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Extracts from the log of HMS Amphitrite for the period 14 July 1847 - 26 July 1850
sources: ADM 53/2091, 14 July 1847 - 7 February 1848; ADM 53/2092, 8 February 1848 - 7 August 1848; ADM 53/2093, 8 August 1848 - 11 February 1849; ADM 53/2094, 12 February 1849 - 27 September 1849; ADM 53/2095, 28 September 1849 - 20 April 1850; and ADM 53/2096, 21 April 1850 - 26 July 1850.

Portsmouth - Spithead - Plymouth - Lisbon - Sierra Leone - Ascension - Bights of Benin and Biafra (with a number of visits to Princes Island and Ascension) - Ascension - Rio de Janeiro - Valparaiso - Callao - Honolulu - Hawaii - Valparaiso - San Blas - Mazatln - San Blas - Manzanillo - Valparaiso - Rio de Janeiro - Portsmouth (Google mapExternal link).

Amphitrite, a 46 gun frigate launched just after the Napoleonic wars, was commissioned by Thomas Rodney Eden on 14 July 1847 after being cut down to a 24 gun corvette. This was to be a long voyage, cruising first for a year on the Bights of Benin and Biafra division of the West African station - during which time four prizes were taken - and then sailing via Rio de Janeiro round Cape Horn to Valparaiso in Chile. Then via Callao in Peru to the Hawaiian Islands and to the coast of Mexico - where Captain Eden died of fever - before returning via Valparaiso and Rio de Janeiro to England.

The purpose of the long Pacific cruise is not quite clear; information contained in the "Naval Intelligence" column of the "Times" newspaper of the period (links in day-of-week column) do, however, suggest at least a mercantile element.

It was on this voyage that Dr Loney obtained the "complete Esquimaux Dress" and the "Skull of one of the flat-head Indians" which he donated to the "Museum and Library established at Haslar, for the benefit of the Medical Officers of the Navy".

Here is a complete list of officers serving during the commission of 13 July 1847 - 26 July 1850 (from the ship's muster book). The ship carried a Surgeon and an Assistant Surgeon during almost the whole commission.

