Smoking Chimneys and Fallen Women: the several reinventions of Sir Henry Hart


, ,

At the end of last year Heather and I presented a paper at Maritime Masculinities 1815 – 1940 at the University of Oxford, a conference I was privileged to co-chair along with Professor Joanne Begiato, Dr Steven Grey, and Dr Isaac Land.  Our presentation was part of a panel on Maritime Masculinity Ashore which we shared with three inspiring papers by Karen Downing, Australian National University, Laika Nevalainen, European University Institute, Florence, and Anna Maria Barry, Oxford Brookes University.


The smoking chimneys and noxious miasmas of 19th century London, and the wan despairing faces of “fallen” women are two images of the Victorian age that have long since passed into trope and cliché. Nevertheless, these images persist in our imaginative conceptualization of the period, reinforced by their use on stage and screen and even in the occasional conference presentation.

In this case they serve as symbols to illustrate two of the ways in which one 19th century gentleman, Sir Henry Hart, reinvented himself from being a hero of the Georgian Royal Navy with its culture of  masculine gallantry, daring and adventure, to become something more recognisably Victorian; an upstanding model of the patriarchal moral philanthropist.

This paper grew out of research for our recently published book, Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates: The young gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable.  Through detailed examination of contemporary documents, including Admiralty records, public and private archives, genealogical sources, personal correspondence, contemporary journals and press reports, this research has uncovered the lives and careers of nineteen midshipmen who served aboard the Royal Naval frigate HMS Indefatigable during the French Revolutionary Wars and has also to revealed their ongoing professional and personal relationship with each other and with their captain, Sir Edward Pellew.  Pellew made his name as a gifted sea officer and a daring frigate captain during the French Revolutionary War and rose to the highest naval office, Vice Admiral of the United Kingdom before retiring from active service as Admiral Lord Exmouth in 1822.  To more recent generations however, Sir Edward Pellew is perhaps best known as the mentor of HMS Indefatigable’s most famous fictional midshipman, Horatio Hornblower.

Hornblower’s historical contemporaries, the generation of young officers who served in the Royal Navy from the late 1790’s onwards, represent a particularly interesting cohort of study to explore changing concepts of maritime masculinity in the long 18th century as this was the first generation of naval officers for almost a century to experience the transition from decades of war to a period of lasting civilian peace.

Continue reading


Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates publication date


, ,

Heather and I are delighted that our book, Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates, is now almost complete and will be published by Boydell & Brewer in September 2016. Copies can already be pre-ordered from Amazon.


We’re absolutely thrilled with the cover design and would like to thank Musée des beaux-arts de Brest for allowing us to use this beautiful image of the Droits de L’Homme engagement by Léopold Le Guen.

The book will be available in hardcover and ebook edition and will cost £25.

“Esteemed by all who knew her sterling worth”


Susan Pellew’s memorial in St James’ Church, Cristow, Devon.
By Heather Noel-Smith

Susan Frowd, coming from a village in rural and distinctly land-locked Wiltshire, might at first not seem to be an auspicious choice for a bride of an ambitious young naval officer. Edward Pellew himself described his courtship of her with characteristic energy, writing to his friend Alex Broughton that he had “rousted her out” from her village before she could know anything about the sea.

As it was, Susan turned out to be, as Pellew’s most recent biographer Stephen Taylor writes

The paragon of a sea officer’s wife, a partner, home manager and friend.

Susan made a hospitable and welcoming home wherever they found themselves, and oversaw the acquisition and building of the Canonteign estate, which was the official family residence although she and Pellew never really lived there, but instead in the less grandiose setting of West Cliff House, Teignmouth, leaving their eldest son Pownoll and his family to live at Canonteign.

Susan Pellew outlived her husband by just four years and is buried beside him in the parish church near Canonteign. The graves themselves are not visible, being beneath the floor, but on the north wall of the choir are memorials to both of them, their children and other family members.

