Archiver > MARINERS > 2006-04 > 1144108093

From: Paul Benyon <>
Subject: Re: [Mar] Napoleon & "Bellerophon" & transfer to "Northumberland"/ then to St. Helena
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 00:48:13 +0100
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

This was a dire period for midshipmen, with many being thrown on the
scrap heap following the war - the famous cartoon from the Punch
magazine, showing a Midshipman sat on the corner of a London street
cleaning customers shoes stick in my mind. Often kicked from pillar
to post in the navy and used as a dogsbody, and as stated on more than
one occasion, often used, despite the young age of many, to do some of
the most dangerous operations. At the same time, despite the young
age of some midshipmen, there were also middle-aged midshipmen, unable
to pass their exams for higher rank, but who may have served through
much of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Many, with the right
connections, and passed for the higher rank, were promoted to
Lieutenant before the post-war cuts started to bite, but by 1817,
serious reductions were being made, and by this time, the number of
men had been reduced from a high point of 120,000 men 5 years
previously, to something like 17,000, although commissioned officer
numbers remained fairly static, but since Midshipmen weren't
commissioned officers it is likely that they suffered similar cuts to
the men : and should they have remained in the service and passed
their exams for higher rank there was little likelihood of them being
promoted to Lieutenant for 10 or more years without a patron and the
right connections.

All of which leads me on to suggest that given the right opening
ashore an earlier discharge date might be more likely than a later
one, and some are said to have taken the opportunity of emigrating to
North America, and I guess it shouldn't surprise me if some headed

On which point it might be worth mentioning that Lord Thomas Cochrane,
10th Earl of Dundonald, then in disgrace at home, headed that way in
1817, and went on to command the Chilean Navy until 1822, after which
he headed for Brazil and then Greece. I understand that Cochrane took
a number of officers with him, along with a number of ratings, so it
wouldn't surprise me if he might have taken a number of former
midshipmen as well, if they had the right experience, or they may have
joined him later? Just a passing thought in view of the dates. You
may remember that Cochrane's exploits during the Napoleonic period
were almost legendry, and are said to have been the stuff so ably
exploited in later years by the novelists C. S. Forester and Patrick
O'Brian et al.

Back to the evidence you are seeking - from the National Archives
catalogue :

You should find that the following records have survived for the
Bellerophon and Vengeur - I'm told that the Muster List is preferable
to the Pay List - the latter, in the main, being a copy of the
former, and therefore subject to transcription errors occasionally.
I'm told that the National Archives are experimenting in sending parts
of documents rather than the whole, with a view to keeping costs down,
and speeding up delivery, but haven't tried it myself.

Ship's Pay Book
ADM 35/3295Ship: Bellerophon1814 Sept. 1 - 1815 Sept. 13
Captain's Log
ADM 51/2024BELLEROPHON1810 Aug 23 - 1815 Sept 13
Ship's Log
ADM 53/192Bellerophon26 Dec 1811 - 13 Sept 1815
Ship's Muster List
ADM 37/5031Ship: BELLEROPHON1814 Sept - 1815 Apr
ADM 37/5032Ship: BELLEROPHON1815 Mar - Sept

Ship's Pay Book
ADM 35/3964Ship: Vengeur1814 Nov. 1 - 1816 Feb. 29
ADM 35/4320Ship: Vengeur1816 Mar. 1 - 1817 Aug. 31
ADM 35/4321Ship: Vengeur1817 Sept. 1 - 1821 June 6
Captain's Log
ADM 51/2955VENGEUR1810 Sept 1 - 1815 Apr 28
ADM 51/2956VENGEUR1815 Apr 29 - 1819 Sept 30
ADM 51/3519VENGEUR1819 Oct 1 - 1821 June 6
Ship's Log
ADM 53/1487Vengeur9 Jan 1813 - 4 July 1815
ADM 53/1488Vengeur5 July 1815 - 8 Oct 1818
ADM 53/1489Vengeur9 Oct 1818 - 7 June 1821
Ship's Muster List
ADM 37/5182Ship: VENGEUR1814 July - 1815 Feb
ADM 37/5183Ship: VENGEUR1815 Mar - Aug
ADM 37/5714Ship: VENGEUR1815 Aug - 1816 June
ADM 37/5715Ship: VENGEUR1816 July - 1817 Aug
ADM 37/5716Ship: VENGEUR1817 Sept - 1818 Sept
ADM 37/5717Ship: VENGEUR1816 June - 1818 Sept
ADM 37/6064Ship: VENGEUR1818 Sept - 1819 Apr
ADM 37/6065Ship: VENGEUR1819 May - Aug
ADM 37/6066Ship: VENGEUR1819 Sept - 1820 Feb
ADM 37/6067Ship: VENGEUR1820 Mar - Oct
ADM 37/6068Ship: VENGEUR1820 Nov - 1821 Feb

