HC Deb 27 February 1805 vol 3 cc635-9
Mr. Grey,

in the absence of an hon. friend (Mr. Kinnaird) made the motions of which his hon. friend had given notice on a former day, with some others, which he thought necessary to add to them. The papers moved for were; 1, an account of all repairs, & c. of the Romney, when fitted out in Sept. and Oct. 1800, and the expence attending the same; 2, an account of all repairs or alterations of the masts and hull of the Romney, in the months of Oct. Nov. and Peel 1800, together with the expences of the same; 3, the last report of the survey or examination of the Sensible, and the expence of the repairs of 1800, with the amount of the stores furnished to the said ship; 4, an account of all repairs done to the Romney and Sensible,'and other ships under the command of sir Home Popham, and of all stores furnished to the said ships, particularizing the separate expences of each ship, and amount of stores; 5, an account of all the expences, repairs, &c. of the Romney and other vessels under the command of sir Home Popham at the Cape of Good Hope; particularizing the stores, and specifying the quality, quantity, and price of each article; 6, an account of the naval stores, & c, purchased by Mr. Spearman in the Red Sea, and all other disbursements made for the vessels under sir Home Popham, while in that sea; with the vouche:5 for the same; 7, an account of the terms of service, bounties received, the discharges, and dates of such discharges, of David Ewing Bartholomew, late master's mate in the Romney, while he was in the service of the navy; 8, an account of the term which the said Bartholomew had served in the Romney; 9, a copy of the order from the admiralty, to sir Home Popham to turn over all the petty officers of the Romney, when she was discharged to other ships; 10, an account of the time when Bartholomew was apprehended in 1803; of the R's placed opposite the name of Bartholomew, and the orders sent from the admiralty for cancelling those R's, with the conditions, &c.

Sir W. Burroughs

objected to the word "apprehended." He thought it was too hurtful to the feelings, and should therefore prefer "taken up," or any other expression.

Admiral Markham

contended, that as Bartholomew never was discharged from the service at the time he left it, he could not be considered as a man impressed. He therefore must be of opinion that "apprehended" was the most proper word to be made use of in this instance. The orders sent to sir Home Popham were to turn over all the officers of the Romney. Why he did not do so remained for him to shew.

Mr. Grey

said, he had no wish to make use of any word that might be unnecessarily hurtful to the feelings of any person; but the whole of the enquiry might be objected to on much the same grounds.

Mr. Sturges Bourne

said, that some circumstances relating to Mr. Bartholomew, made part of the defence, of sir Home Popham before the admiralty and that house.

Mr. Grey

observed, with respect to the objection to the word he had used, that Bartholomew did actually belong to the navy at the time he had absented himself from service; that notwithstanding the order to sir Home Popham, he was on shore, and on this being heard and considered, the lieutenant of the press-gang took him, and carried him back to the service to which he belonged.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, there could be no doubt of the fact, that Bartholomew was taken by the press-gang. Would it not therefore be the better way to use those words in describing a fact which came the nearest to the transaction itself? Why not say, "taken by a press-gang and carried to the Nore".

Sir Home Popham

said, that he had, no doubt, received an order to turn over his whole crew; but yet that he permitted the other midshipmen, as well as Mr. Bartholomew, to go home to their friends; and that many of them had since returned to the naval service, while others had gone into the army. He mentioned this fact, in order to shew that he shewed no particular partiality to Mr. Bartholomew, in anticipation of his name being brought before that house, which was a thing of which he at that time did not dream. In discharging Mr. Bartholomew and the other midshipmen, he had to observe, that he consulted the commissioner of the pay-office, to whose judgment it was the custom of naval officers to appeal upon paying off a ship. The hon. officer, with reference to the word "apprehended," remarked, that it could only be applicable in the case of Mr. Bartholomew being a deserter. That that gentleman was not so considered, either before or since his being impressed, he thought it unnecessary to say more than this, that previous to his being impressed, Mr. Bartholomew corresponded with lord St. Vincent, and if he had been deemed a deserter, it was fair to presume, that his letter would not have been answered by the admiralty, and after Mr. Bartholomew's being impressed, he was taken on board the Zealand, from which he was transferred to the Inflexible. No proceedings had ever been taken with respect to this gentleman, and he was now a lieutenant on board the Inflexible. This ship, it was known, was under the command of a friend and relation of lord St. Vincent; and he would put it to the house, whether it was probable that Mr. Bartholomew could hold such a rank on board, had he been considered guilty of desertion? Whether the usage of the navy bore him out in the original discharge of Mr. Bartholomew and the other midshipmen, was not now the question; but he submitted to the candid consideration of the house, that as Mr. Bartholomew was not in fairness to be deemed, and he had not, in fact, been treated as a deserter, so the word "apprehended," which implied that, was not applicable to him.

Admiral Markham

said, that according to the speech of the hon. baronet, it would be thought Mr. Bartholomew was some young gentleman known to many members of that house, instead of what he appeared to be on entering the service, a landsman and afterwards becoming an able bodied seaman.— Here the Speaker interferred, and observed, that the discussion was extending to a length that did not fairly arise out of the question before the house.— The motion, after the omission of the word "apprehended", and the insersertion of the words, "taken by a press-gang", was agreed to.

Mr. Grey

presented a petition from Wm. Mitchell, Esq. capt. of his majesty's ship the Zealand. The petitioner complained of certain false statements and misrepresentations contained in letters from, and an affidavit by, David Ewing Bartholomew, which lies on the table of the house, in which the said Bartholomew charges petitioner with ill-treating him while on board the Zealand, in consequence, as Bartholomew stated, of his being known to be a witness in favour of sir Home Popham. Petitioner therefore prayed, that an order should be made, that copies of the letters and affidavit which he had addressed to the secretary of the admiralty, in reference to allegations of Bartholomew's affidavit, should be laid before the house; and also that he, the petitioner, should be furnished with Copies of the letters and affidavit of Bartholomew. Petitioner further prayed, that he might be called to the bar of the house, to answer the charges against him, and that the house would afford him such opportunity of vindicating his honour, as to its judgment should seem meet. The petition was ordered to lie on the table, and orders were made, on the motion of Mr. Grey, for the papers referred to in the said petition. On the motion of Mr. W, Dickenson, a copy was ordered to be laid before the house of the certificate of Mr. Bartholomew having passed his examination for a lieutenancy; also, a copy of the muster roll of the Enterprize relative to the taking of Mr. Bartholomew by a press-gang

Mr. Canning

moved, for copies of all correspondence between the lords of the. admiralty and the commissioners for naval enquiry on the subject of sir Home Popham; also between the admiralty and the navy board, with the dates, and particularly the date of the order of the navy board for sending the papers relating to sir Home Popham to the commissioners for naval enquiry; also an account of what took place before the commissioners on this subject.

Admiral Markham,

conceiving the case respecting the hon. baronet would be incom- plete without some further papers, moved for the following, which were ordered; an account of all bills drawn on the navy office from Calcutta, or by any persons whatever, for the service of the Romney, the Sensible, and the other ships under the command of Sir H. Popham, in the years 1801 and 1802, specifying the ship for which each bill may have been drawn, as far as such distinction can be made out; also for copies of letters addressed by the lords of the Admiralty to the navy board, relative to the acceptance of such bills; also for copies of the orders addressed by the Admiralty to the Commissioners of the navy board, directing them to investigate the accounts of Sir H. Popham.— Adjourned.