Friday, February 15

Charles Robert Malden


MALDEN.
Acasta Volunteer under Capt. Beaver, c. 1809, aged approx 12 years.

Charles Robert Malden was born, 9 Aug. 1797, at Putney, co. Surrey. His father, a medical man and general practitioner of repute, resided at Maiden, in Essex, a place from which his family, who had been seated there for many generations, derives its name.

This officer entered the Navy, 22 June, 1809, as a Supernumerary, on board the Diligence Navy transport, Master-Commander Alex. Black, in order to await an opportunity of joining the Acasta 40, Capt. Philip Beaver, from which latter vessel he eventually, in Oct. of the same year, removed to the Scipion 74, bearing the flag in the Bay of Biscay of Rear-Admiral Hon. Robt. Stopford. Being again, in June, 1810, placed under the orders of Capt. Beaver in the Nisus 38, and awarded the rating of Midshipman, he sailed for the Cape of Good Hope and the East Indies, and assisted, while on those stations, at the reduction of the Mauritius and the island of Java. Soon after the commencement of the war with the United States, he was sent home in a captured American Indiaman.

Source: A NAVAL BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY: COMPRISING THE LIFE AND SERVICES OF EVERY LIVING OFFICER IN HER MAJESTY'S NAVY, FROM THE RANK OF ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET TO THAT OF LIEUTENANT, INCLUSIVE. Compiled from Authentic and Family Documents. BY WILLIAM E. O'BYRNE, ESQ.
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, PUBLISHER TO THE ADMIRALTY. 1849.

Wednesday, February 13

Of Charles Winchester


I was passing an alley one night on Bermuda when out from it came multiple cries for Charles Winchester. As I could tell they was all drunk as Lords I paid no mind but went on into the tavern myself.  As it turned out Charles was in that very tavern. I told him of the hullabaloo, and he was curious, so back we went. 


So it had become custom among some of our fellows when given shore leave to make a pact before time that one would agree to stay sober enough to carry or pilot the other back to their berth once they was full to the gills. That work usually required one man to tend one other. Some of them hit upon the idea to rent a horse and then several fellows could be heaved on him at oncet with only one to steer. 

As it happened, they had turned down a blind alley with no way out. 

“The damn thing keeps missing her stays and we’s grounded on this lee shore” explains the almost sober one who was to pilot.

Winchester got the horse turned around for them and set them off again, but after that it become their custom to pay for Winchester’s drinks if he would agree to be the horse pilot.  It seems he had been in the business of trading horses before he run off to sea.  Charles could not just lead a horse , but ride and all, which was a rare skill in a tar.

-James Cullen,
Remembrances of Eight years before the Mast,
1834.

Tuesday, February 12

January 1813 Capture

His Majesty's Ship Poictiers, at Sea, 
January 9, 1813. 

SIR,

I BEG leave to acquaint you, that His Majesty's ship under my command, in company with the Acasta, captured this day the American schooner privateer Highflyer, mounting five guns, and having on board a complement of seventy-two men : she was on her return from the West Indies, where she had made several captures, is a particularly fine vessel, coppered and copper fastened, and sails remarkably fast.

I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) J.P. BERESFORD, Captain
Admiral Sir J. B. Warren, Bart and K.B.
&c. &c. &c.



Taken from: "Bulletins of the campaign [compiled from the London gazette]." page 129 


U.S. Privateer- High Flyer
Class- Schooner
Guns-6
Men-85
Commanded by- Capt. Jeremiah Grant
Out of- Baltimore
Enemy's-
Ships- 2
Brigs- 4
Schrs- 1
Sloops &c.- 1
Cargo, and estimated value- Nails, R, S, &c.

During the War with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815.
3 armed, and one a packet, See Table of Actions. Was captured by the Poictiers, 74, February, 1813.



Source:
George Foster Emmons, The navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel’s service and fate ... Comp. by Lieut. George F. Emmons ... under the authority of the Navy Dept. To which is added a list of private armed vessels, fitted out under the American flag ... also a list of the revenue and coast survey vessels, and principal ocean steamers, belonging to citizens of the United States in 1850. ( Washington: Gideon & Co., 1853.) pages 180, 181 

Monday, February 11

Jack Nastyface


Jack Nastyface, memoirs of an English Seaman 
by William Robinson
a short review by Tony Gerard

Memoirs from actual inhabitants of the lower decks are fairly rare, and this is one of those rare gems. Robinson was a volunteer (he soon regretted that) in Nelson's navy. He was actually at Trafalgar  and several other notable actions. At less than 200 pages the book is an easy read. The first part of the book give a good, but brief and general, over view of the life of a common Royal Navy seaman of the time. The second part is a general account of Robinson's career in the Navy  up to the time of his desertion. The book concludes with a brief account of the common methods of punishment in the Royal navy and Robinson's thoughts on impressment. An excellent book which should be a part of each Acasta's personal library. I especially recommend it as a first research book for anyone just beginning a Royal Navy impression.

