HMS Express - log extracts 
HMS Express - log extracts 

William Loney R.N.DocumentsShips' logsBuzzard

Extracts from the log of HMS Express for the period 2 July 1851 - 16 March 1852
Sources: ADM 53/5295, 2 July 1851 - 4 January 1852; ADM 53/5296, 5 January 1852 - 3 July 1852.

Plymouth - Bermuda - Cap Haitien (Haiti) - Guantanamo (Cumberland Harbour, Cuba) - Port Royal (Jamaica) - Greytown (Mosquito) - Bluefields (Mosquito) - Greytown - Cartegena (Columbia) - Port Royal

The (packet) brig Express was commissioned at Plymouth by Commander William Frederick Fead (who died after Edward Loney left the ship) for the North American and West Indies station, and sailed - together with the anchor hoy Devonport (modelExternal link of an anchor hoy), to which Edward Loney was attached for the crossing - to Bermuda. Leaving the hoy in Bermuda (where it was to serve for almost 20 years, being broken up there in 1870), Express continued to Jamaica, where Edward Loney was transferred to the receiving ship Imaum, but was almost immediately transferred back to Express, for service around the Caribbean Sea (including a three month period anchored at Greytown, the capital of the Mosquito Kingdom, a "country" on the coast of Nicaragua and Honduras recognised only by Great Britain).

The "Naval Intelligence" column of the "Times" newspaper (links in day-of-week column) gives details of the preparations for departure).

Here is a complete list of officers serving during the commission of 2 July 1851 - 20 September 1856 (from the ship's muster book); although Edward Loney served in Express for about six months, he was carried all this time on her books as a "supernumerary for victuals". The Surgeon with whom he served, James Niven, was invalided after Edward Loney had left the ship.

