness would be pleased to give me liberty to come up for some few days.

 

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1593.   P.R.O.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—Yours of the 28th ultimo and the 1st instant I have received, whose contents I do observe with his Royal Highness' orders for me to proceed to Kinsale, which would have answered the receipt of all before now, but I was ordered by the Council of Scotland to fit out in pursuit of a privateer which was on the coast lately, and have been kept aboard by bad weather these fifteen days past and could not get on shore. There are several things I must have for the ship before I can proceed, which I shall provide and give you account of next post, with what is already due me since the government here left off paying me. I have made no alterations on my colours, not having any orders. This night I have received my commission as likewise my officers, and have taken the oaths.

I am, &c. . . .

Mathew Campbell.

Glasgow.    15th December,  1707.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1876.   P.R.O.

Captain James Hamilton to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I have taken possession of her Majesty's ship the Lark according to his Highness commis­sion, and am now turning over the Glascow men into her. ... I find the ship in a readiness to go to sea in eight days at furthest. . . . All the officers of the Glascow are extremely desirous to go along with me particularly the lieutenant and boat­swain. ... If this can be done, and the lieutenant of the Lark has no mind to go the voyage, it will be the greatest favour in the world done me. . . .

James Hamilton.

[26th December, 1707 (?)]

 

Ibidem.

Captain James Hamilton to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I just now have the honour of yours with the enclosed order from his Royal Highness to proceed to the Downs and Spithead of the date December 26. ... There are fifty-five of the Glascow's men that are desirous to go, which I have discharged into the Lark, and ordered the like number of the Lark's into the Glascow. In my last I mentioned my desire to have my own lieutenant to go along with me whose inclination is the same. If this can be done it will be a most particular favour to me. My former gunner and boatswain entreat the same favour. The ship will be ready to sail in eight days. . . .

James Hamilton.

Sheerness.    28th December, 1707.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1824.   P.R.O.

 

On 20th January, 1707-8, Captain Gordon reported from Chatham that the Edinburgh had been opened up in several places and found very defective :—

The master builder hath this day sent a report to the Navy Board of the ship's circumstances, and there must be a great repair, or she must be rebuilt, for which purpose he hath wrote to the Board for a survey.   There will be no necessity for my being here for some time ; therefore I desire you will please communicate this to his Royal Highness that I may have leave to come to town.

My officers and men are all on board the Bri­tannia in good order. I shall take care to leave such directions that there shall be nothing done amiss during my absence.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1593.   P.R.O.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—My last was the 22nd past. Since, nothing here but very bad weather, that I had much ado to keep the ship from going ashore. The weather seems now to prove a little better, and with the first fair wind I design to make the best of my way for Kinsale, where I do expect your further orders about the refitting of the ship. I hope you will forward the payments of my accounts being considerable in advance, and much more before I can come to Kinsale, having not charged anything further than the 5th January. I do expect to have orders when I come to Kin­sale to draw for my provisions on the Victualling Office as frequent as others do. If the wind offer, I hope my next shall be from Kinsale.

I am, &c. . . .

Mathew Campbell.

Glasgow.    12th January,  1707-8.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—My last from Glasgow giving an account of the badness of the weather, and that I was ready to sail. I parted from thence the twenty-sixth past, and upon the twenty-eight I was put into Carrick-fergus Lough with contrary winds. The second instant I came out, and upon the fourth I arrived here, and yesterday I was mustered on board ninety-five men by Joseph Benner, which with twenty-five marines I had f ormerry on board, and was now obliged to put them on shore at Glasgow, made up my full complement at my arrival here. I did see an order from the Com­missioners of the navy to establish the Dumbarton in the navy since May last. But, Sir, know that I was paid by the government of Scotland until the fifth of September last, and have only charged since that time in my accounts sent up to the fifth of January. I do expect for the time to come full power to draw for my pro­visions as others do. I have gotten the carpenters upon the ship, and shall advise you from time to time. In my passage hither I did not see one sail.    The wind this day at north-north-east.

