A 19TH CENTURY COPY OF A CERTIFICATE REGARDING A SPANISH PRIZE TAKEN IN 1814 BY AN ENGLISH FRIGATE UNDER THE COMMAND OF SIR PETER BARKER, BART.

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£125.00




A MS. copy, c.1832, made on the verso of a large folding form being The List of Persons entitled to vote in the Election of Members for the City of London… by virtue of an Act passed in the Second Year of the Reign of King William the Fourth … Folded size : 33.5 v 21.5cm. V.G. A copy in manuscript of a certificate issued in 1814 concerning a Spanish prize, the JOHN BAPTIST, taken by the English frigate MENELAUS, 36 guns, commanded by Sir Peter Parker, Bart. The frigate was built at Plymouth in 1810 and survived until broken up at Portsmouth in 1897. In 1832 she had become a quarantine hulk and in 1854 she had been lent to H.M. Customs. The barque JOHN BAPTIST was pierced for 20 guns and on a voyage from Lima to Cadiz with a cargo of plate, coco, etc., when taken by two French frigates. She was owned by a Dr. William Barry, and the master of the Spaniard writes home to certify that a legal tribunal will take place at Plymouth to ascertain who has rightful claim to prize and cargo. This copy might possibly have been reproduced for legal purposes. It is headed "Don Carlos … Gutiérrez to the King. Fernandez de Cordoba, &c. &c. …" Sir Peter Parker, 2nd baronet (1785-1814) was appointed to the command of the MENALAUS in 1810 and in this frigate he brought convoys home from St. Helena, served with Pellew in the Mediterranean, and distinguished himself in trying to prevent a 40-gun enemy frigate and a brig from escaping into port, only retiring when shot from shore batteries almost cut in two her foretopmast and two ships-of-the-line came to the frigate’s aid. MENALAUS was ordered to join Lord Keith off Brest. On 14th February, 1814, Parker re-took the richly-laden JOHN BAPTIST, a prize to the French frigates ATALANTE and TERPSICHORE, the latter having been captured some days before by HMS MAJESTIC ; the latter having abandoned her prize crew had run for port. MENALAUS fell in with the ATALANTE on the 25th March and chased her into Concarneau Bay. Parker waited for her to come out but there being no sign, on the 28th he sent in a note under a flag of truce, inviting the French captain to come out and fight a frigate of equal force. The challenge was declined ! Later that year Parker was killed up the Chesapeake after landing with seamen and marines and leading a brave but rash attack on a strong camp of American militia.


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