Author Topic: Sea Fencibles  (Read 2325 times)

Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Sea Fencibles
« on: Friday 27 November 09 07:56 GMT (UK) »
Hello Chatters,

Hoping someone out there can do a look up for me of Sussex Sea Fencibles for a James Best (b. 1788 Upper Beeding), possibly Shoreham. 

I know he was a sailor but not what kind.  He was somehow captured by the French and spent 6 years in prison there.  Only other sailor information I have on him is that he was 'last in Aberdeen in 1807' and he had also been to Ireland.

Any ideas or suggestions on research avenues would be most welcome.

Thanks,
Mo
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)

Offline Roy G

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 28 November 09 08:28 GMT (UK) »
I have a list of Brighton based Sea Fencibles somewhere, so if I can find it, I will have a look at it for you. 
Don't hold out too much hope though, for as I understand it, The Sea Fencibles were predominently fishermen formed into a sort of anti-Napolionic home guard on the shoreline.  As Napoleon's forces never got here, the capture of any of them during those duties would have been unlikely.
Roy G

Offline petmas

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 28 November 09 09:55 GMT (UK) »
I have a list of Brighton based Sea Fencibles somewhere, so if I can find it, I will have a look at it for you. 
Don't hold out too much hope though, for as I understand it, The Sea Fencibles were predominently fishermen formed into a sort of anti-Napolionic home guard on the shoreline.  As Napoleon's forces never got here, the capture of any of them during those duties would have been unlikely.
Roy G

It wasn't uncommon for fishing boats to be taken and the crew held for ransom or exchange.
Mason ( Leics, Lincs, Cambs, Rutland)  Packer( Berks, Middx) Bearne, Vining , Sugar Shugar (Somerset & S Wales)


Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 29 November 09 03:19 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Roy and Petmas, as I'm clutching at straws any information in welcome.

I'd wondered whether fisherman and other smaller merchant vessels had been taken by French.  If he was taken and ransomed I doubt his family could have paid it, (father was a shepherd).
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)

Offline Roy G

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 29 November 09 06:23 GMT (UK) »
Writing to Andy Durr at Brighton's fishing museum may help. 
Think they have a website and e-mail address.  If nothing else, he may be able to tell you of any incidences when local fiishermen were taken by the French and what transpired. 
Roy G

Offline petmas

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 29 November 09 09:03 GMT (UK) »
There are sometimes reports in the Times, I checked but couldn't find anything  1801-20. I know there is a reference to the people of Brighton & Newhaven demanding protection from French vessels attacking on a daily basis and the fishermen not having sailed for some days. Think it was about 1795, I'll see if I can find it
Mason ( Leics, Lincs, Cambs, Rutland)  Packer( Berks, Middx) Bearne, Vining , Sugar Shugar (Somerset & S Wales)

Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #6 on: Monday 30 November 09 02:07 GMT (UK) »
There are sometimes reports in the Times, I checked but couldn't find anything 1801-20. I know there is a reference to the people of Brighton & Newhaven demanding protection from French vessels attacking on a daily basis and the fishermen not having sailed for some days. Think it was about 1795, I'll see if I can find it

I never knew the French were that keen.  I thought that those taken would have had to be nearer the French coast, or even captured in port when the continental system came into being.  I was forgetting that until the Battle of Trafalgar the French would have had a considerable presence at sea.

I think there is a maritime museum at New Shoreham too, as this was closer to James' home town I'll try them as well as Brighton.

Once again, thanks for both your help.
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)

Offline Roy G

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #7 on: Monday 14 December 09 22:08 GMT (UK) »
Found my list of Sea Fencibles (published by Jennifer Killick of Hythe Kent, year 2000)
No Bests amongst them.  Nearest were some Betts, but they were from the Pevensey and Rye area
Roy G

Offline Rufous Treecreeper

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Re: Sea Fencibles
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 15 December 09 01:02 GMT (UK) »
Hi Roy,

Thank you very much for looking.  I'll just have to keeping hunting and hoping.

Mo
Best (Sussex/Australia)
Brown (Kent/Australia)
Milbourne (Australia)
Orr (Renfrew/Fife/Australia)
Livingstone, Bryson, Hutton (Hamilton, Lanark)