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Sunday, December 23, 2007

December 23. 1778
Today Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey delivered the last of the clothes remaining from the donation, which is a hard blow to us all.

On the 18th instant Captain Ross of our ship escaped from the officer’s prison. On the evening of the 21st instant Mr. Salter and Captain Boardman made their escape but Captain Boardman was later captured and committed to the Black Hole.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 18. 1778
We have news again that two ships will be engaged in Portsmouth to carry us to Boston.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

December 16. 1778
It has been over two years since we sailed from Portsmouth and nearly two years since our capture by the Raisonable. There has been some rumor of a cartel being arranged to exchange us for British held captive by the Americans, but our hopes were dashed several days past when we learned that the British Parliament had renewed the act which committed us to Mill Prison in the first place. We also received bad news from Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey telling us that the donation money which has greatly helped us is now run out. We are now on regular government rations which are somewhat better in quality than previously.

Two days past John Lott and Indian from the Charming Sally crew died, he being the seventh man to die since we were taken.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

November 24. 1778
Several days past we learned from a paper that our former ship Dolton is now commanded by Captain George Tarton and is aptly named the Fortune since she is more profitable than any other English privateer since the French have entered the conflict.

We have been watching the English busy at work building a fort on Drake’s Island and another fort further up the sound. We suppose they are anxious about a possible French invasion.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11. 1778
James Shilder, Martin Shaw and Will Van Dusen got drunk today and complained when they could not buy more strong beer at the gate. They threw stones, shoes and bones at Mr. Cowdry's office breaking his windows to display their displeasure. A number of other men joined in hoping to also get drunk before they enlisted in the British navy. The Captain of the militia decided not to bring in his armed men to break up the riot but rather waited for the main body of prisoners to turn in the ring leaders which we did. These were then promptly placed in the black hole.

Friday, November 09, 2007

November 9, 1778
Today we learn that more of the men have put in their names to join the British navy, sick of their time here. Thirteen others were released on October 22.
Alexander Neal
James Lyons
Samuel Williams
Matthew Clear
Matthew Branson
John Steward
John Dagon
Joseph Engerson
Aaron Twidgley
Edward Hart
John Wigens
Willian Foord
Cuf Scott a negro

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

October 16. 1778
Today we gave three cheers at one o'clock and again tonight before the evening gun to celebrate the taking of General Burgoyne's army one year ago. Seven American prisoners from Liverpool were also brought here today.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Today we have it from Mr. Sorrey that their is a strong possibility of a cartel being arranged soon for us in exchange for British prisoners in France. A letter from American prisoners in Fortin prison at Portsmouth confirms this news.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Left mill prison the 5th day of October 1778
John Burnell
Richard Howard
William Smith
Edward Speeler
James Lowrey
John Davis
Umphery Potter
William Orsburn
David Clark
Frances Colburn
Bartholemy Barrell
William Bright
Robert Macelary
William Hall
Robert Richey
Frances Courtlen
William Creber
William Carpenter
Thomas Welch
Benjeman Loceet
Nichles Shais
Edward Lewas
Thomas Marles
Andrew Grase
William Deton
John George Stamfield
William Anderson
Benjaman Rigle
Thomas Runnels
Joseph Holt
Henery Beckley
Ellexander Fraser

The prison was in an uproar last night as these men celebrated their release. Most were sent on board the Russel and the remainder were sent onto the Royal George. As they left they gave us three cheers and we gave it back to them.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

October 4. 1778
Today 31 men were pardoned by His Majesty under condition that they will join the Royal Navy. They will leave this prison tomorrow. Most are old country men.

Thursday, August 30, 2007




August 31. 1778

I continue my study of numbers today.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007




August 28. 1778
Several days ago I purchased a notebook for the price of one shilling. This notebook has many blank pages but some are taken up with letters of promise to repay debts by men who have borrowed money in prison to assist them if they are successful in escaping from this place. I now have my turn at a copy of the British Youth’s Instructor book given to us by Mr. Heath which I plan to copy into this notebook to aid me in my study of numbers.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aug 16. 1778
Yesterday afternoon officers from Admiral Keppel’s fleet came to the prison looking for men who would be willing to join the British service in order to get out of this prison. Thirty gave over their names as willing some being Americans but most being from the old country.

