The Trafalgar Chronicle New Series 7

THE TRAFALGAR CHRONICLE Dedicated to Naval History in the Nelson Era New Series 7 Journal of THE 1805 CLUB Edited by JUdITHE PEARSONANdJOHNA ROdGAARd In association with The 1805 Club

Text copyright © individual authors 2022 First published in Great Britain in 2022 by Seaforth Publishing, A division of Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 47 Church Street, Barnsley S70 2AS British Library Cataloguing in Publication data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978 1 3990 9046 9 (paperback) ISBN 978 1 3990 9047 6 (epub) ISBN 978 1 3990 9048 3 (kindle) All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing of both the copyright owner and the above publisher. The right of the individual contributors to be identified as the authors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, designs and Patents Act 1988. Pen & Sword Books Limited incorporates the imprints of Atlas, Archaeology, Aviation, discovery, Family History, Fiction, History, Maritime, Military, Military Classics, Politics, Select, Transport, True Crime, Air World, Frontline Publishing, Leo Cooper, Remember When, Seaforth Publishing, The Praetorian Press, Wharncliffe Local History, Wharncliffe Transport, Wharncliffe True Crime and White Owl. designed and typeset in Times New Roman by Mousemat design Printed and bound in the UK by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

Contents President’s Foreword – Admiral Sir Jonathon Band 5 Editors’ Foreword – Judith E Pearson and John A Rodgaard 7 Articles on the 2022 Theme: Scientific and Technological Advances in the Navies of the Georgian Era Sir Samuel Bentham – Civil Architect and the First Engineer 10 of the Royal Navy – John Wills and Kenneth Flemming The Blomefield Cannon – Aaron Bright 25 Benjamin Robins and the Science of Naval Gunnery – Anthony Bruce 37 Robert Fulton’s Infernal Machines – Christopher Pieczynski 48 Charts ‘sent by the ever to be lamented Lord Nelson’: 60 Some Reflections on Navigational Practice in the Georgian Royal Navy – Michael Barritt Peter Heywood: Scientific Sailor – Paul Martinovich 71 Fighting Instructions, Signal Books and the Line of Battle: 85 The Evolution of Sailing Tactics in the Royal Navy, 1740–1815 – Andrew Venn Advances in Shipboard Care in Nelson’s Navy – Linda Collison 96 The Navy’s Naturalist and Polymath: Sir Joseph Banks (1743–1820) 105 – Tom d Fremantle

THE TRAFALGAR CHRONICLE Biographical Portraits Family Tradition in the Life of Sir Harry Neale: A Clarification 117 – Barry Jolly George Matcham (1753–1833): A Biography of Lord Nelson’s 129 Inventor Brother-in-law – Lily Style Articles of General Interest Constitution versus Guerriere: The Lost Historical Significance 144 of the Single Ship Actions of the War of 1812 – Nicholas James Kaizer A Futile danish Expedition to Morocco – and its Perspectives 155 – Jakob Seerup Contributors’ Biographies 165 Notes 169 The 1805 Club 192 Colour Plate section between pages 128 and 129

5 President’s Foreword In last year’s edition of the Trafalgar Chronicle, I recognised that it was a truly unique volume. The individual authors, together with the editorial team, overcame the hurdles placed in front of them by the COVId-19 pandemic. despite being denied access to archives, libraries and museums, they produced submissions of high quality, and the editorial team maintained the high standards one expects in The 1805 Club’s flagship periodical. The 2022 issue of the Trafalgar Chronicle is no exception. As with the 2021 issue, this year’s Trafalgar Chronicle has a central theme: scientific and technological advances in the navies of the Georgian era. The editors conveyed to me their delight that they received so many proposals and the subsequent superb quality of submissions in this year’s edition. I was personally elated to see that the lead article on the life of Samuel Bentham and his inventions was co-authored by my old shipmate, Captain John Wills RN, Rtd. Back in the day, John was my engineering officer when I took command of the Royal Navy’s first Type 23 frigate, HMS Norfolk. He and his co-author, Mr Ken Flemming, a noted naval engineer in his own right, and one of the founders of The 1805 Club, have shown us how consequential Bentham’s inventions and manufacturing efficiencies were to the successes that the Royal Navy enjoyed during the great Anglo-French wars of the Georgian era. The Bentham article is joined by articles with subjects covering the development of gunnery, hydrography, medical advances and signalling. One would be remiss not to include fellow club member Tom Fremantle’s work on the great naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, and the influence he had within the Admiralty: influence that gave the Royal Navy’s leadership a greater understanding of the natural world. I believe you will come away with an appreciation that the scientific and technological advances presented within these pages helped to lay the

