Tuesday, March 31

Signal Flag Generator

Capt. C. Bertani
Captain Bertani of HMS Cornwall (74) has written a program that will translate typed text into 1806 Popham Telegraph Signal Flags!

Not only can you choose to use the start and finish flags, but you can alter the shape and size of the flags themselves.

Thanks to Capt. Bertani for writing this fun program and for pointing it out to me!


Monday, March 30

Meet Thomas George Wills


Nearly 60 posts later we find ourselves at the end of this series of REAL Acastas! Every one of them a fellow who served aboard the Acasta at some point between 1797-1815. Did you miss any? If so, be sure to check out ALL of the REAL CREW posts.

WILLS.
Acasta 'Admiralty-Mate' under Capt. Wood & Oswald, July 1802.

Thomas George Wills died 11 May, 1847.

This officer entered the Navy, in 1792, as a Volunteer, on board the Windsor Castle 98, Capt. Thos. Byard, in which ship, bearing the flags in succession of Admirals Philip Cosby, Robt. Mann, and Robt. Linzee, he served at the occupation of Toulon and in Hotham's partial actions 14 March and 13 July, 1795. In Feb. 1797 he removed to the Cambridge 74, guard-ship at Plymouth ; he served next, from the following Dec. until Feb. 1798, in the Saldanha frigate, Capt. Geo. Burlton, on the Western station; and in Oct. 1801, after he had been for rather more than three years attached as Midshipman, in the Channel and Baltic, to the Russel 74, Capts. Sir Henry Trollope, Herbert Sawyer, and Wm. Cuming, part of Lord Nelson's fleet at the battle of Copenhagen, he joined the Wasp 18, Capt. Chas. Bullen, and sailed for the coast of Africa, where he assisted in affording protection to Sierra Leone at a time when its existence as a British colony was threatened by a powerful combination of the native chiefs. In July, 1802, he became Admiralty-Mate, on the Home station, of the Acasta 40, Capts. Jas. Athol Wood and Jas. Oswald. He was afterwards, from 30 June, 1804, until 10 May, 1 814, a prisoner-of-war in France.

He was promoted during that period to the rank of Lieutenant by a commission bearing date 22 Jan, 1806. In July, 1814, he was appointed to the Chatham 74, Capt. David Lloyd, lying at Chatham ; and in the ensuing Sept. to the Trent, flag-ship at Cork of Sir Herbert Sawyer, who placed him in command, 8 Dec. in the same year, of the Castilian sloop. He served in the Trent again from Jan. until Dec. 1815 ; in the Coast Blockade, as First of the Severn 50, Capt. Wm. M'Cullooh, from 15 March, 1817, until promoted to the rank of Commander 27 May, 1820 ; and in the Coast Guard from 6 July, 1830, until promoted to Post-rank 7 Jan. 1835. Capt. Wills had been left a widower 5 May, 1844.

His only son, Wm. Burrows Wills, a Lieutenant R.N. (1843), died 27 March in the latter year, while serving on the coast of Africa in the Alert sloop, Capt. C. J. Bosanquet.

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.

Tuesday, March 24

The Mail Packet… Overseas


There is a letter writing project going on for an event overseas that was inspired by the Acasta's Mail Packet project. Interested? Read all about it over here:


Monday, March 23

Meet Edmund Lechmere

LECHMERE.
Acasta Midshipman under Capt Beaver, c.1806

Edmund Lechmere died 30 Jan. 1841, at Hereford. He was a relative of the present Lieut. John Lechmere, R.N.

This officer entered the Navy, 1 Feb. 1806, as Midshipman, on board the Prince 98, Capt. Wm. Lechmere, stationed off Cadiz. Removing, in the following Dec, to the Acasta 40, Capt. Philip Beaver, he was for nearly three years employed in that ship on the West India station, where, in Feb. 1809, he witnessed the reduction of Martinique. After a short servitude in the Basque Roads on board the Scipion 74, flag-ship of Hon. Robt. Stopford, he rejoined Capt. Beaver, in May, 1810, in the Nisus 38, and in the following Dec. was present, as Master's Mate, at the capture of the Isle of France, as also, in 1811, in the operations against Java.

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.

