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Observator, (London), 13 January 1705

Country.

Master Observator, here's an Account of the Tryal of the Captains, at a Court Martial, that went out of the Line at the Engagement in the Straits, they are all of'em Acquitted; Pray your Opinion of it, you need not fear Speaking, you can't make your Circumstances much worse than they are.

Obs. - There was a Necessity for the Tryal of those captains, and that in two Respects.  First, on Behalf of the Nation, which suffers by such Comnmanders as Desert, either thro' Cowardice or Treachery, in the time of Battel; against which Persons our Laws are very Severe. Secondly, on Behalf of the Commanders m, who are Criminals in the Eye of the Law until such time as they are Legally Acquitted.

  The News by Authority told us, That these Gentlemen left the Line for want of Ammunition, and in the Case I am sure no Man of Conscience or Reason could find them Guilty; Would you have them Fight with their Hands behind them? Would you have them Guilty of such Intolerable Fool-Hardiness, as to Venture their Lives and the Nations ships without the Necessaries of Defense? For my part I can find no Fault with any of'em for going out of the Line, and I believe some of'em, had they been properly provided for the Line, as were others, would have behaved themselves as well.

 

Salisbury & Winchester Journal, 18 January 1779.

LONDON, TUESDAY, January 12.
MINUTES of the COURT-MARTIAL held at PORTSMOUTH on Admiral KEPPEL. SATURDAY, Jan. 9. (Third day)

  The Court continued the examination of Captain Marshall of the Arethusa frigate, whose duty it was on the affair of the 27th of July, to repeat the signals of Admiral Keppel, when Sir Hugh Palliser putting a question, which was considered by Admiral Keppel, as involving three propositions in one, the same was objected to by the latter as improper. The Court, however, satisfying Admiral Keppel, that the answers to the several propositions should be distinctly considered, the enquiry proceeded, and a question being put by Sir Hugh Palliser relative to the situation of the Victory when three French men of war were bearing down on the Formidable, it appeared that the French ships were as near to one as the other, and carried more sail. Captain Marshall further said, that he observed the Formidable and some other ships were disabled by the action; that on the 27th in the afternoon, the English and French fleets were both bearing toward the southward; that the French formed in order of battle, after Admiral Keppel had thrown out the signal for the line, and for the dispersed ships to come into his wake, which induced Sir Robert Harland to hasten to his station; that on the morning of the 28th, three vessels were descried crowding to the southward, and signals made of the discovery, but not that he knew, returned by the Admiral. He concluded by declaring, in answer to a question put to him by Admiral Montague, "that in his opinion Admiral Keppel was not guilty of any one action, which betrayed the least want of courage, skill, or zeal for the service of his country, and to this he called God to witness."
  Sir William Burnaby being the next witness called, Sir Hugh Palliser began his examination by enquiries relative to the business of the 24th of July. An objection being started against such enquiries, as foreign to the charge, the Court withdrew for about a quarter of an hour, and on their return determined, "That Sir Hugh Palliser might have the inspection of the log-books after the rising of the Court, if made in the presence of an Officer, who shall be sworn to the strict preservation of the present company." Capt. Burnaby was then questioned by Sir Hugh Palliser, as to some matters introductory to the business of the 27th, after which the further examination of the witnesses was adjourned till Monday.
N.B. On the first day of the trial the following question was put by Sir Hugh Palliser to Capt. Marshall : "Did not the signal of the Vice Admiral of the Blue's division to chace to the windward render the ships more scattered, dispersed, and out of order than before ?"
Admiral Montague objected to this on the principle : That an inferior officer should not be supposed to be a competent judge of his Admiral. Yet on Saturday, an inferior officer was asked to determine the merits of a trial now before a Court-Martial.
MONDAY, Jan. 11 (Fourth day)

