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My Life > Lieutenant, 1777-1779

Lieutenant, 1777-1779

On the 8th of April 1777, I passed my examination as a Lieutenant and received my commission next day as second Lieutenant of the Lowestoffe frigate of 32 guns, Captain William Locker. In this ship I went to the West Indies.

On 20 October 1777, blowing a gale of wind and very heavy sea, the Lowestoffe captured an American privateer. The first Lieutenant was ordered to board her, which he did not do, owing to the very high sea. On his return on board the Captain said, 'Have I no Officer who can board the Prize?' On which the Master ran to the gangway, to get into the boat; when I stopped him saying, 'It is my turn now; and if I come back; it is yours.'

This little incident has often occurred to my mind; and I know it is my disposition that difficulties and dangers do but increase my idea of attempting them.

A Frigate was not sufficiently active for my mind and I got into a Schooner, The Little Lucy. In this vessel I made myself a complete pilot for all the passages through the Islands.

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