Most of the men have been busy at learning navigation or reading books provided by the Rev. Mr. Heath. I have it in mind to improve my numbers and ciphering and when I have the opportunity I will get a book to study that is being handed about the prison.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1. 1778
Today we can see from our prison Admiral Keppel’s fleet, or what is remaining of his fleet, anchored in the Sound after having engaged the French. Several of his ships lay on their beam ends and boats have been busy throughout the day ferrying injured mariners to shore. It is reported that up to 800 wounded are now at the Royal Hospital. This was supposedly the best the English had to offer and by all appearances they were soundly thrashed. Yesterday we had several more captured Frenchmen brought to the prison, presumably captured during this recent engagement.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

July 26. 1778
Two days ago we awoke to find the Articles of Conduct by which we govern ourselves and which had been posted for all to observe, had been defaced by several fellows who had been causing much trouble the prior day. Three days ago, when told to behave themselves they threatened to ruin the Articles. For punishment they were each tied to a post and cold water poured over them for a half hour. One of the fellows complained to the agent but for his troubles he was ordered to be put into irons and isolated from us in the itchy prison.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 22. 1778
Two days ago it was storming for the first time in two months. Two prisoners used this opportunity to attempt to make their escape through a hole in the back of the Long Prison but when they emerged outside the wall they were quickly discovered by a sentry and returned to the prison. While the guards were in the Long Prison the alarm was raised for a fire in the chimbley of the guard house. In the confusion some of the guards thought the entire prison was on fire and this caused much uproar. More guards came into the Long Prison and found several men fully dressed and the guards supposing this was a sign that they were also ready to make their escape committed them to the Black Hole.

Yesterday Captains Lee, Ross, Kirk and Shoemaker climbed over their wall into the Frenchmen’s yard. Kirk and Shoemaker were soon discovered by a sentry and sent to the Black Hole. Lee and Ross were discovered in the hospital broiling beefsteaks and they too were committed to the Black Hole.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19. 1778
Several days past we drew up articles of conduct by which to rule ourselves. This is in response to the rough behavior of several of those men who continually use their allowance to immediately become disguised with beer purchased at the gate. They then cause an uproar in the prison by constantly picking fights. Our articles prohibit anyone from blackguarding an officer or soldier, gambling with cards or coppers, fighting or getting disguised with liquor, under penalty of punishment. Since these regulations have been put in place and since the Rev. Mr. Heath has brought us several books to employ our minds the prison is in a more calm state.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 16. 1778
Yesterday several of our boys generated some excitement when they were found to be missing. This did not last long as they were soon found hiding in the Frenchmen’s yard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 10. 1778
Today, Joseph Burnham decided to take the doctor’s offer and had his thigh removed after suffering so long with the white swelling in his knee.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

July 8. 1778
On July 4th we made great sport of William Cowdry, our keeper. We formed ourselves into 13 regiments representing the 13 United States with each regiment giving a rousing cheer to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Cowdry, seeing Independence and Liberty or Death written on our cockades, was convinced we were ready to make a run at the gate in full force and responded by doubling the guards at the gate. We, seeing this, took great delight in his misunderstanding with many jokes made and laughing for the rest of the evening.

Today the Reverend Mr. Heath visited us bringing with him several books which he has given to us for our education and amusement. These books included A Bible, Hervey's Meditations, in 2 vols., Mrs. Rowe's Devout Exercises, Watts's Lyric Poems, Milton's Paradise Lost, The British Youth's Instructor, The Letter Writer Instructed, A Guide for the Young, Burkitt's Help and Guide to Christian Families and Shower's Reflections on Time and Eternity."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 3. 1778
Several of our number are busily employed at making cockades for all of us to wear tomorrow in celebration of the second anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

July 1. 1778
Yesterday evening I, along with five others, attempted to make our escape through a window in this prison into the yard and then over the wall. As we started to scale the wall a sentry raised the alarm. We were able to make our way back to the Long Prison and into the window before the guards could come in and catch us. So, for now we avoid the pleasures of being put up in the Black Hole.