Susan’s memorial sums up her contribution all too briefly, but not without a reference to her loyal, loving and open-hearted nature, speaking of her as a faithful and beloved wife and an exemplary mother and friend. Behind the formal words of the epitaph lies a woman whom many had cause to be grateful to, as much in the mould of matriarch and friend as was her husband the equivalent.  The note of resignation in the phrase that it was “the will of providence” that she should outlive both her daughters rather smooths over the great grief that both parents felt at the loss of Julia, and the further grief to Susan over the loss of Emma in 1835.

Susan Pellew's Memorial

Susan Pellew’s Memorial

By the side of her husband are also deposited the remains of Susan, Viscountess Pellew.
Daughter of James Frowd of Sedgehill, near Shaftsbury, Wiltshire who died on the 29th October , 1837,in the 82nd year of her age and the fifth of her widowhood.
A pious, faithful and beloved wife , exemplary mother and friend.
Respected and esteemed by all who knew her sterling worth.
It was the will of Providence that she should survive both her daughters, of whom The Hon Emma married Admiral Sir Lawrence William Halsted GCB and leaves a large family to lament her loss, died the ? day of March 1835, aged 50 years, and was here buried with her parents.
The Hon Julia married Captain Harward, Royal Navy, of Maizemore Lodge, died, to the great grief of her family who affectionately loved her, on the 26 day of December 1831 aged 44 years, leaving no children. Her remains lie in Maizemore churchyard, near Gloucester.
They sleep in hope of a blessed resurrection.

Cristow Church, Devon

Cristow Church, Devon

HMS Indefatigable and the Last Invasion of Britain


, ,

On the morning of Wednesday 22nd February 1797, two frigates, a corvette and a lugger were spotted off the Pembrokeshire coast sailing towards the port of Fishguard. Despite flying British colours, the squadron was in fact French and carrying 1500 men of La Légion Noire, a rough body of troops comprised of deserters and convicts and scraped from the gaols. In the small hours of the following morning the ships put into Carreg Wasted, a rocky cleft in Fishguard bay where the troops disembarked under the command of the Irish American Colonel William Tate.

The Légion rapidly ran out of control, raiding local farms and houses, stealing food, drink and clothing, setting a fire in a church and generally causing mayhem, However over the course of the next three days they were rapidly rounded up by the local militia under the command of Lord Cawdor and imprisoned in the church at Llanwnda. One of the French officers stole the silver chalice from the church and was later discovered trying to pawn it; at which point the officers’ parole was swiftly withdrawn!  Such was the ignominious end of the Battle of Fishguard.

The improbable story of the “last invasion of Britain” has been told many times over but it is an incident that occurred immediately after the failed invasion that is of interest to this blog.

A few days later, while many local people were gathered in the church to give thanks for the failure of the invasion, word came that three more frigates, again flying British colours, had been sighted. An eye witness account of events was recalled by the Reverend Daniel Rowlands

In an instant the cry rang through the church—“To arms! to arms!”

Then what a scene of confusion arose, fury, dismay, oaths and shrieks all mingled together, some women fainting, some in tears, the men roused and excited to the uttermost.

“Don’t go, don’t go, my son,” sobbed my mother; but curiosity overcame prudence.

“I’m not going to fight, mother, never fear, but I must go and look on,” was my answer.

“Oh Dio, not again, not again!” urged Nancy, thinking of the single combats.

“I’m not going to walk across the sea to tackle a frigate, I promise you,” said Davy, with a laugh. But Nancy was not to be put off so.

“All right, come. I’m coming too,” she said, and in another instant they were without the church door, where, indeed, we all found ourselves shortly. We tore down to the cliffs as the possessed swine might have raced; many of us ran to man the fort, but I remained on the higher ground where I could have a better view and see further out to sea.