  Continued the examination of Sir William Burnaby, relative to the transactions of the 27th and 28th of July, in reference to which the evidence deposed that about three in the morning of the 27th, he saw the French fleet formed in line, that at half past eleven, the Admiral threw out the signal for battle, at which time the English fleet were rather dispersed, and the French fired upon some of our frigates and fire ships before they could get out of the way; that there was no engaging ship to ship on account of the nature of the attack; but if the Admiral had stayed to form his line, and had not attacked in the manner he did, the French must have escaped; that in consequence of the English Admiral's disposition, a general action might have ensued, but that the French declined it; that some lights were seen at night, which were supposed by the prosecutor to be signals to retreat to the French fleet, but did not appear to him as such. A question being now put pretty nearly of the same nature with that at the conclusion of Captain Marshall's evidence, and the prosecutor objecting to it, Sir William would have declined answering it. But the Court having withdrawn, and returning with the resolution, that the question ought to be put and answered, Sir William replied, that his experience did not qualify him to decide upon a matter of so much importance, but that, from his heart he believed Admiral Keppel to be a brave and gallant Officer.
  Sir Hugh Palliser objected to the questions relative to the opinion of officers relating to Mr. Keppel's conduct, but Admiral Montague insisted that they were proper, as they who were present at the transactions censured in the charge, were the best judges of them.

 

Times, 28 November 1788

PORTSMOUTH.

  On Wednesday the Court Martial was resumed on board the Edgar, to try John Wilkie, Master of the Phaeton.

 

Caledonian Mercury, 11 January 1800
  Lieutenant Thomas Vanthysen, of the Sophie, has been tried by a court Martial at Portsmouth, and dismissed the service, for getting forward after a man had been punished, among the ship's crew, and saying publicly in the hearing of the people, "If I was the ship's company, I would be damned if I would not write against the Captain. I have taken an account of every man that has been flogged since I have been in the ship." The charge being fully proved, he was sentenced to be dismissed his Majesty's service, and rendered incapable of serving his Majesty, his heirs or successors.

Ipswich Journal, 11 January 1800
 A Court-martial was held on Friday on board the Gladiator, at Portsmouth, on Lieut. Thos. Vanthysen, of the Sophie, for going forward on a "The charge being fully proved, he was sentenced to be dismissed his Majesty's service, and rendered incapable of serving his Majesty, his heirs or successors."

Aberdeen Journal, 20 January 1800
  Lieut. Short, of the Contest brig, has been tried by a Court Martial at the Nore, for the loss of that Vessel; off the coast of Holland, and most honourably acquitted.

Aberdeen Journal, 3 February 1800
  On the 15th inst. a Court Martial assembled on board his Majesty's ship Glatton in Yarmouth roads, for the trial of Lieut. Jas. Watson, his surviving officers and crew, for the loss of his Majesty's vessel the Mastiff, by striking the ground, on or near the Cockle Sands, as she was proceeding towards the Northern Passage from Yarmouth Roads, bound to Leith, when they were honourably discharged.

Aberdeen Journal, 10 March 1800
  Letters from Jamaica, dated in December 1799, state that the arrival at Port Royal of Lieutenant James Wooldridge, the officers and crew of his Majesty's schooner of 18 eighteen-pounders and 74 men.  She sailed from Jamaica in September last, with General Bowles, Chief of the Creek Indians; she was destined for the Gulph of Mexico.  The Fox touched at the Isle of Providence for a pilot and proceeded to her destination; on the 18th of September the Master was sent in a boat to sound, about three leagues from the shore. The Fox struck on a sand bank, in seven feet of water, and bilged immediately.  The officers and crew remained all night in this dreadful situation.  In the morning the boats conveyed them to the key, or coral and  sand reef, where they remained 32 days, at a very small pittance of pork; water they dug for.  In this terrible plight, the 33d day they saw a sail, and making signal of distress, the boats of the ship landed on the reef, brought off Lieutenant Wooldridge, General Bowles, and the ship's company, all alive, though weak for want of nourishment. She proved a privateer, called the Providence, and on her passage to Jamaica; she put the Fox's officers and ship's company on board the Thunderer of 74 guns, and they were landed at Port Royal the beginning of December.  A Court Martial was held on Lieutenant Wooldridge, his officers and ship's company, and after a minute investigation, they were all most honourably discharged.

