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Notes on Nova Scotian Privateers

by

George E. E. Nichols

 

[Read before the Society March 15, 1904.]

 

Note. — I have some hesitancy in presenting my paper before this Society, for the following reasons:    In the first place, the preparation of a paper on Nova Scotian Privateers has been particularly difficult owing to the lack of information to be obtained on certain periods which it ought to cover. Although the early records of the Nova Scotia Court of Vice-Admiralty are catalogued as being among the Provincial Archives, diligent search has failed to reveal their whereabouts. In many cases but bare notes of applications for Letters of Marque are in existence and no further information about the vessels is obtainable. Little has been written on my subject, and almost nothing can be derived from the work of others interested in our local history. Bearing this in mind, I hope that the few notes that I have collected may be of interest as throwing light on a subject hitherto not presented for this Society's consideration.
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Hardly had the newly re-organized colony of Nova Scotia disposed of the troublesome Acadians than the Government was called upon to join in a struggle that was to terminate French influence in British North America. Though nominally at peace, the French and English in America had been engaged in hostilities for some time previous to a formal Declaration of War. On August 9th, in the year 1756, war was publicly declared against France at Halifax, and the maritime portion of our population immediately sought means for harassing the enemy.

 

I

1756-1763

Within three months after the declaration of war, royal instructions were received at Halifax authorizing the issue of letters of marque and reprisals against the enemy. At the same time instructions were issued under the great seal of Great Britain, for the commanders of such merchant ships and vessels, as might have letters of marque or commissions for private men-of-war against the French. Under these instructions it was lawful for the commanders of letters-of-marque vessels to set upon by force of arms, and subdue and take the men-of-war, ships and other vessels, also the goods, monies and merchandise belonging to the French king, his subjects and vassals. Prizes were directed to be taken to any port in H. M. Dominions that should be most convenient, and there to be adjudicated upon by the High Court of Admiralty. No persons taken or surprised in any vessel, though known to be of the enemy, were to be killed in cold blood, tortured, maimed, or inhumanely treated contrary to the common usages of war. After condemnation of any prize by the Admiralty Court, it was lawful for the captors to sell the prize in open market to their best advantage.

Before obtaining a letter of marque, particulars of ship's tonnage, armament, ammunition, etc., together with the names of the owners, officers and men were to be given to the Admiralty Court and there registered. A regular account of captures and proceedings had to be kept, and any valuable information obtained about the enemy had to be reported. Privateers were not permitted, under peril to fly any colours usually shown by the King's ships, but in addition to the merchant flags then used had to fly a red Jack with the Union Jack described in the upper corner. Prisoners were forbidden to be ransomed, for commissioners were appointed in the seaport towns to take charge of them and arrange for their exchange. Before a letter of marque was issued, bail with sureties was required either on behalf of the owners, if resident, or the captain. The amount of bail varied according to the number of men the ship carried. If her crew numbered upwards of 150 men, £3,000 sterling was required, while if less than this number, £1,500.

Similar instructions have regulated our privateers both at that period and in those that followed it. With these instructions came royal commands that the inhabitants of this province were to be encouraged in every way to fit out privateers to distress and annoy the enemy. So great was the desire of our maritime population to take an active part in the war, that in July, 1756, before war was declared at Halifax, one William Knox, of Halifax, petitioned Governor Lawrence for a letter of marque.

At his own expense Knox fitted out, armed and manned the sloop Sea Flower1, and sailed forth on a cruise to the eastward in quest of any intelligence of the enemy; information regarding the enemy was not the only object of Knox's cruise, for he hoped to capture some French vessels off the coast of Cape Breton which were carrying on contraband trade.

While he issued a warrant authorizing this cruise, Governor Lawrence stated that although no authority had been given him to grant letters of marque, yet Captain Knox should receive the benefit of any captures he might effect.

The first privateer to be fitted out at this port was the armed schooner Lawrence2 of 100 tons burthen. Malachy Salter and Robert Saunderson, merchants of Halifax, owned and fitted out the Lawrence, and on the 16th November, 1756, she sailed from here on a six months' cruise, to the southward against the enemy. On her were Captain Joseph Rouse, in command, Robinson Ford as first lieutenant, Andrew Gardner as captain, and a crew of 100 men. The Lawrence was armed with fourteen carriage guns, four-pounders, twenty swivel guns, besides small arms and ammunition sufficient for a six months cruise. Although the log of the Lawrence has been preserved and is now among the manuscript records of Nova Scotia, it is chiefly interesting as a curiosity rather than for any account of an engagement with the enemy.3

The fitting out of the Lawrence was quickly followed by commissions to the ship Hertford and the Musketo.

The Hertford4 was a vessel of 300 tons, armed with twenty carriage guns, carrying a crew of 1790 and equipped for a six months' cruise. Thomas Lewis was her commander, John Bashard first lieutenant, and John Thomas, master.

Joshua Mauger and John Hale, both of Halifax, were the sole owners of the Musketo5, 120 tons, eighty men, while Hale was a part owner of the Hertford. These vessels sailed on their first cruise in November, 1756, and probably in company with the Lawrence.

During the Seven Years' War, which lasted from 1756 to 1763, I can learn of at least fifteen privateers that were armed and fitted out at this port. The names of these vessels and of their commanders have been preserved to us, together with the particulars of their tonnage, armament and number of their crew. [See Appendix 'A'] These privateers were both larger and more heavily armed than their successors of the Revolutionary period. Several of them were ships of three and four hundred tons burthen, carrying upwards of 160 men and armed with as many as twenty carriage guns and twenty-two swivels. The tonnage of these vessels seems to be no indication of their armament, for the small schooner Lawrence of 100 tons, carried fourteen carriage guns and twenty swivels, while the Wasp, another vessel of the same size, carried twenty guns and 150 men.

The majority of the cruises starting from Halifax were directed against the French in southern waters, and the commissions authorizing them generally named six months as the period during which they might be lawfully prosecuted.

Captain Sylvanus Cobb, Jeremiah Rogers and others engaged in cruising along the shores of this Province, in the Bay of Fundy, and against the French at Chignecto, Minas Basin and the River St. John.

Several of the privateers fitted out, sailing from this port during the Seven Years' War, were not owned in Nova Scotia but in other Colonies or in England. Among them were the ship Earl of Loudon6, a vessel of 300 tons, owned by George Smith, of Philadelphia; the ship Haldane, owned by Isaac Ross, of London, and the ship Earl of Macclesfield. In such cases Halifax merchants went bondsmen on behalf of the owners, for the proper carrying out of the instructions issued with a letter of marque.

The names of Joshua Mauger, Michael Francklin, William Ball, John Hale, Malachy Salter, Robert Saunderson and Thomas Saul, leading merchants of Halifax, were among those who owned the privateers sailing from this port. Messrs. Salter, Francklin and Mauger were more deeply interested than the others whose names are mentioned, and their names have come down to us as men full of enterprise and willingness to embark on a venturesome project.

A sketch of our naval exploits during the period of the Seven Years' War would not be complete without more than passing reference to Captain Silvanus Cobb.7 For many years he was in the employ of the Provincial Government, and his knowledge of the province and of the various political intrigues therein made him a most valued assistant to the authorities at Halifax. We first hear of Silvanus Cobb as the commander of a Boston privateer in an expedition against the French in the year 1744. Following this he held a commission as captain in Colonel Gorham's Regiment raised in New England for the expedition which besieged and captured Louisburg in 1745. After the reduction of Louisburg, Cobb received a commission from Governor Cornwallis appointing him commander of the sloop York, and from then (1750) until 1759 he was almost constantly engaged in executing the commands of the Government. The trusted friend of Cornwallis, Cobb was frequently sent to Boston as the bearer of despatches, and personally to solicit the assistance of Lieutenant Governor Phipps, of the State of Massachusetts.

His cruises were not always of such a peaceful nature. Under orders, Cobb proceeded in 1750 on an expedition against the French at the River St. John, and the Indians at Chignecto, carrying with him explicit instructions to apprehend the Abbe Le Loutre, regarded as the instigator of the trouble with the Indians.

In 1757 (November 20th) Cobb sailed on a coasting cruise against the French in the sloop York and Halifax, armed with six carriage guns, four swivels, and carrying forty men. Whether this vessel was the same one as the sloop York, which he had previously commanded, I am unable to ascertain.

Just previous to the second siege of Louisburg, General Monckton selected Silvanus Cobb to conduct General Wolfe on an expedition to reconnoitre that fortress. As their vessel sailed into the harbour under a heavy fire, no one was allowed on deck but Cobb at the helm and Wolfe in the foresheets. General Wolfe observed that they approached as near as he wished, for his purpose, but Cobb made yet another tack. As they hove about Wolfe exclaimed with approbation, "Well, Cobb, I shall never doubt but you will carry me near enough." There is also a tradition that Cobb piloted the boat, which carried General Wolfe ashore at the final siege of Louisburg.