And soon there was indeed a fair sight to see. Coming round the headland to the west of us, their sails filled with the brisk March breeze, appeared a stately squadron moving proudly under British colours; but having seen something like this before, some of us still doubted. The fort saluted, and this compliment was returned by the men-of-war without any changing of colours. We began to feel reassured, and soon our hopes were verified. A boat put off from the nearest ship and was rowed to shore in a style that swore to “British tar.” The officer landed and explained that the squadron was part of the Channel Fleet, sent to our assistance, and that it was under the command of the brave Sir Edward Pellew. We were very proud of the help rendered us by England, even though it had come a little late, but that was the fault of our roads not their goodwill; and though it had occasioned a worse scare than the real thing, but that was only our disordered nerves which acted up to the old proverb—“A burnt child dreads fire.”

The officer inquired very particularly as to the probable whereabouts of the French ships—the three frigates and the lugger. About this we could give him no information whatever.

The sudden appearance of the Indefatigable, the stylish cut of the boat crew’s jib and the reassuring presence of Sir Edward Pellew is an anecdote worthy of Forester.

The Indefatigable had recently put into Plymouth for repairs, following the famous Droits de l’Homme engagement, when word of the invasion arrived from the Admiralty. Several ships of the Western Squadron put to sea immediately to intercept the French ships, reassure the people and show the flag.

Although the frigate’s log does not record the name of the officer rowed ashore from the Indefatigable, we have a small glimpse of the order to sail from midshipman Nicholas Pateshall. Pateshall had arrived in Plymouth following a few days leave in Hereford and it is clear from his smudged signature that he was in a tearing hurry. At the end of the letter is a postscript tucked in the corner.

Plymouth Tuesday 28th 1797
Dear Mama
I am but just this moment arrived and write to inform you that we shall sail for the Irish chanel to interrupt those ships which have landed men in Wales tomorrow morning at 6 o clock. I must go now and report myself to Sir Edward Pellew who I learn is in Plymouth and then I shall proceed on board – excuse me for I am at dinner – I will go presently to Captain Lanes – you shall hear from me again in a short time if I have the opportunity.

I remain your dutiful son

N L Pateshall.

The French which landed in Wales have laid down their arms.


Nicholas Pateshall to Anne Pateshall, 20th January 1797

“She was all but going to the bottom when we met her…”


, , , ,

Throughout his career, Edward Pellew had a reputation not just for for his fighting prowess, but also for his gallantry and heroism. His most famous humanitarian endeavour while captain of HMS Indefatigable was the rescue of hundreds of souls from the wreck of the Dutton East Indiaman, which ran aground beneath the citadel in Plymouth in January 1796. However the Dutton was only one of a number of stricken vessels that Pellew and his crew assisted at this time. In this letter to his mother, thirteen-year-old Indefatigable midshipman Nicholas Pateshall relates the events of another dramatic rescue at sea, which took place several months before the Dutton.

Indefatigable at Scilly, October 12th 1795

My dear Mama
I write to inform you that we sailed from Falmouth on Wednesday the 7th October …but by stress of weather we were put in here and in our passage we met with a large merchant ship which sailed from the West Indies about a month ago. She had her three masts carried away in a gale of wind. The owner was aboard her. She was all but going to the bottom when we met her for it was very heavy weather. All her men, her captain, her mate were in their hammocks and had been for three weeks and so had the ship been drifting. All but the poor owner, who has a wife and eight children. We immediately sent a boat aboard her where they found them in the above sorry state the owner crying and working at the pump leaving the ship to the mercy of the waves, thinking the ship was going to the bottom every minute.

We immediately sent a number of men aboard and made a rope fast to her and towed her in to the harbour. It was a pitiful sight to see that man (the owner of the ship) it was like a man who had the rope about his neck and then reprieved, we thought he would have dyed but thank God he and his ship are both well. We are going to sail tomorrow to look for the other frigates and to add something to this wonderful year, but all with great joy.

Pateshall, joined the Indefatigable in 1795 at the age of thirteen and he is unique in that he left an extensive archive of private correspondence which provides a first hand account of his time aboard the famous frigate.

Many more of Pateshall’s previously unpublished letters, including a dramatic eye witness account of the celebrated Droits de L’Homme engagement, will appear in Hornblower’s Historical Shipmates: The lives and naval careers of the Young Gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable, which will be published by Boydell and Brewer later this summer.