THE TRAFALGAR CHRONICLE 6 foundation for the development of the greatest military industrial complex the world had seen, until it was surpassed by America’s own military industrial complex of the twentieth century. I wish to convey my warm congratulations to the editors and the writers who have contributed to another engaging Trafalgar Chronicle — BZ! In closing, I want to recognise the passing of one of the Trafalgar Chronicle’s prolific contributors, Charles Fremantle. As with his cousin Tom, also a frequent contributor to the Chronicle, Charles was a direct descendant of a long line of Fremantles who served with distinction in the Royal Navy. This included another Thomas Fremantle who was ‘Nelson’s Right Hand Man’. With his retirement in 1991, Charles could boast that the Fremantles had 214 years of unbroken service in the Royal Navy. You are relieved, Sir. We have the watch. AdMIRALSIRJONATHONBANdGCB dL Former First Sea Lord President of the 1805 Club

7 Editors’ Foreword When we chose the theme for this issue, ‘Scientific and Technological advances in the Navies of the Georgian Era’, we had no inkling we would get so many impressive proposals – all on pertinent topics relevant to naval history at the dawning of the Industrial Revolution. This year’s contributors gave us quality content on inventions and innovations that facilitated the evolution of naval sea power, particularly in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. We felt gratified that our talented authors gave us more than meticulous research; they fashioned dramatic stories of exploration and adventure, achievement and folly, death and survival, and the accomplishments of geniuses. Our lead article by fellow 1805 Club members, Captain John Wills RN, Rtd, and Kenneth Flemming, documents the life of Samuel Bentham, Royal Navy engineer, a brigadier-general for Russia under Catherine the Great, and the Royal Navy’s Inspector General of Naval Works, 1796 to 1805. In the latter position he invented a fresh water system for ships at sea, developed steam power machinery for slitting timber, improved dockyard firefighting methods and dredging operations, and mechanised the manufacture of ships’ blocks, while expanding dockyard facilities, personnel and efficiencies. Lieutenant-Colonel Aaron Bright, US Army, and professor at the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, tells a searing tale about cannons that exploded in battle, maiming and killing the sailors who manned them. A young officer in the Royal Artillery, Thomas Blomefield took on the problem, making cannons safer and more efficient, and Royal Navy firepower more formidable. Frequent contributor Anthony Bruce details the life of Benjamin Robins, mathematician, engineer, and England’s expert in the science of naval gunnery, who invented the carronade and gave the Royal Navy more accurate artillery. Retired US Navy Commander and naval historian Christopher Pieczynski tells the story of a weapon that the British hated: Robert Fulton’s torpedo. In the War of 1812, while the British cursed these ‘infernal machines’, Yankees copied Fulton’s blueprints to devise ways to sink HM ships. And most of us remember Fulton only for his steamboat! Fellow 1805 Club member, Captain Michael Barrett RN, studies the history of hydrography and cartography. Readers will enjoy his piece on improvements to naval charts during the Georgian era. Canadian Paul Martinovich, a retired

museum planner, provides a biography of Peter Heywood, a ‘scientific sailor’ who became an oceanic surveyor and hydrographer, first with the Royal Navy and then with the East India Company. He charted about 350 locations around the Indian Ocean, surveyed South Atlantic islands and the River Plate, and perfected the use of chronometers for determining longitude, while commanding HM ships during the Anglo-French wars 1793–1815. Naval historian Andrew Venn examines the increased reliance on signalling in naval battles from the Seven Years War through to the Battle of Trafalgar and analyses how that reliance influenced the decisions of various naval commanders as they shifted between centralised and decentralised command styles. He concludes that Nelson’s ‘tactical revolution’ struck the perfect balance between those two styles. In the Age of Sail, more sailors died from diseases and infection than from battle wounds. It’s amazing that the shipboard mortality rate from illness dropped from one in eight, in 1780, to one in thirty in 1812. Linda Collison, a retired registered nurse, describes some of the advances in shipboard care hospital medicine that brought about this change. The 1805 Club stalwart, Tom Fremantle, has two distinguished ancestors who were naval officers in the time of Nelson. Mr Fremantle acquaints readers with Sir Joseph Banks, a navy naturalist who was influential with the Admiralty, the Navy Board and officers assigned to distant posts and unexplored lands. Club members Barry Jolly and Lily Style contribute to our section on ‘Biographical Portraits’ of Nelson’s contemporaries. Mr Jolly writes a followon to his piece in the 2021 issue on Sir Harry Neale, Baronet GCB, Member of Parliament, burgess, mayor, and a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty. In this year’s issue of the Trafalgar Chronicle, Mr Jolly tells of the controversy surrounding the name by which Sir Harry would be remembered after his death. The controversy stemmed from a stipulation in his wife’s grandfather’s will! Mr Barry goes on to solve three mysteries that emerged after Sir Harry’s death, involving a Canadian inlet, a telescope and a sword. Lily Style, a descendant of Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton, writes about her ancestor, George Matcham, Nelson’s brother-in-law, who made his fortune with the East India Company. Matcham and his family provided a home for Emma’s daughter, Horatia, when she became orphaned. Under ‘General Interest’, we are delighted to host Canadian naval history scholar, author and teacher, Nicholas Kaiser. His article gives readers a new appreciation of single ship actions in the War of 1812. Jakob Seerup, a museum curator in denmark, describes a futile danish expedition to Morocco. Let it suffice to say that the Moroccans did not play nicely with the visiting danish navy! His article was presented at the 2021 Biannual McMullen Naval History THE TRAFALGAR CHRONICLE 8

