Instructions for the completion of East Indiamen’s Journals mid 18th century




Source: BL: IOR: L/MAR/B/549A - Journal of the ANSON - 21st October 1746 to 3rd September 1747


Logg-Book for the Ship



          Capt. Charles Foulis .......................................Commander of the

Ship Anson .......................................or to the Commander for the Time




THE Honourable Court of Directors of the United Company of Merchants of

England, Trading to the Eaft-Indies, have ordered me to fend you this Logg-

Book, in which, purfuant to the Inftructions given you by the faid Court, you

are to take care, that a full, true, and exact Account of the Ship’s Run and

Courfe, with the Winds and Weather, and all Occurencies, Accidents and

Obfervations that fhall happen or be made during the Voyage, from Time of

the Ship’s firft taking in Goods till the Time of her being completely unladen

at her Return, be duly entered every Day at Noon, in a fair and legible Manner:

And that the Officer commanding the Watch from Eight o’Clock till Noon, do,

before he dines, fign his Name at length to every Day’s Logg fo entered, and if

any Miftake fhould happen in copying the Logg into this Book, you are not to

fuffer fuch Miftake to be blotted out or erafed, but that it be corrected by writing

againft it. You are to take care that this Book remain in a proper Place to be

copied by an Officer, or other Perfon keeping a Journal on Board the Ship till

Four in the Afternoon. And that it be kept at all times in fuch a Manner, as to be

faved if poffible, in cafe of the Ship’s Lofs. And you are likewife to take care,

that this Book be delivered, together with your own and the Chief Mate’s Original

Journals, to the faid Honourable Court, at your Return to England.

                                                  I am,

Eaft-India-Houfe,                                 Sir,

21st October 1746.                               Your humble Servant,

                                                                      Robt. James --



Bernard Forrester, her chief mate, signed the entries each day. The last entry was made on Tuesday 1st September 1747. In researching this Indiaman I found this rather disappointing, due to the events of the following day. As detailed in published works, having discharged her cargo safely in Bombay, she had ventured back out and unfortunately, had not been warned of two roving French privateers: Appollon (50 guns) and Anglesea (40 guns). Just outside the harbour she was set upon. Giving battle, in spite of being greatly outgunned (the Anson sporting 28 guns), Captain Foulis had the commercial presence of mind to offload his despatches and ‘treasure’, before being overwhelmed and captured. For the rescue of the goodies, the Company subsequently awarded Charles Foulis £400 per year. Nevertheless, none of the accounts that I have read explains properly the apparent failures that allowed for her capture.



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