BYRON, Admiral John, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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BYRON, Admiral John (1723-1786). Naval Officer ('Foulweather Jack').
Letter Signed to Edmund Affluck, Commander of H.M.S. Bedford, 1 page folio, Given on board H.M.S. Princess Royal in Cawsand Bay, 3 June 1788. Sending new instructions for discharging Marines who had not returned from hospital within a month. Small split in centre fold. Countersigned by Charles Lyell (1734-1796, naval officer).
'You are hereby required and directed, whenever in future you send any Marines to the Hospital from the Kings Ship under your Command, and they do not return to her within a month to discharge them by Pay Lists to Head Quarters on the days they were respectively sent on shore, and to transmit the said lists immediately to the Commissioner of His Majestys Navy at the Port, in order to their being paid the Sea pay due to them, or in case they should be in Debt, that the same may be charged against their growing pay.'
Byron had been promoted at the beginning of 1778 to Vice-Admiral and was asked to take command of a squadron fitting at Plymouth. The government believed a French fleet under Comte d'Estaing was soon to leave Toulon bound for North America. Byron, in the Princess Royal, led his ships out into the Atlantic in June 1778 once it was known that d'Estaing was on his way to assist the American rebels. Unfortunately, Byron lived up to his nickname, Foulweather Jack, when his squadron was scattered by gales. Subsequently the damaged ships were in no state to go out to sea again until October of that year. Two subsequent attempts to pursue D'Estaing to Boston and the West Indies were hampered by further gales and bad weather. Cawsand Bay is in South East Cornwall.
[No: 26371]

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