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The Old Scots Navy from 1689 to 1710
The Revolution, March - August, 1689, with an Account of the Pelican and the Janet to November, 1690


The extreme exercise of prerogative by James, the last Stuart King, and his Romanizing policy alienated the majority of his subjects in England and Scotland, who brought over from Holland his Protestant nephew and son-in-law, William of Orange. That prince landed at Torbay on 5th November, 1688. James, deserted by his army, on nth December fled to France, and the Revolution was inaugurated in England and Scotland without a blow. In Ireland alone, with a predominant Roman Catholic population, the adherents of James, under Tyrconel, were able to uphold his government, and Protestants were either driven out of the island or behind the walls of Enniskillen and Londonderry. Convoyed by a French fleet, James landed from France at Kinsale in the south of Ireland on 12th March, 1689, and war with France, though not formally declared until later, began, Great Britain corning into line with the European confederacy banded against Louis XIV and the then French ascendancy.

In Scotland, where the Duke of Hamilton and General Mackay managed for William,  the Convention Parlia­ment met on 14th March, 1689.    On the 18th Viscount Dundee rode out of Edinburgh, ' whither the spirit of Montrose might direct,' to the Highlands to raise the standard of James.    Next day the Convention declared for William, and immediately took strong measures, with the aid of General Mackay, to suppress Dundee's rising, to prevent the Jacobites in Ireland from assisting him, and to help the distressed Protestants of Ireland.    The command of the Irish Channel and of the western seas of Scotland was therefore of great importance to the new government, if they were to maintain themselves and their policy, and were not to be entirely dependent on the English fleet.    Measures were accordingly taken on 21st  March to create and put to sea something of the nature of a small Scots fleet,  consisting of two hired frigates, the Pelican and Janet, both of Glasgow.    These were commissioned on 13th April, and were ordered to keep the western seas from Cornwall to Skye.    Minute details are given in the Acts of the Convention Parliament of Scotland of the hiring, victualling and arming of these two frigates.    So scarce were   munitions of war   that Captain Hamilton, the commodore, and Captain Brown were authorised to seize for  the   frigates any suitable cannon that could be got, and on 19th April cannon-ball and ' granadoes,' seized in the house of an Edinburgh Jacobite, were given out for their use.

After the indecisive engagement of 1st May, 1689, between the French fleet under Admiral Chateau Renaud and the English fleet under Admiral Herbert (afterwards created Lord Torrington), in Bantry Bay, Captain Rooke of the English Navy, afterwards Sir George Rooke who captured Gibraltar, was sent north with a small squadron to assist in keeping command of the seas between Scotland and Ireland. On 7th May instructions were given to the Scots frigates then lying at the mouth of the Foyle, and intending for Dublin Bay, to cruise on the coasts of Kintyre and Mull to prevent a landing in Scotland from Ireland, and on the  18th they were directed to co-operate with Rooke. Their service was not ineffective. Early in June they captured a party of Scots Jacobite Highlanders on their way from Argyll to Ireland. That same month, after refitting, they were employed in carrying dispatches to Major-General Kirke, who was then charged with the duty of relieving Londonderry. On 10th July, in a gallant though ineffectual attempt to prevent a landing in the west of Scotland of Jacobite reinforcements from Ireland for Viscount Dundee, they were overwhelmed by three French frigates of superior power. A graphic account of this obscure sea-fight, printed in London on 2nd August, 1689, and found by the Editor bound up with contemporary London Gazettes in the British Museum, seems to overstate the number killed. The closing papers of this chapter tell the story of the 143 Scots seamen captured in this fight, and their relatives' endeavours to recover arrears of pay during their captivity in Kinsale and Duart in Mull, and correct the broadside account of the number killed. An interesting incident, a fitting termination to this episode, was the daring recapture of the Pelican in Dublin Bay by Sir Cloudesley Shovell in the Monmouth on 18th April; 1690. Later in July the Pelican was lying in the Catwater, Plymouth—an effective unit of the squadron under Sir Cloudesley Shovell, and her log is still preserved in the Public Record Office, London.[Admiralty, Captains' Logs, 4284, in Public Record Office] Classeci as a fireship of two decks, after some short service in the English Navy she ended her career as a breakwater at Sheerness in September 1692.

Meantime, in the summer of 1689, the Scots Parliament and Privy Council took strong measures to support their kinsmen, the Protestants of Ulster, in their resistance of James and his forces beleaguering Londonderry. Em­bargoes were imposed on Scots and Irish shipping, and were removed as expediency suggested. More impor­tant was the issue of letters of marque to adventurous friends. On 28th May commissions were issued by the Privy Council to the captains of three privateers, the Dogarvine, the Phoenix and another unnamed against the French and Jacobite Irish. On the 31st of July, 1689, the first to bring relief to Londonderry was the Phoenix privateer under the command of Captain Andrew Douglas, a Scots-Ulsterman of Coleraine. Macaulay recounts in graphic language how, after the boom across the Foyle was broken, the Phoenix arrived first, and how from the relieving ships there were rolled on shore barrels containing six thousand bushels of meal for the famished inhabitants. The Privy Council records of 30th May recount that these barrels of oatmeal came from the garrison store-house in Stirling and were carried by the Phoenix. For his gallant services at Londonderry Douglas subsequently received a captain's commission in the English Navy. The English Admiralty minutes [Admiralty 3, No. 2, in Public Record Office.] of 30th September, 1689, bear : 'My Lord Carbery, one of the members of the Board attending his Majesty yesterday at Hampton Court, his Majesty delivered to his Lordship Lieutenant-General Kirke's recommendation to his Majesty of Captain Douglas, commander of one of the ships that relieved Londonderry, for a better employment, with his pleasure to his Lordship that the Board should take care therein.' A minute [again Admiralty 3, No. 2, in Public Record Office.] of 25th October, 1689, bears: 'Upon my Lord Shrewsbury's letter of this day's date signifying his Majesty's pleasure that Captain Andrew Douglas of the Phoenix, who did good service at the relief of Londonderry, have such employ­ment in the fleet as the Board shall judge him capable of : Ordered that this be considered when Lord Torrington shall be at the Board.' After some delay he was by the King's intervention appointed in February 1690 to the command of H.M. sloop Lark in the English Navy.

During that year he was engaged on the west coast of Scotland under Captain Pottinger of H.M.S. Dartmouth, and chapter ii contains various references to the services of the Lark. On 30th August, 1691, he was posted to the Sweepstakes frigate, and thereafter to the Dover, Lion, and Harwich, doing service during the French war on the coasts of Ireland and Scotland. In November 1697, after the peace of Ryswick, the Harwich was paid off, and for three years Douglas was unemployed.    In February 1701 he was posted to the Norwich of 60 guns, and for eighteen months was on the English Channel station.    In July 1702 he sailed on   convoy duty   for the West Indies, where he remained for eighteen months commodore on the station, returning to England in July 1704 to be paid off.    While on the West Indian station he quarrelled with his officers and crew, and on his return to England they brought a series of charges against him, on  which he was court-martialled on 16th   November, 1704, Sir John Jennings presiding.    He was found guilty (1) of sutling on board his ship the Norwich by selling to his men rum and sugar, &c, and being paid therefore out of their short allowance money ;   (2) of bearing men unduly on board his ship, who were put on board a sloop for his private advantage;    and (3) of  exorbitantly  punishing his men.    He was found guilty, and was dismissed from employment as commander of the Norwich,  at the same time losing his post in the rank of captains of the English Navy.    At this time the feeling in England was bitter against Scotsmen, and, whatever the merits of the case, as a Scotsman Douglas would get scant justice.   Convinced that he had been unjustly dealt with, Douglas tried every means to get the sentence set aside, and in July 1706 a petition [See S. P. Dom. Naval, 1703-8 (3rd July, 1706), in the public Record Office.] of his, ' setting forth his services [Assisting at the relief of Londonderry.] in the late reign, in consideration whereof he was preferred to the command of a man-of-war in the Royal Navy, from whence he   was   dismissed   upon   misrepresentation   exhibited against him by some of his seamen for ill-usage of them, and  other  irregularities, and  praying  to  be restored,' was considered by the Admiralty but was not entertained. Three years later, on 24th September, 1709, the Lord High Admiral, Lord Pembroke, in view of fresh evidence reinstated him in his rank of captain, and in March 1711 he was posted to the command of the Arundel, and was engaged on convoy duty in the North Sea.    In 1712 he stood a second court-martial on a charge of using indecent language to his officers, and of confining some of them to their cabins undeservedly. He was fined three months' pay, but his lieutenant—his chief accuser—was at the same time fined six months' pay. In March 1712 the Arundel was paid off. In February 1715 Captain Douglas was appointed to the Flamborough on the home station. She was paid off in October of the same year, and Douglas received no further command thereafter, but remained on half-pay until his death on 26th June, 1725.