At one time Cobb had his residence at Chignecto in the neighbourhood of Fort Lawrence, but about 1760 he built a large house in Liverpool, the frame of which is said to have come from New England. This house is still standing, and an object of interest to many a curious strangers. Cobb was at the siege of Havana in the year 1762, where he died, after a long and honorable record of service to his country. He is said to have expressed regret that he had not met a soldier's death in battle.

 

II

1776-1783

During the first part of the American Revolution, our shores were constantly infested with American privateers, against whom there seems to have been no organized system of defence.

A proclamation8 by Lieutenant-Governor Arbuthnot, dated 5th December, 1775, proclaimed martial law throughout the province. This proclamation recites the growth of the rebellion in the American colonies, the insults and attacks upon this province, and the great injury to our trade; armed vessels fitted out by the rebels, having several times traitorously and illegally seized and made prizes of our vessels.

In consequence of these acts, it was thought that the spring circuit of the Supreme Court at Annapolis and Cumberland would be attended with so much danger that it was dispensed with, to avert the possible capture of the judges and officers of the court by piratical cruisers in the Bay of Fundy.

A vessel with valuable cargo had been captured in the ice at Merigomish, and another in Pictou Harbour by strategy. Fort Morris, at the mouth of the Liverpool River, had also been surprised and captured.

At Cape Forchu, in the County of Yarmouth, the crews of two armed vessels took the inhabitants prisoners, captured a brig bound to Nantucket, and three other prizes. Two hostile vessels had lately appeared off Canso, where they captured a vessel.

Two armed vessels sent by Congress to cruise in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, visited Charlottetown, plundered the place and carried off Mr. Callbach, the commander-in-chief, and the surveyor-general, as prisoners to the New England States.

At Yarmouth9 the town was invaded by two armed schooners carrying eight guns, sixteen swivels and eighty men each, and the officers of the militia were carried away prisoners. This attack upon Yarmouth seems to have been contrary to instructions, for the invaders were from Salem, in the State of Massachusetts, with whom the people of Yarmouth had constant trade and intercourse, and to whom they were bound by many ties of relationship. In the indignation that followed, the sympathy shown by the people of Yarmouth with the Revolution saved them from further ill treatment at the hands of their late countrymen.

At Cornwallis,10 thirty or forty armed men came up the river in whaleboats and plundered the house of Stephen Best of everything of value and easy carriage, including cash to the value of £1,000.

At Digby a landing was made, but no damage done.

Rebels from Machias landed at St. John, burned the fort, and barracks, and captured a brig loaded with cattle for the Royal Army at Boston.

Before the end of 1776,11 nearly 350 prizes had been taken by the American vessels, and English insurance rates had risen to 25 per cent.

The boldness of their raids caused such wide-spread alarm that the principal inhabitants of Cornwallis, Horton, Kings County and the western shores of this province, anxiously petitioned the Government to protect the coast from further insults and depredations and asked for supplies of ammunition for the militia. The small tonnage of these marauders allowed them to take refuge from the King's ships in our numerous shallow harbors. Mindful of this the Government purchased and fitted out a small armed schooner of fifty tons, carrying eight guns, twenty-eight men, and named the Loyal Nova Scotian.12 This vessel cost £397 : 11s. 4¼d.

By commission dated 11th December '76, Thomas Cribben was appointed her commander; subsequently she was commanded by Captains John Strickland and Edward Rowe, at a salary of £10 per month.

The commanders of this vessel were directed to surprise, attack and take all ships belonging to the United States and bring them to any port in H. M. Dominions.

In 1777, Lieutenant-Governor Arbuthnot13 issued a commission directed to Jones Fawson, Esq., appointing him to the command of the Revenge.

This commission is typical. The other commissions for letters of marque of that period are similar to it, but the main portion of it is as follows:—

"Whereas, Representation has been made that several vessels armed and manned by Rebels have lately much infested the coasts of this Province.

"And that, by keeping near the shore and other stratagems they do elude the vigilance of H. M. ships and other armed vessels.

"And whereas, the principal merchants and traders of the town of Halifax have for themselves, and on behalf of others in different parts of this Province, by memorial set forth that they had suffered great losses from the piracies committed by said armed vessels, and that their commerce with the said several ports of said Province has been greatly injured, and has become very hazardous.

"Also praying, that they may have permission to fit out a vessel for the protection of the trading vessels of said coast, which permission having been granted and in consequence thereof a certain vessel being a square-sterned schooner called the Revenge, of 75 tons, having been provided and armed with 10 carriage and 8 swivel guns and manned by 50 men, the command whereof the said merchants and traders pray may be given to Jones Fawson, gentleman.

"I do therefore, by the virtue of the power and authority to me given and granted by H. M., hereby appoint you, the said Jones Fawson, to be captain and commander of said armed schooner Revenge to proceed forthwith from this harbour in quest and pursuit of all vessels armed by and belonging to any of the Colonies in rebellion, so far as the same shall be for the safety and defence and security of the coast of this Province only.

"Hereby authorizing and empowering you, the said armed vessels to surprise, attack, vanquish, and apprehend, and the crews thereof belonging, and the same to bring into this port or any other port within this Province.

"And I do hereby strictly command the officers and private seamen, on board said armed schooner to be obedient to you their commander in all such orders as you shall think necessary to give them, agreeable to the meaning and intention of this your commission, and according to the Rules of Law Martial.

"Given under my seal, etc., 15th September, 1777,

M. Arbuthnot."
The Revenge was soon followed by the fitting out by the Government of the schooner Buckram, a vessel of sixty tons, carrying eight guns and twenty men, commanded by Archibald Allardice, and another armed schooner called The Insulter, under the command of John Sheppard. These vessels were frequently employed on special duty. Such as acting as convoy between certain ports in the province, carrying arms to the militia, and while cruising they were often directed not to leave the coast but remain near shore for the protection of merchantmen.

By an act of the Imperial Parliament, any person applying to the Government could obtain a commission to arm and man any vessel, so as to be able to resist and capture the enemy. Under this act certain leading merchants of Liverpool applied for letters of marque.14 Their memorial stated their losses and sufferings, that they had resolved to fit out an armed vessel, but were unable to obtain supplies. Their prayer was granted, and the governor ordered arms and ammunition to be delivered to them. The Government was only too glad to accede to this request, as an American invasion was greatly feared, and the naval force for the protection of this province at that time consisted only of one frigate, thirty-two guns, one sloop of eighteen guns, and two armed schooners of ten and fourteen guns each.

The first venture of the Liverpool merchants was a schooner called the Enterprise, whose tonnage and armament are not recorded; she was commanded by Captain Joseph Barss. One of her owners was Colonel Simeon Perkins, chief magistrate of Liverpool, and a leading merchant. Colonel Perkins shortly disposed of his share for £147, after securing revenge for the loss of his vessel, the Bouncing Polly, which had been taken by an American privateer. On her first cruise the Enterprise captured seven prizes.

The following advertisement appears in the Nova Scotia Gazette for the 12th January, 1779.

The Revenge

"Captain James Gandy, who has ben on several cruises and has met with great success.

"All gentlemen volunteers:

"Seamen and able-bodied landsmen who wish to acquire riches and honour are invited to repair on board the Revenge, private ship of war, now lying in Halifax Harbor, mounting 30 carriage guns, with cohorns, swivels, etc., bound for a cruise to the southward for four months, vs. the French and all H. M. enemies, and then to return to this Harbor.

"All Volunteers will be received on board the said ship, or by Captain James Gandy, at his rendezvous at Mr. Proud's Tavern near the Market House, where they will meet with all due encouragement, and the best treatment.

"Proper advance will be given.

"God Save the King."

"N. B. — As it is expected that many of the Loyal inhabitants of this province will try their fortunes by entering on board so good a ship at such a favourable time, a protection will be given to prevent their being impressed on board Men-of-War.

"As no time is to be lost, the ship will go to sea in fourteen days, great part of the crew being engaged."

Similar advertisements15 appeared for the privateer schooner Liverpool, George Young, commander; the privateer brig Sir George Collier, and the ship St. Mary's Packet, for an eight weeks' cruise to Jamaica, thence to England.

In February the Revenge sailed on a cruise in company with the privateer Halifax Bob, owned by Alexander Brymer, and in May both vessels returned with richly laden prizes.

It is to be regretted that a complete list of names, owners, tonnage and armament of our privateers during the revolutionary period cannot be furnished, but among them were the Arbuthnot, The David, Mowatt, Lady Hammond, The Fly, Sir George Hammond, Lancaster, Dreadnought (Captain Dean of Liverpool), The Success, The Lively, the sloop Howe, and the ship Jack.

Of their success there is no doubt, for while records are meagre, no less than forty-eight prizes and four recaptures16 arrived in Halifax alone between 4th January and 20th December, 1778, among the captures being six ships, seven brigs and nine brigantines.

Between 1779 and 1781 we have records of forty-two prizes and recaptures brought into this port, and among them were three ships, six brigs and twelve brigantines.

