NameCaptain Henry Mowat , 1497
Birth Dateabt 1734
Birth PlaceStromness, Orkney?, Scotland
Death Date14 Apr 1798 Age: 64
Death PlaceHampton Roads, Virginia, USA
Spouses
1Esther Moore , 2705
Family ID414
Marr Date1786
ChildrenWilliam , 2718
 Mary Ann , 2719 (-~1824)
 Alexander , 2651 (~1765-)
 Eleanor Margaret , 2652 (1768-1858)
Notes for Captain Henry Mowat
Buried in St. Johns Episcopal Church Cemetery, Hampton,Virginia.

Rawdon/Douglas: Two Loyalist Townships in Nova Scotia: Eleanor Maraget Mowatt was the daughter of Commandore Henry Mowatt, Naval Officer at Halifax, Nova Scotia to Brig. Gen. Francis McLean in 1779; in 1774 Lieut. Mowatt of the Royal Navy in the Canceaux was reported to be available to Gov. Wentworth to assist in preserving public peace; (Vice-Adm. Graves to Gov. Wentworth d/Boston, 17 Dec. 1774 quoted in Documents of the American Revolution, 1770-1783, VII, 187iv); the inhabitants of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia petitioned on 2 May 1775 to Lieut. Henry Mowat of HMS Caceaux to remain to protect them; the petition was signed by Nathaniel Coffin and seventeen other merchants, shipmasters etc. (Ibid. 1315iii) From Falmouth 4 May 1775 aboard HMS Canceaux Lieut. Henry Mowatt wrote to Vice-Adm. Graves that the "great part of the people are in arms; they planned to board this ship but were dissuaded. Major Freeman is the leading instrument of sedition. Friends of Government seek protection"; (Falmouth refers to the New England town).(Ibid., 1315iv).
United Empire Loyalist.
Dictionary of American Biography 1872. Captain Henry Mowatt R.N., died Hampton Roads March 1797. Lieut. M., with Gov. Pownal, selected a site for the fort on the Penobscot in the spring of 1759. Oct. 18, 1775, he set on fire and destroyed a great portion of Falmouth (now Portland), Maine; He continued on the American coast throughout the war; became a post captain 26 Oct 1782; and was at Nova Scotia in 1796.
Hampton Roads is a channel in southeastern Virginia. Capt Mowat apparently died on board his ship the "HMS Assistance".



Will of Captain Henry Mowat
14 March 1795
Public Record Office PROBll/1324, fol.297v.

THIS IS the LAST WILL and testament of me, Henry Mowat of Millbank Row, Westminster, a Captain in the Royal Navy of Great Britain, being of sound and disposing mind, memory and
understanding.

First, I direct that all my just debts, funeral expenses and legacies shall be paid by my executors hereafter named.

I give and bequeath to my well deserving friend Mrs. Easter Moore, at this time in the charge of my house and family, all such plate and household furniture as may be in the said house or belonging to me at the time of my death

I also bequeath to the said Mrs. Moore the fourth part of all the interest arising from the dividends or other property at my decease which fourth part of interest is to be paid to her every six
months during her life, and after her death the said fourth part of the interest, together with one half of all the money that is at this time in the Funds, or may be at the time of my death; and of all other property due on bonds or other securities at my decease, I give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Ann Mowat. The interest arising from the same after payment of the interest as mentioned to Mrs. Moore is to be applied to the use and to the finishing of the education of the said Mary Ann Mowat until she shall attain her age of twenty one years or day of marriage, which shall first appen, and then and not before, the said half share with all such interest as may remain
unexpended shall be consigned and transferred to her, her heirs and assigns for ever, and not to be at the control or subject to the debts or engagements of any husband she may at any time
marry.