1847
14 Jul Wed The ship was commissioned by Captain Thos. Rodney Eden. Lashed to the Blake Hulk in Portsmouth Harbour
7 Sep Tue Moored at No. 3, Portsmouth Harbour
8 Sep Wed Moored at Spithead
16 Sep Thu Spithead
18 Sep Sat Spithead
20 Sep Mon At single anchor, Spithead
21 Sep Tue Spithead
22 Sep Wed Spithead
23 Sep Thu Weighed, for Plymouth
24 Sep Fri Hove to off the breakwater [Plymouth]... Received 20 boys of the 1st class and 20 boys of the 2nd class for disposal on the coast of Africa
3 Oct Sun At anchor off Lisbon
8 Oct Fri Standing out of the river
9 Oct Sat Cruizing off Lisbon
16 Oct Sun From Lisbon, to Madera
22 Oct Fri West end of Madera by compass SWbW 35 miles. From Madera, to Sierra Leone
18 Nov Thu At single anchor, River Sierra Leone
21 Nov Sun From Sierra Leone, along the coast southward. Cruizing
16 Dec Thu At single anchor off Freetown, Sierra Leone
1848
9 Jan Sun At single anchor off the Banana Islands
16 Jan Sun Standing along the land to the northward
17 Jan Mon At single anchor off Freetown
20 Jan Thu Working out of the river
At single anchor waiting the tide
Dropping out of the river
23 Jan Sun At single anchor off Monrovia, Cape Mesurado
24 Jan Mon Standing out of bay
29 Jan Sat At single anchor Cape Coast roads
30 Jan Sun 11.30 a.m. The Governor of Cape Coast [William Winniett; 1846-1849 and 1850] came on board. Manned yards
2 p.m. The Governor left the ship. Saluted him with 13 guns
3 Feb Thu Weighed and made all sail
4 Feb Fri At single anchor Accra roads
Weighed and made all plain sail
8 Feb Tue Running for the anchorage off Lagos. At single anchor in Lagos roads
11 Feb Fri Weighed and made sail
16 Feb Wed At single anchor Quitta. Received from the shore, purchased by the Paymaster and Purser, live oxen, 8 in no., with the proportion of vegetables. Weighed and made sail
21 Feb Mon At single anchor off River Lagos
22 Feb Tue Weighed and made sail
28 Feb Mon Boarded Bridgton of Philadelphia, Whydah to Bahia, apparently fitted for the slave trade: The master made no complaint nor did he require any insertion to be made on his papers or log
3 Mar Fri 5.48 N 2.17 E
9 Mar Thu 6.03 N 2.30 E
11 Mar Sat Discharged Hy Loney, supry Asst Surgeon to HMS Britomart [I have found no evidence that this officer was a relative of William and Edward Loney]
17 Mar Fri 5.48 N 3.44 E
22 Mar Wed At single anchor in West Bay
25 Mar Sat Made all plain sail, weighed and set port studding sails
28 Mar Tue At single anchor off Adelaide Island, Fernando Po
29 Mar Wed 10 a.m. Mr Beecroft came on board and took charge as pilot
10.30 Weighed and made all plain sail
At single anchor off Bimbia
5 Apr Wed Weighed and made all plain sail
6 Apr Thu At single anchor off Clarence Cove
10 Apr Mon Weighed and made sail out of Clarence Cove
13 Apr Thu At single anchor, West Bay, Princes [Island]
18 Apr Tue From Princes [Island], to Ascension
28 Apr Fri Ascension
3 May Wed From Ascension, to Cape Lopez [the southern limit of the Bights of Benin and Biafra division of the West African station]
19 May Fri p.m.
3 Obs'd a sail under the land. Made all plain sail, and set stard studg sails
4.40 Mustered at quarters, fired a blank gun. Stranger took in his topgalt sails but still kept his wind
5 Fired another gun. Stranger showed Brazilian colours, still keeping the wind
5.15 Fired a gun shotted, ahead of chase. Set spanker
5.30 Stranger shortened sail and bore down to close us. Tacked and hove to on the port tack. Down boat, sent her to board stranger. Found her to be the Triumpho de Brazil, belonging to Bahia, from Zanga Janja where she had landed her outward cargo. Sent Mr
[Henry] Hutchings, 2nd Master to take charge of her for the night
20 May Sat Discharged Mr Hutchings, 2nd Master, 5 seamen and 1 Krooman into the detained schooner to navigate her to St Helena for adjudication [awarded tonnage bounty by prize court on 29 October 1850]
22 May Mon At anchor, off Caroco Island [a small island south-east of Princes Island]
24 May Wed At single anchor, West Bay
28 May Sun From Princes [Island], to the Bight of Benin
10 Jun Sat Off Whydah cruizing
23 Jun Fri Off Palma: 4.49 N 4.15 E, Palma N29W 36 miles
24 Jun Sat a.m.
6.25 Obsd a sail on lee bow. Made all sail in chase. Hoisted general signals to chase. Obsd stranger make all sail to the northward
p.m.
2 Obsd stranger shorten sail
2.20 Do hove to. Shortened sail to topsails. Lowered 1st and 2nd cutter to board stranger
2.30 Shortened sail and came to in 5 fthm. Veered to 24 fthm
3.10 Weighed and made all plain sail to topsails, jib and spanker
3.30 Hove to. 1st cutter returned having boarded the Brazilian schooner "Curioso", perfectly fitted for the slave trade
4 Filled on the starboard tack. Hove to. Filled to close prize at anchor
5 Hove to
6.30 Sent prize crew and provisions on board prize
[awarded tonnage bounty and proceeds of hull &c by prize court on 29 October 1850]
2 Jul Sun a.m.
4.40 Observed a sail on lee bow. [sailed?] in chase of do. Stranger proved to be a Brazilian schooner. Lowered cutter to board do. Cutter returned having detained the Brazilian slave schooner "2nd July" with 306 slaves. Employed transferring same from schooner to ship