Among these captures were the privateer sloop Don Quixote, fifty tons, four guns, of Newburyport, taken by the schooner Mowatt; the schooners Hannah and Humbug, of Salem, captured by the privateer David; the brigantine Sweepstakes, and schooner Ann, captured by the Sir Andrew Hammond; ths schooners Comet and Hannah, taken by the Buckram and Halifax Bob; a privateer, taken by the Buckram in Annapolis Basin, after an engagement; the schooner Swallow and Two Brothers, captured by the Arbuthnot; the brig Fortune, by the privateer Success, several vessels by the Dreadnought; the brig John, and sloop Nancy, by Captain Dean, the privateer sloop Howe.

The privateer Despatch, under the command of Joseph Barss, of Liverpool, brought a rich prize into that port. She later proved to be a recapture and the subject of much litigation. While lying in Liverpool Harbour, and in the custody of the Vice-admiralty Court, a portion of her cargo was plundered, which resulted in the forfeiture of Captain Barss's letter of marque.

So great was the success of the Liverpool privateers that their neighbours were induced to follow their example, and even Chester fitted out a stout vessel to carry 100 men and sixteen guns, nine-pounders, called the Hero, commanded by Captain Bailey.

Our opponents had not been inactive, for in the state department of the United States are 1,624 privateer bonds issued at that time, 548 of which are credited to the State of Massachusetts, and 571 to the State of Pennsylvania.

Success was not all on our side, for among other British losses was that of the privateer brig Resolution. On Monday, July 10th, 1780, she fought a hot engagement off the mouth of Halifax Harbour, with the American privateer Viper,17 carrying twenty-two guns and 130 men; both vessels were badly disabled, the Resolution having eight men killed and ten wounded, while her opponent lost thirty-three killed and wounded.

In August, 1781, two hostile armed schooners, with eighty men, landed their crews at Annapolis Royal at daybreak.18 They secured the blockhouse without opposition, and spiked the cannon in the fort. The principal houses in the town were surrounded and the inhabitants taken prisoners and confined in the fort ditch. Neither public nor private property was respected, for the invaders sacked the town and sailed away, carrying among other prisoners, Mr. John Ritchie, solicitor-general, and Mr. Thomas Williams, the grandfather of Sir Fenwick Williams.

In June of this year five American armed vessels landed a force of ninety men at Redhead, in Lunenburg County, and marched upon Lunenburg town. They seized and spiked the cannon, burned the blockhouse and residence of Colonel Creighton, and landed some ship's guns and placed them in position in the streets. A feeble, if any resistance was made, the little town was sacked of all deemed worth carrying away, and only escaped being burnt by the inhabitants pledging a ransom of £1,000. Colonel Creighton and three others were seized and carried as prisoners to New England. The estimated amount of plunder and damage was £10,000.19

The generous action of the Captains Adams and Stoddard of the American privateers Lively and Scammel, stand out amid the harsh treatment accorded to our sailors by their captors.

The crews of these vessels rescued the survivors of the wreck of H. M. S. Blonde from the then desolate Seal Islands, received them on board their ships, treated them kindly and furnished passes for their return to Halifax. Captain Scammel was one of the party who had attacked Lunenburg and captured Colonel Creighton.

Gentlemen of Salem, Massachusetts, petitioned the Legislature of that State that the people of Yarmouth might not be plundered by their privateers, because many of them were lately their neighbours and had assisted American privateers while in this province. These sentiments were not those of the majority of Salem townmen, yet the general court prohibited hostilities against Yarmouth. I fear the people of Yarmouth had been more humane to our country's enemies than would accord with our strict ideas of loyalty.

Early in 1784 the American Revolution was brought to an end. Peace was declared, and the people of Nova Scotia settled down to develop their interrupted trade, both domestic and foreign.

The war had caused stirring times throughout the province, and laid the prosperous foundations for still greater marine activity, especially in the thriving town of Liverpool, for the war of 1812.

 

III

1793-1805

For about ten years our vessels carried their cargoes unmolested by an enemy, but strained relations between England and France were soon to bring the existing state of affairs to an end.

In April, 1793, Governor Sir John Wentworth laid before his council a letter dated at Whitehall, 9th February, 1793, of the following purport.20 That those exercising the supreme authority in France had declared war against England on the first of that month, and that letters of marque, or commissions for privateers, would be granted in the usual manner. At the same time assurance was given to the owners of all armed vessels that H. M. would consider them as having a just claim to the King's share of all French ships and property, of which they might make prizes. In consequence of such instructions the sheriffs of each county were directed to make a proclamation of war with France.

The French had lost no time in sending ships to cruise along our coasts in search of captures, for hard on the proclamation of war came reports of privateers and frigates cruising in the Bay of Fundy and on the southern shores of the province.

Two of these privateers and two French West Indiamen worth £40,000, were brought in by H. M. S. Alligator and Hussar.

The French privateers made their rendezvous in the United States, as American sympathies were strongly in favor of the French, and unfortunate provincials who fell into the hands of the latter fared much worse at Boston than if taken to St. Malo or Brest.21

Captures were in most cases burned and the masters and crews taken prisoners.

Several Halifax and Liverpool ship masters lost their vessels, among them Captains Jacobs, Lloyd, Ewing, and Pryor, who months after returned from confinement in Guadeloupe, with tales of horror of the French prisons, fever and privations.

The sloop Cumberland and schooner Adamant, of Liverpool, were among the captured; these vessels had been sent to Rhode Island and Boston, where the Adamant was sold without advertisement, and the captain of the Cumberland was refused a hearing in court.

The most active of our private armed vessels were the Lord Nelson, Lord Spencer, Duke of Kent, The Nymph, C M Wentworth and the Rover.

Liverpool was the home port of the brig Rover, commanded by Captain Alex. Godfrey, owned by Messrs. Hallett Collins, James deWolfe, William Freeman, Nathan Tupper, and seven others of Liverpool, together with Messrs. Cochrane, Prescott and Lawson, of Halifax.

The Duke of Kent, commanded by Joseph Freeman, was owned by Messrs. Collins, deWolfe, Tupper and others, together with William Cochrane and Mr. Prescott of Halifax. She was of 194 tons burthen, square-sterned, had three masts and armed with twenty carriage guns, four- and six-pounders, thirty small arms, one hundred cutlasses, twenty barrels powder, thirty-eight rounds great(sic) shot and 100 men.

The Nymph, Captain William Pryor of Halifax, was owned by Messrs. Collins, Bradford, Perkins and Parker, and others, all of Liverpool. The Lord Spencer, Captain Joseph Barss, claimed Liverpool as her home port, while the Lord Nelson, commanded by Captain E. Dean, was owned in Shelburne.

The schooner Charles Mary Wentworth, named for a near relation of Governor Wentworth's, was built in Liverpool in 1798. One of her owners, Colonel Simeon Perkins of Liverpool, came to Halifax to superintend her fitting out, and while here Colonel Perkins was presented to the Duke of Kent, and thanked on behalf of all her owners, for the enterprise they had shown. Colonel Perkins memorialized the Government for sixteen guns, four- and six-pounders to be used in the armament of the C. M. Wentworth, and orders were thereupon issued upon the ordnance stores at Halifax that the necessary cannon, small arms, powder and shot be delivered to Colonel Perkins.

In May, 1799, the Charles Mary Wentworth22 returned to Liverpool from a cruise, bringing with her four valuable Spanish prizes, including a letter of marque brig mounting fourteen guns, which had fought nearly an hour before striking her colours.

In November, 1799, the Charles Mary Wentworth,23 Captain Thomas Parker, the Duke of Kent, Captain Joseph Freeman, and the Lord Spencer, Captain Joseph Barss, sailed from Liverpool on a cruise to the West Indies and Spanish Main against the King's enemies. On the Wentworth were Enos Collins, first lieutenant; John Goreham, second lieutenant; Nathan Tupper, third lieutenant, and Benjamin Knaut, lieutenant of marines.

The Wentworth's operations on this cruise were not very lucrative, for Mr. Knaut's journal of the cruise closes with a murmured thankfulness for a safe return and the regret that little or no prize money was secured. This cruise was not barren of excitement, for, while on the Spanish main, the days were spent in the search and pursuit of the enemy's vessels, and at night the Wentworth stood in to the land and sent off her cutter ashore to capture anything her crews might think worth while. Lieutenant Collins often commanded the cutter on her night cruises and seldom returned empty handed.

In conversation on this subject with a friend of his later years he was wont to say, "You will observe, sir, that there were many things happened we don't care to talk about."

On several occasions the Charles Mary Wentworth fell in with the Lord Nelson, the Spencer, and the Duke of Kent, and while lying in harbour at the Island of St. Kitts, the Lord Nelson arrived badly shattered. She had met a French privateer of sixteen guns and 140 men, engaged her, but had to retire with a loss of two killed and five wounded.

In the spring of 1800 the Nelson, which had been captured by the enemy, was recaptured by H. M. S. Cambrian. Later that year she sent home a valuable prize, the brig Austria, captured on a voyage from New York to Havana.