Aberdeen Journal, 30 June 1800
The result of the Court Martial held on Lord Proby, and his officers, for the loss of the Danae, through the mutiny of part of the crew, is, that they are honourably acquitted.
  On the trial of Lord Proby, late captain of the Danae frigate, which was carried into Brest, it appeared that two leading men in the mutiny were the same that proposed and effected the horrid massacre of the officers of the Hermione.

Aberdeen Journal, 22 September 1800
  On Friday last a Court-martial was held on board the Gladiator at Portsmouth, on Lieut. Clark, of his Majesty's ship Alliance, for absenting himself from his duty without leave; and which being proved, he was sentenced to be dismissed his Majesty's service, and rendered incapable of ever serving again.

 

Sydney Gazette, 24 February 1816

LATEST BRITISH INFORMATION.

  On Wednesday, June 28th, a Court-Martial was held on board his Majesty's ship Akbar, for the trial of Captain the Hon. G. Douglas, the Officers and crew of the Levant, and Captain Gordon Falcon, the Officers and crew of the Cyane; and to investigate the causes which led to the capture of those ships in February last, by the American ship of war Constitution.

  We understand, that after a thorough investigation the Court was fully of opinion, that their capture was to be attributed to the very superior force of the enemy's ship, and to her great superiority in sailing, which enabled her, throughout the action, to keep at such a distance that their carronades were of little effect while she was continually keeping up a steady fire from 17 long 24-pounders and that the Officers and men exercised the greatest skill and intrepidity, defending their ships in a manner highly honourable to them, while it could be done with  the least prospect of success.  It is almost unnecessary to add, that the Captains, Officers, and men of both ships, were fully and honourably acquitted.

  The Court passed a high encomium on the conduct of the ships' companies, expressive of the sense it entertained of their loyalty, in resisting repeated offers made to them to enter the service of the enemy.  We are assured, that the whole of the men were confined in the hold of the Constitution, in a warm climate, with their legs in chains and hand cuffed, for three weeks; during which time repeated attempts were made by the officers and crew of the American ship to shake their attachment to their King and country; but without effect.

 

Pembrokeshire Herald, 14 August 1846

SENTENCE OF DEATH BY A NAVAL COURT-MARTIAL, - A courtmartial was held on Tuesday week, on board H.M. ship Queen, on James Sayer, a private in the royal marines, for striking Sergeants Cannon and Smith, and Corporal Webby, his superior officers, in execution of their duty. The following were the principal facts of the evidence. The prisoner was ordered to the cock-pit on Sunday evening the 25th of June, by Lieut. Sunderland, for being drunk and abusive; Serjeant Cannon, with whom was Serjeant Smith, went to execute the order of his officer and endeavored frequently to induce the prisoner to go down to the cock-pit, to which he (the prisoner) replied, "I don't know whether I shall or not." On Serjeant Cannon endeavoring to force him down he (the prisoner) turned round and struck Cannon in the face; Cannon then went for a guard, leaving Sayer in the custody of Serjeant Smith, who held him firmly for a few minutes, when the prisoner turned round quickly and kicked Smith in the lower abdomen, saying, "I'll not be transported for nothing." When the guard came, Sayer was conveyed to the cock-pit, and he there struck Corporal Webby in the face; he was then ironed, and kept in close confinement. There was no evidence produced on the part of the prisoner, and after deliberating for about an hour, the court passed sentence of death on the prisoner, adjudging him "to be hanged by the neck from the yard-arm of one of H.M. ships on a day hereafter to be appointed by the lords commissioners of the admiralty," the president intimating to him that he could not hold out the slightest hope that the sentence would not be carried execution. On Monday evening, however, in the house of commons, Admiral Dundas stated that the admiralty were prepared to considerer the case mercifully.

