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Macquarie Law School

Lieutenant Richards, 1811

[Barbados]

Lieutenant Richards

Barbados, July 1811
Source: The Cambrian (Wales), 3 August 1811.

 

COURT-MARTIAL.

   The following is a copy of the sentence of the Court-Martial, held on board his Majesty's ship Pompee, in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, on Tuesday the 18th, Wednesday the 19th, and continued on board his Majesty's ship Captain, on Thursday the 20th July, 1809, for the trial of Lieutenant William Richards, of his Majesty's ship Dart, alluded to a few days since in the House of Commons by Mr. Brougham:-

   At a Court-martial held on board his Majesty's ship Pompee, in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, and continued on board his Majesty's shop captain, on Thursday the 20th of July, 1809:-

   Present - William C. Fahie, Captain of his Majesty's ship Pompee, and second officer in command of his Majesty's ships and vessels in Carlisle bay, Barbadoes, President; - Captains J. A. Wood, V. V. Ballard, C. J. W. Nesham, and C. Dilkes:- M. Anderson, Deputy-Judge-Advocate.

   The Court, pursuant to an order from the Hon. Sir A. Cochrane, K.B. Rear-Admiral of the Red, and Commander in Chief of his Majesty's ships and vessels at Barbadoes, the Leeward Islands, &c., dated the 15th of July, one thousand eight hundred and nine, directed to W. C. Fahie, Esq., Captain of his Majesty's ship Pompee, and second officer in command of his Majesty's ships and vessels in Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes, having been duly sworn, proceeded to the trial of Lieut. Wm. Richards,  belonging to his Majesty's sloop Dart, agreeable to an order of the Honourable Sir A. Cochrane, K.B. Rear-admiral of the Red, and commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's ships and vessels at Barbadoes, the Leeward Island, &c., dated the 15th July, 1809; to investigate and inquire into the whole of the relative circumstances which occurred on the day of the death of J. Robinson, belonging to his Majesty's said sloop Dart, and to try him, the  said Lieut. Wm. Richards, for his conduct on the occasion.

   The Court having heard the evidence in support of the prosecution, as well as what the prisoner, Lieutenant W. Richards, had to offer in his defence, and the evidence adduced on his behalf, and very maturely and  deliberately weighed and considered the same, is of opinion that there was no malice on the part of the prisoner Lieut. W. Richards, or any intention to cause his death, and doth therefore acquit him, Lieut. W. Ricjhards, odf the death of the deceased, J. Robinson; but the Court is of opinion, that the conduct olf the  dsaid Lieutenant Wm. Richards was negligent in leaving the Dart at the time he was commanding officer, without a commissioned officer, and in not having p,lac ed proper and sufficient sentinesls over gthe deceased, J. Robinbson, while in irons.

   And the Court is further of opinion, that the conduct of Lieutenant Wm. Richards, after his return to the Dart, on the night of the 27th of November last, was oppressive and cruel, in making use of so large a gag, and in suffering the deceased, J. Robinson, to remain such a continuance of time gagged, with his hands tied behind his back; and doth therefore adjudge him, Lieutenant Wm. Richards to be dismissed from his Majesty's service, and rendered incapable of ever again serving as an officer in the #navy of his Majesty, his heirs and successors.

   The Court has observed, with regret and astonishment, that the body of the deceased, J. Robinson, was not only committed to the deep, instead of having been sent on shore for the decision of an inquest, but also that the body was sent from the ship without even a prayer-book to read the funeral service.

   And the said Lieutenant Wm. Richards is hereby sentenced accordingly.

   (Signed by the Court)

   WM. CHAS. FAHIE, President.

   J.  A. WOOD,

   V. V. BALLARD.

  C. J. NESHAM,

   CHAS. DILKES,

   MATTHEW ANDERSON, Deputy-Judge-Advocate.