An account of Captain Douglas is given in Charnock's Biographia Navalis, vol. ii, p. 387, in Lediard's Naval History, p. 627, and by Sir John Knox Laughton in the Dictionary of National Biography, while additional information about him will be found in this volume.


The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, Vol. IX, p. 17.

Edinburgh.    21st March, 1689.

The meeting of the Estates do ordain two frigates to be provided to cruise on the west coast of this kingdom, and appoints Sir James Montgomery of Skelmorlie, John Andersone of Dowhill and John Boswell[Probably skipper in Kirkaldy, frequently referred to hereafter] to calculate the charge thereof for a month, and to employ Captain William Hamilton[ Sometimes written ' Hamiltone ' and ' Hamiltoune.'] and Captain John Brown, [ Sometimes written ' Broun,' ' Broune,' and ' Browne.'] who are to command the said frigates, to look after fit ships and seamen, with power to the said persons to make bargain thereabout, and to report.

Ibidem, p. 25.

Edinburgh.    30th March, 1689.

. . . Skelmorlie Dowhill and John Boswell . . . accordingly gave in an estimate subscribed by them of the expenses and charge for a month, extending the particular articles to four hundred and ten pounds sterling, by and attour[ Over and above.] tear and wear of the said ships, anent which they could not condescend, in respect the owners are not willing to bargain, as the foresaid report produced and read to the meeting more fully bears : The Estates therefore finding it necessary that this affair be immediately  dispatched by the  care of the foresaid persons to whom it was recommended, do grant warrant to the Duke of Hamilton their president to give order to James Oswald or Sir Patrick Murray general receivers of the cess excise customs and crown rent to make payment of the foresaid sum of four hundred and ten pound sterling, to be disposed of by them for the ends and uses aforesaid.

Ibidem, p. 35.

Edinburgh.    5th April, 1689.

The meeting of the Estates of this kingdom ordain Sir Patrick Maxwell of Nework to deliver and give up to Walter Gibsone provost of Glasgow such arms of what so ever kind the same be, as were taken by the said Sir Patrick furth of the said Provost Gibsone his ship in the river of Clyde.

Ibidem, p. 43.

Edinburgh.    12th April, 1689.

The meeting of the Estates do ordain the keeper of the public arms at Stirling to deliver to Captain William Hamilton and Captain John Brown or either of them, or any person they or either of them shall appoint, the number of one hundred grenades for the use of the two frigates appointed to cruise on the western coasts of this kingdom under the command of the said two captains; and do hereby authorise and give warrant to the said two captains or either of them to seize and make use of any cannon which may be fit for the service of the said two frigates, wherever the same can conveniently be had, and that they give receipt to the owners to the end that the hire damage or value thereof may be repaid by the public.

Ibidem, pp. 44-79 (resume).

On 13th April 1689 the Convention order Captain Edward Bryce and a company of foot to embark on board the two frigates commanded by Captain William Hamilton of Ladyland and Capt. John Brown in Irvine. The same day the Estates issue a commission to Captain Hamil­ton to command one [The Pelican] of the frigates. Hamilton is commissioned to cruise on the western coasts from the point of Cornwall to the Isle of Skye, and to fight and sink all ships belonging to the late King James ; and the seaports of England are requested to furnish him with victuals should he put in to any of them. A commission in similar terms is the same day issued to Captain Brown to command the second frigate.[The Janet]

On 16th April an embargo is placed by the Scots Estates upon ships on the western coast of Scotland forbidding their going to Ireland in case they may be used to assist an invasion of Scotland. That embargo is two days later removed, on a representation that several thousand Protestants have retired on Derry, and cannot be taken into that city, and being unable to keep the field against the Irish are desirous of coming to Scot­land in any Scots shipping which can be made available. The same day the Convention order Captain Hamilton with one of his frigates to con­voy any Scots ships that may be chartered for that purpose. On 19th April the Estates direct the two frigates, the Pelican belonging to Walter Gibsone provost of Glasgow and [the Janet] be­longing to Robert Campbell late dean of guild of Glasgow, to be valued, so that the owners may be reimbursed  by the  Treasury for damage or deterioration. The same day cannon ball and ' granadoes' seized in John Trotter's house, Edinburgh, are ordered to be given out for their use. On 23rd April Major Arnot deputy governor of Dumbarton Castle is directed to deliver to the frigates forty firelocks and one hundred great shot; while the same day the two captains are authorised to take any great guns where they can be got. The same day an embargo is placed on all ships sailing for France or Ireland.

On 29th April a letter is read in the Con­vention Parliament from Alexr. McAlister laird of Loup and Angus Campbell of Kilberrie both in Kintyre intimating that they have detained a French ship from Ireland with several passengers of quality. They are directed to bring the ship to New Port Glasgow [Port Glasgow] and to deliver the prisoners to the magistrates of Glasgow. The same day the Estates dissatisfied at Captain Hamilton's failure to sail, though he had received his com­mission and instructions several days before, order him to sail at once and to carry out his instructions including the breaking or burning of boats at Carrickfergus.

Ibidem, App. p. 11.

7th May, 1689.

The Committee of Estates to Captain Hamilton.

Yours of the second instant from Greencastle [Near the mouth of the Foyle] directed to his Grace the Duke of Hamilton being communicate to us, and that from thence you were bound towards the Bay of Dublin, it is thought fit that you sail rather to the coast of the Isle of Mull and the back of Kintyre, and there destroy such of the birlines [Birline—a long-oared boat of the largest size, often with six,  sometimes eight oars, generally used by chieftains in the Western  Isles.    It seldom had sails.  Gaelic—Birlinn.] or boats, which may be useful to the enemy as you can, to which place you are commanded forthwith to repair ; and so much the more because we have an account from Kintyre that there are some of the McDonalds and others come over there, and some more to come from Antrim and Balentry [Probably Port Ballintrae.] in Ireland to that place, so you would not neglect to sail thither at least with one of your ships and cruise betwixt Mull and Glencairine, and send a frequent account of your diligence either from the coast of Galloway or from Kintyre, and do you order the next magistrates of burghs or heritors to send expresses with these accounts to the Committee, which in their name is signified to you by, Sir, your affectionate friend

(sic subtur.) ROSSE, [William, twelfth Lord Rosse] P.

English Admiralty Minutes, 3, No. 1, Public Record Office (P.R.O.).