In April, 1800, while still in southern waters, the Lord Spencer was lost, but her plucky captain, Joseph Barss, saved his provisions and crew, and continued his cruise in a tender to the Duke of Kent.

Letters of marque only held good for the time specified therein, and upon completion of a cruise and the prosecution of another, a new commission had to be secured and bonds given for the faithful observance of the conditions set forth.

In accordance with such regulations, bonds for £1,500 were taken in July, 1800, from Joseph Churchill, master; Benjamin Etter, James Woodill, and others of this city, owners of the private armed brig Earl of Dublin. From the brig Eliza, 145 tons, John Kelly, master; William Cochrane, owner. The armed ship Nelson, 277 tons, John Freeman, master; Scaife and Wallace, owners. The ship Asia, owned by Messrs. Hartshorne and Boggs, and the Jason, owned by Messrs. Forman, Grassie & Co.

The General Bowyer, a schooner of 135 tons, was owned by Benjamin Etter, William Duffus, and others of this city. This vessel, named after a popular commander of the forces on this station at that period, was built in the United States, and had been condemned and sold by order of the vice-admiralty court, as a prize to the privateer Earl of Dublin. The General Bowyer was armed with fourteen guns, six-pounders, and manned by a crew of eighty men. Among her captures that year were a valuable Spanish brig, the Nostra Signora del Carmen; the schooners Peggy and Nancy, and a quantity of specie taken from a ship at sea.

Other vessels armed and fitted out to cruise against the French, Spanish and Dutch between 1800 and 1805, were the Nymph, the Eagle, the Sir William Parker, the brig Rover, the Jane and the Duke of Kent. Their owners were either Halifax or Liverpool merchants, and among them the then well-known firms of Forman, Grassie & Co., Prescott & Lawrence, Hartshorne & Boggs, William Cochran & Co., had large interests, while the names of Godfrey, Parker, Barss and Collins stood for the most enterprising of the merchants and ship-owners of Liverpool.

I cannot close my notes on the period of war between the Spanish, French and English without refrence to a gallant action fought between the Rover and three Spanish vessels off Cape Blanco on the Spanish main.

Captain Alex. Godfrey, the hero of this fight, was born in New England, but became a resident of Liverpool about 1784. For several years previous to the outbreak of war in 1793 he was in command of merchant vessels owned by Hallett Collins, Esq., of Liverpool. Captain Godfrey was a man considerably beyond the ordinary size, of an exceedingly quiet demeanour and retiring disposition.

At the close of the war he disarmed his privateer and entered into the West India trade. While on a trip to the West Indies, in 1803, he died of yellow fever, and was buried near Kingston in the Island of Jamaica.

On the 10th September, 1800, as the Rover,24 armed with fourteen long guns, four-pounders, fifty-four men and boys under Captain Godfrey, was cruising near Cape Blanco, she fell in with the Spanish schooner Santa Ritta, mounting ten long guns, six-pounders, two English twelve-pounder carronades, with about 125 men, and accompanied by three gunboats also under Spanish colours. The schooner and gun-boats had the previous day been equipped by the Governor of Puerto Caballo on purpose to capture the Rover.

A light breeze which had been blowing having died away, the schooner and two of the gun-boats, by the aid of oars gained fast upon the brig, keeping up as they advanced a steady fire from their bow guns, which the Rover returned with two guns pointed from her stern, and as her opponents drew near with her small arms also.

Seeing that the schooner intended to board the starboard quarter and two of the gun-boats on the opposite bow and quarter, the Rover suffered them to advance until they got within about fifteen yards of her.

She then manned her oars on the port side, and pulling quickly around brought her starboard broadside to bear right athwart the schooner's bow, upon whose deck then filled with men ready for boarding the brig, poured a whole broadside of round and grape shot.

Immediately after this manoeuvre, her active crew manned the guns on the opposite side and raked the two gun-boats in a similar manner.

The Rover then commenced a close action with the Santa Ritta, and continued it for an hour and a half, when finding her opponent's fire grew slack, the Rover by aid of a light air of wind backed her head sails and brought her stern into contact with the schooner's side.

Captain Godfrey's crew rushed on board of, and with little opposition carried the Santa Ritta.

The two gun-boats seeing the fate of their consort sheered off apparently in a very shattered state.

Notwithstanding this long and hard-fought action the Rover had not a man hurt. Every officer on board the Santa Ritta was killed, except the officers who commanded a party of twenty-five soldiers. Fourteen dead and seventeen wounded were found on her deck.

The prisoners, including the wounded, numbered seventy-one, while the enemy's total loss was said to be fifty-four killed.

The prisoners being too numerous to be kept on board, Captain Godfrey landed them all save eight, having previously taken from them the usual acknowledgment not to serve again until exchanged.

As a reward for this gallant action and other services, Captain Godfrey was offered a commission in the Royal Navy and the command of one of H. M. ships, which was declined.

 

IV

1812-1815

Friction between the United States and Great Britain culiminated in a declaration of war by President Madison on the 18th June, 1812.

One of the first hostile acts on the part of the United States was to issue letters of marque against British ships, and soon numbers of our vessels had fallen into the enemies' hands.

Not until December of that year did Lieutenant-Governor Sherbrook receive authority for executing the office of Lord High Admiral and the granting of letters of marque against the enemy. Impatient at the dealy ocasioned thereby His Excellency had on his own authority directed the issuing of such letters, for within a month after war was declared, reports of captures were daily received and applications for letters of marque had been eagerly sought.

The form of these letters of marque25 and the conditions governing them, seem to have been the same as those granted in the wars with France.

To obtain them, a petition setting forth the name, tonnage and armament of the vessel, together with the names of her commander and owners was addressed to the governor of this province. Should the application be approved, a warrant under seal was issued, directed to the Honourable and Worshipful Judge in Admiralty (Judge Croke), requiring him to issue letters of marque to the commander of the would-be privateer; few, if any, applications were rejected, for royal instructions commanded that the people should be encouraged in this branch of warfare. Nova Scotia was in a greater state of excitement and agitation than had been known since the French wars of 1756, and heartily did our merchants respond to the call to aid the mother country.

The first letter of marque issued after the commencement of hostilities was directed to Thomas Boag, commander of the ship Caledonia. As only one of her owners, viz., John Black of Halifax, was resident in this province, and she did not play an important part, I shall pass on to better known and more famous vessels.

Next in order came the famous schooner Liverpool Packet,26 of sixty-seven tons, the principal actor in many a spirited encounter, and commanded on her first cruise by John Freeman, of Liverpool. Her registered owners were Messrs. Enos Collins, John and James Barss, and Benjamin Knaut, of Liverpool. Her armament consited of five guns, twelve-, six- and four-pounders, and she carried a crew of forty-five men.

The first prize taken by the Liverpool Packet was the Portuguese ship Factor, captured on 7th September, 1812. This vessel had been plundered at sea by an English ship of $30,000, and a portion of her cargo of wine and jewellery. The vessel was condemned and sold by order of the Vice-Admiralty Court for the benefit of her captors, while the remainder of her cargo was restored to its owners.

The Liverpool Packet left on her second cruise in November, this time under the command of Joseph Barss, of Liverpool. On her first two cruises she sent in no fewer than nineteen prizes; together with their cargoes they were advertised for sale by public auction at Liverpool on the 12th March, 1813, by order of the Vice-Admiralty Court.

Mr. Charles S. Hill, deputy marshall of the court, conducted the sales, and the net proceeds were paid to Mr. Enos Collins for the benefit of the owners and crew.

The success of their first venture inspired the Liverpool merchants to further efforts, and early in 1813 the schooner Retaliation and brig Sir John Sherbrooke were fitted out. The Retaliation, of seventy-one tons, four guns and fifty men, was owned by Snow Parker and commanded by Thomas Freeman. The brig Sir John Sherbrooke,27 formerly the American brig-of-war Rattlesnake, of 273 tons, eighteen guns and 150 men, under the command of Joseph Freeman, was owned by Enos Collins, Benj. Knaut, Joseph Freeman, John and James Barss.

The Sir John Sherbrooke and Retaliation sailed on their first cruise probably about the end of February, and were absent several months. Among all the privateers sent out from Nova Scotia, the Sir John Sherbrooke achieved greater success in a shorter period than any of our armed vessels. On this her only cruise she captured no fewer than sixteen prizes. The Retaliation on her several cruises that year took fourteen prizes.

On her third cruise, for three months the success of the Liverpool Packet was uninterrupted, but in June after a stubborn fight she was forced to surrender to an American privateer, the Thomas, a vessel of twice her size. Great interest was taken in her capture,28 for her career had been so bold and daring that Captain Barss was regarded as capable of meeting any emergency.

On the 9th June, 1813, at 9 a. m., the Thomas, Captain Shaw, gave chase to a vessel which proved to be "a schooner under press of sail." At 2 p. m., coming up with the chase very fast, the schooner hoisted her colours and commenced firing her stern chasers.