 

Pembrokeshire Herald, 23 April 1847

COURTMARTIAL FOR DESERTION.- The able seaman  of the Recruit, 12-gun brig, named James Smythe, tried by courtmartial at Portsmouth, on Tuesday, on board the Victory, 104, ordinary guard-ship, Rear-admiral Superintendent Hyde Parker, president, and Captains Pasco, Chads, Codrington and Milne, members, was found guilty of the charge of desertion, and was sentenced to receive 50 lashes, to be imprisoned 12 months in Winchester gaol, and to forfeit all arrears of pay, and time of service, due to him.

 

Trewman's Exeter Flying Post, 16 January 1800

PLYMOUTH

Friday. - This forenoon a court-martial was held on board the Cambridge flag-ship in Hammoze, on Captain Searle, the Officers, and crew of his Majesty's late frigate Ethalion, wrecked on the Saintes Rocks the 25th ult.  Read-Admiral Collingwood, President, R. Spokes, Esq., Judge-Advocate.  After an impartial investigation into the existing circumstances and prominent features of the case, the court unanimously and honourably acquitted Capt. Searle, his Officers, and ship's company.  The President also, in the name of the court, thanked the seamen and marines for their spirited, sober, and orderly conduct during the trying situation they were involved in for so many hours in a dark winter's night, on an enemy coast; and told them they *deserved in every respect the appellation of True British Seamen.

 

Trewman's Flying Exeter Post, 16 January 1800

  Same day a Court Martial was also held on board the same ship, for the trial of John Gray, a seaman belonging to His Majesty's ship Syren. - He was also found guilty, and the same sentence inflicted upon him.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 10 February 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

  FEB. 8.- Monday a Court Martial; was held on board His Majesty's ship Gladiator, in this Harbour, for the trial of Richard Pierrepoint, a seaman belonging to His Majesty's ship Bartleur, for desertion. - He was found guilty, and sentenced to receive one hundred lashes and to forfeit all his pay.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 3 March 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

MARCH 1. - pursuant to an order from the Right Hon, Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, a Court Martial was yesterday held on board the Gladiator, in this Harbour, on Mr. Joseph Collingwood, gunner of His Majesty's ship Amazon, for drunkenness. - President, the Hon. Admiral Berkeley. -The charge being proved, he was sentenced to be dismissed his ship; but recommended by the Court to serve on board a sloop of war.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 3 March 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

 Likewise was also held, on board the same ship, William Dimock Smith, boatswain of His Majesty's sloop Fairy, for drunkenness, neglect of duty, and behaving in a contemptuous manner to his captain. - He was found guilty, and sentenced by the Court to be rendered impossible of serving again as an officer in the Royal Navy, and to serve before the mast on board such other of His Majesty's ships as the Commander in Chief of His Majesty's ships and vessels at Spithead should direct.

 

Aberdeen Journal, 7 April 1800

PORTSMOUTH

APR. 3 - On the same day a Court Martial was also held on board the same ship, for the trial of Mr. John Hopgood, Boatswain of His Majesty's ship *Mercury, for absenting himself from the ship without leave.  The charge being proved, he was found guilty, and sentenced by the Court to be dismissed from his situation of Boatswain of His Majesty's ship Mercury, and to serve in such other situation in the Navy as the Lords of the Admiralty should direct.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 14 April 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

APRIL 12, - On Monday last a Court Martial was held on board His Majesty's ship Gladiator, in this harbour, for the trial of John Smith, Cook of His Majesty's ship Brilliant, for having been guilty of uttering seditious expressions in the presence and in the cabin of Mr. William Bold, the Gunner; and also on the said William Bold, for having heard the same without acquainting his Officers therewith.

President, Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton, Bart.

