Catalogue description Captured ship: Two Sisters of Dublin formerly the Friendship (master John Dennis)....

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Details of HCA 32/249/11
Reference: HCA 32/249/11

Captured ship: Two Sisters of Dublin formerly the Friendship (master John Dennis).

History: an Irish merchant ship (a snow, Welsh built, 90 tons, 7 men, 2 boys), bound from Bordeaux to Dublin laden with wine bought before the war, and shipped under English and French passports; taken on 25 March 1757 about 18 leagues south of Ushant by the privateer Caesar of Bristol (Ezekiel Nash commanding), and brought into Bristol.

These papers were published in transcript but in a different order in The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757, in which book they were transcribed in order of addressee, not by the original packet. Page or letter numbers of these transcripts are given below as BDL references. The letters were removed from HCA 32/259 in 2018 and added to the other papers here.

Court Papers:-

  • [CP 1-CP 3]: standing interrogatories [BDL pp 275-78], examination of Charles Griffin (the only crew member left on the Two Sisters [BDL pp 279-82], commissioners' affidavit, 15 April 1757;
  • [CP 4-CP 7]: standing interrogatories [BDL pp 275-78], two examinations of John Tasker [BDL pp 283-5] and Archibald Farris [BDL pp 285-7], commissioners' affidavit, 14 May 1757;
  • [CP 8-CP 9]: attestation and claim of the master, 20 May 1757 [BDL pp 268-70];
  • [CP 10-CP 11]: two attestations, of the captor and of the master, 2 and 6 June 1757 [BDL pp 270-2];
  • [CP 12-CP 13]: commission of inspection [BDL p 288], and the subsequent inventory of the cargo [BDL pp 289-294], June 1757;
  • [CP 14]: allegation, 5 July 1757;
  • [CP 15]: attestation as papers by the captor, 16 April 1757 [BDL p 265];
  • [CP 16-CP 18]: two attestations as to papers by the master, 18 June 1757 [BDL pp 273-4], with a translation of 25 bills of lading;
  • [CP 19-CP 25]: abstracts and translations of the ship's papers and passports, numbered 1, 7, 8, 10, 11, and [12], including copies of 25 bills of lading, the originals having been restored on 12 August.

Ship’s Papers now numbered SP 13-SP (the previous 12 papers having been restored]:-

  • SP13-SP16: Three customs receipts form Dublin, April 1756;
  • SP17-SP19: a bill of lading and two receipts for silk merchandise and brandy, February 1757;
  • SP20-SP35: customs clearances from Bordeaux for wine, 8-28 February 1757;
  • SP36-SP61: receipts for customs payments at Bordeaux, 15-28 February 1757;
  • SP62-SP63: two accounts.

Mail in transit, originally in 43 envelopes or packets, to which they have been restored as far as possible. There are currently 63 packets, so some of the cleaner letters should probably be included within packets, and others have lost the covering envelope altogether. All letters are to Ireland (most to Dublin) from Bordeaux dated Jan-Mar 1757. Separate envelopes are marked with the BDL number, plus an A for the letter:-

  • BDL1, enclosing BDL102;
  • BDL2;
  • BDL5, enclosing BDL5A;
  • BDL12, enclosing BDL10, BDL11, BDL12A,and BDL74;
  • BDL14;
  • BDL15, enclosing BDL4, BDL13, BDL15A;
  • BDL16;
  • BDL18, enclosing BDL18A and BDL19;
  • BDL20, enclosing BDL24, BDL 79, and BDL56 (itself enclosing BDL56A and B, and BDL96, itself further enclosing BDL96A and B);
  • BDL21, enclosing BDL22, BDL68, BDL82, BDL83 and BDL 84;
  • BDL25;
  • BDL26, enclosing BDL26A and BDL36;
  • BDL27, enclosing BDL27A and BDL28 [this envelope may perhaps have enclosed another letter];
  • BDL29;
  • BDL31, enclosing BDL32:
  • BDL33, enclosing BDL112;
  • BDL34, enclosing BDL34A;
  • BDL37, enclosing BDL30, BDL37A, BDL38, BDL39, BDL66 and BDL 72;
  • BDL40, enclosing BDL40A, BDL40B [an empty but addressed envelope] and BDL41;
  • BDL42, BDL43, BDL44, three letters from his family delivered to the master and kept by him, 1750-1756; 44 includes an untranscribed pencil note;
  • BDL45 [this was probably enclosed in another envelope];
  • BDL46; BDL47; BDL48;
  • BDL49 (written after the capture);
  • BDL50;
  • BDL51;
  • BDL52, enclosing BDL53 and BDL23, 23A and 23B;
  • BDL54:
  • BDL55 [this was probably sent in a lost outer envelope with BDL85];
  • BDL58, enclosing BDL58A, BDL59 and BDL 123;
  • BDL61, enclosing BDL35, BDL61A, BDL60, BDL67, BDL69 and BDL70;
  • BDL62;
  • BDL63, enclosing BDL9;
  • BDL64 (written after the capture);
  • BDL71, enclosing BDL124;
  • BDL73 (written after the capture);
  • BDL75, enclosing BDL75A, BDL77, BDL86 and BDL89;
  • BDL76;
  • BDL78, enclosing BDL78A, BDL87 and BDL88 itself enclosding BDL118 (87 and 88 forwarded from Paris);
  • BDL80, a redirected letter from 1755;
  • BDL81;
  • BDL85 [this was probably sent in a lost outer envelope with BDL55];
  • BDL90, enclosing BDL65;
  • BDL91, enclosing BDL17;
  • BDL92, BDL93;
  • BDL94, enclosing BDL94A and 94B;
  • BDL95, enclosing BDL6, BDL7, BDL8;
  • BDL96;
  • BDL98 enclosing BDL3;
  • BDL99;
  • BDL100 with part 1 and part 2;
  • BDL101 [an oddly folded letter];
  • BDL103;
  • BDL104;
  • BDL108, enclosing BDL107;
  • BDL109, enclosing BDL110 and BDL116;
  • BDL111;
  • BDL113;
  • BDL114;
  • BDL115, of September 1756 forwarded from Holland [an interestingly folded letter];
  • BDL117;
  • BDL119, enclosing BDL119A, BDL120 and BDL126, enclosing BDL126A, B and C [BDL 126 and contents (although now numbered to match) were not included in The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757: they are printed Protestant tracts addressed to Isaac Simon, two by Paul Rabaut about the assassination attempt on January 1757 on Louis XV];
  • BDL121, enclosing BDL105 and BDL106;
  • BDL122, enclosing BDL122A, an account;
  • BDL125.

Date: 1757
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
Publication note:

The Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757, Correspondence of Irish Community Abroad, LM Cullen, John Shovlin, Thomas M Truxes, (Oxford University Press, 2013); and Ireland, France, and the Atlantic in a Time of War: Reflections on the Bordeaux-Dublin Letters, 1757, ed Thomas M Truxes, (London, 2017)

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