HomeBasketProduct SearchFAQs & Contact
Print this page

Activity 4: Log of the Albemarle

Horatio Nelson was captain of the Albemarle from 1781 to 1783.


Below the map you'll find an extract from the vessels log for November 1781, when HMS Albemarle was one of the escort ships bringing a large convoy back to England from Denmark. You'll find a reproduction of the page of the log referring to the ship's arrival in Yarmouth Roads on page 12 of 'Maritime Norfolk Part Two'. The markers indicate the passage of HMS Albermarle from 25th November 1781 to 3rd January 1782. The blue markers use the latitude and longitude when it is given in the log; the purple markers use an estimated latititude and longitude from the bearing given in the log. This is because when vessel was in sight of land, a bearing relative to the land was much easier than using the sextant and the other instruments required when the vessel was out of sight of land. Occasionally a white marker is used, such as on the 17th December. This reflects information on the ship's position indicated by the bearings given within the text of the log, in between the 24 hours positions given by the blue and purple markers.

Albemarle
A transcription of the log is given below the map. A question mark indicates an entry which is difficult to read.

We have taken Masterland Castle to be Marstrand on the Swedish Coast and the Cole to be the Kull or Kullens. In the former case the castle on the island would have been a prominent marker and the latter had a light on the promontory. At that time the day was taken to change at 12 noon rather than 12 midnight in ships of the Royal Navy. The ruling was changed about 1806.