Overtaken by the American, she rounded to, struck her colours and ran alongside the Thomas. In the act of veering she fouled the Thomas, and thinking their opponents about to board their vessel, the respective crews engaged in a hand to hand encounter. After striking her colours, the officers and crew of the Thomas repeatedly fired into the Liverpool Packet and threatened to give her crew no quarter. Greatly outnumbered, they were compelled to surrender, but not before several of the crew of the Thomas had been killed. Captain Barss was taken to Portsmouth and there closely confined by order of the American Government. Through the influence of Governor Sherbrooke, his release was secured in the course of a few months.

The Thomas's prize was converted into an American privateer, and her name changed to the Portsmouth Packet. Such were the fortunes of war that in October of that year she was recaptured by H. M. S. Fantome, off Mount Desert, after a chase of thirteen hours, brought into Halifax and restored to her former owners. Another successful cruise of a few weeks'29 duration was undertaken under the command of Caleb Seely, and its close saw the large number of fourteen prize vessels to the credit of the Liverpool Packet for the year 1813.

That year (1813) commissions were issued to twenty-one30 different privateers, eight of which claimed Halifax as their home port. The Liverpool fleet was increased by the addition of the schooners Shannon and Wolverine. Messrs. Thomas Ritchie, Phineas Lovett and John Robinson of Annapolis, owned and fitted out the Matilda and Broke, while the remaining six were owned either in Horton, St. John, New Brunswick, or the Island of Guernsey.

Apart from those vessels already mentioned the most successful for the year 1813 was the Annapolis privateer Matilda, commanded by John Burkett; although a small schooner of fifty tons, armed with five guns and carrying forty men, she had the good fortune to send in twelve prize vessels after an absence of three months.

Next in order of success come the Dart, with eleven prizes, the Wolverine with eight, and the Shannon, Retrieve and Fly with seven each. As an exmple of the complete armament of one of these privateers I would quote the schooner Wolverine of 143 tons. She carried:

1 Carronade, 9 lbs.   37 Muskets.
4 long guns, 9 lbs.   40 Boarding Pikes.
2 long guns, 6 lbs.   10 Pair Pistols.
3 long guns, 4 lbs.   4 Swivels.
The Wolverine was owned at Liverpool, having ben purchased at one of the prize sales of the Admiralty Court. She was formerly the American privateer Thomas, the same vessel which had captured the Liverpool Packet off Portsmouth.

At the close of 1813, our privateers had sent in 106 prize31 vessels, which were adjudicated upon by the Court of Vice-Admiralty. Of these vessels, few, if any, were restored. The net sales enriched the owners and crews, and encouraged our merchants to prosecute this mode of warfare with still greater zeal.

The declaration of war by the United States was met with strong protests from the people of New England, but the sentiments expressed in these protests do not seem to have been lasting, for their privateers infested our coasts, and preyed on our commerce with success.

With the exception of a landing at Broad Cove, in Digby County, no invasion by privateers was made. On that occaion after a sharp encounter with the militia, the enemy's captains and prize master were captured and sent to Annapolis as prisoners of war.

The American privateer Young Teazer had proved very destructive to our coasting trade, and some of the credit for her destruction is due to the privateer Sir John Sherbrooke, which pursued the Teazer until she fell in with the King's ships, and was chased by them into Mahone Bay. The circumstances of her destruction are too well known to be dwelt upon.32

The year of 1814 witnessed further activity among our privateers, and in addition to those already mentioned, letters of marque were granted to eight additional vessels, owned principally in Halifax, Liverpool and Lunenburg.

The largest of them, viz., the Rolla,33 a schooner of 132 tons, armed with five guns, carried a crew of sixty men. She had formerly been an American privateer captured by H. M. S. Loire in 1813, but was now owned by Liverpool merchants and Messrs. Collins & Allison. She made two cruises under the command of John Freeman, and sent in seven prizes.

The Liverpool Packet, the Lively, the Lunenburg and the Shannon, still under the command of Benjamin Ellenwood, were the most successful cruisers for 1814; the Shannon sending in the greatest number of prizes, namely fourteen.

A few words in reference to the fate of the Retaliation34 and the brig Sir John Sherbrooke.

While on her last cruise in October, 1814, the Retaliation was off the coast of Maine and in the vicinity of Falmouth, now Portland. News of her arrival was brought to Falmouth, and a hastily organized expedition sailed to capture her if possible. The armed schooner Two Friends discovered the Retaliation at anchor in a small cove, and, it being calm, sent off her boats to engage. When within three-quarters of a mile of the Retaliation, she fired her long gun twice at them, and they came to anchor. The Retaliation then sent her boat with the captain and five men to board the Two Friends. The Americans kept under cover until the boat got alongside and was made fast, when upon a signal from their captain about twenty of them rose up and presented their muskets into the boat, with the threat that upon the least resistance they should be instantly killed. In the face of such odds the boat's crew surrendered.

The Two Friends put twelve men on the captured boat, got under way with the sloop, and boarded the Retaliation, the sloop on her bow and the boat on her quarter.

In the act of boarding, the captain of the Retaliation eluded the guard set over him and apparently joined the enemy. Rather than have his ship fall into the hands of the enemy, Captain Potter endeavoured to fire the magazine of the Retaliation, but his attempt was frustrated and he was taken prisoner to Falmouth.

After her first successful cruise I can learn of no further exploits of a similar nature on the part of the brig Sir John Sherbrooke until the autumn of 1814. At that time she was taken as a prize by the American privateer Syren. While being conveyed into port under the orders of a prize-master, the Sherbrooke was chased ashore at Rockaway near Boston by a British frigate. The crew and all their baggage was taken ashore under fire of the frigate's guns. Boats from the frigate attempted a rescue, but were driven off by the guns of a nearby fort. Salvage of the Sherbrooke being impracticable she was set on fire and burned to the water's edge.35

The schooner Ann,36, Captain Randall McDonald, with a crew of fifteen men, sailed from Halifax for Castine with a general cargo, in October, 1814. It was the intention of the captain after landing his cargo to cruise in Boston Bay, having obtained a letter of marque before leaving Halifax. While off Penobscot an English cruiser was sighted, and the mate suggested sending the crew below to avoid impressment by the cruiser, which suggestion was acted upon by the captain. In so doing the mate contrived that the several seamen who should remain on deck were Americans. The crew were no sooner below than the hatches were barred, the captain was seized and the schooner taken into an America port.

Great indignation was felt at Halifax as a result of this treacherous act. An investigation proved that the mate and several of the crew had been taken prisoners in the West Indies. They had been sent to England, and from there shipped as English seamen to Halifax. The schooner Ann was a fast sailing craft of fifty-seven tons, formerly called the Busy, and had been brought into this port as a prize to the Chesapeake.

The year 1815 witnessed but little activity on the part of our privateers, though the Rover, the Rolla, and the Dove each sailed on a cruise and were successful in capturing and sending in a few prizes. Early in that year peace was declared much to the satisfaction of both nations, and Nova Scotia after joining in the general rejoicings soon sought to collect her scattered commerce.

During hostilities between 1812 and 181537 our privateers sent into Nova Scotian ports at least 200 prizes, exclusive of a number of recaptures. These figures are most conservative ones, and only relate to vessels actually brought in and adjudicated upon by the Court of Vice-Admiralty, and of which cases we have a record.

Of the captures made at sea, the vessels sent to other ports, the numerous ships' boats, and other small craft taken, it is impossible to account for.

A number of prizes were wrecked on our coasts, and others lost, either by being retaken by their own crews or recaptured by American vessels before they could reach Halifax.

The question often arises:—

What and who were the commanders of the armed vessels that had been so active in the late wars?

Were they adventurous, ignorant fishermen, or unscrupulous adventurers who would take sides with either party for a consideration?

No shadow of such an accusation lies upon them, for there are many examples of their boldness, daring and honourable treatment towards the enemy.

Their loyalty no one questioned, for in many cases it was put to a thorough test, and few men after being closely confined in a miserable prison would show the spirit of these men in making subsequent cruises.

The roll of names from the days of Captains Silvanus Cobb, Joseph Rous, Alex. Godfrey to the days of the Freemans, Barss, Collins, Ellenwood, Knaut, Parker, Seely and Tupper, is a long and honourable one.

Many of these men were among the leading merchants and ship owners, and their subsequent careers in time of peace, show that time has not cast a glamour over them.

In the days that followed the war, many of them held various public offices, became members of the Assembly and Council, and were respected citizens.