Symposium at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland and sponsored by The 1805 Club. Thirteen well-written, engaging articles by superb authors from four countries! Enough to warm an editor’s heart! We thank these authors for their acumen as historians, and their expertise in making history memorable and rich in detail. We admire the depth of their research, their selection of illustrations, and the quality of their writing. They were all marvellously obliging and cooperative with our questions and suggestions for revisions or clarification. They made our work as editors easy and enjoyable. The 1805 Club is a non-profit organisation with members across the globe. To honour our international membership, we have chosen the theme for the 2023 issue: ‘International Perspectives on the Navies of the Georgian Maritime Era.’ We want to know about events and personalities that shaped the navies of the world, 1714–1837. If you like to write and conduct historic research about all manner of things pertaining to the navies and maritime world of the Georgian era, send us a proposal and/or get on our email list of potential contributors. Contact us at To our readers: we welcome your comments, questions, ideas, and suggestions about this issue and future issues. Please tell your friends and colleagues about the Trafalgar Chronicle. Our publisher, Seaforth Publishing, welcomes purchases from individuals, organisations, universities, institutes, and libraries. 1805 Club members receive this journal as well as the Dispatches digital newsletter and the bi-annual The Kedge Anchor magazine as benefits of membership. If you aren’t a member of The 1805 Club, please join by completing an application at our website, JUdITHE PEARSON, PHd BURKE, VIRGINIA JOHNA ROdGAARd, CAPTAINUSN, RET MELBOURNE, FLORIdA EdITOR’S FOREWORd 9

Sir Samuel Bentham – Civil Architect and the First Engineer of the Royal Navy John Wills and Kenneth Flemming Machinery set in motion by inanimate force was the significant contribution of Sir Samuel Bentham (1757–1831), a brigadier-general who in 1813 wrote officially to the Admiralty to propose his innovation to mechanise the making of blocks for ships’ rigging. England led the world in the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s. In naval shipbuilding and support, Bentham is an icon of that revolution, with much the same effect as George Stephenson (1781–1848) with the introduction of steam railways for land-based transportation. Bentham’s early life Born in London, the youngest of the seven children of Jeremiah Bentham (1712–1792), an attorney, and his wife, Alicia Woodward Whitehorne Grove (d1759), Samuel and his more famous brother Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), philosopher, jurist and reformer, were the only two children in the family to survive infancy. The two brothers were exceptionally close, and their lives were frequently intertwined. Jeremy’s education is worth noting as he tutored Samuel at an early stage. For the first sixteen years of his life, Jeremy was described as exceedingly small, puny and feeble. He acquired a knowledge of musical notes at five. He learned to write and play the violin and was subsequently initiated into Latin grammar. He gained distinction at Westminster School, London, for writing Latin and Greek verses. At twelve, he was entered as a commoner at Queen’s College, Oxford. Samuel also attended Westminster from age six, leaving there in 1771 at fourteen to become a naval apprentice to William Grey, the best master shipwright in the Royal dockyard at Woolwich. His parents paid Grey the substantial sum of £50 per year for Samuel’s boarding, besides paying a large apprentice fee. It was doubtless primarily due to Jeremy’s persuasions that their father agreed to let Samuel pursue his enthusiasm for naval architecture rather than go to Oxford.1 Jeremiah Bentham was an intelligent businessman who had added considerably to his legacy by land speculations and leases, allowing both surviving sons to continue their education and placements. Samuel continued 10