DateBearingWindsCoursesLog Entry
Sunday 25 Nov, 1781Moored in Elsinore Roads? First part moderate and fair. Middle and latter part fresh gales./p.n./ Furled sails. 1.a.m. mustered the ships company.
Monday 26 Nov, 1781Moored in Elsinore RoadsSE, WSW Moderate and hazey throughout. Received water on board. Punished ? Green and John Wisewood seamen with 2 dozen lashes each for theft. Peoplemeployed variously.
Tuesday 27 Nov, 1781Moored in Elsinore RoadsFrom SSE to SE Fresh breezes and hazey weather. a.m. ditto wather. The Sampson made the signal for sailing. Answered ditto. People employed occasionally.
Wednesday 28 Nov, 1781Moored in Elsinore RoadsSSE, SE Fresh gales and hazey weather. Ships company variously employed. Carpenters employed raising the comins of the hatchways. a.m./More moderate. Repeated the signal for sailing.
Thursday 29 Nov, 1781Moored in Elsinore RoadsVariable Fresh breezes. Arrived here several vessels from the eastward. Am/ Light breezes & hazey. Received water on board. Unmoored ship & hove in to a cable on the small bower.
Friday 30 Nov, 1781Moored in Elsinore RoadsDitto Light airs inclinable to calm. People variously employed p.m./ The Sampson made the signal to unmoor repeated ditto. Carpenters employed stopping leaks on the quarter? deck.
Saturday 1 Dec, 1781At single anchor in Elsinore RoadsDitto First and middle parts calm later light airs. Excercised small arms and fired vollies. People employed occasionally.
DateBearingWindsCoursesLog Entry
Sunday 2 Dec, 1781At single anchor in Elsinore RoadsNE Light breezes and fair weather throughout. past 2pm/ The Sampson made the signal to weigh. past 3 weighed & came to sail. At 4 repeated the signal for the convoy to come in my wake with a 9 pounder. past 4 repeated the signal to anchor with a 9 pounder. Ditto came too with the small bower in 6 fathom water. Veered away to a cable. a.m./ Mustered the ships company.
Tuesday 4 Dec, 1781At single anchor in Elsinore RoadsNNE Moderate breezes and frosty weather Fired a 9 pounder and made the signal for all masters of merchantmen a.m./Ditto weather People variously employed.
Wednesday 5 Dec, 1781At single anchor in Elsinore RoadsVariable Light winds& hazey weather throughout. a.m./ Hove up the small bower anchor & let it go again veered away to cable. Exercised small arms. Employed occasionally.
Thursday 6 Dec, 1781At single anchor in Elsinore RoadsDitto Light winds inclinable to calms. Employed variously. a.m./ Ditto weather. Employed as before. Exercised small arms.
Friday 7 Dec, 1781At single anchor in Elsinore RoadsEasterly Moderate breezes & hazey weather with sharp frost throughout. The Sampson made the signal to exercise great guns and small arms. Exercised ditto and fired vollies. Sailed 70 English vessels without convoy.
Saturday 8 Dec, 1781Cole NEbyE/?6 miles St Catherines Hill WSWEasterly Ditto winds and weather. /p.m.? The Sampson made the signal for sailing. Repeated ditto. At 8 a.m./ the signal was made to weigh. At 9 weighed and came to sail in company with His Majesty's Ships Sampson, Enterprize, Argo, with a convoy. Repeated the signal for the convoy to make more sail. At 10/a.m./ abreast of Elsinore Castle. At noon the Cole NEbyE 6 miles. St Catherines Hill WSW
Sunday 9 Dec, 1781Masterland Castle ENE/E 5 leaguesEast, E by SEN/NEModerate breezes clear weather ? ? p.m./ hove too for the convoy to come ? ? ? The Cole ? ? Sweden Island E N dist. 3 or 4 leagues Commodore N 5 miles convoy in company. At 5 the False Cole ESE 4 or 5 leagues. At 6 the Cole Lights SE dist 6 or 7 leagues. At 10 shortened sail occasionally for the convoy . At midnight convoy in company. At 4a.m. Moderate and clear weather. The Needing lights SEbyS 3 leagues. At 8 Masterland Castle NE by N. Made and shortened sail occasionally. At 11 repeated the signals for the sternmost ships of the convoy to make more sail. At noon Masterland Castle EbyNED 5 leagues. Convoy and strange sail in company.
DateBearingWindsCoursesLog Entry
Monday 10 Dec, 1781Naze of Norway, W 47 milesE by SE, NE, SEW,SLight airs & clear frosty weather. At 2 pm Masterland Castle EbyS 6 or 7 leagues. Convoy in company. At 6 the Commodore SWW dist 3 miles. Made & shortened sail occasionally for the convoy. At midnight moderate and hazey. Convoy in company. At 4a.m. ditto weather. Saw nothing of the Sampson. At 9 saw 80 sail of the convoy ahead & 60 astern. Ditto saw the Argo bearing NE. Made the signal for the van of the convoy to shorten sails. Ditto fired 1 six pounder shotted to enforce the signals. p10 discovered a ship ahead hull down with the signal for the convoy to come under her stern which ship we took to be the Sampson. Repeated the signals with 2 guns and shortened sails. At noon moderate & hazey weather. 85 sail of the convoy ahead & 65 sail astern.