The other half of all the money now in the Funds, or may be at the time of my death, and all the other property as herein mentioned, I give and bequeath to my son William Mowat. The interest
arising from the same is to be applied to his use and to the finishing of his education, and upon his attaining his age of twenty one years the said half share of all the property mentioned in this will, and that I shall be possessed of at the time of my death, is to be consigned and transferred to him, his heirs and assigns for ever.

And it is further my will and pleasure that in case my said son shall die previous to his attaining his age of twenty one years, or should my said daughter die previous to her attaining her age of
twenty one years or day of marriage, then and in that case the part or parts of him or her so dying shall go to the survivor of the said two children, and to his or [her] use, and to the use of his or her heirs and assigns for ever; and should it be so ordered that my said son and said daughter should die previous to their being of age or married, in that case it is my will and mind that Henry Maclean, the son of my daughter Mrs. Maclean, shall be the heir to all such property as mentioned in this will and may remain unexpended by the said two children, and to his heirs for ever.

I leave my gold watch, seals and swords to my said son William, and at the death of Mrs. Moore all such plate and household furniture as may be left by her is to be at the disposal of the said
Mary Ann.

I do hereby nominate and appoint James Sykes, Esquire, of Arundel Street, and at his death his son James, Robert Marsh, Esquire, of Sloane Square, Charles Smith, Esquire, of James Street,
Adelphi, executors of this my will and guardians of my said two children.

And lastly I do hereby revoke all former and other will or wills by me at any time made, and I declare this to be my last will and testament.

In witness, I the said Henry Mowat have to this my will contained in one sheet of paper, wrote with my hand and signed and sealed with my seal, this fourteenth day of March One thousand seven hundred and ninety five.
H. Mowat
Witness: John Moore
[ SEAL ]

N.B. Three of this tenor and date to serve as one.

H. Mowat

I include Arthur Robinson, Esquire, of Pall Mall, one of the executors of this will.
Millbank, 2st June 1795.

28th May 1799
APPEARED Personally William Penrose of Saint Martin's Lane in the parish of Saint Martin in the Fields in the county of Middlesex, Gentleman, and Thomas Stilwell of Arundel Street in the
parish of Saint Clement Danes in the same county, Gentleman, and severally made oath that they well knew Henry Mowat, late of Millbank Row in the parish of Saint John the Evangelist, Westminster in the county of Middlesex, and a Captain in his Majesty's Navy, Esquire, deceased, for many years before and to the time of his death, which happened in or about the month of April One thousand seven hundred and ninety eight, as these deponents have been informed and believe, and are well acquainted with his manner and character of handwriting and subscription, having often seen him write and subscribe his name, and having carefully viewed and inspected the paper writing hereto annexed, purporting to be the last will and testament and codicil of the said deceased, the said will beginning thus:

"This is the last will and testament of me Henry Mowat of Millbank Row, Westminster",
ending thus:
signed and sealed with my seal, this fourteenth day of March One thousand seven hundred and ninety five",
and thus subscribed:
"H. Mowat";

the said codicil written at the bottom of the said will in the following words and figures:
"N.B. Three of this tenor and date to serve as one.
H. Mowat
I include Arthur Robinson, Esquire, of Pall Mall, one of the executors of this will.
Millbank, 2nd June 1795."
and thus subscribed:
"H. Mowat".

They the Deponents say that they do verily believe the whole body and contents of the said will and codicil, and the several subscription thereto, to be all of the proper hand, handwriting and
subscriptions of the said Henry Mowat deceased.

Will. Penrose
Thomas Stilwell

Same day the said William Penrose and Thomas Stilwell were duly sworn to the truth of this affidavit before me:
S. Parson, Surrogate
Present: George Townley, Notary Public.

THIS WILL, with a codicil, was proved at London the thirtieth day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety nine, before the worshipful William Terrott, Doctor
of Laws and Surrogate of the Right honourable Sir William Wynne, Knight, Doctor of Laws, Master, Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, lawfully constituted, by the
oaths of James Sykes the elder and Charles Smith, Esquire, two of the executors named in the said will, to whom administration was granted of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits of
the said deceased, having been first sworn duly to administer; power reserved of making the like grant to Robert Marsh, Esquire, the other executor named in the said will, and Arthur Robinson,
Esquire, the executor named in the said codicil, when they or either of them shall apply for the same.