11th May, 1689.

Ordered that Captain Rooke now cruising between Scotland and Ireland do order one of the least of the 5th rate frigates under his command to cruise at the mouth of Londonderry river, and convoy up to the town all such recruits of men victuals stores arms and ammunition as shall be sent.

The Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, Vol. IX, App. p. 30 (resume).

On 16th May 1689 the Committee of Estates grant warrant to James Oswald, receiver general, to pay to Hugh Montgomery merchant £295 19 7 stg. the balance of his accounts for outrigging the two frigates in the west, and £10 stg. for his pains.

Ibidem, App. p. 34.

18th May, 1689.

Letter to Captain William Hamilton and Captain John Brown.

Your letter of the eleventh to me from Donochadie [Donoghadee] road I communicated to the Committee of Estates, and they are well satisfied with the conduct you have hitherto observed upon the Irish coast. The last orders I sent you were that you should concur with Captain Rooke an English man of war, who with several other ships of war was ordered by Admiral Herbert[Created Lord Torrington, and on 24th May, 1689, made Vice-Admiral of England.] to cruise upon these coasts ; but the Committee understanding that the Highlanders in Kintyre and Mull had manned several of their birlines and taken a French vessel that was in Kintyre, and put some guns on her and carried her to Mull, they therefore ordain you forthwith to cruise upon the coast of Kintyre and towards the Isle of Mull, and there burn break sink and destroy all vessels you can find either at sea or in creeks belonging to the enemy where-ever you can reach them ; and be careful to send account of your diligence to the Committee and to correspond with Captain Young, who being sent into that country with a detached party has dissipated some of these clans who were got together already ; and, if you cannot stay so long at sea, that you come in to Lamlash and there receive further orders; and if you be near Captain Rooke you may acquaint him with this, being all at present from your most assured friend (sic subscribitur)


Ibidem, p. 85.

Edinburgh.   21st May, 1689.

Ordered that the beef taken out of the French ship [Captured by McAlister of Loup.] be given for providing of the two frigates, and that a quantity of biscuit be provided for them immediately at the town of Glasgow.

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh.    28th May, 1689.

Act in Favour of Captain William Burnsyde.

The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council having considered the petition presented to them by Captain William Burnsyde, master of the ship called the Dogarvine of Londonderry, [Sometimes written ' Darie ' and ' Derrie.] representing that the petitioner by reason of the troubles in Ireland hath lost a very considerable fortune con­sisting in merchandise and other goods in and about the city of Londonderry, which was the place of his residence, being the whole product of his toil and pains for these many years; likeas since he came from Ireland he hath been employed by the postmaster-general of England [Major Wildman.] for bring­ing intelligence from Ireland, which he hath effect­ually done, as the said Lords sufficiently know; and seeing the petitioner with concurrence of some other gentlemen that are in the like circum­stances with himself intend, God willing, to get off from Ireland some of their very near relations, and to endeavour to obtain some reparation from the enemy, whether French or Irish, by land or by sea, of what they have lost, and further to obtain the best intelligence they could from Ireland or otherwise, and to that end also to stop and examine all Highland birlines or other boats or vessels passing to or from the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, of which the petitioner shall give their Lordships an account as soon as possible, remitting the petitioner's pains and troubles therein to the said Lords' consideration as they should find he deserved ; and it being necessary for that effect to put the said ship into a posture of force and defence and to enter, land and board in and upon the creeks, havens, coast and ships of the enemy, and otherwise to infest them with all acts of hostility, and the petitioner being suffi­ciently furnished with all arms and ammunition necessary except cannon, whereof they have only two considerable pieces, and there being several merchant ships lying in and about Greenock and elsewhere that are drawn and laid up from any use at this time, so that they have now no service for their cannon, and humbly supplicating to the effect aftermentioned, the said Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council do hereby grant warrant to the said Captain William Burnsyde to act in a hostile manner (if need be) upon the ships and coasts of the French or Irish, and stop and examine all Highland birlines or their boats or vessels passing to and from the coasts of Ireland and Scotland, and do in like manner grant warrant to the judge ordinary or admiral deputes at Greenock to furnish the petitioner with six or seven cannon from the ships aforesaid, he finding sufficient caution for redelivery of the same or the value thereof, as the same shall be esteemed by the judge ordinary. And for the effectual prosecution of the premises they ordain a commission to be drawn to the said Captain William Burnsyde to act in a hostile manner to the effect abovemen-tioned in the form of the commissions granted by the Privy Council to privateers the time of the former wars.


Edinburgh.    29th May, 1689.

Act in Favour of Captain John Woodsyde.

The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council having considered an offer made by Captain John Woodsyde of Irvine, that he will fit out a ship well manned and aimed for his Majesty's service against the King's enemies, providing the said captain have a commission, with the two barrels of powder, two chests of ball, and, if any of the guns lying at Kelburne[Near Largs, Ayrshire]. can be spared, that he have them, the said Lords do ordain a commission of a privateer to be drawn for the said Captain John Woodsyde, he finding caution for the faith­ful execution of his commission ; and do also ordain the cannon lying at Kelburne to be delivered to him for the use of his frigate, he giving receipt and caution to restore the said cannon, which shall be delivered to him or the just value of them in case they be lost.


Edinburgh.    29th May, 1689.

Act in Favour of Andrew Douglas[Sometimes written ' Douglass ' and ' Dowglas.']

The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council having considered the petition presented to them by Andrew Douglas, master of the good ship called the Phoenix of Coleraine in Ireland, shewing that where the petitioner being a Scotsman, born at Glasgow, descended of the Douglas of Keystowne, and having been bred a skipper and lived there ten years bygone at Coleraine in the county of Londonderry, in the Protestant faith with his partners, above thirty in family, and having been by the Irish army plundered and robbed of all the goods and gear they had in the world except the said ship, which at the time was in Londonderry for to lade goods for France, and at the breach of Belfast and Antrume[Antrim] did stop the said ship for to carry off passengers for Scotland, who, amongst many others, was the Lord Maserine and several loads of passengers more to Clyde, and seeing the petitioner with concurrence of some other gentle­men that are in the like circumstances with him­self intend, God willing, to get off from Ireland some of their near relations and other poor Protestants that are now under the cruelty of the Irish, to endeavour to obtain some reparations from the enemy, whether French or Irish, by land or by sea, of what they have lost, and further to obtain the best intelligence they can from Ireland or otherwise, and to that end also to stop and examine all Highland birlines, &c. [as in the Act in favour of Captain William Burnsyde, except that the Phoenix is not stated to have any cannon of her own].

Ibidem (resume).

Edinburgh.    30th May, 1689.

The Lords after consideration of the petition given in by the Irish Protestants and having heard the report by the Earl of Crafurd[William 18th Earl was about this time appointed President of the Scots Parliament, on the Duke of Hamilton's appointment as Lord High Commissioner.   Also written ' Craufurd,' ' Crauford,' or' Crawford.'] and Sir Robert Sinclar, grant warrant to Sir Patrick Murray, general receiver, to give out 800 bolls of meal from the storehouse in the garrison of Stirling to be transported to Londonderry for the use of the poor Protestants in and about that city. It is to be sent to Dumbarton and shipped thence.    Sir Patrick Murray is to take bond from the petitioners and from Mr. Alexander Leckie, merchant, alderman in Derry, Mr. Horras Kennedie, sheriff of Derry, Thomas Knox, late of Belfast, now merchant in Glasgow, and Captain Andrew Douglas, who transports the said victual, that should they be stopped by pirates or otherwise prevented from getting the meal to Londonderry, they will bring it back to Scotland, sea hazards excepted.