And none but a Seaman shall marry with me!


, , ,

The seaman brings spices
And sugar so fine,
Which serve the brave gallants
To drink with their wine:
With Lemons and Oranges
All of the best,
To relish their Pallates
When they make a feast;
Sweet Figs, Prunes and Raysins,
By them brought home be,
And none but a Seaman
Shall marry with me!

This lovely verse is from a ballad called The Seaman’s Compass which is included in C. Fox Smith’s A Sea Chest: An Anthology of Ships & Sailormen. Of course this is just one of many ballads, lyrics and folksongs extolling both the virtues and drawbacks of marrying sailors. What is particularly charming about this particular verse is that we have a direct parallel from our Indefatigable research. The following advertisement appeared in the the Caledonian Mercury on Thursday 2nd December 1802.
The Captain McVicar referred to in the advert is Indefatigable midshipman Alex McVicar. Born in Leith in 1768, McVicar is notable in that he had a successful naval and merchant shipping career and switched between both services at several points in his life. McVicar already had experience of both services when he joined the Indefatigable as an experienced 27 year old seaman in 1796. Pellew clearly acknowledged his experience and McVicar was immediately rated midshipman. Over the course of the next four years Pellew made good use of his skilled recruit and McVicar served in a number of acting ranks throughout the squadron. However McVicar was absent from the Indefatigable during the Droits de L’Homme engagement as he had been captured in a prize vessel retaken by the French. McVicar’s incarceration was short lived, he was excahnged in a cartel shortly after being captured and passed his examination for lieutenant in 1797.

In 1802 with the advent of the Peace of Amiens, McVicar obtained leave from the Admiralty to captain the merchant schooner Hazard on voyages from the Leith to Danzig and Malaga. The literal fruits of the Malaga voyage appear in the advert above.

At a time when most of McVicar’s shipmates found themselves beached on half pay, McVicar’s earnings from his merchant voyages provided him with welcome additional income and it is surely no coincidence that in April 1803 McVicar married his fiancée, Margaret Reid, the daughter of a Leith merchant. It’s tempting to wonder if The Seaman’s Compass was sung at their wedding.

“…he very nearly committed himself for swearing…”


, ,

This small but amusing anecdote of Sir Edward Pellew, is recorded in A Mariner of England an account of the career of William Richardson from cabin boy in the merchant service to warrant officer in the Royal Navy (1780 – 1819 ) as told by himself. Richardson was serving aboard HMS Minerva, Captain John Whitby when the ship encountered Sir John Borlase Warren’s Western Squadron just prior to their engagement with the French frigate squadron composed of PomoneEngageant, Babet and Concord.  The anecdote may be brief but it is very characteristic of Pellew at this stage of his career, from the momentary loss of his infamous temper, to his urgent desire to be off in pursuit of the enemy.

In proceeding up Channel we were chased a whole day by a line of battle ship which in the dusk, we were all ready to fight her, as our admiral hoped to succeed by manoeuvring, though she was of such superior force. They hailed to know from whence we came, and our reply was “His Britannic Majesty’s ship Minerva”, they then asked if it was not the Minerva out of Havre de Grace and were very suspicious of us; we answered that it was HM Ship Minerva, Rear Admiral Cornwallis, from India , and this satisfied them and their captain came on board to pay his respects and we found her to be the Intrepid (64 guns). One of their boat’s crew, an Irishman, when alongside, was hardly satisfied that we were English, for, said he, what right had we to a poop, being only a frigate? One of our wags told him it was to keep our prize – money in, and Pat believed him!