Taken from "Loyalists to Canada"- Captain Henry Mowat, Royal Navy, was born in Scotland in 1734, the son of Captain Patrick Mowatt, R.N. Henry Mowat served six years in the Royal Navy, before receiving his commission as Lieutenant in 1756 while on H.M.S. Baltimore. He saw duty for 12 years, mostly in North America, on H.M.S. Canso, one of the four vessels which were engaged in the burning of Falmouth. Captain Mowatt also saw service on H.M.s. Albany during the Revolutionary War. He died off the American coast, near Cape Henry, on April 14, 1798, and was buried at Hampton, Virginia.

Taken from “Lieutenant Certificates June 1757 June 1762 Vol 5.
In pursuance ** of the 1st May 1758. We have examined Mr Henry Mowatt. Who by Certificate appears to be more than 23 years of age and find he has gone to sea more than 6 years past whereof in the Merchants Service as appears by Certificate from the Owner of the Ship he served in, which is to be allowed of by their Lordships order of the 28th April 1758 and the rest of his time in his Majesty’s Service in the Ships and Qualitys undermentioned (viz)

Antelope- Able- 5 months 3 weeks 3 days
Chesterfield- Midshipman- 7 months 5 days
Chesterfield- Masters Mate- 3 months 4 days
Chesterfied- Mids- 7 months 2 weeks 2 days
Chesterfield- Mast Mate- 8 months
Ramilies- Mids- 2 months 1 week 5 days
Ramilies- Mids- 2 months 3 weeks
Total of 2 years, 10 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days.
He produceth journals kept by himself in the Chesterfield and Ramilies, and certificated from Captains Ogle and Hobbs, of his diligence and ...: He can splice, knot, reef a sail...: And is qualified to do the duty of an Able Seaman and midshipman. Dated the 9th May 1758

Extract from relevant documents from the collection of O. M. Thompson Jr. of John H. Percy material.

Chapter Two “The First Father: Henry Mowat”