As far as I know there are no discharge papers for midshipmen in the
National Archives, therefore the only evidence of discharge to another
ship or to shore will probably be the Muster List. I've had a look in
the Navy List for Dec 1827, the only one I have for this period, but
regret there is no mention of the name.




On Mon, 03 Apr 2006 14:51:15 -0700, ls r <>

>Hello Listers,
>I am trying to aid someone who lives in Chile and who struggles a bit with
>the English language by doing a little research for him for his family line.
>I live in the USA.
>I hope I didn't ruin my chances with this mailing list the other day by
>inadvertently offending anyone when I threw the words "Royal Navy" and
>"Highland Regiment" together in the same description (that was the title of
>my previous email to the list). I am going to try again, if you all will
>bear with me -- it's a few days later, and I now know a bit more both about
>this Chilean's family story (he was the one who thought the reference for
>his ancestor was to someone in the "42nd Royal Navy Highland Regiment" - an
>error, we both see that now & we stand corrected), and about what is the
>Royal Navy versus the 42d Highland Regiment.
>That said, who I have on my hands is apparently a descendant of a midshipman
>who, according to family information, was on board the warship "Bellerophon"
>in 1815 with Napoleon after he surrendered to Maitland on 15th of July 1815
>(e.g. during the "Bellerophon"'s trip to England/Plymouth Sound, at which
>point Napoleon was then transferred to the "Northumberland" for the trip to
>St. Helena).
>This midshipman had the name of Robert Forbes BUDGE, and the man in Chile
>[Juan] who has written to me this past week is something like his
>4th-great-grandson. Juan wrote to me because in Sept of 2001 I acquired a
>copy of a family letter typed by a descendant, in Chile, of Robert F. Budge
>and I had posted an internet query on a Caithness, Scotland, website,
>briefly describing the letter and wondering if anyone knew if this Robert F.
>BUDGE was of Orcadian or Caithness origin (turns out he was from Shetland).
>Juan just came across this old posting 4-5 years later, and emailed me.
>What I want to know is -- how can I locate muster rolls for the
>"Bellerophon" to verify Robert F. Budge's placement there in
>June/July/August 1815; and also, are there ways to get the discharge papers
>for Robert F. Budge from the Royal Navy for the time period circa 1815-1820?
>>From midshipman, it is likely he became a lower ranking officer, if he
>stayed in the Royal Navy. I think he may have been discharged anywhere from
>summer of 1815 to 1827 or so, as Juan's family info says that Robert
>emigrated to Chile circa 1818-1827 (there could be typos in the dates given
>in the Chilean write-ups for Robert... not sure). From something I was
>researching today, I am wondering if Robert F. Budge travelled with Maitland
>again to South America on the "Vengeur", on this trip:
>from < >
>"VENGEUR,74. [...] 1819 Capt. Frederick Lewis MAITLAND, 9/18, South
>and maybe that was the time period he was discharged from the Royal Navy
>(after this trip? this being a theory... Muster rolls or whatever for the
>"Vengeur" for 1815-1820 could help me to know the answer).
>The family letter I have, from a female descendant of Robert F. Budge, says
>that Robert was a midshipman on the "Bellerophon" and she claims he is
>depicted in the famous print of Napoleon on the deck of the "Bellerophon"
>with other officers; she said Robert F. Budge was the youngster leaning over
>the railing (so I assume she meant this image here):-
>Many thanks to anyone who can help, or steer me in the right direction. I'm
>in the beginnings of this search & in learning about this period in history,
>so if I still have made any errors on facts, be lenient & just correct me! -
>-- "salisbury05"
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