Next morning we saw four frigates ahead standing across our bows, little thinking they were enemies, fortunately a fog came on and we passed them. Next morning we saw four more, who would not let us escape. The first that came up was the Arethusa, Sir Edward Pellew (since Lord Exmouth) who, seeing our flag, brought to and came aboard, and told us the other three frigates were the Flora, Concord and Melampus, all under the command of Sir John Borlase Warren.  When he was told we had passed four English frigates yesterday (he very nearly committed himself for swearing), he said, with an oath, that there were not four British frigates together in the channel but themselves, therefore the others must be French. So hastening to his ship he gave us a salute, then bore down on his Commodore, gave him news and off they all set in search of the other four frigates and the next day, being 23 April, 1794, they overtook them. A smart action ensued, and ended with the capture of the Pomone (44 guns) the Engageant, (56 guns) and the Babet (28 guns); the other escaped, having run on shore on the French coast having been chased by the Concord, Sir Richard Strachan.

HMS Concorde and Engageante, by John Fairburn (Collections of the National Maritime Museum) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Naval Careers in the Napoleonic Wars – one step closer to publication



Heather and I are delighted to announce that at the end of last month we finally submitted the manuscript of our book, Naval Careers in the Napoleonic Wars – Hornblower’s Real-Life Shipmates The Lives of the Young Gentlemen of Pellew’s Indefatigable, to our publishers Boydell and Brewer.

This book initially arose from our shared love of HMS Indefatigable’s most famous fictional midshipman, Horatio Hornblower, and a mutual fascination with the career of his historical captain, Sir Edward Pellew. Despite the honours Pellew earned during his long and distinguished naval career, the Droits de L’Homme engagement still stands as the apotheosis of his career as a fighting captain. Our original intention was to explore the lives and careers of the commissioned officers of the Indefatigable, the Amazon and Les Droits de L’Homme, who fought through the night and the storm during one the most iconic frigate engagements of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. However it didn’t take us long to realise that our original plan was hopelessly over ambitious; any one of these officers warranted extensive biographical research in their own right, so we narrowed the scope of our project to concentrate on the junior commissioned officer of a single ship, HMS Indefatigable.

Bataille entre le vaisseau Les Droits de l'Homme et les frégates anglaises Indefatigable et Amazon by Léopold Le Guen. © Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brest

Bataille entre le vaisseau Les Droits de l’Homme et les frégates anglaises Indefatigable et Amazon by Léopold Le Guen. © Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brest

One theme that emerged early in our research was the high regard, mutual affection and lasting friendship that bound Pellew and the young gentlemen of the Indefatigable together not just during their careers, but throughout their later civilian lives.  If anything, this book is as much about friendship as it is about the grand panorama of naval warfare, daring frigate engagements and individual acts of undoubted courage.

Although few of the Indefatigable‘s ‘young gentlemen’ achieved fame in their own lifetimes, the stories that have emerged from the archives rival anything dreamed up by the creator of their famous fictional shipmate. We have been continually astonished and inspired by the resourcefulness, bravery and humanity of these previously obscure young officers and we sincerely hope that this book will bring their achievements to wider notice.

Review: A History of the Royal Navy. The Napoleonic Wars by Martin Robson


, ,

Martin Robson’s A History of the Royal Navy: The Napoleonic Wars is a valuable addition to the new history of the Royal Navy series published by I.B. Tauris in association with the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Robson’s contribution to this authoritative series is a concise yet comprehensive analysis of the role of the Royal Navy in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars from the declaration of war in 1793 to the bombardment of Algiers in 1816.   However this is much more than simply a history of naval warfare, as Robson frames the actions of the navy and the war at sea in the wider socio-political and global economic context of the period.

robson_coverIn a brief but valuable introduction Robson clearly defines Britain’s war objectives, a critical point unaccountably overlooked by many naval histories. Britain’s peripheral position in relation to the European continental system is contrasted with the country’s central place in a global maritime empire encompassing the East and West Indies together with parts of North America. This empire was founded on maritime commerce and thus the Royal Navy played a central role in protecting Britain’s global maritime trade interests and ensuring that the country had the economic power to support and subsidise its continental allies. The navy became the means by which British war aims could be achieved through maritime conflict.

