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Extracts from the log of HMS Wanderer for the period 19 November 1839 - 15 September 1840
source: ADM 53/1523, 18 Nov 1839 - 31 Dec 1841
Sheerness - Spithead - Plymouth - St Jago - Sierra Leone - Ascension
After a previous cruise with the West African squadron, Wanderer was recommissioned in November 1839 by the Honourable Joseph Denman, son of the Lord Chief Justice, and destined to become one of the most influential and effective officers on the African coast. He was an advocate of close blockade of the slave factories, and his destruction of the barracoons at the mouth of the Gallinas River east of Sierra Leone - two months after Dr Loney left Wanderer for Persian - heralded the start of a (unfortunately) brief period of very proactive campaigning.
Here is a complete list of officers serving during the commission of 18 November 1839 - 27 June 1844 (from the ship's muster book). The ship carried a Surgeon and an Assistant Surgeon during almost the whole commission.
|19 Nov||Tue||At Sheerness; Capt. the Honble Josh. Denman hoisted the pennant|
|4 Jan||Sat||Up anchor and made sail|
|7 Jan||Thu||At Spithead|
|12 Jan||Sun||Anchored in Plymouth Sound|
|7 Feb||Fri||44.56 °N 7.24 °W|
|14 Feb||Fri||37.1 °N 12.59 °W|
|21 Feb||Fri||20.5 °N 22.28 °W|
|23 Feb||Sun||At single anchor, Porto Praya, St Jago [modern Praia, São Tiago, Cape Verde islands]|
|28 Feb||Fri||9.43 °N 16.53 °W|
|1 Mar||Sun||Anchored with B.B. [Best Bower = starboard bow anchor] in 12½ fthm, veered to 50 fthm. At single anchor in Sierre Leone river [map]|
|13 Mar||Fri||6.35 °N 13.11 °W|
|17 Mar||Tue||6.52 °N 12.28 °W; anchored|
|20 Mar||Fri||6.30 °N 12.0 °W|
|27 Mar||Fri||7.8 °N 13.40 °W|
|28 Mar||Sat||Anchored at Sierra Leone|
|3 Apr||Fri||Anchored off Banana Island [just south of Freetown]|
|5 Apr||Sun||a.m.:Empl. cleaning ship
1.30: Mustered at divisions. Arrived HMS Bonetta.
3.45: Arrived an American brig, detained by our boats [the slaver "Eliza Davidson" seized at 2.7.55 °N, 13.0 °W, and subsequently condemned in British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice at Sierra Leone]
5: Mustered at quarters. In cutter to repair
|6 Apr||Mon||a.m.: Employed scraping booms, painting mast head, 2 gun carrages, carpenter repairing cutter. Sent the jolly boat with 2nd Lieut to examine the brig detained. 12: do returned ...
Sent 7 ton of water onbd of the brig and 2 officers and 10 men. 6: Mustered at quarters. 7.30: A tornado with heavy rain and lightning.
|10 Apr||Fri||Weighed; anchored off Sierra Leone, Freetown Church SWly.|
|24 Apr||Fri||7.18 °N 12.50 °W|
|1 May||Fri||6.47 °N 11.42 °W|
|8 May||Fri||5.40 °N 10.20 °W|
9.45: Trimmed. Observed a sail on the lee bow. Made all sail in chase with port studg sails
11: Trimmed and fired a gun at chase
11.30: In lower studg sails and trimmed
12: chase north
Trimmed as regd in chase. Set port lower studg sail
2: Chase NWbW 5 miles
3: In port lower studg sail
3.30: In top gt and main top studg sails. Braced up on port tack for chase
4: Chase WNW 2 miles. Fired several guns at chase
5: Set stbd studg sails. Sent cutter to board chase
6.30: In studg sails & trimmed
8: Calm and cloudy. Lost overboard sponge, 1 and tampion, 2
8.30: Cutter returned having taken posession of the Josephina, Portuguese schooner fitted for the slave trade
10: Cutter and jolly boat transporting the crew and passengers with their luggage to the ship. Officer sent on bd to survey prize
p.m.: received ten hundred and seventy lbs. of bread from the prize. And a cask of pork for the prisoners. Sent an officer and 7 men with provisions onboard of the prize
3: Boats returned. Up do. Filled and made sail
3.30: Prize parted co.[crew awarded tonnage bounty and moiety of proceeds for "Josephina" by prize court on 29 December 1842]
|14 May||Thu||At anchor off the River Gallinas [near present town of Sulima near border with Liberia, see map]|
|25 May||Mon||Anchored in Sierra Leone|
7.30: Obs 2 vessels at anchor off Gallinas and one under weigh, made all sail in chase.
