British and Enemy Casualties
Table from Lewis 'A social History of the Navy 1793-1815'
In the Six Major Victories
|First of June 1794||287||811||1098||1500||2000||3500||3500
|Cape St. Vincent 1797||73||227||300||430||570||1000||3157
|The Nile 1798||218||677||895||1400||600||2000||3225
The figues are not absolute, they are based on official lists supplied by the admirals after the battles and some men in the wounded category will have subsequently died of their wounds.
Why are there such large differences between enemy and british casualties?
This is examined in Ships and Tactics
For an account of a ship to ship engagement go to Samuel Leeches story
Back to Broadside
Back to Life,Death and Health in the Navy
Extracts from the Naval Chronical
Vol IX 1803 (p 162)
January 28. Yesterday morning, at 10 o`clock, the Royal Marines were drawn up in the Court of the Barracks to hear the
sentence and attend the punishment of Searjeant Schmitt, of that corps, for desertion and embezzling money with which he had
been entrusted as Pay Serjeant. The proceedings of the court were read by Lieutenant and Adjutant Varlo. The charge being
proved, the prisoner was sentenced for the desertion, to be reduced to the ranks and receive 500 lashes; for the embezzelment
of the money (which was stated to be sixty-seven pounds, eighteen shillings and four and a half pence) to have all sums due to
him for pay etc. applied to the repayment and tro have his future pay stopped, to an ammount not exceeding a half, till the
whole deficiency be made good. The approbation of the sentence and the order to carry it into execution by the Lords of the
Admiralty was then read. The Prisoner, when he was brought out to hear his sentence and while it was reading, carried himself
with a firm but modest air. Before he had received 100 lashes, his body began to writhe excessively, though his countenance
was little moved. After that he moaned and complained at intervals with a low and evidently smothered voice. Once or twice
he said, "I cannot bear it". He appeared to be of a delicate habit. When he had received 300 lashes, the surgeon took his
pulse, after which he received 50 more, and was then taken down.
Woe Betide a captain who took the law into his own hands, sometimes!
On Monday and Tuesday, the 5th and 6th of February, a court-martial was held on the Hon. Capt. for having, when he was
commander of his Majesty`s ship Recruit, on the 13th of December 1807, caused a seaman, by the name of Robert Jeffery, to
be put on shore on the desert island of Sombrero in the West Indies.
It appeared that in the month of November1807 Jeffery went into the gunner`s cabin and took out a bottle with some rum in it;
that on the day he was sent on shore he had broached a cask of spruce beer which had been brewed for the ship`s company,
and that his general character was that of a skulker.
The Recruit being off the island of Sombrero, Capt. Lake asked the master what island it was and if there were not some
thieves aboard. The master answered "yes, there were two." Capt. Lake then desired him to send Jeffery up to him; the man
soon came up and the captain said that he would not keep such a man in his ship and he ordered Lieut. Mould to land the man
and return immediately.
As soon as Admiral Cochrane heard of the circumstance, he reprimanded the captain and sent him to take the man off the
island. Some of the officers of Recruit landed and explored the island but found nothing on it. It was a barren spot, covered in
the middle with a kind of rough grass weed, with no house or inhabitant. It appeared, however, by American newspapers
afterwards received, that the man had been taken off the island by an American ship and landed in America.
In his defence Capt. Lake denied that he ever intended putting the man`s life in jeopardy as he thought the island was
inhabited. The court agreed that the charge had been proved and Capt. Lake was dismissed from his Majesty`s service.
Note on the above ----- Sombrero Is. is about 30 miles north of Antigua. Jeffery was taken to Massachusetts from where he
was brought home to England in HMS Thistle to be officially discharged and awarded compensation.
Back to the top.
Vol XVI p. 313
Sunday Morning, 12 October, a duel was fought near the obelisk, Mount Edgecombe, by a Mr Armstrong, Midshipman of
His Majesty`s ship PRINCE OF WALES and a Mr Long of the RESISTANCE frigate, which lately sailed from Plymouth.
His antagonist`s ball entered Mr Long`s right side and it is thought lodged in his left shoulder. This circumstance took place at
half past eight o`clock in the morning, and was not made known until three in the afternoon when the Port Admiral ordered
search for the deceased. He was found lying on his back, his hat on, his pockets turned out, and a cane lying across his arm.
His second, Mr -----, Midshipman of the MONARCH had left him immediately after the fatal ball was fired and returned to
Dock with Mr Armstrong and Mr Wells of the PRINCE OF WALES, his second.
The dispute originated in a common hop in Pembroke Street, where Armstrong wanted to put out the lights while the deceased
was dancing with his girl. High words arose, and they immediately adjourned to an inn where the challenge was settled. Mr
Long was a youth of engaging manners, about 18 years old, and, it is said, related to the Duke of Montrose. A strict search is
making after the parties who, it is supposed, have gone on board their respective ships.
Note. Mount Edgecombe is parkland on the opposite bank of the mouth (The Narrows) of the River Tamar from
Plymouth. Dock is Plymouth Dock, the original name for Devonport
Back to the TOP
Back to Broadside