Rather than presenting a strictly chronological account, Robson has employed both a chronological and geographical framework to order his narrative, with successive chapters focusing on events occurring in each of the main theatres of war; home waters, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the East and West Indies, etc. This approach results in the account jumping backwards and forwards in time, but the text is sufficiently coherent to ensure that the reader never looses the thread of the narrative.

The historical account begins in home waters with Howe’s Channel fleet and the tactical role played both by the close blockade system and by Warren and Pellew’s detached frigate squadrons. Robson explores the strategic impact of the Glorious First of June and the battle of Camperdown before turning this attention to the Mediterranean, the Spanish declaration of war, the disastrous assault on Tenerife and the more successful Egyptian campaigns. In such a wide-ranging history individual events are necessarily summarised, however some, such as the siege of Acre, seem overly truncated. Moving on to the East and West Indies and the Cape, Robson focuses on how events in the main theatre of war in Europe influenced and affected campaigns overseas.

Inevitably, the figure of Nelson looms large over proceedings, indeed the book is prefaced by a stirring account of his final moments, however Robson does not shrink from acknowledging his failings in politics and diplomacy and he is always prepared to give Nelson’s fellow captains their due, e.g. Foley, who is credited with the initiative of advancing inshore of the French line at the battle at the Nile. Robson also presents a welcome reappraisal of Calder’s engagement prior to the battle of Trafalgar, and while acknowledging that Calder was criticized for not delivering a decisive “Nelsonic style” victory, he also argues that Calder achieved his main strategic and tactical objective by preventing Villeneuve’s fleet from entering the Channel and joining with the Brest fleet. The battle of Trafalgar and its aftermath form the central chapter of the books and Robson writes a lucid and compelling combat narrative without overly dramatising events.

Following Trafalgar, attention turns to the Baltic and the campaigns at Aix Roads and the Scheldt, and thence to the Mediterranean and the war in the Peninsula where Robson highlights the critical role the Navy played in supporting the army; transporting and evacuating troops, carrying specie, and victualing on a grand scale. However the navy were not there just to fetch and carry, they also played an important strategic and tactical role, working in concert with the army to seize and hold important tactical positions.

Leaving the Peninsula, Robson turns his attention to the impact of economic warfare on Britain’s overseas possession in the East and West Indies and at the Cape, demonstrating how trade and commercial interests influenced the war, particularly in the West Indies.

The final two chapters cover the War of 1812 and the Bombardment of Algiers. Robson presents a concise but comprehensive overview of the War of 1812, covering the early American victories, the British blockade of the eastern seaboard, the campaigns on the Great Lakes, culminating in Cockburn’s Washington campaign. By contrast, Robson devotes barely three pages to the Bombardment of Algiers. The political context of this operation is lacking and the engagement itself is presented in only the briefest summary.   Unfortunately for a book that admirably balances detail with brevity throughout, this final chapter feels rather tacked on.

Robson concludes by accounting for the cost of the war in terms of men, ships and trade revenues and the figures are staggering. Between 1793 and 1815 British exports increased from £20.4 million to £70.3 million and it was this economic strength, founded on maritime security and protected by the Royal Navy, that crucially enabled Britain to bankroll her continental allies.

Robson’s addition to the History of the Royal Navy series can be highly recommended both for general readers and for scholars of naval history and the Napoleonic Wars alike. The author provides a concise but comprehensive overview of the Royal Navy’s campaigns during the Napoleonic Wars, and frames the central role played by maritime power in the wider global economic context. As one would expect from I.B. Tauris and The National Museum of the Royal Navy, the production quality of this series is excellent. The Napoleonic Wars is enhanced by numerous illustrations and colour plates and the images of artefacts from the Museum’s collections make a welcome addition to the more familiar portraits, paintings, battle plans and satirical prints.

Fatherly Advice


For Father’s Day – Sir Edward Pellew’s advice to his eldest son Pownall Bastard Pellew, on receiving his first command, the 10 gun ship-sloop Fly in 1804.

