Lot 209

Napoleonic Wars.-

Exceptionally rare document on vellum, being the agreement between the Owner (Hannibal Curnow Blewett, Merchant of Plymouth, Devon), Commander (John Davey), Officers and Crew of the Private Ship of War, Queenborough, detailing the obligations of the owners and crew, together with a breakdown of the distribution of the prize money, signed and sealed by 46 of the crew members giving their position on ship and details of share, salary and wages, four pages, cloth cross-stitches to lower margins, some dust soiling and marks, large folio, 12 July 1806.

***A rare and detailed document, confirming that a Letter of Marque had been obtained for a private ship of war and that the owners were to pay to fit it out for a two month cruise from Plymouth. According to this Agreement the owner is liable for the costs of all war-like stores, changes of clothing, sea bedding as well as advance money and wages.The crew agree to comply with orders from the owner or his agent. The details include noting that the first man on board a captured vessel is awarded 5 guineas, the protection of a departing crew on a return prize vessel and how it affects their share of profit, discussions on mutiny and its effect on shares. The ‘Queenborough’, was a Royal Navy 12-gun cutter, operating 1800-1806. Records show that she was employed on the Channel Station between 1800-01 under Lt Berry and again between 1804-05 when she captured the Vrow Elizabeth. It was one of Blewett’s larger vessels, was very successful under John Davey’s command and, along with others, took at least 16 ships into Plymouth for appraisal and condemnation. Hannibal Blewett owned several private ships of war, the Betsy and Queenborough, others noted being Happy Return, Hero, John Bull and Caesar. His ships were put up for sale between 1807-09.

Estimate: £1,000-£1,500