______________________________

 

Appendix A

Letters of Marque Issued 1756 - 1763

Vessel Date of
Letter of
Marque
Commander Owner Tons Carriage Guns Swivels Men
Schnr. Lawrence 16 Nov. 1756 Jos. Rous Saunderson & Salter   14 20 100
Snow Musketo 16 Nov. 1756   Hale & Mauger 120 24 12 80
Ship Hertford 30 Nov. 1756 Thos. Lewis   300 20    
Ship Earl of Loudon 23 Aug. 1756 Robt. Smith Geo. Smith 300 18   60
Brigt. Wasp 22 Sept. 1756 Geo. Elliott Hale & Mauger 100 10 10 150
Schnr. Monckton 22 Oct. 1756 Sol. Phillips T. Saul & W. Ball 55 6 8 30
Sloop York 20 Nov. 1756 Sil. Cobb     6 4 40
Ship Providence 10 Dec. 1756 David Griffith   120 8   20
Ship Earl of Macclesfield 26 Ap'l. 1758 Sam. Nichols S. Nichols 250 12 4 32
Schnr. Musketo 11 Ap'l. 1758 Jon. Morecomb Hale & Mauger 120 14 12 80
Ship Hartford 13 July 1758 Thos. Francklin     20 22 60
Ship Foudroyant 21 Nov. 1758 Jas. Taylor   400 18   90
Ship Diane 19 Dec. 1758 John Reeks   400 22   90
Brigt. Montague 28 May 1759 Jere. Rogers   90 10 10 20
Brig Miriam and Ann 14 Sept. 1759 Wm. Haselton   80 6   14
Ship Jane 29 Nov. 1759 Thos. Martin Thos. Martin 180 10 10 30
Ship Haldane 5 Jan. 1760 Phillip Miller Isaac Ross 200 10   30
Sloop Falmouth 20 June 1760 John Robinson John Robinson 50 4 6 30
 

Appendix B

Letters of Marque Issued at Halifax

Date Vessel Tons Guns Men Master or Commander Owners
7 July 1800 Earl of Dublin 100     Joseph Churchill Benj. Etter, et al.
10 July 1800 brig Eliza 145     John Kelly Wm. Cochrane
10 July 1800 ship Lord Nelson 277     John Freeman Scaife & Wallace et al.
14 July 1800 schnr. Chas. M. Wentworth 130     Nathan Tupper, jr.  
25 July 1800 ship Asia       Lawrence Strong Hartshorne & Boggs
8 Sept. 1800 schnr. Sir William Parker 130     Hugh McMinn  
3 Oct. 1800 ship Nymph       Joseph Freeman  
8 Nov. 1800 ship Jason       John Latham Foreman, Grassie & Co.
4 May 1801 ship Jane 159     John Goodman  
22 May 1801 brig Rover 100 14 60 Alex. Godfrey Snow Parker, et al.
13 June 1801 brig General Bowyer 135 14 80 Thos. Burnaby Benj. Etter, et al.
7 Jan. 1805 brig Duke of Kent 194 20 80 Joseph Freeman H. Collins, et al.
 

Appendix C

List of Vessels for which Letters of Marque were issued out of the Vice-Admiralty Court at Halifax, 1812-1815

Date Vessel Tons Guns Men Master or Commander Owners and Residence
17 July 1812 ship Caledonia 623 14 40 Thomas Boag John Black, Halifax; Geo. Robertson, Wm. Forsythe, Jas. Hunter, Wm. Smith, Liverpool, Eng.
24 August 1812 schr. Liverpool Packet 67 5 45 John Freeman Enos Collins, Benj. Knaut, John and James Barss, of Liverpool; subsequently owned by Mrssrs. Collins & Allison, of Halifax; Jos. Freeman and C. Seely, of Liverpool.
27 Nov. 1812 brig Sir John Sherbrooke 187 10 30 Thomas Robson  
10 Feby. 1813 schnr. Retaliation 71 5 50 Thomas Freeman Snow Parker, Thos. Freeman, Liverpool; subsequenly shares held by J. Roberts, Jas. Goreham and G. DeWolfe, Liverpool.
10 Feby. 1813 schnr. Liverpool Packet 67 5 45 Joseph Barss, jr.  
15 Feby. 1813 brig Sir John Sherbrooke 273 18 150 Joseph Freeman A. S. Ritchie, Wm. Pagan, St. John; Robt. Pagan, St. Andrew's, N. B.; subsequent owners, E. Collins, Jas. Freeman, John and Jas. Barss, Benj. Knaut, Liverpool.
14 April 1813 schnr. Crown 22 1 35 Sol. Jennings Sam. Harris, Sol. Jennings, Halifax.
7 May 1813 sloop Dart 74 4 25 John Harris Robt. Shives, Jas. Hay jr., Jas. T. Hanford, St. John, N. B.
13 May 1813 schnr. Matilda 50 5 40 John Burkett Thos. Ritchie, Wm. Baillie, John Robinson, John Burkett, Annapolis Royal.
28 May 1813 schnr. Retrieve 55 4 40 Silas Crane Silas Crane, Wm. Young, Horton. N. S. Subsequent owners, Thos. Conrad, Starr & Shannon, Halifax.
27 May 1813 schnr. Retaliation 71 5 50 Benj. Ellenwood  
3 June 1813 schnr. Fly 50 3 35 Enoch Stanwood Israel Harding, Chas. Hill, Halifax.
31 May 1813 schnr. Weazle 45 5 35 Geo. W. Anderson Jos. Hamilton, Wm. Bond, F. Mouncey, Wm. Bond, Halifax.
19 June 1813 schnr. Bunker Hill 179 3 15 James Chadwick John Pryor, Halifax.
6 July 1813 schnr. Broke 52 5 35 Daniel Waid Phineas Lovett, Annapolis Royal.
6 July 1813 schnr. Fly 50 3 35 Elk. Clements  
10 July 1813 sloop Gleaner 67 5 20 Prince Kinney John Geo. Pyke, Halifax.
15 July 1813 sloop Dart 74 4 25 James Ross  
13 August 1813 schnr. George 123 6 60 John Gilchrist Thos. H. Mason, Geo. Haines, Thos. Smith, Jos. Schofield, Halifax.
21 August 1813 schnr. Wolverine 143 12 90 Chas. W. Shea Messrs. Barss, J. Freeman, Benj. Knaut, Liverpool.
4 Sept. 1813 schnr. Shannon 146 5 50 Benj. Ellenwood Snow Parker, Liverpool.
11 Sept. 1813 ship Herald 279 10 25 Chas. Simonds Hugh Johnson & Son, Thos. Milledge, St. John, N. B.
21 Sept. 1813 schnr. Retrieve 55 4 40 Wm. Allan [possibly same as above; names of owners of that vessel carried over into this line. - RWH.]
30 Sept. 1813 brig Edward 322 9 25 Jas. H. Tidmarsh Messrs. Ritchie & Wright, Halifax.
30 Sept. 1813 brig Eleanor 192 12 25 Alex. Anderson         "         "            "
1 Oct. 1813 schnr. Broke 52 5 35 Wm. Smith  
22 Oct. 1813 lugger Intrepid 67 6 16 John Lenferty Peter LeLachuer, Guernsey.
18 Nov. 1813 schnr. Wolverine 143 10 80 John Roberts, jr.  
25 Nov. 1813 schnr. Liverpool Packet 67 5 30 Caleb Seely  
30 Nov. 1813 schnr. Hare 38 2 25 James Reid Noah Disbrow, John Clark, Hugh Doyle, St. John, N. B.
22 Dec. 1813 schnr. Retaliation 71 5 35 Harris Harrington  
10 June 1814 schnr. Rolla 132 5 60 John Freeman  
4 July 1814 schnr. Lively 30 5 30 Jos. Bartlett  
9 July 1814 schnr. Retrieve 55 4 20 W. Young  
18 Aug. 1814 schnr. Lunenburg 93 5 45 J. Fault  
27 Aug. 1814 brig Sherbrooke       Wm. Corken  
24 Sept. 1814 schnr. Rover 85 5 50 J. Brown W. C. Wilkie, John Brown, Halifax; Fred LaMont, Robt. Moulton, Jamaica.
30 Sept. 1814 schnr. Ann 57 1 20 R. McDonald  
3 Oct. 1814 sloop Minerva 64 3 45 J. Bartlett  
20 Oct. 1814 schnr. Liverpool Packet       L. Knaut  
11 Nov. 1814 schnr. Snap Dragon       J. Reid  
30 Nov. 1814 schnr. Lunenburg 93 5 45 T. Chamberlain  
16 Dec. 1814 schnr. Saucy Jack 100 3 45 J. Bartlett  
24 Jan. 1815 schnr. Dove       J. Harrington  
 

Appendix D

Memo. of Prize Vessels 1812-1815

[Original spelling and order preserved. Ditto marks ( " ) have been replaced with the relevant text to facilitate future sorting, should it be desirable. - RWH.]