2 Jul Wed Commissioned by Lieut A Butler
Lt A Butler employed shipping petty officers & seamen
3 Jul Thu Joined Wm F Fead Esqr, Commander
4 Jul Fri Cast off from the hulk and warped alongside the dockyard
6 Jul Sun Mustered by open list and read the Articles of War, also Commissions
26 Jul Sat Shackled to the buoy off the Rubble [a bank in the Hamoaze, off the southwest facing side of the (modern) dockyard]
29 Jul Tue 10.30 a.m. Pilot came on board. Slipped from buoy. Steamer took us in tow and proceeded into the Sound
3 Aug Sun Weighed
Midnight: Hoy out of sight
4 Aug Mon Hoy ahead 600 yards
5 Aug Tue 48.35 °N 7.37 °W
10 Aug Sun 44.35 °N 12.35 °W
17 Aug Sun 35.03 °N 15.49 °W
24 Aug Sun 26.6 °N 27.58 °W
31 Aug Sun 25.16 °N 44.8 °W
7 Sep Sun 25.23 °N 55.01 °W
14 Sep Sun 31.06 °N 63.40 °W
19 Sep Fri 31.52 °N 64.54 °W
21 Sep Sun Shortened sail and came to with BB [Best Bower = starboard bow anchor] off Ireland Island [Bermuda; modern mapExternal link]
22 Sep Mon Hoy anchored
23 Sep Tue Hoy went into the basin [and Edward Loney presumably transferred to Express]
27 Sep Sat 7.40 a.m. Weighed and were taken in tow by Kite [which must also have crossed from Plymouth, because - according to the Times - the Kite was the streamer that towed Express from the Dockyard there into Plymouth Sound]
11 Steamer cast off
29 Sep Mon 30.12 °N 63.56 °W
6 Oct Mon 22.24 °N 68.41 °W
9 Oct Thu Pointe Picolet SW by W 4 miles. Came to at single anchor [Cap Haitien, Haiti; modern mapExternal link]
11 Oct Sat Weighed
13 Oct Mon 19.41 °N 75.18 °W; running for Guantanamo [south east Cuba, also known as Cumberland Harbour]
14 Oct Tue Pilot came on board. Filed and stood into harbour
16 Oct Thu Weighed and made all plain sail
18 Oct Sat Noon: Running through "Eastern passage" into Port Royal [Jamaica]
3 Shackled to the buoy off dockyard. Discharged supernumeraries to HM Ship Imaum [the receiving ship; Express's muster book reveals that this included Edward Loney]
29 Oct Wed [Edward Loney rejoined, "lent to duty by order"]
31 Oct Fri Cast off
2 Nov Sun 14.60 °N 77.47 °W
9 Nov Sun 10.37 °N 83.29 °W
10 Nov Mon Came to [in Greytown, Mosquito Kingdom]
17 Nov Mon p.m.
2.45 Arrived the R.M.
[Royal Mail] steamer "Avon"
3.30 Arrived the American steamer "Cherokee"
4.45 Arrived the American steamer "Prometheus"
21 Nov Fri a.m.
6.40 Loosed sails, exercised making & shortening sail
Received Fr
[esh] beef 75 lbs & vegetables 38 lbs
9 Mustered at quarters. Party working up junk
1 Hove short, made sail, hoisted pilot jack & fired two blank cartridges
1.30 Observed (Prometheus) American steamer get under way, pilot came on board
1.35 Mr Green (Consul General) came on board. Weighed & stood towards entrance of harbour
2 Hailed "Prometheus" & desired her to stop (having authority to detain her) and fired blank cartridge. Order disregarded, fired gun shotted across her & repeated the order, order unattended to, fired 2nd gun shotted across her, with the order to anchor. Steamer stopped, sent boat & came to an anchor
3 Sent boat with officer desiring steamer not to move without permission
3.30 Boat returned. Trimmed sails as requisite
4 Came to on starb
[oard] beam of steamer, Port Capt[ain] came on board, sent boat to "Prometheus" with permission to leave the harbour
4.15 Boat returned, "Prometheus" sailed, weighed, stood towards the town, sent boats ahead to tow
5.30 Came to with B.B.
[Best Bower] in 3½ fthms veered to 28 fthms, furled sails
[this incident was the so-called 'Prometheus affair': in 1844 Britain had declared a protectorate over the 'Mosquito kingdomExternal link' along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras; in 1850 Britain and the United States signed the Clayton-Bulmer TreatyExternal link, which would prevent either party expanding colonial activity in central america; the Unites States considered that the treaty required Britain to abandon the protectorate; Britain refused; war was possible; however in 1860 Britain ceded suzerainty over the Mosquito Coast to Nicaragua and normal relations with the United States were restored]
6 Dec Sat Saluted the Mosquito flag with 21 guns. HMM [His Mosquito Majesty's!] schooner Jessee having hoisted the Mosquito flag and been commissioned as a vessel of war for that kingdom which [i.e. the salute] was ack[nowledge]d from the schooner by the captain
8 Dec Mon Sent on board the Jessee (Mosquito) war schooner Mathew Crook and Henry Beaton, 1st class boys (victualed for three weeks) to assist in navigating her to the Corn Islands to obtain her crew
11 Dec Thu 5.20 p.m. Departed this life John Evans B.M.
12 Dec Fri 12.30 p.m. Interred on shore the body of John Evans, Boatswains Mate
13 Dec Sat 5 p.m. Obsd the American barque Quinnebaug get on shore on the shoals off Arenas Point. Sent assistance with anchors, cable etc to do which were accepted by the capt[ain] and who gave up the charge of the barque to Commr Fead [the Quinebaug is a river is Massachusetts]
16 Dec Tue Arrived American steamer Prometheus
19 Dec Fri American barque "Quinnebaug" hove off shore, came into harbour
26 Dec Fri Sailed American steamer Prometheus
21 Feb Sat 10 a.m. Embarked Mr James Green, British Consul and servant (per order) for Bluefields
12.45 p.m. Weighed and made sails to topsails
24 Feb Tue At anchor off Bluefields. Employed disembarking Consul's baggage and furniture. Disembarked James Green Esq HBM [Her Britannic Majesty's] Consul and servant
25 Feb Wed Weighed
26 Feb Tue Came to at Greytown
28 Feb Sat Weighed
3 Mar Wed 10.5 °N 80.07 °W; Porto Bello [Panama] S39E, 48 miles
9 Mar Tue Anchored in Carthagena Harbour [Columbia]
13 Mar Sat Running out of Carthagena
16 Mar Tue Came to at Port Royal [and Edward Loney was transferred to the receiving ship Imaum]

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