The Court being of opinion that Smith was guilty, he was sentenced to be dismissed from his office of Cook of His Majesty's ship Brilliant, and to be imprisoned in the Marshalsea Prison for the space of twelve calendar months. - The prisoner Bold was acquitted.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 14 April 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

APRIL 12, - After which another Court Martial was held, by the same Court, for the trial of William Howell, Corporal of Marines, of His Majesty's ship Prince, for having quitted his station at the Docks-Yard on the 9th instant, and having taken with him Barnard Ward, a private Marine, who had been placed sentinel at the Dock Gates. - The Prisoner was found Guilty, and sentenced by the Court to receive 100 lashes on board of, or alongside, of his Majesty's ships as the Commander in Chief of his Majesty's ships at Spithead should direct.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 14 April 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

APRIL 12, - Same day a Court Martial was also held, on board the same ship, on Mr. Joseph Trevenor, Boatswain of His Majesty's ship Maidstone, for drunkenness and neglect of duty. - The Prisoner being found guilty, was sentenced to be dismissed his ship, and rendered incapable of ever serving again as an Officer in His Majesty's Navy

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 21 April 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

April 19. - Yesterday a Court Martial, of which Admiral Sir R. Bickerton was President, was held on board the Gladiator, in this harbor, on John Briscow, a marine belonging to His Majesty's ship Diadem, for writing a letter to General Averne, and causing others to sign it, calculated to stir up a disturbance in the ship.  The charge being proved, he was sentenced to receive 200 lashes from ship to shop, and to be imprisoned six months in the Marshalsea.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 28 April 1800

  The valuable store-ship captured lately by Lord Nelson, on her passage to Malta, is unfortunately lost in Paul's Bay.  Lieutenant Shean, second of the Audacious, having her in charge, Lord Keith ordered to be tried by a Court Martial.

 

Portsmouth Telegraph, 5 May 1800

PORTSMOUTH.

  A Court Martial was also held, on board the same ship, yesterday, for the trial of John M'Kenny, a seaman belonging to His Majesty's ship Caster, for striking the Boatswain's Mate. - The Court being of opinion that the charge had not been proved against the Prisoner, he was acquitted.

 

Aberdeen Journal, 7 April 1800

PORTSMOUTH

APRIL 3. - Tuesday last a Court Martial was held on board His Majesty's ship Gladiator, in this harbor, for the trial of John Warner, a seaman belonging to His Majesty's ship Delft, for having, on the morning of the 17th ult. cut down the hammock of John Lyon, a private in the 13th Regiment, in consequence of which the latter received a violent contusion in the back, and notwithstanding every medical attention was given, he languished till noon, and then expired.

PRESIDENT: Rear-Admiral the Hon. George Berkeley.

The Court were of opinion, that it appeared, the said John Warner, did cut down the hammock in which the said James Lyon lay, in consequence of which he received the injury that occasioned his death; but, that it did not appear that he knew any person was in the hammock at the time, or that he had any malicious or bad intention towards the deceased, and did therefore adjudge him to be acquitted.

 

Wellington Independent, 30 September 1854

LATEST ENGLISH NEWS.

LOSS OF THE TIGER. - Sir J. Graham, in reply to Captain Scobell, stated that official accounts had been received relative to the loss of the Tiger, but all the chief circumstances connected with the loss of the vessel of a professional kind, which would, it was believed, call for a court martial; and it would not be advisable, therefore, to enter further into the subject.

 

Lyttleton Times, 12 May 1855

SIR CHARLES NAPIER. - The late commander in the Baltic has been ordered to strike his flag, and has in consequence demanded a court-martial.  Misunderstanding had arisen between the Government on the one hand, and Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Napier on the other in respect to character and the result of the operation in the Baltic, "in fact" it appears impossible longer to conceal.