I am, . . .

Mathew Campbell.

Kinsale.    6th February, 1707-8.

Endorsed on margin.—To be put upon the establishment of the navy from the time he is paid.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I received yours with the Prince's order to follow such as I should receive from my Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, or in absence the Lord Chief Justices, which I have acquainted them, as also yours of the 26th past, wherein you say that I must victual as I have occasion at  Kinsale from 'time to time. If should be ordered to the north station it will be a great loss of time to come here ashore to clean or victual, but I suppose my Lord Lieutenant will take care of that. Most ships on this station hath power to carry super­numeraries. I do not question but it may fall in my way to be as serviceable as another, which if I have your orders shall be faithfully complied with. It will be April before I shall be clear here. I am, &c,

Mathew Campbell.

Kinsale.    12th March, 1708.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew  Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I received yours with the Prince's orders to bear supernumeraries. I shall now in three days be clear to sail, having according to your orders to me taken aboard three months provisions and stores as near as possible. But last past I had an order from the Lord Chief Justices to go to Cork, and take in some ordnances and stores of war to carry to Dublin, which I am sorry I could not comply with, the ship being as full as she can handsomely go to sea with provisions and stores, and was obliged after I bought my provisions to send some on shore for want of room, which I hope will excuse me for not com­plying with their Excellencies order. The ship being very small and but one deck, it is as much as she can carry three months provisions and stores. I must remain here until their further orders.

I am, . . .

Mathew Campbell.

Kinsale.    6th April, 1708.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—On the 26th past I came out of Kinsale bound for Dublin according to my Lord Chief Justices' orders with six sail of merchant ships that were bound to Dublin and Waterford. About four in the afternoon five leagues from Waterford we saw a sail, and brought to for our small fleet being a little astern, which came up with me ; but at the same time the other which proved to be a privateer from Brest of forty-two guns, four hundred and fifty-six men, came up with me. She was formerly belonging to England called the Jersey a fourth-rate. By the small diversion I gave him the merchant ships got all safe to Waterford. He shot away the head of my main mast and top gallant mast. I was obliged to surrender, being impossible to get away or defend myself, having but 92 men and boys aboard. On the 29th we went for Dublin expecting to have found some of our men-of-war in the bay, but none being there we came out again and cruised in the Channel for six days in bad weather, and got only two small ships which he ransomed; and on the 8th instant we came again the length of Waterford, and at four in the morning we spied three ships which we gave chase to, but when we came pretty near them found them to be the Shoram, Arundell, and Penzance. He haled the wind, and they gave us chase, but in two watches time we almost run them out of sight, and came the length of Scilly where we cruised for 3 days betwixt that and Husant.[Ushant in Brittany.]    On the tenth we met a Dutch privateer of 38 guns about 15 leagues from Scilly, who fought for about half an hour, and at last made his escape by his good sailing. On the 12th we came in here, having lost company with the Dumbarton at sea. I hear she has got into Morles[Morlaix.] ten leagues from Brest. The captain's name is Casart. He tells me that he is to go back again and get another ship with him of 50 guns to meet our ships in the Channel. I am kept prisoner in the castle in a very bad lodging since I came here, but shall hope for some speedy relief. This is all the melancholy account I can give you.

I am, &c. . . .

Mathew Campbell.

St. Malo Castle.    14th May,  1708.

To Josias Burchet, Secretary to his Royal Highness Lord High Admiral of Great Britain.    London.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I have writ two sundry times to you since I came to St. Malo of my misfortune of being taken by the Jersey privateer of forty-two guns, four hundred and fifty-six men, which I hope may have come to hand. I was sent to this place three days ago, and resolve to stay here till the transport comes. The same privateer has gone back again with his consort of fifty guns for the coast of Ireland as he told me—being the needful from, Sir, your most humble

and most obedient servant,

Mathew Campbell,

Dinan.    28th May, 1708.