Vessels Name Tons Date of Capture From Whence Where Bound Captor
Schnr. Little Joe   17 Oct. 1812 Boston New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Four Brothers 134 16 Oct. 1812 Machias New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Anson 97 19 Oct. 1812 Boston Baltimore Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Union 105 14 Oct. 1812 Philadelphia Kennebeck Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Polly 85 14 Oct. 1812 Charlestown Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Julian 80 13 Nov. 1812 Boston New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. New Forge 47 11 Nov. 1812 New York Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Lucretia 97 11 Nov. 1812 Boston Savannah Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Edward & Hiram 108 10 Nov. 1812 Nantucket Kennebeck Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Fenelon 109 16 Dec. 1812 Baltimore Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Two Friends 38 17 Dec. 1812 Baltimore Boston Liverpool Packet
Sloop Susan 39 17 Dec. 1812 Alexandria Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Three Friends 79 18 Dec. 1812 Baltimore Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Columbia 87 18 Dec. 1812 Richmond Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Dove 77 17 Dec. 1812 Philadelphia Gloucester Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Eliza 90 30 Dec. 1812 Philadelphia Boston Liverpool Packet
Ship Factor 291 7 Sept. 1812 Oporto Norfolk Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Chase 98 9 Dec. 1812 Portland Norfolk Liverpool Packet
Brig Economy 80 18 Nov. 1812 Alexandria Boston Liverpool Packet
Brig Reward 182 10 Oct. 1812 Salem Lisbon General Smyth
Brig Paragon   19 May 1813 Aberdeen New Brunswick Sir J. Sherbrooke
Sloop General Hodgson 61 19 May 1813   Martinique Sir J. Sherbrooke
Ship Loyal Sam   16 June 1813     Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Friendship 114 5 Mar. 1813 Oporto Boston Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Mary 97 23 Mar. 1813 New Haven   Sir J. Sherbrooke
Sloop Red Bird 55 18 Mar. 1813   Boston Sir J. Sherbrooke
Sloop Apollo 54 20 Mar. 1813 North Carolina Boston Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Rising Sun 64 21 Mar. 1813 North Carolina Barnstable Sir J. Sherbrooke
Brig Swift 197 14 Mar. 1813 Savannah Providence Liverpool Packet
Sloop General Green 83 8 Mar. 1813 Boston Albany Liverpool Packet
Sloop Reliance 56 10 Mar. 1813 Boston New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Lawry 104 9 Mar. 1813 Boston New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Bunker Hill 29 10 Mar. 1813 Newbury New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Nymph 48 14 Mar. 1813 Virginia Salem Liverpool Packet
Sloop Hunter 33 11 Mar. 1813 Edgartown Boston Retaliation
Schnr. William 102 12 Mar. 1813 Charlestown Lisbon Retaliaton
Schnr. Three Brothers 40 19 Mar. 1813 Baltimore Boston Retaliation
Brig Victory 126 19 Mar. 1813 Lisbon Boston Retaliation
Sloop Betsy 45 26 Mar. 1813 Warren Havana Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Maria Windsor 131 29 Mar. 1813 North Carolina Eastport Sir J. Sherbrooke
Sloop Betsy 45 31 Mar. 1813 Providence New London Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Lydia 113 4 Apl. 1813 Warren Havana Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Union 95 3 Apl. 1813 Warren Havana Sir J. Sherbrooke
Sloop Fame   1 Apl. 1813 Newport New York Sir J. Sherbrooke
Brig John 130 5 Apl. 1813 New York Portland Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Belfast 124 7 Apl. 1813   Penobscot Retaliation
Ship Frederick 328 9 Apl. 1813 Cadiz Newport Sir J. Sherbrooke
Sloop Defiance 104 4 Apl. 1813 Wiscasset New York Liverpool Packet
Sloop Consolation 70 15 Apl. 1813 New York Nantucket Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Paulina 109 20 Apl. 1813 Norfolk New York Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Patty 75 18 Apl. 1813 Portland Long Island Retaliation
Schnr. Portland 63 16 Apl. 1813 Newburn Boston Retaliation
Brig Richmond 150 19 Apl. 1813 New York Eastport Retaliation
Schrn. Caroline 25 18 Apl. 1813 North Carolina Massachusetts Sir J. Sherbrooke
Brig Sibae 115 23 Apl. 1813 Savannah Boston Crown
Brig Columbia 98 15 May 1813 Savannah Boston Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. George Washington 105 1 May 1813 Bermuda New Haven Retaliation
Schnr. Richmond 94 25 Apl. 1813 Cuba Rhode Island Retaliation
Schnr. Susanna & Lucy 117 5 May 1813 Lynn N. Yarmouth Liverpool Packet
Brig San Gabriel   19 May 1813 Havana New York Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Governor Plumer   16 May 1813 New York Lisbon Sir J. Sherbrooke
Schnr. Joannah 48 1 June 1813 Boston Eastport Dart
Schnr. Washington 65 5 June 1813 Portland Boston Dart
Ship Cuba 176 6 June 1813 Newhaven Portland Dart
Schnr. Nymphe 20 11 June 1813 Boston Machias Matilda
Schnr. Henry 89 19 June 1813 Passamaquoddy Boston Matilda
Sloop Betsy 93 6 June 1813 Boston Weldeboro Retrieve
Sloop Packet   19 June 1813     Matilda
Sloop Experiment   24 June 1813 Machias Portsmouth Dart
Ship Union 231 26 June 1813 Cadiz Boston Dart
Sloop Mary 43 4 July 1813 Boston Kennebec Retaliation
Schnr. Valaria 96 6 July 1813 Hollower Providence Retrieve
Schnr. Calson   6 July 1813     Weazel
Schnr. Franklin   3 July 1813 George's River   Weazel
Sloop Leonidas   7 July 1813     Weazel
Sloop Hannah 71 10 July 1813 Frenchman's Bay Nantucket Retrieve
Sloop Rose in Bloom 58 7 July 1813 Saco Rhode Island Retaliation
Schnr. Wasp 99 9 July 1813 Kennebeck Falmouth Retaliation
Schnr. Sally 33 12 July 1813 Saco Nantucket Retaliation
Brig John Adams 223 11 July 1813 Portland St. Bartholomew's Retrieve
Schnr. Pilgrim 22 8 July 1813 Portland Eastport Matilda
Sloop Harriett   13 July 1813 Penobscot Portland Matilda
Schnr. Friendship 97 13 July 1813 Union River Beversly Matilda
Schnr. Venus 72 13 July 1813 Long Island Dutchman's Bay Matilda
Sloop Randolph 32 23 July 1813 Boston Eastport Fly
Brig Caravan 110 7 Aug. 1813 Antigua Portland Retrieve
Schnr. Don Carlos 118 12 Aug. 1813 Boston Halifax Weazel
Sloop May Flower   31 July 1813 New York Boston Matilda
Sloop Amelia 79 5 Aug. 1813 New Haven New Brunswick Retrieve
Schnr. Lively 22 24 July 1813 Boston Penobscot Fly
Sloop Polly 92 28 July 1813 Boston Friendship Fly
Schnr. Rebecca 64 27 July 1813 Penobscot Marblehead Fly
Schnr. Friendship 74 28 July 1813 Provincetown Penobscot Fly
Sloop Alligator 28 7 Aug. 1813 Barnstable Flushing Matilda
Sloop William 39 7 Aug. 1813 Barnstable Flushing Matilda
Sloop Minerva 43 5 Aug. 1813 New York Newport Matilda
Schnr. Lydia 74 7 Aug. 1813 Harwich Flushing Matilda
Schnr. Dart   9 Aug. 1813 Boston Portland Broke
Sloop Neequait 76 29 July 1813 Bath Portland Dart
Schnr. Dolphin 67 29 July 1813 Portland Boston Dart
Schnr. Three Brothers 94 7 Aug. 1813 Cape Ann Portland Dart
Schnr. Minerva 136 30 Aug. 1813 Barbadoes Wiscasset Weazel
Sloop Elizabeth   25 Aug. 1813     Star
Schnr. John & Miriam   20 Aug. 1813     Broke
Schnr. Samuel   20 Aug. 1813     Broke
Schnr. Industry   20 Aug. 1813     Broke
Schnr. Mary   7 Aug. 1813     Broke
Sloop Free Port   4 Aug. 1813     Broke
Sloop Dolphin   16 Aug. 1813     Fly
Brig Diamond 229 16 Aug. 1813 Antigua Portland Fly
Schnr. Hero   29 Aug. 1813 Kennebec Boston Dart
Schnr. Camden 105 31 Aug. 1813 Boston Penobscot Dart
Schnr. Deborah 41 1 Sept. 1813 Chassit Saco Dart
Schnr. Mary 36 10 Sept. 1813 Boston Halifax Wolverine
Sloop Resolution 57 11 Sept. 1813 Martha's Vineyard Worsham Star
Schnr. Flower 26 14 Sept. 1813 Rochester Manchester Star
Ship San Domingo   29 Sept. 1813 St. Bartholomew's New Haven George
Brig Ann 120 20 Oct. 1813 Cape Ann St. Bartholomew's Retrieve
Schnr. Financier   9 Nov. 1813     Shannon
Schnr. Judith   7 Nov. 1813     Shannon
Schnr. Swallow   30 Oct. 1813     Shannon
Schnr. Rover   6 Nov. 1813     Shannon
Schnr. Thorn   8 Nov. 1813     Shannon
Schnr. Trent 69 10 Dec. 1813 Bristol Boston Wolverine
Schnr. Enterprize   8 Dec. 1813 Boston Philadelphia Wolverine
Schnr. Jane   10 Dec. 1813     Wolverine
Schnr. Laura Jane 73 10 Dec. 1813 Scarborough Boston Wolverine
Sloop Charles 75 10 Dec. 1813 Kennebec Boston Wolverine
Sloop Betsy 98 10 Dec. 1813 Waldeborough Boston Wolverine
Schnr. Polly 88 10 Dec. 1813 Penobscot Boston Wolverine
Schnr. Enterprize 119 16 Dec. 1813 Boston Bath Shannon
Sloop Mary Ann 50 22 Dec. 1813 New York Rhode Island Liverpool Packet
Sloop Nancy   18 Dec. 1813     Liverpool Packet
Sloop Patriot 49 19 Dec. 1813 New York Rhode Island Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Rubicon   17 Dec. 1813 Boston Belfast Shannon
Sloop Mary 91 6 Jan. 1814 Penobscot Boston Wolverine
Schnr. Aurora   6 Jan. 1814 Mount Desert Boston Wolverine
Schnr. Victory 52 6 Jan. 1814 Brixton Boston Wolverine
Schnr. Two Brothers 114 6 Jan. 1814 St. George's Salem Wolverine
Schnr. Falun   21 Jan. 1814 Halifax United States Retaliation and Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Gustavo 88 22 Jan. 1814 St. Bartholomew's Boston Retaliation and Liverpool Packet
Sloop Hero   13 Jan. 1814     Hare
Brig Recovery 190 15 Jan. 1814 Bermuda Castine Hare
Sloop Ann 67 19 May 1814 East Port Boston Shannon
Sloop Sally   19 May 1814     Shannon
Schnr. Defiance   19 May 1814     Shannon
Sloop John   18 May 1814     Shannon
Sloop Fame   14 May 1814     Liverpool Packet
Sloop Lively 70 7 June 1814 North Yarmouth Boston Shannon
Sloop Eunice 57 10 June 1814 North Yarmouth Boston Shannon
Schnr. Two Friends   11 June 1814 Provincetown Saco Shannon
Schnr. Armistice   12 June 1814 Boston Eastport Retaliation
Sloop Janus 77 14 June 1814 New York Newport Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Strong   15 June 1814     Shannon
Schnr. Four Friends   15 June 1814     Shannon
Schnr. Adventure 121 15 June 1814 Hayti Bristol, R. I. Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Charles   26 June 1814     Rolla
Brig Hope   29 June 1814 Teneriffe London Rolla
Sloop Defiance 62 3 June 1814     Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Bee   3 July 1814     Rolla
Schnr. Boxer   8 July 1814     Rolla
Schnr. Hero   3 July 1814     Retaliation
Schnr. Constellation   8 July 1814     Retaliation
Sloop Nancy 64 28 July 1814 New York Providence Lively
Sloop Defiance 46 3 Aug. 1814 Chatham   Lively
Schnr. Sukey 44 29 July 1813 New Haven Norwich Lively
Sloop Logan's Cargo 31 29 July 1814 New Haven London Lively
Schnr. Hope 33 16 Aug. 1814 Boston Machias Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Victress 65 10 Aug. 1814 Bridgeport New York Liverpool Packet and Shannon
Schnr. Minerva 43 11 Aug. 1814 New York Bridgeport Liverpool Packet and Shannon
Sloop Polly 45 10 Aug. 1814 New Haven New York Liverpool Packet
Sloop Highland Hill 18 29 Aug. 1814 New York Newport Lively
Sloop Betsy 38 2 Sept. 1814 Nantucket Flushing Lively
Sloop Planter 48 2 Sept. 1814 Dartmouth   Lively
Schnr. Dromo 27 2 Sept. 1814 Yarmouth   Lively
Schnr. Dove 31 28 Aug. 1814 New York Rhode Island Lively
Schnr. Industry   10 Sept. 1814 Halifax Newberry Port Lively
Schnr. Dove 24 21 Sept. 1814   Salem Lunenburg
Schnr. Sandbird   10 Sept. 1814 Halifax Boston Lunenburg
Schnr. Minerva 136 26 Sept. 1814 Wiscasset Boston Lunenburg
Schnr. Lucy 30 15 Sept. 1814 Newberry Port fishing Lunenburg
Sloop Fylinda 40 1 Oct. 1814 Fairfield Rhode Island Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Dolphin 28 22 Oct. 1814 Boston Bath Lunenburg
Brig Rachel 120 3 Nov. 1814 Portland Wilmington Rover
Sloop Jane 65 12 Nov. 1814 Boston Harpswell Rover
Schnr. Ruth 21 9 Nov. 1814 Portland Portsmouth Rover
Schnr. Ranger 85 5 Nov. 1814 Friendship Boston Lunenburg
Schnr. Three Friends 25 12 Nov. 1814 Kellery [Kittery ?] Boston Lunenburg
Sloop Eliza Jane   31 Oct. 1814 New Bedford New York Minerva
Schnr. Cynthia 95 2 Dec. 1814 New York New Providence Rolla
Sloop Gleaner 70 3 Dec. 1814 New York East Haddam Rolla
Sloop Lucia   3 Dec. 1814 New York New Bedford Rolla and Liverpool Packet
Sloop Hope 42 4 Dec. 1814 Providence New York Liverpool Packet
Schnr. Fair Trader 29 6 Dec. 1814 New Bedford New York Liverpool Packet and Rolla
Sloop Fox 52 5 Dec. 1814 Newberry Port Elizabeth, N. C. Rover
Schnr. Gift 41 16 Jan. 1815 Boston Charlestown Rover
Sloop Industry   16 Jan. 1815 New York Sag Harbor Rover
Schnr. Comet 66 13 Jan. 1815 New Bedford Elizabeth City Rolla
Sloop Experiment 91 21 Jan. 1815 New York Nantucket Lunenbug
Schnr. Atlas 40 9 Feb. 1815 Elizabeth City Newberry Port Dove
Brig George 172 16 Feb. 1815 George Town New Bedford Dove
 