You can also find the Acastas on INSTAGRAM where we post images of life in the Royal Navy circa 1800-1810. It is our goal to have these images be as if you are looking through a window in time. Give us a follow and keep up with all things Acasta!


Friday, February 8

The Doctor’s Specimen Jars

When we was in Halifax the Doctor purchased a large number of special jars for those fishes, livers, brains, lizards and such things that he keeps pickled in spirits. A sad waste of spirits it is too. He planned to collect many new things if we was sent to Bermuda. He left the Frenchman that is his mate and his man Vasserman to repack them in shavings and straw to protect them on the voyage.

I was on deck when they handed them aboard. As soon as I had one I knew it was too heavy by twice for what it should be.

“Whats in here?” I say to the Frenchman but he just says “jen say pa” like he does not speak good English, which he does, so I look at Vasserman- who is dumb- and he writes on a little paper pad he carries “doctors jars”.

“Too heavy Mate” I tell him, and they give each other a look, and the Frenchman tells me to just keep mum and I will see when they are stowed. So once we are below we get off by ourselves and they open a case. It’s the Doctor’s jars right enough, but each one is filled to the gills with pickled eggs. They told me that if I would keep their secret they would share them. I suppose they figured the Doctor would not have approved.

Where they got them I never knew, because so many would have cost a pretty penny. Pulled some manner of purser’s trick I reckon, probably the Frenchman because deceit is just part of their nature.

In any case they was good to their word and shared them equal and I was good to my word and never told another soul, and every jar was empty by the time the Doctor set foot on Bermuda.

Robert Watson aboard the HMS Acasta
in a letter to his wife, Dec., 1813

Thursday, February 7

Lieutenant Marshall



MARSHALL.
Acasta Lieutenant under Capt. Beaver, 18th Nov. 1808.

George Edward Marshall is the son of an old Commander in the R.N., who lost his health on the coast of Africa, and was from that cause, as well as from the effect of wounds, obliged to retire from active service. His brother, Lieut. Thos. Marshall, R.M., was killed in the Repulse 74, Capt. Hon. Arthur Kaye Legge, at the passage of the Dardanells, in Feb. 1807.

This officer entered the Navy, 16 Feb. 1801, on board the Invincible 74, Capt. John Rennie, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Thos. Totty in Yarmouth Roads ; and became Midshipman, soon afterwards, of the Assistance 50, Capt. Rich. Lee, under whom he was wrecked, between Dunkerque and Gravelines, 29 March, 1802. During the five years which preceded his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant, Mr. Marshall, it appears, was employed on the Newfoundland and Channel stations in the Falcon sloop, Capt. Henry Manaton Ommanney, Goliath 74, Capt. Chas. Brisbane, and Phoenix and Tribune frigates, both commanded by Capt. Thos. Baker. In the Falcon, at the commencement of the war, he assisted in taking possession of the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon ; and in the Phoenix he was present, as Master's Mate, in Sir Rich. Strachan's action, 4 Nov. 1805 ; on which occasion he was sent on board one of the prize-ships to aid in navigating her into port. While serving in the Tribune, we find him contributing, 29 April, 1807, to the destruction, by that ship and the Iris, of the greater part of a convoy of 30 vessels, passing from Ferrol to Bilboa under the protection of several gun-boats. He was also a participator in many boat affairs on the coast of France. On being promoted, as above, he joined the Neptune 98, Capt. Sir Thos. Williams, at the time in the Channel; and he was afterwards appointed—18 Nov. 1808, to the Acasta 40, Capt. Philip Beaver, under whom he served as First-Lieutenant at the capture of Martinique and the Saintes in 1809—25 June, 1810 (after seven months of half-pay), to the Amelia 38, Capt. Hon. Fred. Paul Irby, attached to the force in the Channel— 17 Aug. following, and 27 April, 1811, to the Hannibal'74.

Source: A NAVAL BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY: COMPRISING THE LIFE AND SERVICES OF EVERY LIVING OFFICER IN HER MAJESTY'S NAVY, FROM THE RANK OF ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET TO THAT OF LIEUTENANT, INCLUSIVE. Compiled from Authentic and Family Documents. BY WILLIAM E. O'BYRNE, ESQ.
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, PUBLISHER TO THE ADMIRALTY. 1849.