Edinburgh.    30th May, 1689.

Commission in Favour of Captain William Burnsyde.

The commission in favour of Captain William Burnsyde read and subscribed, whereof the tenor follows :—

William Duke of Hamilton, Marquis of Clidsdaill,[Clydesdale] Earl of Arran and Lanrick,[Lanark] &c, Lord President and remanent Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council for the kingdom of Scotland,  to all and sundry kings, princes, dukes, marquesses, governors of republics, magistrates of burghs, com­manders of navies, governors of ports and castles, and to all and sundry whom, these presents  do or may concern, greeting.    Forasmuch as William and Mary,   King and Queen  of Great  Britain, France and Ireland, have not as yet nominated and   appointed   any  person   to   be   Lord   High Admiral of this kingdom, nor have given orders for commissions or letters of mart to private men of war, of whom some are in present readiness to set to sea and are only kept up for want of com­missions, therefore the said Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council having special trust and confidence in the loyalty courage and good conduct of Captain William Burnsyde, have nominated and appointed, and by these presents do nominate and appoint the said Captain William Burnsyde to be captain of the good ship or frigate called the Dogarvine [See earlier entry, where the ship is described ' of Londonderry.' The Dogarvine was likely of Dogar or Ketch build and so called.]of Edinburgh, of forty tons burden or thereabouts and carrying eight pieces of ordnance with all ammunition proportionable, as a man of war com­missioned in his Majesty's actual service, giving, granting and committing to the said captain full power, warrant, commission and charge to order and command the officers, soldiers and mariners of the said ship, with men, victuals, arms, artillery great and small, and all other warlike munition and provisions whatsoever, and therewith to set forth and go to sea and to search for, follow and pursue after, as also to take and apprehend and, in case of resistance, to fire, burn, sink and destroy the ships and goods of the French or Irish in rebellion against their Majesties, or the ships and goods of any of the subjects of the kingdom of France, or of any native Irish subjects within the kingdom of Ireland, or of any other inhabitants of  the  countries,   dominions  and  territories   of France, and of such within the kingdom of Ireland who are or hereafter may be engaged as enemies, rebels to our sovereign Lord and Lady, or who are abetters and assisters to such their enemies ;   as also to stay and arrest all other ships and vessels of whatsoever other kingdom, country, nation or people conveying any goods or merchandise in them belonging to the French King or to his sub­jects and inhabitants, or belonging to any persons within the kingdom of Ireland in rebellion against their Majesties, or of such as shall carry to them any soldiers, horses, ships or vessels or any arms offensive or defensive, or any munitions or pro­visions or any contraband goods or merchandise whatsoever, and bring the said ships so appre­hended and arrested to any port or harbour of the said kingdom of Scotland, without breaking bulk or altering the property thereof, to be proceeded against and judged according to law in the High Court of Admiralty in the kingdom of Scotland, or in such other court or courts as by particular and  special  warrant   and  commission  shall  be sufficiently authorised for doing the same, and after such proceeding and adjudication to be sold and disposed of as of right appertains ;  provided always that out of such ships and vessels as also out of all such goods, wares and merchandise what­soever, as shall be judged lawful prize, there be paid to their Majesties the just fifteenth thereof, or the customs as shall be required by the Lord High Treasurer or the  Lords Commissioners of his Majesty's Treasury, and the tenth to the Lord High Admiral or to any who shall have sufficient warrant and power to receive the same ; authoris­ing the said captain generally to do and perform all  and everything  that  towards the  execution of the whole premises is necessary and requisite, promising to hold firm and stable all and what­soever things shall be lawfully done by the said captain by virtue of these presents ;   requesting you and every one of you the said kings, princes, dukes,   governors   of   republics,   magistrates   of burghs, commanders of navies, governors of ports and   castles,   friends   and   confederates   to   our sovereign Lord and Lady, William and Mary, by the  Grace  of   God  King   and Queen   of  Great Britain France and Ireland, Defender of the faith, &c,  to acknowledge the said captain and the company of his ship as good and lawful subjects of their Majesties, authorised with this our com­mission for the execution of the premises ;   and if the said captain come into your or any of your harbours, bounds, castles or territories with or without any prize or prizes to be taken by him, that ye furnish him with victuals and other neces­saries upon his reasonable expenses, and that ye resist all violence that may be offered to him, his company and equipage, to their ships or goods, and that ye show all other rights of common friendship and alliance to our sovereign Lord and Lady in treating the said captain and company, as ye may expect the like from their Majesties, or that those entrusted with the management of the public affairs of this kingdom shall be careful in all occurrences of that nature to cause the like be shown to you and your subjects: Ordaining this our commission to continue and endure aye and while the same be recalled by the King's majesty or by us ; and, lastly, ordaining the said captain, before he shall act anything by virtue of these presents, to find sufficient caution acted in the books of Privy Council for the faithful observing and performing all things requisite on his part according to the true meaning of this our com­mission and for observing such articles and in­structions as his Majesty shall give touching the premises. Signed by warrant from and in name of the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council for the kingdom of Scotland by the said Duke of Hamilton, their president, at Edinburgh the thirty day of May, One thousand six hundred and eighty nine years.


Edinburgh.    30th May, 1689.

Commission in Favour of Captain Andrew Douglas.

The like commission granted to Captain Andrew Douglas to be captain of the ship called the Phoenix of Glasgow [See earlier, where the ship is described ' of Coleraine.'] of fifty tons of burden  and eight pieces of ordnance.


Edinburgh.    30th May, 1689.

Commission in Favour of Captain John Woodsyde.

 The like commission also granted in favour of Captain John Woodsyde to be captain of the ship called ... of ... tons and . . . pieces of ordnance.


Edinburgh.    6th June, 1689.

A letter from Hugh Montgomery, brother to the Laird of Skelmorlie[Sir James Montgomery associated with Lords Annandale and Rosse in 1690 in the Montgomery Jacobite plot. ] anent the two frigates of war being read, the following answer was directed to him from the Board :—

Letter to Hugh Montgomery.

Sir,—His Majesty's High Commissioner[William,  Duke of Hamilton,  President of the Convention Parliament.]did communicate to the Council your letter of the fourth instant, and they require you to write to Captain Hamilton and Captain Brown to stay out with the frigates till further order, and that you immediately give direction to make biscuit at Glasgow for their use; and as to the three boatmen mentioned in your letter that you cause bring them up to New Port Glasgow to be secured there, if you find that they are prizes taken from the enemies. And the Council do require you with all expedition to repair to Edinburgh to receive further orders in relation to the said frigates. This in name of his Majesty's Privy Council is signified to you by your affectionate friend (sic subscribitur), CRAFURD.

The London Gazette, No. 2461.

Edinburgh.    6th June, 1689.

The two Scots frigates that are cruising be­tween Scotland and Ireland have taken 50 men of the Macdonnels and the McAlisters that were going from Argyllshire over to Ireland.

English Admiralty Minutes 3, No. 1, Public Record Office, London.

10th June, 1689.

Captain Rooke's letter of the 1st inst. off of Kintyre Cape giving an account of his actings against some Scotch rebells upon the Islands called Geiga and Lara [Probably Jura.]and of his want of provi­sions for himself and those other ships and vessels with him : Ordered that he be acquainted that directions are given for their being supplied with provisions for completing them for three months each, and that the Navy Board be directed to send them by the convoy now going to Londonderry, and that they write the master of ordnance to acquaint him with what Captain Rooke writes of his want of ammunition and to supply the same.

Minutes of the  Privy Council of Scotland.

Edinburgh,   11th June, 1689.