Friday, June 29, 2007

June 29. 1778
Joseph Burnham of our crew has a white swelling in his knee. The prison doctor has offered to amputate his leg to save his life should he be willing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

June 27. 1778
This afternoon Mr. Kirk, an Irishman and officer of the Lexington, and Mr. Showmaker, officer of the Charming Sally from Long Island, were invited by the sentry to make their escape over the wall but they were soon found out, returned and committed to the Black Hole.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

June 26. 1778
A French cutter and 2 frigates have been taken by the British and brought here to Plymouth. Several wounded Frenchmen were brought to the prison hospital for treatment of their injuries caused during the engagement. Five of our men who escaped yesterday were returned to our yard today. They had successfully made for a boat some distance from the prison but the alarm was sounded and they soon captured.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

June 24. 1778
Over these past several days some of the men have been employed at digging a hole into the vault drain in the old stone prison. To our regret this plan was found out by the sentries the day before yesterday at about 8 o’clock in the evening. The men who were discovered were promptly committed to the Black Hole. The sentries then went into the officer’s prison and found our 2nd Lieutenant Buntin and Captain Boardman strolling about. They refused to go to bed as ordered and they too were sent off to the Black Hole.

Last night Mr. Cross of our crew and Mr. Dale, Lieutenant of the Lexington were also found out to be walking about after the designated time and were sent to the Black Hole. Today they have written a petition to the Board to ask whether our prison keeper has the authority to commit men to the Black Hole for simply walking about after hours.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 20. 1778
Today Mr. Heath returned and asked that each of us provide name, occupation and place of residence. This list will be sent to the committee responsible for raising subscriptions to support us. He again told us that prospects are high for an exchange soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

June 19. 1778
We are told that the sentries and guards have orders not to abuse us even should we be caught attempting to escape. I guess we afford better treatment now that the British worry about the welfare of their own prisoners in France and in America after Burgoyne’s defeat.

Monday, June 18, 2007

June 18. 1778
Some boys from another ship’s crew made their way back into the prison today during our muster. While there they damaged some hammocks for which there punishment was a sound whipping.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

June 16. 1778
Today we received a letter from Captain Harris a prisoner at Forton Prison in Portsmouth telling us he has it on good account that 250 British prisoners are now being held in France and that we should take heart as there will soon be an exchange. Many of our company mistrust this type of false hope as we have heard these encouraging stories for months but to no effect.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

June 14.1778
Mr. Heath visited us yesterday after being away in London. He scolded us for our wicked, blasphemous behavior which is the truth. He did, however, bring some books that he will give to those who can make good use of them. I have a mind to get a copy of a book to help me learn better to calculate my ciphers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

June 13. 1778
William Smith was brought out and paraded about in irons which he well deserved. He is the first of the prison company to be punished in this way but I expect he will not be the last.

The three decker prison in the hospital yard is being fitted out by the carpenters and masons to make it ready to receive the French prisoners.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

June 10. 1778
Two men disguised with strong beer bought at the gate caused a great disturbance today, abusing those they came in contact with, and one of them, William Smith an Irishman from our crew, threatening others with a knife. After we made a complaint to the agent he was placed in the Black Hole. But to spite us he informed the guards about a prison window bar that we had cut off with a saw.

Mr. Sorrey came today and gives us hope that we shall soon be exchanged for British prisoners held in France.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

June 6. 1778
A fleet of fishermen that sailed for Newfoundland two days ago returned here yesterday due to foul weather. Prisoners were brought here two days ago from the Blenheim.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

June 3. 1778
Two men, while carrying waste to the river’s edge tried to make their escape in plain view of the guards. The prison cook was one of the pursuers and he along with the other guard abused these men severely. In response we have all decided that we shall boycott he and his wife who sell strong beer at the prison gate. Their selling of beer has been quite popular of late and we expect this shall hurt their income.

Friday, June 01, 2007

June 1. 1778
There is word that a new prison shall be constructed for French prisoners who are expected to be brought here.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

May 31. 1778
The guards discovered another hole that we had started yesterday. They declare that four men shall be committed to the Black Hole or all of us shall be placed on half allowance.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May 29. 1778
Today is Royal Oak day and guns were fire throughout the area surrounding the prison in recognition.

