Ending 2nd Aug, 2022 16:00

Timed Auction - Militaria

Lot 24

A group of eighteenth-century documents pertaining to Captain Hugh Bromedge (1714-1792)

A group of eighteenth-century documents pertaining to Captain Hugh Bromedge (1714-1792)
relating to his seizure of the 'Boston Packet' and its contents in September 1776 in Halifax Harbour, believing it to be rebel property. Bromedge appears to have been personally later ordered to pay a £500 sum to the owners for recompense for this seizure, his refusal of which meant he was placed into debtor's prison.

This lot comprises a letter, written in a clear hand, to his solicitor whilst Bromedge was imprisoned at Gloucester Castle, dated 16th May 1784. Excerpts include 'I must now Dear Sir, earnestly intreat your pardon for my long silence, but my long confinement here eleven months lock-up, and a rageing gaol fever, which has carr'd off a great number, amongst which was the Doctor apothecary. I had it upwards of a fortnight which reduced me very much'. The letter then goes on to discuss a bill relating to Bromedge's debtor case in the Houses of Parliament and that he has been 'drove almost to dispair of relief, when I was advised to apply to Mr Rudge for to git me a Supersedence and to go emmedeatly over to France, until an Insolvent Act should take place.'

Sold together with a letter written on behalf of Bromedge's wife stating that 'in his last to me he sade he would write me more of his mind, when he heard from you it makes me think it keeps him from writing to me which makes me very unhappy at not hereing from him'; together with 'The Memorial of Captain Hugh Bromedge, late Commander of Your Majesty's Sloop Savage', documenting the seizure from Bromedge’s own perspective together with his justifications for doing so and a further legal document outlining the accusations against him in full. (sample of documents scanned)

Notes: Hugh Bromedge was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1756 and went on to have a long career in anti-piracy and anti-smuggling with the Royal Navy. Notable commands include the British Sloop 'The Wolf' during The Raid on Le Havre (1759); escorting the Prince and Princess of Brunswick as commander of the sloop 'Happy' (1764) and further command of 'The Savage' in the North American Station, during which time his watering party was attacked by 500 rebels on Staten Island (1777). Prior to this imprisonment, he was previously accused of malpractice by fellow officers from the Buffalo but honourably acquitted.

Provenance: Previously sold at Bonhams, from the 18th-century archive of Booth Solicitors, Craven Street, London.

Sold for £230


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