O naufrágio da Pallas, São Jorge, 1782 (I) 

Paulo Monteiro

 

Public Record Office, ADM 1/5322 part 3, fl. 380

At a Court Martial assembled and held on board his Majesty's Ship Triumph in Portsmouth Harbour on Saturday the 26th day of April 1783 by virtue of an order from the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain and Ireland & Dated the 23rd Day of the same Month for the Enquiry into the Cause and Circumstances of the loss of his Majesty's late Ship Pallas and for the Trial of Captain Christopher Parker and the Other Officers and People who belonged to her at the time she was ran onshore on the Island of Saint George for their Conduct upon the Occasion

Present

Jonathan Faulkner Senior Esquire Captain of his Majesty's Ship Princess Royal and Second Officer in the Command of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels at Portsmouth and Spithead ________________ President



Captains

Phillip Affleck Adam Duncan
Sir John Hamilton Bart Samuel Marshall
Sirc Charles Knowles Bart James Bradby
The Honorable James Luttrell Henry Edwin Stanhope
James Cornwallis George Campbell
Thomas Farnham George William Augustus Courtney



The Members being assembled the Prisoners were brought in attended by the Provost Marshall and the Audience admitted
The order for assembling the Court Martial was then red.
The Appointment of Mister William Augustus Betterworth to act as Judge advocate on the Occasion in the absence of the Judge Advocate and Deputy Judge Advocate of the Fleet was then red.
The members were then sworn
Then the Judge Advocate was sworn
Captain Parker's Letter of the 9th March 1783 to Philip Stephens Esquire Secretary to the Admiralty was then red

// [fl. 380v]

Then Captain Parker's Letter of the 16th April Instant to Philip Stephens Esquire was red.

Court - Have you, Captain Parker, any thing to allege against your Officers or Company?

Answer - Nothing

Court to the Officers and Company - Have you any thing to allege against Captain Parker?

Answer - No.


All the Witnesses but the first Lieutnant then Withdrew
Lieutenant Cannon was then sworn

Court - Was every thing done by Captain Parker incumbent on an officer, to preserve the Ship as long as it was possible to preserve her?

Answer - Yes, every thing that could be done.

Court - As first Lieutenant, did you consent to the running the Ship on shore?

Answer - Yes for I thought it impossible to keep her above water four hours longer.

Court - Was there any officer or Person under you, that you had any reason to complain of?

Answer - None. Every Body did all they could.

All the Witnesses were then ordered in
Then Captain Parker's Narrative was red.

All the witnesses but the Master, were ordered to withdraw
The Master was then sworn

Court - Was every thing done by Captain Parker incumbent on an Officer, to preserve the Ship, as long as it was possible to Preserve her?

Answer - Yes

Court - Did you as master, consent to the running the Ship on shore?

Answer - Yes.

Court - Was there any Officer or person under you, that you had any reason to complain of?

Answer - No

Captain Parker - Supposing we could have got the Ship to Port, Could we have kept her above water with our own Ship's Company?

Answer - No.

The Witness Withdrew

//[fl. 381]

Mister Fitzpatrick the 2d Lieutenant called in and sworn

Court - Was every thing done by Captain Parker incumbent on an Officer, to preserve the Ship as long as it was possible to preserve her?

Answer - Yes.

Court - Did you, as 2d Lieutenant, Consent to the Running the Ship on Shore?

Answer - I did

Court - was there any Officer or Person under you, that you had any reason to complain of?

Answer - None.

Captain Parker - Supposing we could have got the Ship to Port, Could we have kept her above water with our own Ship's Company?

Answer - I dont think we could

The Witness withdrew

The first Lieutenant ordered in again

Captain Parker - Supposing we could have got the Ship to Port, could we have kept her above water with our own Ship's Company?

Answer - No. By no means, not 4 Hours

The Witness withdrew

Mister George Elliot the Carpenter ordered in and Sworn

Captain Parker - Do you think there was any Possibility of keeping the Ship afloat any longer?

Answer - No

Captain Parker - Can you assign any Particular Reasons for your opinion?

Answer - Yes. Her Garboard Streak was very wormeaten, Her keel & the Rabbit of the Keel were also very bad and wormeaten, and indeed totally gone, So that the Ship could scarce swim, she would not lay down from Weakness, so that we were obliged to right her, when heaving down at Halifax.

Court - Was her frame altogether weak?

Answer - Totally - her upper works and all; - the ship was weak altogether, she had not strenght to heave down.

Court - Did Captain Parker give Directions for every thing to be done that you pointed out or suggested for the Preservation of the Ship?

Answer - Yes - every thing

Court - Did you perceive in the working of the Ship any of her bolts broke?

Answer - None that I could perceive

Court - What Water was there in the Ship, when she went on shore?

Answer - Four Feet

Court - How much an Hour, did she make in her Commom [Loak?]?

Answer - Between 8 and 9 Feet.

Captain Parker - Did you not go down by my Directions to try the well and see what water she made?

Answer - Yes.

Captain Parker - Did you not report to me that she made 3 Inches & an half in one Minute of time?

Answer - Yes.

Captain Parker - Was there not water in all the Holds that it did not come to the well?

Answer - Yes

Captain Parker - Were we not forced to Shorten our hand Pumps to keep them clear of the Ballast?

Answer - Yes.

Captain Parker - Did not the Chain Pumps bring Ballast up into their Cisterns?

Answer - Yes.

Captain Parker - Was not every means used to prevent the Ballast getting to the Well?

Answer - Yes.

Captain Parker - Did not the Ship work so much as frequently to unship the Rollers?

Answer - The Rollers were unshipped, but I judged it to be by Pumping.

Captain Parker - Were not the Pumps all of them in great danger of being rendered useless by the Ballast?

Answer - Yes

Witness Withdrew

Henry Work Quarter master called in and sworn

Captain Parker - Henry Work - Did you hear any murmering among the Ship's Company at running the Ship on shore?

// [fl. 382]

Answer - No.

Captain Parker - Was the unanimous Voice, and opinion of the whole then, with the measure?

Answer - Yes.

Witness Withdrew

Simon Jocelin called in and sworn

Captain Parker - Simon Jocelin - Did you hear any murmuring among the Ship's Company at running the Ship on shore?

Answer - No

Captain Parker - Did you all think it was right, the running her on Shore?

Answer - Yes - we could not keep her any longer


The Court was the cleared
After some time Spent in Deliberation the Court agreed on the Sentence which was drawn up and Signed by the Members and Judge Advocate.
The Court was then opened the Prisioners were brought in by the Provost Marshall and audience admitted.
The Judge Advocate then pronounced the Sentence in open Court.
The Sentence was then deliverede by the Judge Advocate to the President to be transmitted to their Lordships

Examined with the Original Minutes by me

William Betterworth

Judge Advocate on this occasion