Monday, May 28, 2007

May 28. 1778
There is still no punishment for the hole discovered yesterday. The British fleet laying in the Sound is in such need of mariners that all of the local fishermen have been pressed into service the day before yesterday.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

May 27. 1778
The guards caught us unawares today as we had a hole started in the wall of our prison. Someone shall be sent to the Black Hole but so far no one has been.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

May 22. 1778
Two days ago Mr. Welch, 2nd lieutenant of the Lexington crew escaped with the aid of one of the sentries. That night and yesterday a ruse was played on the guards to cover his escape by having a boy counted twice when entering the prison. The guards entered the officer’s quarters a second time last night and found Mr. Welch missing upon which they made a search for him, to no avail. We were mustered this morning to look for any other missing prisoners. John Adair tried to make his escape over the wall today but was soon captured and committed to the Black Hole. Because of this we were all punished by being sent into the prison at mid-afternoon.

Friday, May 18, 2007

May 18. 1778
We learn by a paper that William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham died on the 10th instant.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 16. 1778
A French fleet of 12 sail commanded by Count d’Estang is said to have sailed from Toulon on the 13th of last month for America to assist our cause. Today a French privateer was brought here after being captured. She had a crew of 80, bound for America and with a commission to take British ships.

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 14. 1778
This afternoon, a Scot named Joseph Kensington of the Lexington privateer died from consumption in the prison hospital.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 12. 1778
We have been digging a hole in the Long Prison during this past week and yesterday it collapsed. This was quite disappointing as we have expended much work in this hole, carrying the dirt to the vaults in the yard under our great coats. Today we distracted the guard so that we could block up the hole.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May 8. 1778
Today, three prisoners from the privateer Revenge’s prize were brought to the prison. They were taken off the Grand Banks. Because the British Navy is so short handed they were offered the choice of the Navy or prison. Those entering the prison told us that the William Heysham, the prize’s mate, took the offer of the Navy.

Monday, May 07, 2007

May 7. 1778
Today a fight broke out in the yard between some Americans and old countrymen who were all disguised with small beer. As we have access to money some of the men choose to spend it on beer sold at the front gate. The mood in this prison has turned sour with the availability of this beer.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

May 6. 1778
Today John Fowler from Ipswich of the Brigantine Fancy died in the hospital of the pleurisy. There was a jury called to investigate his death as it was thought he was ill treated, but no fault was to be found.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 1. 1778
Today the Torbay, our old prison ship, burned while laying at her mooring just days after coming out of the docks. She is so badly damaged that we are told she will not be repaired. I am happy to hear of her demise.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

April 29. 1778
The night before last William Carpenter and Alexander Fraser, both young men from the Charming Sally’s crew attempted to make their escape by tying together strips made from their hammocks and blankets and climbing over the wall but were both captured and committed to the Black Hole. They were suspected of being informants and thought it best to make their escape before they were found out.

Today the guards came in and separated all of the negroes from the rest of us and moved them into the itchy yard.

Friday, April 27, 2007

April 27.1778
Today Captain Boardman and Mr. Deal were released from the Black Hole after only 17 days.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 26. 1778
Black Cuff and Caesar, two negroes, a man and a boy, were found out to be informing on those of us who attempted to escape from the prison. Before this another man had been blamed for this traitorous behavior. After examination Caesar was whipped by another boy and Black Cuff was given 3 dozen stripes by the wrongly accused man. Black Cuff later escaped over the prison wall to another yard to save his ears which had also been threatened. He and Caesar are now kept separated from us.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Joseph Shillaber has received a letter from a friend of his father’s in Portsmouth, one Captain Harris, stating that ships are under repair in that port making ready to sail for England to carry us home as part of an exchange. They expect to be underway within the month. We have no independent confirmation that the British will allow this to happen. We shall wait and see whether we are soon to be delivered from this place.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

April 10.1778
Captain Boardman of our ship and Mr. Deal of the Lexington were returned to the prison this day after having made their escape on the 31st of January. Captains Henry Johnson and Eleazer Johnston are still at large and we presume they have successfully made their way clear of England.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

April 8. 1778
Today we hear that the King of France officially recognizes the independence of the United States from Great Britain.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

April 3. 1778
Today our clothes were inspected by Cowdry, his clerk, steward and doctor, to make sure we had our full due and that none of us had sold clothing to pay for extra food or drink

