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Royal Edward (1796 ship)

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History
French Navy EnsignFrance
NameAlexandre
Launched1782
Capturedc.1795
Great Britain
NameRoyal Edward
OwnerVarious
Acquiredc.1796 by purchase of a prize
FateCondemned and broken up in 1815
General characteristics
Tons burthen3513194,[1] or 367,[2] or 369,[2][3] or 375[4](bm)
Complement
Armament
  • 1798:2 × 6-pounder + 4 × 4-pounder guns + 6 × 12-pounder carronades[5]
  • 1809:14 × 9-pounder guns[2]
  • 1812:10 × 9-pounder guns + 2 × 6-pounder carronades[2]

Royal Edward was launched in 1782 in France as Alexandre. The British captured her c.1796, and new owners changed her name. She then sailed for a few years as a West Indiaman before completing four voyages as a slave ship. She returned to the West India trade after leaving the slave trade, and then traded more generally. She was condemned as unseaworthy and broken up in Bengal in 1815.

Career

French origins

Royal Edward was launched in 1782, in France, as Alexandre. She was reportedly a prize to HMS Hussar.[1][a]

Alexandre was condemned in Prize Court and sold.[1] New owners then renamed her.

Though volumes of Lloyd's Register and the Register of Shipping give a capture year of 1796, she does not enter Lloyd's Register before 1798. She sailed as a West Indiaman before entering into the slave trade.

Year Master Owner Trade Notes & source
1798 J.Burn Hart London–Jamaica French prize; Lloyd's Register (LR)[5]
1799 J.Burn
T.Bushell
Hart London–Jamaica
Liverpool–Africa
LR[4]
1800 T. Bushell Hodgson Liverpool–Africa LR

Slave trade

First slave voyage (1799-1800): Captain Thomas Bushell sailed from England on 4 September 1799. She gathered her slaves at Bonny Island, and arrived at Kingston, Jamaica on 14 July 1800. She had embarked 432 slaves and she disembarked 316, for a loss rate of 8.3%. Royal Edward left Jamaica on 18 October and arrived back at Liverpool on 23 December. She had a crew of 44 men, of whom 15 died on the voyage.[7]

Second slave voyage (1801-1802): Captain John Griffiths sailed from Liverpool on 24 June 1801. He gathered his slaves at Calabar, and delivered them to St Croix, Danish West Indies, on 3 May 1802. He had embarked 316 slaves and he disembarked 280, for a loss rate of 10%. Royal Edward left St Croix on 2 July, and arrived back at Liverpool on 4 August.[7]

Royal Edward underwent a "good repair" in 1805.

Third slave voyage (1805-1806): Captain Thomas Jump sailed from England on 27 September 1805. It is not clear where he gathered his slaves. He arrived at Trinidad on 12 April 1806. He had embarked 310 slaves and he disembarked 279, for a loss rate of 10%. At some point Captain George Forster replaced Jump. Royal Edward left Trinidad on 10 July and arrived back in England on 13 August. She had a crew of 47 men, four of whom died on the voyage.[7]

Fourth slave voyage (1806-1809): Captain Richard Burrows sailed from Liverpool on 28 October 1806. He gathered his slaves at Calabar, and arrived at Suriname on 3 October 1808. He had embarked 352 slaves and he disembarked 316, for a loss rate of 10.2%. Royal Edward arrived back at Liverpool on 15 February 1809. She had a crew of 41 men, and lost eight on the voyage.[7] The Slave Trade Act 1807 forbade British vessels from engaging in the slave trade; because Royal Edward had left before the passage of the Act, her fourth voyage remained legal.

Lloyd's List for 1809 shows Royal Edward's master changing from R. Burrows to J. Clint. There is no change in ownership, or trade, which is still Liverpool–Africa. Captain John Clint acquired a letter of marque on 24 July 1809.[2]

The 1810 volume of Lloyd's Register shows Royal Edward with Clint, master, Mullion, owner, and trade London–Havana. I 1811 her master changed to Wilson, and her trade to London–West Indies. The next year shows her owner as Donaldson. There is no change in her trade, but her entry carries the notation "condemned".[8]

Lloyd's Register for 1813 shows Royal Edward's master as J. Boyd, her owner as I. Cooper, and her trade London–St Ubes.[9] Captain James Boyd acquired a letter of marque on 19 March 1812. On 31 May 1812 Boyd had to put back into Lisbon as Royal Edward was leaky. She had started out for England.[10]

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Fate

In 1814 the British East India Company (EIC) lost its monopoly on trade with India and South East Asia, though it retained its monopoly on trade with China. Thereafter British vessels could sail to India under a license from the EIC.

Lloyd's Register for 1816 shows Royal Edward with E. Burford, master, I. Cooper, owner, and trade London–Île de France.[3]

Royal Edward, Balston, master, arrived at Calcutta from Île de France in late August 1815. She was surveyed at Calcutta, condemned as unseaworthy, and was sold for breaking up.[11]

Source: "Royal Edward (1796 ship)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Edward_(1796_ship).

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Notes
  1. ^ The only mention in the London Gazette of the capture of a contemporary Alexandre is in an account by Sir Richard Strachan, of HMS Melampus of his squadron's capture on 5 May 1795 of a convoy. The largest vessel in the convoy was Alexandre, of 397 tons (bm), which was carrying ship timber, cordage, hemp, and cannon. Hussar was not part of the British squadron.[6]
Citations
  1. ^ a b c Hackman (2001), p. 309.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Letter of Marque, p.85 - accessed 25 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Lloyd's Register (1816), Seq.№455.
  4. ^ a b Lloyd's Register (1799), Seq.№R175.
  5. ^ a b Lloyd's Register (1798), Seq.№178.
  6. ^ "No. 13778". The London Gazette. 12 May 1795. p. 453.
  7. ^ a b c d Trans-Atlantic slave Trade Database: Royal Edward.
  8. ^ Lloyd's Register (1812), Seq.№453.
  9. ^ Lloyd's Register (1813), Seq.№483.
  10. ^ Lloyd's List №4678.
  11. ^ Lloyd's List №5059.
References
  • Hackman, Rowan (2001). Ships of the East India Company. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-96-7.

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