Remit anent the Two Frigates.

The Lord High Commissioner and Lords of Privy Council remit to the commissary general and the general receivers to consider what expenses will be necessary for a new outrig of the two frigates.


Edinburgh.    20th June, 1689.

Order to the Commissioner General for buying biscuit, beer and pease, &c, to the two frigates.

His Majesty's High Commissioner and the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council do hereby grant order and warrant to George Hamilton of Binnie, commissary general, to furnish such a quantity of biscuit and small beer with pease and brandy wine as may sufficiently furnish and provide the two frigates under the command of Captain Hamilton and Captain Brown until Lammas next, the said commissary general , always taking receipt thereof from the said captains; and they do hereby also grant warrant to and ordain the said commissary general to buy two barrels of small powder from Mr. . . . Chads or Brooks out of the powder lately secured at Greenock for the use of the said two frigates, and to deliver the same to the said captains or either of them upon their receipt.

Order to Thomas McJarro for delivering salt beef to Binnie.

His Majesty's High Commissioner and the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council do hereby grant order and warrant to Thomas Mcjarro of Barr, surveyor at Ayr, to deliver to George Hamil­ton of Binnie, general commissary, the salt beef taken from on board the French ship and allow the said commissary general to deliver such quantity thereof as will be necessary for furnishing the two frigates till Lammas next, upon receipt of Captain Hamilton or Captain Brown,  and also allow the said commissary general to satisfy the surveyor for his usual share of the seizure due to him.

Recommendation to Colonel Balfour for delivering cannon ball, firelocks and swords to Binnie for the frigates' use.

His Majesty's High Commissioner and the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council do hereby recommend to Colonel Balfour, brigadier general, to deliver to George Hamilton, commissary general, for the use of the two frigates under the command of Captain Hamilton and Captain Brown one hundred swords, sixteen firelocks and such a quantity of cannon ball as he shall think necessary for the use of the said two frigates, which they appoint the said commissary general to transmit to the said captains and take their receipts thereof. There are one hundred and ten cannon bullets.

English Admiralty Minutes 3, No. 1, P.R.O. (resume).

29th June, 1689.

Directions are given to any of his Majesty's yachts at Greenock or any other vessel there to carry David Cairnes to the Lough of Londonderry with letters to Major General Kirke, and return with him.   Copy of same is sent to Captain Rooke.

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland (resume).

Edinburgh.    3rd July, 1689.

Letter from the Council to Major General Mackay as to his proceedings in Lochaber and the West Highlands, in which the Council say,—' we have likewise ordered the two frigates to cruise on that coast.'


Edinburgh.    4th July, 1689.

Warrant to Captain Cairnes for pressing a vessel and horse, and missive to Captain Hamilton.

His Majesty's High Commissioner and Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council do hereby give order and warrant to David Cairnes Esquire to press two horses for dispatching him in their Majesties' service, he paying according to the rates of the country, and ordaines all magistrates of burghs, collectors or other officers to concur with and assist him in pressing of a vessel for transporting of him from this kingdom to Ireland with all expedition upon his own reasonable charges and expenses.

The letter after specified from the Board to Captain Hamilton anent Captain Cairnes, Esquire, is as follows :—

The bearer hereof David Cairnes, Esquire, being sent by his Majesty to the kingdom of Ireland with commands for Major General Kirke, you are required by his Majesty's High Commissioner and the Lords of Privy Council to transport him from Scotland to any place of the next Irish coast or on board of any of his Majesty's frigates near the Lough of Derry he shall desire, and from thence to return with Captain Brown to the Sound of Mull arid there destroy or secure all boats and barks on that coast, and hinder and obstruct all passage from Ireland to that part of Scotland or from the Isles to the Continent; and you are to obey the further necessary orders from the Earl of Argyll, who is presently to go into that country. This by warrant and in name of the Council is signified to you by your assured friend (sic subscribitur),


Memoirs  of   the   Scots War   by   Major-General   Mackay (Bannatyne Club), p. 46.

[General Mackay of Scoury afterwards served with distinction in Ireland and in Holland.  He was killed in 1692 at Steinkirke]

About this time King James being advertised that the Highlanders would lose their patience, seeing the so often renewed promises of succours like to fail for good and all, commanded Brigadier Cannon with 500 Irish to embark upon three small French frigates at Belfast in Ireland for the succour of Dundee, with large promises to make them quickly be followed by a greater number ; who, having upon their way met two little Scots vessels armed for the guard of that coast, and to hinder the passage of Irish into the Highlands, forced them and landed their men safely in the Isle of Mull, from whence they joined Dundee with his party.

Broadside bound up with the London Gazettes of 1689 in the British Museum.
[On 10th July 1689.  See also Browns History of the Highlands, vol I, p.151]

of the
Capt. Hamilton and Capt. Brown,
Commanders of the Two Scotch Frigates
Three French Men of War
That brought over the Irish men to join Dundee
in the western sea, as it was delivered to some of
the Privy Councellors in Scotland,  by those that
were eye witnesses during the whole action.
Licensed Aug. 2 1689                      J. FRASER 

In regard that the bravery and gallantness of the last actions of Captain Hamilton and Captain Brown's lives are so remarkable, and not fre­quently parallelled, I think it not amiss to give you a particular and distinct account of them as it was delivered to some members of the Privy-Council here, by one of the lieutenants of those frigates, that had the good fortune to come off after he had been taken prisoner, and by other persons now in town, who were present, and witnesses of what past, which  was  thus.    On Wednesday the 10th of July,   Captain  Hamilton commanding the Pelican carrying  18  guns  and 120 men, and Captain Brown of the Janet frigate, carrying 12 guns and 80 men as they were cruising -between the Mull of   Kintyre in   Scotland  and Carrickfergus   Lough   in   Ireland,   happened    to discover at sea to the southward three sail of ships, to whom they immediately ply'd up, and when they came within such a distance as to be able to discern them, they observed them to look like English built ships, carrying the English flag and colours,   which   led   them  into  the mistake of believing them to be English and friends.    This obliged them to make up close to them to salute them;   but they did no sooner perceive   their error, than they found it impossible to retreat, they being three French men of war, having on aboard a battalion of 400 men of Colonel Porsil's regiment of foot, that was going to join Dundee, the biggest of them carrying 36 guns, the second 30, and the third 24 guns.    And so to action they fell  immediately,   and   fought   it   with   all   the gallantry  and  resolution  imaginable  with  their guns above an hour.    The two lesser frigates fell to  Captain Brown's share to engage with, and when his main mast was shot down they came and lay aboard him, in which action his right arm was shot off with a canon bullet; yet notwith­standing he maintained the fight resolutely, and continued giving directions and orders to his men, until he received seven musket bullets in his body, the last of which killed him dead. One Campbell his lieutenant maintained the fight with the same gallantry until being overpowered by the enemy's men, who after great slaughter coming on board found the lieutenant lying on the deck, shot through the right thigh the right shoulder and left arm, having only fourteen men alive, whereof eight were wounded and disabled. Captain Brown's ship being thus taken, these two frigates join the great one, and all three fall on Captain Hamilton, who made his part good against the French man alone, and when his ship had been much battered and torn, the two biggest ships came and endeavoured to board him ; and with them he fought a considerable time, his ship being better provided for a close fight than Captain Brown's was. He had the misfortune to be thrice boarded by the enemy, and the courage to clear his deck as often of them. At last his forecastle and steerage being torn open by the violence and frequency of the enemies shot, and hand granadoes doing much mischief to his men, the enemy boarded him the fourth time in great numbers, so that looking upon himself and his ship for lost, as his last effort gave orders to his gunner to go down to the hold and blow up the ship ; and he no sooner gave the word of com­mand for executing what he had purposed to do, but a cannon bullet at random shot from the third ship came and dispatcht him, and hindered his last orders from being obeyed. And so his ship fell into the enemy's hands, and of the 120 men he had on board, only thirty men were found alive, whereof the greatest part were wounded and much disabled. In this action there were killed of our people, the two captains, one hundred and fifty-six men ; and of the enemies one French captain, two lieutenants, two hundred and eighteen men, and many wounded.