5.55 N 2.26 E, Whydah N49W distance 33 miles [awarded slave and tonnage bounties for the "Secundo de Julho" by prize court on 29 October 1850]
3 Jul Mon 5.5 N 3.14 E, Whydah N70W distance 74 miles
6 Jul Thu 5.36 N 3.57 E, Whydah N67W distance 121 miles
p.m.
Observed on wr.
[=weather] bow. Cast off detained schooner. All plain sail to top gallt. in chase
3.15 Made out stranger to be the detained schooner "Curioso"
4 Lowered cutter. Employed transhipping slaves from ship to schooner "Curioso"
7.30 Wm. Richardson, AB no. 131 fell overboard from the first cutter while alongside the "Curioso" and was drowned
7 Jul Fri Held a survey of the detained schooner "2nd of July"
Discharged Lt
[Walter] Strickland, Mr [James] Wilcox Mids, 6 seamen, 2 kroomen and 1 marine to navigate the detained schooner "Curioso" to Sierra Leone, having on board all the slaves, 306 in no. taken on the Brazilian schooner "2nd of July". Took the latter vessel in tow
8 Jul Sat 5 p.m. Cast off the detained slave schooner - 2nd of July - and went to general quarters, firing at schooner. Time from beat of drum to 1st gun: 6 min
5.20 Schooner filled with water and disappeared
[awarded slave and tonnage bounty for "Secundo de Julho" by prize court on 29 October 1850]
12 Jul Wed Whydah
15 Jul Sat At single anchor off Little Popoe
Weighed and made sail
20 Jul Thu 5.35 N 1.12 E, Cape St Pauls N58W, 21 miles
At single anchor Quitah roads
22 Jul Sat Sailed
2 Aug Wed At single anchor, West Bay, Princes Island
8 Aug Tue From Princes Island for the Bight of Benin
11 Aug Fri Bight of Benin
14 Aug Mon From the Bight of Benin, to Ascension
21 Aug Mon 0.18 S 5.29 E
30 Aug Wed At single anchor, Ascension roads
2 Sep Sat Employed receiving provisions and stores for the Bight Division
3 Sep Sun From Ascension, to the Bight of Benin
8 Sep Fri 2.28 S 6.51 W
10 Sep Sun 1.47 N 1.51 W
a.m.
4.50 Observed a sail on weather bow, wore, trimmed and made sail as requisite for chase
Daylight Delivered 3 or 4 shot, with musquets, at chase, stranger showed Brazilian colors
6.30 Stranger rounded to. Down boats and boarded do. Proved to be the St Antonio from Whydah bound for Bahia with 297 slaves on board. Detained her
Employed transporting prisoners from the prize to the ship. Received 18 prisoners
p.m.
Discharged Mr
[Acting Lieut. William] Graham, 5 seamen, 1 boy, 1 marine and 1 krooman to navigate detained vessel to Sierra Leone
1 Parted co. with chase
[awarded slave and tonnage bounty for "St Antonio Triumpho" by prize court on 13 May 1851]
15 Sep Fri Cruizing in the Bight of Benin
17 Sep Sun 8 a.m. Observed a sail ahead. Made all possible sail in chase
18 Sep Mon p.m.
Fired a shotted gun. Stranger shortened sail and shewed Brazilian colors. Hove to and sent cutter on board stranger. Do. proved to be the Brizalian brig "Josepha", fully equipped for the slave trade. Detained do. Employed receiving on board prisoners, 30 in no.
3.50 Up boat. Brig in charge of Mr
[Valentine G.] Roberts, Master
20 Sep Wed Hove to. Prize do. Sent Lieut [James H.] Furneaux and a party of hands on board the detained vessel "Josepha". Parted company with prize [arrived at St. Helena on 24 October 1848, and condemned by Vice-Admiralty court on 9 November 1848; awarded tonnage bounty and proceeds of hull &c by prize court on 13 May 1851]
22 Sep Fri Hove to off the River Lagos. Fired 2 blank guns. Discharged all the prisoners, 29 in number to the shore [the 30th prisoner had presumably been sent in the prize to answer the prize court]
4 Oct Wed From the Bight of Benin, to Princes Island
6 Oct Fri At single anchor, West Bay, Princes Island
12 Oct Thu From Princes Island, to the Bight of Benin
13 Oct Fri Cruizing in the Bight of Benin