 

Nelson Examiner, 29 August 1855

  A court-martial has been held at Portsmouth to inquire into the loss of the Tiger.  The defendants were Lieutenant Royer and Mr. Edington the master.  After a long investigation the following sentence was pronounced: "The Court is of opinion that the ship Tiger was run ashore in consequence of her having been rashly conducted as she approached the coast pf Odessa; and that after the ship had been run ashore the measures resorted to to get her afloat were injudicious; but in respect to the surrender of the Tiger to the enemy, that, as the ship was aground without any hope being entertained of floating her off, and as she was exposed to the enemy's guns, which had set her on fire, and upon which the guns of the ship could not be brought to bear, no blame can be imputed in consequence of such surrender.

  The court is further of opinion, that no blame is imputable to the said Lieutenant Alfred Royer, since he acted under the immediate directions of his captain; and the court doth adjudge him to be acquitted.

  The court is further of opinion, that Mr. Francis Edington is blameable for the want of caution  that was exhibited by him in approaching the shore near Odessa; but, in consideration of his previous good character and long service, doth adjudged him to be only severely reprimanded.  And the said Lieutenant Alfred Royer is hereby acquitted; and the said Mr. Francis Edington is hereby severely reprimanded accordingly."

 

Wellington Independent, 11 July 1862

  We stated a few days since (says the Empire) that a report was current that the visit of H.M.S. Miranda and Fawn to Port Jackson at the present time was due to the circumstance that a court-martial was to be held on an officer of one of those vessels.  We have since been informed that the chief engineer of the Fawn is the officer whose conduct is to be inquired into.  The occurrence which has called for this inquiry is stated to be as follows:

  The Fawn was lying at Wellington on last Christmas Day, when the chief engineer got into a state of intoxication and ordered stream to be got up.  This was done to such an extent that the proper pressure was exceeded by 25 lbs. to the inch.  It was then discovered by other officers that the boiler was blistering, and that it contained no water, so that an explosion was imminent, and that the ship and crew were in momentary fear of being destroyed.  On this very serious charge, therefore, the chief engineer of the Fawn is to be put on his trial before a court composed of officers of the Pelorus, Miranda, and Fawn.

 

Taranaki Herald, 13 May 1865

LONDON.

(February 20.)

 Reference was made last month to the loss of H.M.S. Bombay by fire at Montevedio. The courtmartial has acquitted the captain and crew, and commended the heroism displayed by the men in their efforts to extinguish the fire.

 

Daily Southern Cross, 3 April 1866

MUTINY ON BOARD HER MAJESTY'S STEAMER, 'LEANDER.'

PARTICULARS have reached this country of a serious disturbance on board her Majesty's steamer 'Leander.'  The vessel commanded by Rear-Admiral Harvey, went to Valparaiso on the rupture between Spain and Chili.  While lying off the port it was ascertained that small-pox was committing great ravages on shore, and captain Pratten refused leave to the men to sleep on shore, but they were allowed to go on shore and return at nine p.m.  This incensed the blue jackets, and on Nov. 9, when the  watches were called, no one came up to answer the pipe, but all on the lower deck commenced shouting and yelling, singing in chorus the Yankee air, "John Brown," with the words altered to "We'll hang Commander Pratten on an old apple-tree."  Rear-admiral - then Commodore - Harvey instantly summoned the marines, and they obeyed the command with the utmost promptitude.  The deck was cleared of the mutineers, though not without some skirmishing, during which Sub-lieutenant Pugh was struck.  The whole of the ship's crew were then called together, and the commodore asked them what their grievance was.  They made no reply, and ten men, having been pointed out as concerned in the disturbance, were tried by court-martial. Some were acquitted, and of the others one was sentenced to receive forty-eight lashes and two years' imprisonment, five to be imprisoned for a year, and the petty officers to be disrated.

  Another account makes Commander Pratten responsible for the disturbances, inasmuch as he undertook to refuse leave without asking the commodore.  He himself, moreover, sat on the court-martial, although in a certain sense a party in the case.  It is stated that this is the nineteenth court-martial since the ship was commissioned, in April, 1863, and that all the best men have left the ship as their time expired, while others ran away before she had been three months in commission.  For nineteen months the crew had not had one night's leave of absence, and although leave had been promised after the ship had been scraped, and the men worked like horses, the promise was not kept.