Avoid as certain destruction both of Soul and Body all excesses of whatever Nature they may be, in the Climate your are going to you must use great Caution to avoid all the Night dews–and when you are exposed by Night never permit your breast to be uncovered or your neck exposed without something tied round it–Never stop upon Deck unless covered by something to keep off the Dew. It is equally necessary to avoid the Sun in the Middle of the Day from wh. much danger is to be expected; it may at a moment produce Giddyness of head, sickness and fever–take great care never to over-heat your blood by drinking or exercise–never go out shooting on any account or riding in the Sun and be very particular never to check perspiration or sit in a draft of Wind so as to produce is–altho’ it is so pleasant to the feeling it is almost certain Death. At night always sleep in Calico–be you ever so hot–it is a great security against the diseases of that Country.

On your first arrival be extremely careful not to indulge in eating too much fruit–and do not go into the Water when the Sun is high. Take great care to keep your body regular and never pass a day without Evacuation–the moment you feel your Body-bound take directly a pill or two of those you carry of the size of a large pea. And should you ever feel unwell instantly take a strong Emetic or a good dose of Physic. If you are seized with a flux take directly a large dose of Rhubarb and apply directly to your Surgeon. Always wear a piece of White paper inside your hat.

If you should take prizes I need scarcely remind you to treat your Prisoners with kindness, but be very careful to keep safe and proper Guards over them–An Officer who suffers his Prisoners to retake his Ship can never recover the Stain on his Character. Mr. Wedderburn’s letter will shew you Who’s care you ought to put your Prize Concerns in–at the same time ask them to let the Admiral’s agent be joined with yours.

Be extremely Cautious and Correct in your Conduct. The first impression of your Character will be formed from it and the companions of your choice; always endeavor to keep in with the Captains and Admiral as much as possible, behaving with quiet Modesty–you will always learn something in their company and they will soon respect and esteem you.

Never become one of the Tavern parties on shore, they always end in drunkenness and Disipation. In your Command be as kind as you can without suffering imposition on your good Nature, be steady and vigilant. Never neglect any opportunity of writing to your Mother Who deserves your utmost love and attention for her unceasing goodness to you and all your family. I hope you will believe I shall be equally glad to hear of you. I am sure you will never dishonor yourself or your family or the Service of your King.

In your Expenses be as frugal as you can. You know the situation of your Father and how many calls he has for Money and should you get any of your own to send to England I recommend your sending it to Wedderburne … as the most secure…

Be attentive to your person and dress. Nothing recommends a young Man more to notice. If you meet Capt. O’Brien tell him I ordered you to ask his protection. Admiral Dacres will be as a Father to you, never fail to consult him and ask his advice on any occasion of difficulty. Take great care to examine all the papers you put your name to and be satisfied of the truth of them and avoid any accident on this point, never sign a paper when bro’t to you in a hurry–if it is one of account–but desire it to be left for your perusal. Get into a habit of signing your name well and [in] one uniform manner and at least once a Month look over your Ship’s Books and the diff’t Officer expenses–and do not pass by any extraordinary Expense without strictly investigating the circumstance, as it is your Duty to be as honest and careful for the King as for yourself.

Mr. Hemming has wrote a recipe for some pills for you to use occasionally when you are at all Costive. I have used them many years and found them safe and easy–do not fail to get a good quantity of them madeup at Cookwortheys at Plymouth, to take with you and always remember to have the recipe back again and keep it is this Book.

Never fail to keep the Ship’s reckoning yourself and observe both by Day and Night, it is a great Duty, for you have in your charge the Lives of hundreds. I hope you will never from idleness excuse yourself from this sacred Duty and never lay down to rest without sending for your Master and together with him mark the Ship’s place in the Chart–do not let any false Modesty or Shame prevent you from this or asking his aid in working your Lunars–it is madness to do so in the extreme and must ultimately end in the ruin of any Young Officer who practises it.

Parkinson, C.N., 1934, Edward Pellew, Viscount Exmouth, Admiral of the Red, Methuen & Co., Ltd., London.