Monday, March 16

Midshipman Hilton

HILTON.
Acasta Midshipman under Capt. Fellowes & Wood, c.1804, aged 19 years.

Stephen Hilton, born 9 Aug. 1785, is brother of Commander Geo. Hilton, R.N.

This officer entered the Navy, 13 Aug. 1795, as Third-cl. Vol., on board the Bristol, Lieut.-Commander Hutchison, lying at Chatham; and, from July, 1796, until Jan. 1798, was borne at Sheerness on the books of the Grana, Lieut.-Commander Dixon. Re-embarking, in Aug. 1799, on board the Pearl 32, Capt. Sam. Jas. Ballard, he proceeded to the Mediterranean, where, during a continuance of two years, he participated as Midshipman in various cutting-out affairs in the vicinity of Toulon, and attended the expedition of 1801 to Egypt. Between Feb. 1802 and March, 1805, he served on the Home station in the Acasta 40, Capts. Edw. Fellowes and Jas. Athol Wood, Revolutionnaire frigate, Capt. Walter Lock, and Queen 98, Capts. Thos. Jones and Manley Dixon. He then became Master's Mate of the Minotaur 74, Capt. Chas. John Moore Mansfield, and, after sharing in the glories of Trafalgar, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant 22 Jan. 1806.

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.

Monday, March 9

Mr. Midshipman Hay

HAY.
Acasta Midshipman under Capt. Wood, c.1804-1805

James Hay is son of the late Jas. Hay, Esq., of Belton; great-grandson of John, first Marquess of Tweeddale ; and a distant relative of the present Lord John Hay, Capt. ILN.

This officer entered the Navy, 13 Oct. 1799, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Anson 44, Capt. Philip Chas. Durham, on the Home station, where, until Nov. 1804, he further served with the same Captain, as Midshipman, in the Endymion 40, and with Capts. Jas. Athol Wood and Jas. Oswald in the Acasta 40. He then rejoined Capt. Durham in the Defiance 74, and on 1 March, 1806, after having participated in that ship in Sir Robt. Calder's action, and in the battle of Trafalgar, was promoted to a Lieutenancy in the Electra 18, Capt. Geo. Barne Trollope, on the Leith station. Being next appointed, 11 May, 1807, to the Amaranthe 18, Capt. Edw. Pelham Brenton, he proceeded to the West Indies, where, on 13 Dec. 1808, he took command of the boats of a small squadron, and much distinguished himself by the gallant manner in which, although under a heavy fire'from the enemy's batteries and troops on the beach, he boarded and carried the French 18-gun brig Le Cigne, lyiftg aground to the northward of St. Pierre's, Martinique. On the subjugation of the latter island, during the operations connected with which he acted as Commander of the Amaranthe, in consequence of Capt. Brenton's absence on shore, Mr. Hay became Signal-Lieutenant to the present Sir Geo. Cockburn in the Belleisle 74, and immediately returned to England.

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.

Monday, March 2

Meet Francis Decimus Hastings


HASTINGS.
Acasta Midshipman under Capt. Kerr, c.1811.

Francis Decimus Hastings entered the Navy, 19 Aug. 1807, as Third-cl. Vol., on board the Temeraire 98, Capts. Sir Chas. Hamilton and Edw. Sneyd Clay, successively stationed in the Channel and Baltic. In June, 1809, having attained the rating of Midshipman a few months previously, he removed to the Amethyst 36, Capt. Jacob Walton, with whom he appears to have been employed on Home service until wrecked in Plymouth Sound 16 Feb. 1811. He then joined, for a short period, the Acasta 40, Capt. Alex. Robt. Kerr ; after which we find him, until Aug. 1815, employed, on the Spanish, North American, Jamaica, and Home stations, latterly as Master's Mate, in the Iris 38, Capt. Hood Hanway Christian, St. Domingo 74, flag-ship of Sir John Borlase Warren, Emulous brig, Capt. Wm. M'Kenzie Godfrey, and Argo 44, and Ville de Paris 110, bearing the flags of Rear-Admiral Wm. Brown and Lord Keith.

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.


Above image is a cropped version of "Portrait of Augustus Leopold Kuper as a midshipman, in the year he entered the Royal Navy at the age of fourteen."
by FISCHER, T. Paul. London: June, 1823.