 

Nelson Evening Mail, 6 April 1866

COURT-MARTIAL OF CAPTAIN WAKE. - The court-martial assembled to try Captain Wake for the blowing up of H.M.S. Bulldog was opened at Plymouth on Monday; Sir Charles Freemantle, the  Port Admiral, was the president.  Captain Wake read a narrative of the causes that induced him to bombard the forts of Cape Haitien, St. Domingo, and of the vessel running upon a shoal at high water when he was about to run down a steamer belonging to the insurgents, and as it was impossible to get the vessel off he was compelled to blow her up to prevent her falling into the enemy hands.  Several officers were called as witnesses who confirmed the captain's narrative.  The court was then closed, and after about two hours' deliberation, the judge-advocate announced that the court were of opinion that negligence was shown on the part of captain Wake and Mr. Behenna., the acting master, in running the Bulldog ashore, by allowing her to run within the marks laid out on the chart.

 The court were also of opinion that sufficient exertions were subsequently not made to get the ship off; also that the ship was prematurely destroyed.  Captain Wake was therefore dismissed the ship, and severely reprimanded, and Mr. Behenna was reprimanded.

  The court were also of opinion that Lieut. J. L. Way and Lieut. F. Rougemont had committed erors of judgment in agreeing in counselling with the captain to destroy the ship.  The court could not, however, separate, after excepting the above officers, without expressing its full approbation of the very satisfactory conduct of the other officers and the crew under such disadvantageous circumstances.

 

New Zealand Herald, 25 September 1866

THE COLLISION BETWEEN H.M.S. AMAZON AND THE OSPREY.  - The court-martial on Commander J. E. Hunter and the officers and crew of Her Majesty's late ship Amazon, which was lost on the morning of the 19th instance by coming into collision with the Osprey, was brought to a conclusion on the 21st.  The court found as follows:

  "The court are of opinion that Her Majesty's late ship Amazon was lost on the morning of the 19th of July by coming into collision with the late steamship Osprey.  That  the collision was occasioned by an grave error of judgment on the part of Sub-lieutenant Alfred Churchill Loveridge, the officer of the watch, in putting the helm of the Amazon to starboard instead of to port when first sighting the light of the late ship Osprey, in contravention of the regulations for preventing  collisions at sea.  No blame is attributable to Commander Hunter and the other officers and crew of the said ship.  That the efforts made to save her Majesty's said ship after the collision, as well as the lives of the crews and passengers of both ships, reflects the highest credit of H.M.S. Amazon.

  The court adjudged Sub-lieutenant A. C. Loveridge to be dismissed her Majesty's service, but on account of the high character given him for his zeal in the service they recommend him to the favourable consideration of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and the said Mr. A. C. Loveridge is so sentenced.

  The court adjudge Commander Hunter and the rest of the officers and crew of HMS. Amaxxxon to be fully acquitted of all blame.  The president (Rear-Admiral Wellesley) addressing Commander Hunter, said : "It is now my pleasing duty to return you your sword, as well as those of the other officers of the Amazon, and in doing so I have to express the gratification with which the court received the testimony borne to the bright example set by yourself to the officers and ship's company, and which was so well followed by them on the occasion after the collision occurred."

 

Cambrian, 28 March 1895

Lieutenant Graham Samuel Philpot Gwynn, H.M.S. Thunderer, was tried by courtmartial, at Chatham, recently, for absenting himself without leave. Prisoner, who was in possession of the Egyptian medal, the Khedive's star, and the Ashantee medal and star, was away from his ship from the 4th to the 11th March. He pleaded he was engaged in private affairs. He was sentenced to lose six months' seniority and be dismissed his ship.