This account we have from some that were taken, and now have made their escape, and from those that have been aboard the French ship since the action, as also from some of those Irish that were taken prisoners since that time, all their relations agreeing as above is mentioned.

London, printed for Rich. Chiswell, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church Yard, 1689.

The London Gazette, No. 3473.

Edinburgh.    13th July, 1689.

This morning we had an account that 7 or 800 Irish were landed in Argyllshire having been transported by three French men of war and several other vessels from Carrickfergus ; but its not doubted the Earl of Argyll, the Earl of Glencairn and the Earl of Eglintoun, who are ordered to march westward with a considerable body of men will very quickly give a good account of them. Its said that the two little Scotch frigates that were cruising happening to meet the said French ships were taken by them after having made the best defence they could.


Edinburgh.    18th July, 1689.

We do not yet hear that the Irish which came from Carrickfergus, under the command as it is said of Colonel Buchan, are landed anywhere, but the account we gave you in our last of a boat being taken with some horses in the west is not only confirmed, but their number proves to be greater than was at first reported, we being certainly informed that there are taken 20 horses and 30 men.

English Admiralty Minutes 3, No. 1, P.B.O.

18th July, 1689.

Ordered that the Secretary write to Captain Rooke commander of the Deptford to let him know that the Commissioners have received intelligence that three French men of war have taken the two small Scotch men of war, and have landed several men in Scotland from Carrickfergus, that therefore my Lord Torrington was writ to last night by express to send him three fourth rates to strengthen his squadron

London Gazette, No. 2475.

Edinburgh.    25th July,  1689.

The Irish that came from Carrickfergus are landed in the Isle of Mull, not exceeding 300 men in all. ... It is said that those Irish who came from Carrickfergus, and also some of the Macleans are joined with Dundee.

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland (resume).

Edinburgh.    26th July,  1689.

On a petition by Alexander Leckie and Robert Lenox, merchants in Londonderry, the Council grant a pass for a small vessel which they have freighted, called the Prosperitie of Glasgow (William Adair, master), of about forty-five tons burden, with four guns, for carrying provisions to their friends and relations in Londonderry, the petitioners finding caution in 2000 merks that the cargo shall be conveyed to Londonderry, if possible, and shall not be disposed of to any of his Majesty's enemies.


Edinburgh.   7th September, 1689.

Act in favour of Elizabeth McGibben and others [widows of] Mariners in the Frigates employed by the Estates.

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council by Elizabeth McGibben relict of the deceased Uchter Herbertson, mariner in Glasgow, shewing that where the petitioner's husband having engaged in his Majesty's service under the command of Captain John Brown to serve in the good ship called the Janet of Glasgow as a mariner, which was freighted by the Estates of this kingdom for cruising betwixt Scotland and Ireland, for which service her deceased husband was to have eighteen pound Scots a month during his service, which was from the time the said ship first sailed from New Port Glasgow, till the time she was taken, and at which time the petitioner's husband was killed, being in all two months and one half, and the petitioner and her children through the loss of her husband and by whose industry she lived are now become in a very lamentable condition ; and for instructing of her husband's service the petitioner produced there­with a certificate under the hand of Hugh Montgomery, brother german to Sir James Mont­gomery of Skelmorlie, who  was  commissary to the said ship, nor did she or her husband receive any of the wages, and therefore humbly suppli­cating to the effect aftermentioned. The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council having considered the above petition with the testificate produced therewith, with other testificates for Agnes McLeine, spouse to George Martine mariner in the Pelican, and Elizabeth Pollock, spouse to James Dean sailor in the said ship, and Elizabeth Cairnes, spouse to James McRae mariner therein, they recommend to the president of Council to draw a precept upon the general receivers for payment to the said four persons above named of two months and one half's pay due to their deceased husbands, conform to the establishment.

Ibidem (resume).

Edinburgh.     16th September, 1689.

Warrant is granted to Margrat Dreden, wife of James Mulline gunner in the Janet, and to Mary Montgomerie, wife of Heugh McClemun quarter­master of the Pelican, and to Janet Tulloch, wife of William McCrae mariner in the Janet, each for two and a half months pay during the whole time these ships were out.

Edinburgh.    26th September, 1689.

            Warrant is granted to the fathers of James Andersone boatman's mate in the Janet and of David Reind mariner in the Pelican, who at the time of the unhappy engagement with the French were taken prisoners and carried away to ... in Ireland, where they now lie in a most miser­able and starving condition, having nothing to maintain themselves, neither have they received a farthing of their Majesties’ pay since the out- rigging of the said frigates, betwixt which time and the engagement was two months and one half, the one at thirty shillings sterling the month and the other at twenty-three shillings, for two months and one half's pay due to the said James Anderson and David Reind as ordinary mariners, to the effect they [the fathers] may transmit the same to them for their subsistence and maintenance, thereby to prevent their utter ruin and starving condition.

Ibidem (resume).

Edinburgh.    3rd October,  1689.

Warrant is granted to Janet McMurke, spouse to Fergus McNeill, Janet Air, spouse to Robert Black, Kathrin Wilson, spouse to Adam Gardner, and Marion Gardner, spouse to Alexander Hunter, for two and a half months pay due to their hus­bands for service as mariners in the Pelican and Janet.

The same day Agnes Hamilton, spouse to James Blair, Hellen Orock, spouse to John Kyle, Agnes Wilson, spouse to Richard Beattie, Alex­ander Bill, son to Robert Bell in Borrowstounness,{Bo’ness] and John Coldhame, son to John Coldhame in Blackness, on the narrative that the petitioners' husbands were all of them employed in their Majesties' service as mariners in the two frigates called the Pelican and the Janet, when the said ships had the misfortune to be assaulted by three French ships, and notwithstanding of their vigor­ous resistance to the utmost of their power were taken in July last, the said captains being slain and the petitioners' husbands carried by the French to Dublin in   Ireland,  where   they were in a miserable condition among the Irish, petitioned for three months' pay resting[Owing] to their husbands for their service in the said ships as mariners, to help to bring home the petitioners' husbands to their own country and to supply the petitioners' present need, while some of them are lying in childbed and others near their delivery. Warrant is granted for payment to the petitioners of two months and one half's pay due to their husbands and fathers respectively.

The same day, the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council having considered a petition given in by the wives and relations of eleven of the seamen who were under Captain Hamilton and Captain Brown's command, conform to the list therewith produced, they recommend to the Earl of Crafurd, president of Council, to draw a precept upon the general receivers for payment of two months and one half's pay to Euphan Tarbat, spouse to John Hunter, seaman, to Euphan Law, spouse to William Hunter, to Isobel Sheill, spouse to Robert Hunter, seaman, to the said Isobell Scheill for Robert Hutcheson, her son, to the said Isobel Sheill for James Hunter, her stepson, to Margaret Campbell for Robert McKonochie, her husband, boatswain of the Pelican, to James Bishope for the deceased George Bishope, his son, who was killed at the engagement, to Marion Clunie, spouse to James Hunter, seaman, to Janet Davidsone, spouse to Andrew Ford, boatswain of the Janet, and killed at the engage­ment, to Grizell Davidson, spouse to Richard Young, carpenter aboard the Pelican, and to the said Grizell Davidson, aunt to James Hardie, mate to the carpenter.