__________________________

 

1.    Commission Book — 163, p. 79, Nova Scotia Archives.

2.    Commission Book — 163, p. 47, Nova Scotia Archives.

3.    A study of the Log of the Lawrence by Prof. Am MacMechan was published in Acadiensis in July 1902, under the title of "A Halifax Privateer in 1757."

4.    Commission Book — 163, p. 54, Nova Scotia Archives.

5.    Commission Book — 163, p. 53, Nova Scotia Archives.

6.    Commission Book — 163, p. 57, Nova Scotia Archives.

7.    Murdoch — History of Nova Scotia, vol. 2.
       Moore — History of Queens County.

8.    Order Book — 170, Nova Scotia Archives.

9.    Council Book — 212, pr. 300, Nova Scotia Archives

10.    Council Book — 212, Nova Scotia Archives

11.    Records United States State Department.
         Moore — History of Queens County, chap. 27.

12.    Commission Book — 168, p. 490, Nova Scotia Archives.

13.    Commission Book — 168, Nova Scotia Archives.
         Order Book — 170, p. 248, Nova Scotia Archives.

14.    Council Book — 212, p. 372, Nova Scotia Archives.

15.    Nova Scotia Gazette for January, 1779.

16.    Admiralty Court Records, Halifax.

17.    Murdoch — History of Nova Scotia, vol. 2, pp. 608, 618.

18.    Savary — History of Annapolis County.

19.    A very interesting paper on this subject, by Miss A. Creighton, entitled "An Unforeclosed Mortgage," appeared in Acadiensis, October, 1905.

20.    Murdoch — History of Nova Scotia, vol. 3, chaps. 9, 10.

21.    Moore — History of Queens County, chap. 4.

22.    Log of the Charle Mary Wentworth, Society's Collections.

23.    Moore — History of Queens County, chap. 27.

24.    Halifax Monthly Magazine, May, 1853.

25.    Council Book — 192, 483, 474, 506, Nova Scotia Archives.

26.    Commission Book — 173, p. 174, Nova Scotia Archives.

27.    Commission Book — 173, p. 198, Nova Scotia Archives.

28.    Acadian Recorder, July, 1813.
         Moore — History of Queens County, chap. 6.

29.    Admiralty Court Records, Halifax.

30.    Admiralty Court Records, Halifax.

31.    Admiralty Court Records, Halifax.

32.    According to legend, a British deserter aboard the Young Teazer, realizing capture would mean death by hanging, threw a torch into the vessel's powder magazine, bringing the affair to a fiery conclusion. - RWH.

33.    Commission Book — 173, p. 266.
         Moore — History of Queens County.

34.    Acadian Recorder, November, December, 1814.

35.    The Syren was burned a few days later, when cornered by the Royal Navy. - RWH.

36.    Acadian Recorder, November, 1814.

37.    Admiralty Court Records, Halifax.

 

['Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, for the year 1908,' Vol. XIII, pp. 111-152.]