 

Cardiff Times, 25 May 1895

  A Court Martial assembled at Plymouth on Tuesday for the trial of Capt. Wolfe, of the Plymouth Division of the Royal Marines, on a charge of drunkenness whilst on duty on May 3rd when a member of a court of inquiry. The accused pleaded "Not guilty."

 

Welsh Gazette, 17 April 1902

DEVIL'S BRIDGE.

  A DESERTER ARRESTED.-Timothy Richards, stoker, on H.M.'s first-class cruiser Niobe, who deserted the vessel at Devonport, on January 8th, was arrested at Devil's Bridge last week. He had come to work on the Vale of Rheidol Railway, and being a native of Llanarth was recognised by P.C. Evans, who knew that he had at one time belonged to the Navy. On being questioned, Richards said he was not a deserter. Failing to produce his discharge, however, he was taken into custody. The Admiralty were communicated with, and on Friday last Richards was removed in custody of P.C. Evans to H.M.'s ship Pembroke, lying at Chatham, where he will undergo a courtmartial.

 

Herald of Wales, 11 September 1915

FAILED TO ATTACK.

TEMPORARY R.N.R. SKIPPER DISMISSED THE SERVICE.

  Plymouth, Tuesday.- Ernest Alfred Sheldon, temporary skipper, Royal Naval Reserve, was tried by courtmartial here today charged with "not having used his utmost exertion to bring his ship into action." The circumstantial letter stated that while accused's vessel was engaged on patrol duty firing was heard. The trawler at once proceeded at full speed in the direction from which the sound came and prepared for action. After steaming for seven or eight miles, during which time more firing was heard, a steamer with a submarine close to her was sighted. A few feet only of the stern of the submarine was visible, the remainder of the hull being hidden behind the steamer's bows. About the same time three ships' boats, heavily loaded with men, were seen. There was a very thick fog, and the steamer and submarine were probably less and certainly not more than a thousand yards distant when sighted. The submarine almost immediately disappeared behind the bow of the steamer, and when next seen was close to the stern, having traversed the steamer's length on the offside. Accused took the helm of the trawler, and proceeded to the boats, where he stopped while ropes were thrown to the occupants who, refusing them, requested the trawler to leave them in order that the submarine's fire should not be drawn towards them. The trawler then left the boats, and proceeded north-east at high speed until the boats, as well as the now sinking steamer and the submarine, were lost sight of in the fog. The crew of the trawler were ordered by the accused to put on their life-saving collars, and after twenty minutes or half an hour's absence the trawler again visited the scene with the intention of attacking the submarine, which, however, had disappeared. The steamer had sunk. After searching for the small boats for about two hours, the trawler proceeded north-east and fell in with another trawler, the commanding-officer of which was persuaded to search for the boats, which were found half an hour later, and taken in tow by a third trawler. The accused put in a written statement declaring that he saw a submarine attacking a large steamer. He decided not to attack then, as it would have involved a useless sacrifice of life, the submarine being on the surface and using quick-firing guns. The crew of the steamer asked him to get out of the way so that the fire of the enemy might not be drawn on defenceless boats. William Hughes, second hand on the trawler .agreed with the skipper's statement. Sheldon instructed the gunner to prepare for action, and accused said he intended to attack the submarine. Answering the Court, witness intimated that as soon as the small boats were sighted accused exclaimed, "I can't leave those boats," and, taking the steering wheel, ordered ropes to be thrown to the men. After they left the boats, the skipper and gunner discussed the question of returning to engage the submarine.

  Counsel: Did the skipper say anything as to his reason for leaving the boats:-

  Yes, he thought the men in the boats would be drowned if he opened fire on the submarine then.

 Could you at any time between sighting the submarine and getting among the open boats have had a shot at her?

  No.

  Witness admitted they could have had a shot at the submarine after leaving the boats. After hearing other evidence the Court found accused guilty and ordered him to be dismissed the service.

 

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School