Tuesday 11 Dec, 1781N 7 East, 27 leaguesSE by E, SES36WDitto weather. At 2 p.m./ repeated the signal for the sternmost of the convoy to make more sail. At 4 the Commodore & body of the convoy ahead & 44 sail astern & much scattered. At 8 ditto weather. Convoy in company. At midnight fresh breezes and squally. Convoy in company. Could see nothing of the Sampson. At 2am/ fresh gales. At past 7 handed foretopsails. At 8 ditto weather. Convoy much scattered only 46 in sight. At noon fresh gales and squally weather, only 50 sail of the convoy in sight and very much scattered. Could not see any of the Men of War.
Wednesday 12 Dec, 1781Flamboro Head, S 70 W 59 ⅔ ?SSE, SouthSWFresh gales & hazey. At 3pm 67 sail in sight. At 8 ditto weather. More of the convoy in sight. At midnight moderate and hazey. At 7am/ two sail in sight. At 8 bore away and gave a chase to the SW. At 9 spoke to a fisherman bound to Ostend past saw several vessels bearing west, hauled up after them. At noon moderate breezes & hazey 116 sails in sight.
Thursday 13 Dec, 1781So 74 W, 29 leaguesSouth, SSE, S by WS67WFresh gales and hazey. At 4pm/ sounded 17 fathom. Convoy in company. At 6 the body of the convoy about 3 miles ahead. At midnight sounded 16 fathoms and with 13 ? ? Convoy in company. At 2 am/ spoke a sloop from Harwich fishing. At /2/18 saw a cutter to leeward turn up to the convoy. At 9 wore ship after her but could not come up with her. At 11 the Commodore made the signal to come within hail of him ? past hove too & hoisted the cutter out. At noon repeated the signal to ascertain the number of ships bound to the different ports with a nine pounder.
Friday 14 Dec, 1781Hornsey, WNW milesSbyE, SbyW, S Moderate breeze hazey weather. Bore away. 114 sail in sight. At 2 pm the Sampson made the signal to speak the Argo. At 3 repeated the signal for ships of the starboard ? to close. past 9 repeated the signal to heave too on the starboard tack with 6 guns. ditto. hove too main topsail to the masts sounded 17 fathoms. At midnight fresh breezes and hazey weather. At 4 am/ moderate & hazey. Convoy in company. At 6 heard the report of 2 guns to the westward past heard the report of 2 more in the same quarter. At 8 wore ship and stood after the Sampson. At 9 saw the extremes of the land from SW to WSW. At 11 tacked ship Hornsey Town WSW dist off shore 5 or 6 miles. At noon the Sampson made the Argo signal to come with hail.
Saturday 15 Dec, 1781Turning to windwardSbyE, S Light winds & hazy weather. Tacked ship. past 4 ? The signal to anchor with a 9 pounder. past came too with the best bower in 10 fathoms water. commodore ? At 10 am the Sampson made the signal to weigh. Ditto. Weighed & came to sail in company with the Sampson. At noon tacked occasionally working up for the Spurn, thick foggy weather.
Sunday 16 Dec, 1781Spurn WNW 7 milesSSW, WSW Fresh breezes and foggy weather. Working up under the land. At 3 repeated signal to anchor. past 5 cleared up saw the Spurn light bearing WNW 6 or 7 miles. /a.m. fresh breezes and clear weather. At noon moderate and clear.
DateBearingWindsCoursesLog Entry
Monday 17 Dec, 1781 23:59Anchored in Yarmouth RoadsWbyN, WSW, SWS Ditto weather. past noon the Sampson made the signal to speak us. At 1 hove up & came top sail. past spoke the Sampson. At 2 the Sampson made our signal to part company with the ships bound to the Downs. Ditto parted company and made the signal for the convoy to come into my wake a strange convoy in company coming out of the Humber. past 6 the Dudgeon light W 6 or 7 miles. At 8 Foulness sighted light south 6 or 7 miles. past 11 came to with the best bower in 13 fathoms water & veered away to a cable Winterton Ness light. SWbyW Winterton Tower light SSW. past 7 weighed & came to sail at 8 beating up to Yarmouth Road. At noon came too in Yarmouth Roads with the best bower and veered away to a cable.
Tuesday 18 Dec, 1781DittoNNW, NbyE Moderate and hazey. Employed mending sails /a.m. foggy weather. Made the signal for all masters of merchantmen. People employed occasionally.
Wednesday 19 Dec, 1781Moored in ditto  Moderate and hazey weather throughout. Moor ship. Made the signal for all masters of merchantmen. People employed variously.
Thursday 20 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SSW Moderate and rainy weather. Sailed His Majesty's ship Artois, cleared hawse, ??? Ditto. Weather. Employed variously.
Friday 21 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SW, WSW Moderate and hazey weather. Sent empty casks ashore. People variously employed.
Saturday 22 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.Ditto Moderate breezes and hazey weather. Employed variously. |a.m.| Sent ashore empty casks.
Sunday 23 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SSW Fresh gales wth rainy weather. |am| Mustered the ships company. Received beer and water on board.
DateBearingWindsCoursesLog Entry
Monday 24 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SSW Do. Winds and weather. Struck lower yard. S. top gallant masts |a.m.| Employed in the hold and other jobbs.
Tuesday 25 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.Westerly First and middle parts. Fresh gales and cloudy residue. Moderate and fair weather. |a.m.| Got up topgallant masts and lower yards. Made the signal with a 9 pounder for unmooring ? Unmoored & hove in to a cable on the best bower.
Wednesday 26 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SW,S by W Moderate winds and fair weather. ? Meridian. Made the signal to weigh with a 9 pounder. Ditto. Weighed & came to sail. Removed at St Nicholas Gatway. At 5 made the signal with a 9 pounder to tack. Ditto. ??? signals. At 10 fresh gales Tacked. Occasionally during the night fired nine pounders. Signal guns ??? Fired 1 nine pounder and made the signal to bear away. Ditto. Bore up convoy in company. At 9 ?? topgallant masts. At 10 fired 1 nine pounder and made the signals to anchor. past came to in Yarmouth Roads with the best bower in ? and seized away to 2 cables and let go the small bower and used a ? At 11 fired 1 nine pounder and made the signal to moor. At noon strong gales and cloudy weather. Struck lower yards.
Thursday 27 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SSW Fresh gales with hazey weather. Moored a cable each way. Golston tower NW & W. Yarmouth steeple No Dist. off shore 1 miles. a.m./ rainy weather swayed up yards & topmasts. Ditto made the signals to unmoor with 9 pounder, unmoored ship, hove in to a whole cables on the best bower.
Friday 28 Dec, 1781At anchoring in Yarmouth Roads.WSW Fresh gales. a.m./ strong gales at 5. Struck ?? Masts of lower yards. Ditto. Veered to 2 cables on the best bower. At 8 made the signal with a 9 pound gun to moor. Ditto let go the small bower anchor. Struck fore and main of masts . At 11 struck mizen tomast, employed making nippers and sundry jobbs.
Saturday 29 Dec, 1781At anchoring in Yarmouth Roads.WSW Strong gales and hazy weather. Arrived here His Majecty's Ship Proselyte. At 6pm moored a cable each way. Am/ More moderate. Swayed up the topmasts and sett up the rigging, loosed the foresails and mainsails to dry. Ditto mended sails.
Sunday 30 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.SW Fresh breezes and rainy weather. Received beer and water on board. Mustered the ships company. ?? cleared hawse.
DateBearingWindsCoursesLog Entry
Monday 31 Dec, 1781Moored in Yarmouth Roads.  Moderate breezes and hazey weather. p.m./ made the signal with a 9 pounder to unmoor. Ditto. Unmoored & hove into a whole cable on the whole bower. At 8 pm/ squally with rain. Made the signal with a 9 pounder to ?? Years & topmasts stuck. Ditto. At 6a.m./ made the signal with a 9 pounder & swayed up yards & topmasts. At 9 made the signal with a 9 pounder to weigh. At 11 weighed and came to sails. Sampson, Preston, Argo and convoy in company.
Tuesday 1 Jan, 1782    past 1 hove too and made the signal for the convoy to close . Lowstoff Tower WNW. At 3p.m. made sails. At 6 squally. Convoy in company. past struck TG masts. At 7sounded 20 fathoms. At 8 sounded 22 fathoms. Moderate weather. At 9 sounded 18 fathoms. At 10 sounded 24 fathoms. At 11 sounded 30 fathoms. At 12 sounded 32 fathoms. At 1a.m. spimded 30 fathoms. At 2 sounded 26 fathoms. Shortened sail occasionally for the convoy. At 5 fired the nine pounder and made the signal to ?bring too on the larboard tack for the convoy. At 6 sounded 26 fathoms, swayed up topG masts. Spoke a ship from Petersburgh bound to ?? past 7 bore away . At 8 fresh breezes. Convoy in company. At 9 saw the North Foreland bearing WbyN 5 or 6 leagues. At 11 made sails. At noon the South Foreland ?SW 3 leagues. Hazey weather. Argo & Peston with the convoy in company.
Wednesday 2 Jan, 1782   Fresh breezes & hazey weather. Shortened sail occasionally for the convoy. At 3p.m. hove too. At 4 filled S Foreland NWbyS 4 or 5 miles. past made the signal to anchor. Ditto. Bore away for the Downes past 6 came too with the best bower in 5 fathoms water. S.Foreland sightes SWbyW. Deal town NWbyN dist 1 miles. At 6 struck lower yards. a.m. Ditto weather. At 9 veered away to 2 cables on the best bower and let go the small bower. Punished John Brady seaman with 20 lashes for mutinous behaviour. Read the articles of war to the ship's company.
Thursday 3 Jan, 1782   Fresh breezes with rain at 7pm moored ship a cable each way upper Deal mill South Foreland SW by W offshore 1 miles / am / more moderate at 9 swayed up lower yards and top gallantmasts loosed sails to dry people variously employed.
 
Copyright © 2006-2017 Poppyland Publishing, all rights reserved            Terms & Conditions            Privacy and Cookies            site by davidviner.com