List of the crew of Sesostris in October 1829

Ship Sesostris: A Yeats Esq Commander from England towards the Cape of Good Hope and Bombay

ALEXANDER YATES served in the Royal Navy before becoming a merchant seaman, becoming a Commander in 1825.
He served on the following ships: Dispatch - 1810; Muros - 1812; Pembroke - 1814; Sultan - 1814; Pamone - 1816; Hope - 1822;
Larkins - 1824; Mermaid - 1825-27; Sesostris - 1830; Lord Lowther - 1830/40
Source: Christine Hill, 4 Jan 2003

England to Bombay
1. Mr B. Leaver
1 (Chief) Officer
Replaced by a Mr. Smith at Bombay. Tried for assault on return to London
2. Mr Hincater
2 Officer
3. Mr Jones
3 Officer
4. Mr Goy
4 Officer
5. Mr Fraddy
6. Mr Dresser
Stayed with Sesostris
7. Mr Turner
Stayed with Sesostris
8. D. Bain
Stayed with Sesostris
9. J. Lamont
Returned to duties after Bombay incident, but died on board
10. J. Anderson
Returned to duties after Bombay incident, but left a week later
11. W. Martin
Stayed with Sesostris
12. Blake Perry
Captains' Cook
Returned to England on the Bencoolen
13. Mr Gothwait
Cudy Servant
Stayed with Sesostris; assaulted in June 1831 by Chief Officer James Smith
14. J. Smith
Stayed with Sesostris
15. Powell
Captain's Servant
16. J. Anderson
Ship's Cook
17. J. MacAlister
Boatswain's Mate
Joined an HCS at Bombay
18. J. Brown
Able Seaman
Died on board
19. P. Johnston
Able Seaman
Joined an Honourable Company Ship (HCS) at Bombay
20. W. Johnston
Able Seaman
Joined an HCS at Bombay
21. J. Mack
Able Seaman
Joined an HCS at Bombay
22. E. Davis
Able Seaman
23. J. Hamelson
Able Seaman
Joined HMS Challenger at Bombay
24. J. King
Able Seaman
25. P. Morrison
Able Seaman
Joined HCS at Bombay
26. J. Melvill
Able Seaman
Left at Bombay to be a gunner of unnamed ship
27. J. Nichols
Able Seaman
Joined HCS at Bombay, but had returned to Sesostris for homeward voyage
28. W. Stapleton
Able Seaman
Joined HCS at Bombay
29. C. Grant
Able Seaman
Joined HMS Challenger at Bombay
30. E. Jones
Ordinary Seaman
Joined HCS at Bombay
31. T. Thompson
Ordinary Seaman
Stayed on shore at Bombay
32. J. Belemy
Stayed with Sesostris
33. G. Exton
Left ship at Bombay
34. J. Digby
Went to Calcutta on the Sharlon
35. E. Wilcox
36. C. Hutchinson

Trial of Chief Officer James Smith

Mr. James Smith, the chief officer of the Sesostris East Indiaman, now lying in the East India Docks,
was charged with committing a brutal assault on William Gonthwaite, a seaman of the same vessel, on the
10th of June last, on the high seas, and breaking his left arm. The young man, whose arm was tied up in a
splinter, and is now a patient of the London Hospital, stated with he was on duty with a midshipman, named
Turner, on the poop, when they playfully raised their arms and sparred at each other, and immediately afterwards
resumed their duties. The defendant, who observed them, construed the playful act into skylarking, and
exclaimed, “I’ll teach you to skylark, you d----d son of a b---h, seized the gig’s awning stauncheon
(a heavy wooden bar), and with both hands struck him a violent blow across the loins, the marks of which
were still visible. He aimed a second blow at his side, which he caught on his left arm, and he received
other severe blows on that limb until it was broken. This occurred at 4 a.m., and, though scarcely able to
stand, he was kept on the watch at the lee-wheel until six o’clock, when he was sent below. After breakfast
he was sent on the poop to lay on the sky-lights, when the defendant, seeing him use but one hand, ordered
him to use both. He replied he was unable to use his left arm, and the defendant called him a d---d lying
rascal, and said he wished he had broken his back. He was then ordered forward, and was compelled to scrub
his clothes, and during the whole day was obliged to work, though suffering the most excruciating pain.
He was examined by the doctor, who pronounced that the arm was broken, and who inserted in his list that
the injury had been inflicted by some heavy and unlawful weapon.

James Nicholas confirmed his shipmate’s testimony, and swore that he was not guilty of insolence or disobedience
of orders. The blows were given with great force.

The defendant admitted the assault, but denied having had any intention of breaking his arm, which he alleged
was not injured to the extent represented.

The surgeon’s certificate was handed to the bench, which bore out Gonthwaite’s testimony.

Mr. Broderip was of opinion, that the assault was most cruel and unprovoked, and such an outrage was enough to subvert
all discipline on board ship. Had any officer of the royal navy raised such a weapon against a seaman, he would
have been dismissed from his Majesty’s service. As it was uncertain when the Admiralty Sessions would be again held,
he would allow the parties to retire and talk together.

Shortly afterwards it was announced that the parties could not come to any arrangement, and Mr. Broderip ordered the
defendant to find bail to appear and take his trial, himself in £200 and two sureties of £100 each. Subsequently
Mr. Smith prevailed on the sailor to accept of fifteen sovereigns as a compensation for his broken limb, and he was
forthwith discharged, after paying the office fee and expenses.

Source: Morning Advertiser 4th July 1831.

Note: Fifteen sovereigns was the equivalent of three months pay for a 1st Officer, based on the rates of pay on board the
William Fairlea, East Indiaman, in 1831.

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