29 Oct Sun At single anchor off Little Popo
1 Nov Wed Weighed
4 Nov Sat At single anchor off Whydah
11 Nov Sat Weighed and made all plain sail
14 Nov Tue At single anchor off Lagos
18 Nov Sat Running along the land to the eastward
19 Nov Sun Cruizing in the Bight of Benin
28 Nov Tue At single anchor off the River Lagos
1 Dec Fri From Lagos to Palma
2 Dec Sat From Lagos, to Princes Island
12 Dec Tue West Bay, Princes Island
14 Dec Thu From Princes Island, to Ascension
22 Dec Fri 0.19 N 3.17 E
29 Dec Fri 5.35 S 10.15 E
31 Dec Sun Ascension
1849
3 Jan Wed Discharged the whole of the Africans, 23 in number to HMS "Tortoise" [receiving ship] - their wages being paid per order by Paymaster and Purser
4 Jan Thu From Ascension, to Rio Janeiro
18 Jan Thu Rio harbour
27 Jan Sat From Rio, to Valparaiso [Chile]
16 Feb Fri 55.30 S 57.53 W
20 Feb Tue 59.41 S 68.20 W [furthest point south, rounding Cape Horn]
22 Feb Thu 58.18 S 79.46 W
28 Feb Wed 48.19 S 82.56 W
6 Mar Tue Moored in Valparaiso Bay
2 Apr Mon Cruizing off Valparaiso
8 Apr Sun From Valparaiso, to Callao [the port of Lima, Peru]
11 Apr Wed 21.10 S 77.0 W
16 Apr Mon At single anchor, Callao roads
22 Apr Sun From Callao, to the Sandwich Islands [= Hawaiian Islands]
27 Apr Fri 5.32 S 91.42 W
6 May Sun 1.58 N 111.14 W
15 May Tue 11.43 N 129.47 W
20 May Sun 18.35 N 148.53 W
24 May Thu Moored in Honolulu Harbour, Island of Woahao [= Oahu]
7 Jul Sat From Honolulo, to Owhyhee [= Hawaii]
22 Jul Sun 21.0 N 155.36 W
23 Jul Mon At single anchor in Byrons Bay [modern Hilo Bay, Big Island], Owhyhee
4 Aug Sat From Byrons Bay, to Valparaiso
5 Aug Sun 19.54 N 154.29 W
13 Aug Mon 10.0 N 145.23 W
20 Aug Mon 4.59 N 144.1 W
27 Aug Mon 15.22 S 148.41 W
4 Sep Tue 33.06 S 137.46 W
18 Sep Tue 35.27 S 87.43 W
25 Sep Tue At single anchor, Valparaiso Bay
28 Sep Fri Weighed and stood out of the bay under all plain sail, leaving at anchor HMS Asia, schooner Cockatrice, steamer Driver and Nereus [Nereus: 1821 launched as Leda class frigate; 1843 coal dept in Valparaiso; 1879 sold]
4 Oct Thu 18.16 S 81.48 W
16 Oct Tue 3.12 N 104.32 W
24 Oct Wed 20.58 N 107.11 W
27 Oct Sat At single anchor off San Blas [21.35 N 105.20 W]
4 Nov Sun From San Blas, to Mazatlan
7 Nov Wed 21.12 N 106.45 W
9 Nov Fri Moored in Mazatlan Harbour
1850
11 Jan Fri a.m.
2h.15m Departed this life "Thomas" "Rodney" "Eden" - "Captain"
Recd f
[resh] beef 224 lbs, vegetables 112 lbs
8 Up top gallt yards & fired 9 minute guns
p.m.
2.30 Mustered per divisions
2.45 Manned the boats and do. sent on shore for interment of the remains of Captain Eden. Ferried men to same
[?] - 40 in no. on the company leaving the ship
Sunset The funeral party returned, up boats
19 Feb Tue From Mazatlan, to San Blas
21 Feb Thu At single anchor in San Blas
26 Feb Tue From San Blas, to Manzanillo
27 Feb Wed 19.33 N 105.44 W
28 Feb Thu Working up for Manzanillo Bay
1 Mar Fri From Manzanillo, to Valparaiso
2 Mar Sat 16.51 N 106.52 W
11 Mar Mon 2.25 N 110.41 W
19 Mar Tue 11.33 S 117.15 W
7 Apr Sun 35.04 S 102.47 W
16 Apr Tue 34.33 S 81.42 W
20 Apr Sat At anchor in Valparaiso Bay
2 May Tue From Valparaiso, to Rio Janeiro
8 May Wed 40.27 S 83.32 W
13 May Mon 50.42 S 82.57 W
14 May Tue 54.01 S 80.39 W
15 May Wed 56.37 S 77.07 W
17 May Fri 56.35 S 64.45 W
22 May Wed 50.46 S 51.18 W
30 May Thu 33.07 S 39.44 W
7 Jun Fri At single anchor, Rio Janeiro
9 Jun Sun From Rio, to England
19 Jun Wed 1.05 S 29.07 W
27 Jun Thu 20.20 N 38.00 W
3 Jul Wed 33.52 N 38.06 W
11 Jul Thu 48.27 N 16.46 W
21 Jul Sun Lashed alongside the dockyard, Portsmouth
26 Jul Fri P.M.
2: Admiral Superintendent came onboard with pay clerks, and paid wages due to ships company.
Sunset: Hauled the pennant down.
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