9: Mustered at quarters. Exd small arms men. Emply fitting gun tackles etc. Armourors at the forge. Sailmakers and carpenters variously employed.
9.20: Made the vessels at anchor off Gallinas to be the U.S. schooner Grampus and an American brig.
11: Obsd Grampus weigh.
Noon: Obsd chase show Portuguese colours. Set Stbd Stung sails. Chase anchored off Gallinas.
1.30: Shortened sail and hove to. Sent the 2nd Lieut to board the Portuguese schooner, and the gig to board a boat, and found the Portuguese schooner to be equiped for the Slave trade.
3: Sent a prize crew on board of the schooner ["São Paolo de Loando"; subsequently condemned in British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice at Sierra Leone] and sent her crew onboard of the American brig.
|4 June||Tue||Punished Benjamin Kingston (Boy 1st class) with 48 lashes and Thomas Oldroyd (Boy 1st class) with 30 lashes for having deserted from the boat while on duty on the 23rd May, and James Mc'Bean (captains cook) with 24 lashes for disobeying the order of Mr Symonds, Mate of the Lower Deck, and treating him with contempt in the execution of his office.
Mustered at quarters and read the Articles of War & Admiralty Circular to the ships Co.. Disrated William Robinson (B.M. [= boatswains mate?]) to ordinary seaman for drunkenness on board of the Josephina prize and stealing spirits. Punished Edwd. Willcox (Ordy.) with 36 lashes for drunkenness on board the Josephina and stealing spirits, and Charles Staufield AB with 30 lashes for drunkenness on board of a prize, the Paulo de Loando and stealing spirits.
12: Prizes in company.
3.15: trimmed Top G[allant] sails. Daylight. Obsd a schooner under Cape Mount. Out pinnace and gig and sent them in chase of do...
11: Trimmed. Fired ??? guns to bring chase to. Sent cutter to board chase.
p.m.: Cutter returned having ascertained the schooner fitted for the slave trade. ["Maria Rosaria"; subsequently condemned in British and Spanish Mixed Court of Justice at Sierra Leone]
|23 June||Tue||7.4 °N 12.26 °W|
|1 July||Wed||At single anchor off Gallinas
11: Obsd a sail to the NW. Weighed and made all plain sail in chase. Made stranger out to be a schooner standing towds Gallinas
noon: Stranger NW
4: chase NW 8 miles
7.15: Fired a shot to bring chase to
7.45: Fired a shell at chase
8: Chase SW by W, 2½ miles. Fired two shells and one shot at chase
11: Lost sight of chase
|2 July||Thu||6 a.m.: Obsd chase from Top Galt yard
4.30 p.m.: Fired a gun to bring chase to
5: Chase of yesterday ahead
6: Fired several guns at chase
8.40: Fired several more guns at chase. Do. shortened sail
9: Shortd sail. And hove to on Stbd tack. Sent jolly boat on board schooner. Jolly transporting crew of Pombinha (from Havana fitted for the slave trade) on bd
Noon: Grand Bassaa NE 9 or 10 miles
2.30: Up jolly boat. Wore and trimmed sail. Set foresails, royals and flying jib. Prize in compy, bearing S by E 1¾ miles [crew awarded tonnage bounty and moiety of proceeds for "Pombinha" by prize court on 29 December 1842]
|6 July||Mon||7.9 °N 12.26 °W|
|10 July||Fri||6.42 °N 12.00 °W|
|18 July||Sat||6.20 °N 12.9 °W|
|25 July||Sat||At single anchor off Sierra Leone|
|30 July||Thu||At single anchor off Banana Island|
|1 Aug||Sat||At single anchor in Sierra Leone River|
|7 Aug||Fri||8.41 °N 14.50 °W|
|14 Aug||Fri||[Sierra Leone Harbour:] Took charge of the Spanish brig 'Republicano' on account of her being fitted for the slave trade [case subsequently withdrawn]|
|21 Aug||Fri||4.22 °N 8.56 °W|
|28 Aug||Fri||2.47 °S 10.2 °W|
|30 Aug||Sun||At Ascension.
7 Burnt a blue light
7:15 Ditto was answered
9:30 Shortened sail and anchored with B.B. in 12¾ fthm, veered to 50 fthm and furled sails
|14 Sep||Mon||Arrived HMS Persian|
|15 Sep||Tue||[Assistant Surgeon Dr Loney and Mate Thomas E. Symonds transferred into HMS Persian]|
|Nov||Destruction of the barracoons at Gallinas River|