Ibidem (resume)

Edinburgh.   15th October,  1689.

The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council on a petition given in by James Campbell and Archibald Ure, mariners in the Janet frigate, recommend payment of two months and a half's pay due to the petitioners, payable to William Campbell, father to the said James Campbell, and to John Miller, uncle to the said Archibald Ure, upon their receipts of the same.

The same day a similar act is made in favour of Donald Campbell, mate of the good ship called the Janet.

Ibidem (resume).

Edinburgh.    17th October, 1689.

A similar act is made in favour of Christian Home, spouse to William Martine, skipper of the Pelican on a deposition bearing that the said William Martine had served as mate to Captain Hamilton during the whole space she was out, for two and a half months' pay.


Edinburgh.    28th October, 1689.

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council by Elizabeth Miller and Margaret Wilson in Greenock, and Ronald Balintyne, skipper of the Pelican, shewing that where James and Adam Ferguson and John Wilson, who died upon the place, were mariners in the ship called the Janet under the deceased Captain Brown his command, and Richard Potts, William Fyfe,   Patrick   Chalmers   and   William   Hunter were mariners in the Pelican frigate, under the deceased Captain Hamilton, his command, during the whole voyage, and such as are alive being now prisoners in Ireland, and that the petitioners had only interest to seek their pay during their ser­vice and to look to their relief . . . : Warrant is granted by the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council ... for payment to Elizabeth Miller of the two months and one half's pay due to James and Adam Ferguson and to Margaret Wilson for the pay due to John Wilson, her brother, during the space foresaid, and to Ronald Balintyne for the pay of two months and one half due to William Fyfe, Patrick Chalmers and William Hunter, and for the payment of two months due to Richard Potts.


Edinburgh,    1st November, 1689.

Act in favour of John Miller, Skipper of the Janet Frigate.

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council by John Miller, skipper of the Janet frigate, and Daniel Campbell, his mate, shewing that where Mathew Muir and the deceased James Kennadie, being both mariners in the said frigate, and one of them as yet being under severe imprisonment in Ireland, and that the petitioners had good and undoubted right, under their nearest relations' hands, . . . and craving the said Lords to order the general receivers to make payment to them thereof for the said Mathew Muir and James Kennadie : The Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council . . . recommend pay­ment to the said Daniel Campbell for the pay due to the said Mathew Muir and to the said John Millar and Andrew Maclnturner, [Writer in Greenock]. or either of them, the pay due to the said James Kennadie, as mariners, for the space of two months and one half.


Edinburgh.   7th January, 1690.

Letter to the Duke of Schomberg[Sometimes written ' Schonberg,' ' Schonberge,' ' Skonberge,'  ' Shomberg.'] anent Prisoners at Kinsale.

The letter underwritten from the Lords of Privy Council to [the] Duke of Schomberg was read and subscribed by the Earl of Crafurd, chosen president in absence of their president, of the which letter the tenor follows :—     

My Lord,—The Council understand that Claud Hamilton, nephew to the deceased Captain 'Hamilton, commander of one of the Scotch frigates taken by the French in May last, for himself and in name and behalf of one hundred and forty-two of his fellow prisoners at Kinsale, [Sometimes written ' Kinsaill,' ' King-saill,' and ' Kingsaile.'] hath supplicated your Grace for their relief out of the miserable circumstances they have lain under these six months bygone, by exchange of the like number of rebels formerly under the command of the Lord De Clare[Lianiel O'Brien, Viscount Clare.] and taken by some of the forces under your command, and that your Grace did not think the matter cognisable by you without application first had been made to the Council of Scotland or the Lords of the Admiralty of England, and the said Claud Hamilton for himself, and in name of his fellow prisoners have made application to the Council; and they, considering that he and they have done good service to their Majesties, and that their captains were killed and themselves taken by the French in their service, and being able seamen and most willing to be again em­ployed in their Majesties' service they may be very useful at present in their navy, they do therefore seriously recommend to your Grace that ye will be pleased to take this matter to your serious consideration, and to allow the like number of rebels whom you have prisoners at Londonderry, Inshkilling[Enniskillen.] or other places, to be given in exchange for them, so that the ruin of these poor men may be prevented, their Majesties' interest advanced and others encouraged here­after to hazard in their service. This by war­rant and in name of the Council is signified to your Grace by, my Lord, your Grace's humble servant (sic subscribitur),

Crafurd I.P.D.S. Con.[ In presentia Dominorum Secreti Concilii]


Act in favour of Claud Hamilton.

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council by Claud Hamilton, nephew to the deceased Captain Hamilton, for himself and in name and behalf of his fellow prisoners at Kinsale, shewing that upon the taking of Captain Hamilton's and Captain Brown's two frigates employed in their Majesties' service, the petitioner and about 142 more that were in these two frigates were made prisoners in shackles and put aboard an old rotten ship in the harbour of Kinsale, where they were many weeks kept in unexpressible misery and at length brought in and kept prisoners in a house at Kinsale, where it pleased God to move the compassion of some Protestants to afford them some small supply: It happened that the Lord De Clare having a considerable number of his men taken at a conflict with the Inshkilling men, he was moved out of compassion to the prisoners and for relief of his own men to allow of a motion to be made to the late King his Secretary of War for exchange, man for man ; and the Scots prisoners having pitched upon the petitioner to negotiate the exchange, the Lord De Clare allowed him his pass, with a letter to the said Secretary in order to the exchange, who was by the interposition of the said Lord satisfied therein, as the said Lord De Clare's pass and an act under the Secretary's hand with his pass to go to their Majesties' camp -'for supplicating the Duke of Schomberg, the general, for the said exchange there to show would instruct. Accordingly the petitioner for relief of himself (who is got out on parole) and of his poor fellow prisoners, having for many days travelled with the danger of his life amongst the Irish, at length made his application to the Duke of Schomberg by a petition, who by a deliverance thereupon thought the matter not cognoscable by him without application first made to the said Lords of Council or Lords of the Admiralty of England, as the petition with the deliverance thereupon therewith produced bears. And now, seeing the petitioner had done all the thing that was in his power and could not effectuate the said relief, and that he and his fellow prisoners were lawful prisoners of war being in their Majesties' service by public commission, the petitioner was at length with great difficulty come to apply himself to the said Lords and was most willing and ready to serve their Majesties either in fleet or army when liberated ;   and therefore humbly craving the said Lords to commiserate the peti­tioner and the other prisoners their sad and miserable condition, and to write to his Grace the Duke of Schomberg to make an exchange in equal number of as many prisoners belonging to the Irish army now in custody at Inshkilling, London­derry or any other place in the north of Ireland, with the petitioner and the foresaid prisoners belonging to the Scots frigates ; and, in order to their more effectual releasement, would also be pleased to write to the Secretary[George, fourth Lord Melvill, and first Earl of Melvill (1690).] to interpose with his Majesty to give a warrant to [his] Grace the Duke of Schomberg for the foresaid exchange, without which the petitioner would be necessitated to return to the foresaid garrison at Kinsale and there to undergo all his former miseries, which unquestionably would be augmented in case the foresaid releasement were not obtained ; and in the meantime for his present subsistence that the said Lords would be pleased to order payment to be made to the petitioner of seven months pay that is due to him for his uncle's Captain Hamil­ton's frigate for defraying the expenses of his long imprisonment and travel, which hath not been without great hazard of his life and penury, and for the better enabling of the petitioner to effectuate his own and his other fellow prisoners' liberty, he having a wife and five small children and no means nor estate whereupon to maintain them but what he wrought for, as the said petition bears. Which being read in presence of the said Lords and seen the instructions above mentioned, they ordained a letter to be written to the Duke of Schomberg and another to the Secretary of State[George, fourth Lord Melvill, and first Earl of Melvill (1690).] in favour of the petitioners for their libera­tion, and recommended to the Earl of Crafurd, elected president of Council in absence of their president, to draw a precept upon the general receivers for payment to the petitioner of seven months' pay as a seaman in Captain Hamilton's ship. After pronouncing of which interlocutor the said Lords having this day again considered the said petition, they recommend to the Earl of Crafurd to draw a precept upon the general receivers for payment to the petitioner of fifteen pounds sterling, and that in place of the seven months' pay, and for the loss he has been at during his imprisonment.