Monday, April 02, 2007

April 2. 1778
The two sentinels who aided our officers to escape on January 31 were punished yesterday. Bazely was flogged and Donnelly was shot. They both belonged to the Light Infantry. Today the weather was pleasant and a number of the men and boys played ball and quoits in the yard.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 24. 1778
For some time now we have been smuggling bread to those on half allowance in the Black Hole. The sentries detected this scheme and put a stop to it today. We are not sure how they have found out but I suspect we have an informant in our midst.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

March 20. 1778
An English Navy lieutenant came here today looking for recruits from among us prisoners. He told us that anyone that wants leave of this prison should submit a petition immediately. Six men who were natives of England signed this petition which was submitted to the Board. We hear that 300 men were pressed yesterday from Plymouth and Dock for service to His Majesty.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18. 1778
Today there is rumor we shall be removed to Chester Castle away to the north. But we also hear again that the French have signed a treaty with America and that we shall all be going home soon. We cannot tell what is truth and what is mere wishful thinking.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17. 1778
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Yesterday an American privateer chased a merchantman right into this harbor and then was chased herself by an English frigate that had been laying in the Sound. We do not know her fate.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14. 1778
Several trouble makers today caused such a commotion that all of us were confined to the prison. This angered many of the other men and they set up such screaming that the guards were alarmed there would be a riot. The major offenders were committed to the Black Hole. They have new company as Samuel Treadwell from Ipswich and of the Fancy crew was brought back to this prison, he having escaped on June 31st of the last year. He was immediately put into the Black Hole on half allowance for 40 days.

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12. 1778
Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey were here again to see us and gave each mess 2 shillings in back money. Sorry I am to see how some of the men spend this money on beer and gambling.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March 11. 1778
Cloudy. It is rather satisfying to hear that English merchants are feeling the pain of this war just as our own American merchants have been for the past two years. Some 300 London and Bristol merchants have petitioned the Parliament to make peace with America or they shall be ruined. We also hear that the American army has retaken Red Bank on the Delaware river.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March 4. 1778
James Dick, from Ireland and part of the Lexington crew was brought before our officers and found guilty of using profane language against the Honorable Congress of our United States. Another man was sent to the Black Hole for speaking ill to the agent Mr. Cowdry and another today for selling his clothes by which to gain money for gambling.

Friday, March 02, 2007

March 2. 1778
Since the beginning of the new year independent agents are allowed to sell beer to us at the main gate instead of the prison keeper. Many of the men spend their new allowance on this beer which results in drunkenness and fights in the yard several times a week.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

March 1. 1778
Rainy weather and the first day of Spring. There is a rumor circulating that we shall be exchanged and carried in a fleet of transports that is sailing for America at the end of this month. I am more skeptical than some of the others. Although we have not yet received an answer to our petition for the right to burn candles at night we burn marrow bones in their stead and will continue to do so until we are found out by the sentries.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 28. 1778
We hear today that America has made an Alliance with France on the 26th of this month. We know no details but some in this prison come out in favor of this arrangement and are rejoicing supposing it will hasten the end of the war with England. I am not so sure about this alliance as I believe it will just replace one task master with another in the end.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

February 27. 1778
Yesterday we had more snow than any previously this winter. The men and boys spent much effort at snow ball fights in the yard. Today there has been declared a great public fast throughout all of England.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

February 21. 1778
Yesterday we each received a checked linen handkerchief from Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey. Today the American officers remaining in this prison were removed to be housed with the other officers in an apartment where the masons have just completed a fireplace.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

February 17. 1778
Yesterday we had enough snow to cover the ground. Today it has turned clear and cold. The two sentries that assisted our officers in their escape have been captured.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

February 13. 1778
After the surrender of Burgoyne’s army it was fully expected that his troops would be paroled and returned to Britain as is common. But we hear today that the American Congress has decided otherwise and that these troops will remain in captivity in America.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

February 4. 1778
15 sail arrived in the Sound today and it is said by some that it is part of Burgoyne’s fleet as they are expected soon.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sunday February 1. 1778
Cloudy. Our Captain Eleazer Johnston along with captains Henry Johnston, Boardman, Samuel Treadwell and Richard Deal made their escape last night at about 9 PM from their prison with the aid of two sentinels sympathetic to our cause. The sentinels were given suits of clothes to replace their proper uniforms by Captain Henry Johnston and they also made their escape but were soon captured.

Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29. 1778
The weather has improved since earlier this week. With the good weather the prison was again smoked today to rid us of the vermin that inhabit this place. Another 60 blankets were received in the prison and Mr. Heath distributed our allowance of cash. Mr. Rowe, the superintendent of the prison was here yesterday to oversee the masonry work to be completed in the officers’ apartment.

A newspaper was brought in and passed about that describes the bad conditions in America. Prices for goods are high and sometimes the goods cannot be had for any price. This makes me worry concerning the welfare of my family at home and how they are getting along. Another paper brought here tells us of Lord North’s desire to and plan to reconcile with America.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January 24. 1778
We understand that our officers are now allowed candles in their apartment after dark until gunshot. This privilege however comes at their own expense.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 23. 1778
Rainy weather. Since the beginning of this New Year we are allowed many more indulgences than during this past year. As example, we now may go in groups of six at a time to wash ourselves at a trough in another yard. I believe this is the first time most of us have been clean in more than twelve month.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 21. 1778
Rainy weather. Handing out of clothes finished today and we sent a letter of thanks to our donors.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

January 20. 1778
Rainy weather continues. The masons have been in the prison these past two days to build chimneys in the main prison and in the officer’s apartment. We hear the officers are dissatisfied with this plan as there will be no distinction between their living quarters and the rest of the people. We have news that the British and the Continental armies have gone into their winter quarters in America. Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey are here again today to serve out clothing and a number of disputes have arisen as not all the people are happy at what they have received. Our fare continues to improve as we have oatmeal and greens to add to the broth of our soup.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

January 18. 1778 Sunday
Rainy weather. Cornwallis’ ship came into Plymouth today returning from America. This is the Queen’s birthday and salutes were fired by ships in the harbor in her honor. Each of the people’s messes were served with an extra half pound of beef while the officers were served a leg of mutton

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

January 17. 1778
Rainy weather. Today we begin to see benefit from our donation as clothing was handed out to some of us. I received to shirts, two pairs of trousers, two pairs of stockings, a pair of shoes, a cap and a coat. The officers received white shirts while the people received checked shirts. We also received a pound of pork per mess and more tobacco.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

January 16. 1778
Rainy and warm. Yesterday each mess received one yard of tobacco and shall receive this amount every other day. Each mess also received a four penny loaf. Shoes were handed out to those in need given by the government and not by our donation. We now receive tracts from those well meaning people from without that urge us to avoid cursing, to remain sober and to not take the name of the Lord in vain. This request truly is in vain for many of the seafaring men in our company.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 14. 1778
Rainy. The Rev. Mr. Heath and Mr. Sorrey are appointed to manage our donation. We are told the officers’ allowance will be 5 shillings per week and to the people 2 shillings per week.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Jan 13. 1778
Rainy weather. Captain Henry Johnson’s brother brings word to us that we shall be exchanged in the Spring which has caused much celebration. Some of our guards have been sent into the country side as press gangs for the navy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jan 10. 1778
Being pleasant weather today we were turned out into the yard and the prison was smoked.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January 9. 1778
A gentleman from the subscription committee at Bristol visited us today with news of 200£ having been contributed towards our benefit in Bristol and 2660£ in London. He also brought news of 140 Americans likewise held prisoner at Portsmouth. We received 300 red herring and a 3 penny loaf extra to each mess.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sunday January 4. 1778
Rainy weather again today. Captain Lee was sent to the prison hospital as he suffers from gout.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

January 3. 1778
It is raining and windy today. A lawyer by the name of Lyons has visited us today as representative of a relief committee. He comes bearing 250 blankets, 100 pounds of tobacco and 72 cakes of soap.

Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1. 1778 New Years Day
This New Year dawned cold. Each mess has received a plumb pudding and a sixpenny loaf from Mr. Heath and his Plymouth Tabernacle parish. Mr. Hancock, John Hancock’s cousin, also visited us today and while in the yard he informed us that a subscription amounting to 800 pounds has been taken in London up for our relief.