 

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1594. P.R.O.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I have taken all the pains possible to see if any of my officers were to be found, but all the account I have got of them is that they are gone from North Britain to Russia, so that I beg the favour as to have the benefit of the court martial that is now to be. My long confinement in France requires me a little dispatch, which will singularly oblige,

Sir, your &c. . . .

Mathew Campbell.

22nd June, 1709:

Noted on Letter.—R. Admiral Baker to try the loss of the ship he commanded.

 

Ibidem.

Captain Mathew Campbell to the Secretary.

 

Sir,—I acknowledge your favour in forwarding my court martial, and think it my duty to acquaint you that since my attendance yesterday I have been informed that some of my sailors on the Dumbarton are now at Plymouth on board the Diamond,   particularly    Joseph   Red    quarter­master.    I am very desirous to be acquitted in the best manner, and if it be better and more convenient to have witnesses of the fact I will grudge no expence to bring him or more of them to the trial, if you please to give me authority for that purpose.    My being as yet much a stranger to the rules of the Navy obligeth me to presume upon  your goodness to  which this  is humbly submitted by, Sir, &c. . . .

Mathew Campbell.

London.   June 23rd, 1709.

 

Written on letter.—Captain Walker to order the Captain of the Diamond to send up Joseph Ridge and any two men that can best give an account of the loss of the Dumbarton, and to do it immediately, R. Admiral Baker having orders to try the same.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 5267.   P.R.O.

Court Martials—Mathew Campbell.

 

At a court martial held on board her Majesty's ship the Stirling Castle at St. Hellens road the 21st of July, 1709.

Present :—

The Honourable John Baker Esq., Rear Admiral of the Red Squadron of her Majesty's fleet &c. President.

James Littleton          Rd.  Hughes

Captains                    Rd. Haddock             Robt. Bowler

Edw. Rumsey            Henry Blinston

All duly sworn purst. to a late Act of Parliament. Enquiry was made   by this court into the occasion of the loss of her Majesty's late ship the Dumbarton    Castle,  whereof    Captain   Mathew Campbell was commander, which was taken by a French privateer of forty-four guns off Waterford 26th of April, 1708, having under convoy several merchant ships bound thither; and after having strictly examined the evidence upon oath, and considered the whole matter, it appeared that the said Captain Campbell used his best endeavour to preserve the said ship, and the occasion of her being  taken   was  the   great  inequality   of the enemy's force.   The court have therefore acquitted him the said Captain Campbell as to the loss of the said ship, and also the rest of the officers, nothing being objected against them.

Signed by all the members of the court and the Judge Advocate.

 

Ibidem, Vol. 1594 (resume). P.R.O.

In November, 1709, Captain Campbell applied to the Lords of Admiralty for payment of the victualling of the Dumbarton Castle from 5th September, 1707, to 5th January, 1708, allowed at yd. a day per man by the Prince, and from 5th January to 26th April when he and his ship were captured. He prays them to order the Commis­sioners of the Navy and Victualling Office to pay him his full debt. On 20th April, 1710, he again writes them desiring that his victualling affair may be settled. On 6th July, 1710, writing from London, he again applies for a settlement. He says that the Commissioners make his account £197 while he makes it £420, the Commissioners having charged him with the provisions on the ship when she was taken. He is willing to take the bills with interest, but this they will not give. He appeals that his case is different from ordinary pursers, as he was obliged to be in advance after the Union before he could come to any victualling office. He has been out of his money 30 months, and to take bills without interest is very hard. He continues ' my affairs in North Britain being in some disorder by my long absence, I beg their Lordships will allow me to go there for some time.' The application was referred to the Commissioners and he was granted leave to go to North Britain. On 13th July, 1710, he writes their Lordships that he has been at the Victualling Office for his bills with interest, but they have no orders. ' I shall be obliged, ' he says, ' to discount their bill before I go away, which I cannot do under fifty per cent, without it bears interest, which I hope [they] will consider and not let me be too great a loser.' Though this letter was endorsed ' to be allowed interest,' he again writes on the 20th of the same month from London asking interest on the bills.


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