The London Gazette, No. 2552.

From on board their Majesties' ship the Monk, in Dublin-Bay, 19th April, 1690.

On the 17th instant, as we were cruising athwart Dublin Bay, we saw the Ruby, with the ships under her convoy from Bristol. The 18th in the morning we stood into the bay, and saw a ship a mile within the bar at a place called Potebege, and being come to an anchor, Sir Cloudesley[Sometimes written ' Clouesly ' and ' Clowdisley.'] Shovell went on board the Monmouth yacht, and at a little more than half flood, the wind being northerly, with the said yacht, two men of war hoys, a ketch and the pinnaces, went over the bar, upon which the ship before-mentioned removed above a mile higher up to Salmon Pool, and there ran aground within shot of a French man of war of 12 guns, and 2 or 3 English ships that lay aground filled with soldiers, who kept firing at us. We followed and attack'd her, and after some dispute, Sir Cloudesley Shovell made a sign for the fireship to come in, which when the enemy perceived, they forsook their ship, and got away in their boats. We went on board, and got out an anchor, and by heaving some of her things overboard brought her off. In turning out, the wind veering out of the sea, one of our hoys ran aground, and we could not get her off before the water fell away from her ; therefore we all lay by her, and got her anchors out ready to heave off next high water. At low water the hoy was on dry ground, and many thousand people came upon the strand, where was likewise the late King James with his guards. We lay in our boats armed, and two Protestants among many others that were running about the sand at length got to us. The guards, to show their briskness, advanced towards us, and among the rest a French man came riding to the water side, and called us in English, as well as he could, a great many hard names, and fired his pistols. We shot his horse and rowed ashore; the French man slipt his legs out of his boots and ran away, but the sailors went ashore and unrigged his horse. The ship we took was the Pelican, the biggest of the two Scotch frigates taken last summer. She had twenty guns and above 40 men; 3 or 4 we found dead on the deck, and one wounded, as also a Spaniard and an English man, who were forced aboard. They informed us that 12 men were killed, that several that went ashore were wounded, and that she lay there to take in some of those goods which the late King James had forced from the Protestants for his brass money. This was one of his best men of war. Captain Wright, commander of the Monmouth yacht, was very serviceable to us, for besides his carrying us in, he behaved himself very well in the action, as did all the officers and sailors in general, who showed an extraordinary forwardness to engage, and the chief officers of all the ships desired to go in their boats, expressing in this occasion a great zeal for their Majesties' service.

Record in the Admiralty Library, Whitehall.

Pelican Fireship (2 Decks) taken by Sir Cloudesley Shovell in Dublin Bay. Made a break-water at Sheerness.—Admiralty Order 26th August 1692, and Navy Board Warrant, 13th September.

Minutes of the Privy Council of Scotland.

Petition by John Campbell.

Anent a petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by John Campbell, late lieutenant in the Janet frigate, shewing that where the petitioner having engaged as lieutenant in the said frigate under the command of the deceased Captain Brown, . . , and having con­tinued in the said service and, he hoped, had faith­fully discharged his duty, until the tenth of June [? July], 1689, that they engaged with some ships carrying recruits from Ireland to the rebels in the Highlands, where the captains and many others 'being killed the petitioner was wounded in three several places, and all his gold and money and goods seized upon to the value of £150 sterling, and thereafter was taken prisoner and carried to Kinsale and transported from place to place at the rebels' discretion where he was reduced to the utmost extremities, having only the allowance of a penny a day, scarce enough to sustain his natural life, and kept at that rate for eight months in a most cruel and inhuman manner, because he would not accept of any commissions or engage any way with the rebels, till at last by a good providence of God he procured his liberty ;   and the petitioner never having received a farthing of his wages, which were agreed to be six pounds sterling per mensem, and fourteen pounds Scots for his servant, the petitioner humbly expected that the said Lords would order the same to be paid to him from the time of his accepting the charge, which was the first of April, 1689, till this day:   And seeing his wife and family reside in England, and   that   he   was   hastening   thither designing of new to engage in their Majesties' service by sea, he hoped the said Lords would order   his  dispatch.   .   .   .    The  Lords of  their Majesties' Privy  Council having considered  the above petition . . . recommend . . . payment to the petitioner of four pounds sterling per mensem for his pay as lieutenant  in the foresaid ship, and twenty shillings sterling   per   mensem   for the said Patrick Campbell, now  servant  to the petitioner, his pay as a seaman in the said ship from the  said   first day of April, 1689,  to  the fifteenth day of October instant, and ordain these presents to be recorded in the books of Treasury before payment.


Edinburgh.    13th November, 1690.

Act in favour of John Hamilton.

Anent the petition given in to the Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council by John Hamilton, now of Ladyland, eldest lawful son and heir and also executor to the deceased Captain William Hamilton of Ladyland, and William Hamilton, his second lawful son, shewing that where the said late Captain William Hamilton being in the beginning of the month of April, 1689, employed and commissioned by the said Lords as captain and commander of one of the two frigates put to sea in the west of Scotland for securing of the coast thereof and discovering and preventing any hazard and damage which might come thereto or the kingdom of Ireland by the French fleet or their pirates,  and who by his commission was empowered to command and give orders to the other ship, whereof the late John  Brown was appointed  captain,  the said  Captain  Hamilton accepted   the   said   office,  and accordingly   did officiate therein together with the said William Hamilton, his son, as his scrivener, until the tenth day of July, 1689, that he lost his life by the French in defending himself and the ship against them; and the ship and all that was therein was made prize, as was well known to the said Lords, and the said William Hamilton, one of the peti­tioners, was taken and carried prisoner to Duart Castle in the Isle of Mull, where he lay and con­tinued in a most miserable condition hardly to be expressed until the sixteenth day of October, 1689, that he was necessitated to relieve himself by his own money, which and his other expenses there-anent cost him above five hundred merks Scots, by and attour[over and above] all the misery otherwise sustained by him ;   for all which service the said deceased Captain Hamilton nor the petitioner never yet sought nor received any pay nor other reward from his Majesty nor their Lordships, and therefore humbly supplicating to take the premises to their most serious consideration and ordain the peti­tioners to be satisfied of the pay due to the said Captain Hamilton, and the petitioner, the said William Hamilton, for the service foresaid, and of the other damages and losses sustained in the said expedition, conform to such quantity, measure and manner as their Lordships shall judge, equit­able and reasonable as the said petition bears. The Lords of their Majesties' Privy Council having considered the above petition, they recom­mend to the Lords of their Majesties' Treasury to cause payment be made to the above William Hamilton of such pay as they shall find due to him for his above service, and also to cause pay­ment be made to the executors of the above deceased William Hamilton or any others who shall be found to have best right to the pay due to the said John.

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