IV. THE NORWICH
Captain Barrington assumed command of H.M.S. Norwich on
August 21st, 1754. The ship had recently come out of dock and
lay at moorings off the jetty head at Chatham. On the 26th the
ship's company of the Crown were turned over to the Norwich and
work began on fitting out the ship for sea. At the beginning of
October the Norwich sailed for Blackstakes to take in her guns and
ammunition; after which she proceeded to Spithead where she
anchored on October 16th, 1754.
General Braddock's baggage was taken on board in the last
week in November; but the sailing of the Norwich was delayed
till Commodore Keppel should be ready to go out to North America.
The Centurion arrived at Spithead on December 20th and on the
22nd the Centurion and Norwich sailed in company for Virginia.
Barrington left his third Lieutenant, Napier, sick at Portsmouth
and in the vacancy received Adam Duncan. (fn. 1)
Bad weather was encountered in crossing the Atlantic and the
Norwich arrived at Hampton Road, Virginia, on February 19th,
1755, three days ahead of Keppel in the Centurion. General
Braddock landed from the Norwich on the 20th. On March 9th
H.M.S. Seahorse (Captain Hugh Palliser) arrived with seven transports containing the troops embarked at Cork.
In Hampton Roads the Norwich was employed furthering
the equipment of the Army. In the first week in May she also
provided stores for Captain Thomas Owen, to enable him to build
two vessels on Lake Ontario.
Keppel's dispatches to the Admiralty are in P.R.O., Admiralty I,
480. On July 17th, 1755, the Hornet sloop (Captain Salt) arrived
in Hampton Roads with dispatches from the Admiralty, breaking
up his squadron. He transferred his broad pendant to the Seahorse
(Captain Hugh Palliser) and prepared to sail for England. On
July 24th came the news of Braddock's disaster; two days later
the Seahorse, Norwich and Centurion sailed in company, Keppel
for home and Barrington for Halifax, Nova Scotia.
On August nth, 1755, the Norwich and Centurion anchored in
Halifax Harbour and found there Admiral Boscawen with the fleet
recently out from England. Upon coming under his command
Boscawen issued to Barrington his Additional Signals and Fighting
On August 30th the Norwich sailed for Halifax (upon Boscawen's
orders of August 18th) and on September 2nd joined Holburne at
sea; she returned to Halifax on September 24th and witnessed the
departure of Boscawen and Mostyn with the fleet for England on
October 19th, 1755. The Norwich was one of the ships left on the
station under Commodore Richard Spry, and passed a severe winter
at Halifax. It was on June 12th, 1756, before Spry took the
squadron to sea for a cruise off Louisburg, from which the Norwich
returned to Halifax on July 23rd. On August 1st the Grafton and
Nottingham arrived, and Commodore Charles Holmes succeeded
Spry in the command at Halifax.
Holmes took the squadron to sea on August 7th and on the
26th received dispatches at sea, whose contents are indicated by
an extract from Barrington's log: 'The Commodore hoisted his
Colours and a Red Flag at his Foretopgallant masthead, and manned
Ship. We manned Ship likewise and gave three cheers. . . . Read
to the Ship's Company the Declaration of War against France.'
On August 29th Holmes sent the Success and Norwich to Newfoundland, and subsequently Barrington convoyed the Newfoundland
Trade to Europe. The Norwich reached Cadiz on November 23rd.
Barrington applied to Sir Edward Hawke, then at Gibraltar, for
various stores to replenish the Norwich to enable her to reach
England; and upon receiving these by the Portland, he sailed for
Cadiz on December 24th, 1756, and anchored at Spithead on
January 24th, 1757.
The Admiralty ordered the Norwich round to Sheerness for
cleaning and refit. On February 18th she was ordered to Chatham,
and was there docked.