Author Topic: Royal Navy: Lieutenant after 1809 desertion?  (Read 299 times)

Offline Ruthmez

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Royal Navy: Lieutenant after 1809 desertion?
« on: Wednesday 30 August 17 14:27 BST (UK) »
I'm hoping someone can help me make sense of Royal Navy records pertaining to my ancestor James Wilson, baptized at Brixham, Devon in 1787. 

His children's baptism records (beginning in 1819) identify him as 'Lieutenant, R.N.'.  In a notice in the Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette of 1871, his eldest daughter is referred to as 'the daughter of a deceased lieutenant R.N. who was at Trafalgar'.

National Archives data base of men who served at Trafalgar identifies James Wilson, age 20, born Portsmouth, Ordinary Seaman, serving on HMS Tonnant.  Allotment Declarations at findmypast for 1802/3 have James Wilson, Landsman, on Tonnant, but deserting in March 1809.

I can find no passing certificate or other official documentation of him as a Lieutenant.  However in the 1861 Census his widow is a Naval Pensioner and in 1871 another daughter is on the Compassionate List.  I believe he died between 1833 and 1838.  His father had also been a Lieutenant in the Navy, according to the father's death certificate.

Could a man who deserted in 1809 have subsequently re-enlisted and become a lieutenant?  

Thanks in advance for any insights or comments,
Marna


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Offline Piglet 88

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Re: Royal Navy: Lieutenant after 1809 desertion?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 22 November 17 18:25 GMT (UK) »
It seems that it all depends on your background. On the Temeraire I have found two midshipmen who deserted. Both are clearly noted as 'Deserters' and later went on to have long careers in the Royal Navy, with promotion.

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Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Royal Navy: Lieutenant after 1809 desertion?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 22 November 17 20:15 GMT (UK) »
He should show up in the Navy List as a Lt in the relevant years..... worth a look, there are now scanned copies inline.
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan