Monday, June 22, 2009

His Majesty's revenue cruiser Wolf

Excise work off the Cornish Coast 1811-1820

This information was provided by Frederick Walker formerly The Naval Architect, Greenwich, England.

Fred was at school with me in Glasgow in the early 1950s, and later went from his studies in shipbuilding to be appointed as the youngest ever shipyard manager, in Aberdeen, and a highly distinguished career which has taken him all over the world and its oceans and especially its shipbuilding ports, as well as many scholarly centres of maritime history.It was he, for example, who supervised the launch of the sailing vessel The New Endeavour, bicentenniel gift of the U.K. government to Australia. He is a world expert on the recoverability and restorability of significant historic ships. He's also a talented illustrator of the ships he loves.

His Majesty's revenue cruiser Wolf - formerly Roebuck - was an 82 ton cutter built in 1802 by Richeson of Cowes. Armed with 3-pounder guns and six carronades she became a government excise ship and served from 1811 to 1820 in anti-smuggling efforts along the long cove-rich Cornish coast. "His Majesty" was of course King George the Third, whose 60 year reign ended in 1820. Master of Wolf was Captain David Williams, whose great great granddaughter, Joan, married ... Fred Walker! Fellow Scot Fred revealed his larrikin streak by telling me that having an exciseman (tax collector) in the family tree might be thought of as a bit of a disgrace!

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