In the summer of 1779, few officers of the Royal Navy were more dissatisfied than Lieutenant Henry Mowat (1734-1798), commander of the Albany, stationed off the New England coast. Among the 125 men aboard was Robert Percy, a lad whom Mowat had nurtured for the past nine years. Robert Percy's relationship to Mowat serves as commentary upon the "illegitimate" line from which Walker Percy descended. The Albany was a 230 ton ship bought in Boston and commissioned in April, 1776. Aware of the navy's shortages, Mowat himself had recommended the purchase. He had not expected to command it, however, hoping for a better post1. In his opinion, the Albany, though seaworthy, was in poor shape. Indeed, it would last in service only another three years. From puny beginnings in the fall of 1775, the Lord North ministry had gathered in late 1776 what one historian has called “a vast naval armada--one of the largest fleet of warships ever seen in North American waters.2” That size and strength withered away as weather and battle attrition after French entry in the war, 1778, took their toll. By 1779, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Albany's home station, down to New York, the Continentals held all the ports and safe harbors. Not a single town of all New England, on the shores or inland, was still in British hands. Since 1778, the New York dockyard, upon which much of the fleet depended for refitting, had been in serious disarray3. Still worse, at Halifax, supplies for repair, especially proper timbers for masts, bowsprits, and planking, were running low, threatening the effectiveness of the North American Squadron. To meet the situation, Lord Germain in 1778 had urged Sir Henry Clinton, commander-in-chief of the American campaign, to seize "the tract of country that lies between Penobscot River and the River St. Croix, the boundary of Nova Scotia on that side." The lands (in allocations of less than 1000 acres each), Germain suggested, could be distributed free of quitrents for ten years to those "meritorious but distressed" New England Loyalists whom the rebels had victimized).4
Under these circumstances, Mowat received orders from Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot, cooperating with Clinton, to command a small flotilla and transport elements of two Highland regiments to Penobscot Bay, Maine. There, a fort, overlooking the Majabagaduce tributary, was to be erected, manned, and supported. The purpose was to secure from the Penobscot River valley naval stores and timber for the Halifax shipyards; to reestablish the imperial presence in a region long lost to the Patriots; to provide a haven for Loyalists; and to serve as a base for protecting Canadian commerce and fishing from American privateers. Arbuthnot's orders gave Mowat his first major command in some four years of sailing, to erase the stain on his record of an ill-fated Expedition at the start of the American Revolution. As it turned out, even victory at Penobscot would not be enough to alter his fortunes, with consequences for his ward. Later, the mouth of the Penobscot River would be Robert Percy's first American home.
Mowat made an imposing figure, one that doubtless inspired the devotion of young Robert Percy, whose real father, Charles, had a wholly different personality. Mowat was a hot-tempered, "haughty, fine-looking man in his full navy uniform," a Maine old-timer told his granddaughter many years later. On a street in Falmouth, later called Portland, the youngster stared so hard that Mowat, jealous of his honor, turned round and stormed, "What are you looking at me for?" as his hand reached for his sword. "A cat may look upon a king" was the reply. The officer hastened on without waiting to hear the rest of the adage.5
Mowat had an explosive temper, but it quickly subsided. By no means was he unduly hard on enemies, despite a notoriety for barbarity6. A little above middle size, he customarily powdered his hair and wore a blue coat with lighter blue facings. Only the officers in the British Navy wore uniforms then7. In addition, he was a first-rate professional. According to Vice Admiral Samuel Graves, an earlier commander of the North American Squadron, the forty-five year-old officer was "a most vigorous Commander" with an unrivaled knowledge of New England waters8. Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham, later Graves's replacement, called Mowat "the most useful person in America" under naval authority9. Mowat also thought himself "the best Pilot in the Navy for all the Harbors, Creeks & Incidents of Navigation from Rhode Island Northward to Quebec." Samuel Holland, Surveyor of Lands, agreed with his claim.10”

Mowat came by his nautical skills naturally. Bred in the wind-swept Orkneys where skimpy island soil and bleak clifftops separate the North Sea from the Atlantic, the ruddy-faced Scotsman belonged to a long line of seafarers. Settled in the vicinity of ancient Stromness, the Mowats (sometimes spelled Mowatt or Mouat and pronounced Moat) were one of the oldest families of lairds on the islands11. Captain Patrick Mowat, his father, had commanded the Dolphin, a sixth-rate sloop with 20 9 pound guns. Three of Henry Mowat's brothers were also navy men. One of them died on board the London, a second-rate 90 gun battleship, off the coast of St. Domingo in battle against the French. Another, who served as midshipman on one of Captain Cook's Australian expeditions, died in 1793 on the sloop Rattlesnake, also in the West Indies. Henry Mowat`s son John Alexander was to join the senior service, too12.
Since the close of the French and Indian War, Mowat had served for some eleven years as the skipper of the Canceaux The ship was permanently assigned to survey the northeastern coast13. Launched from a Quebec shipyard in 1758, along with Henry Mowat, its captain, the Canceaux was to gain a notoriety in the American Revolution that would affect the life of Robert Percy, a teenage seaman, in a way he could scarcely have foreseen. In 1770 Mowat had sailed it to the port of London. The three-masted merchant vessel, converted into an "Armed Ship," had undergone extensive repair and refitting at the Royal Dockyards. They were located at Gallion's Reach, one of the bends in the river Thames where stood the town of Woolwich, just below Greenwich14.
On November 8, 1770 Robert Percy, signed on the Canceaux as a volunteer. He was probably accompanied by his mother Margaret and possibly by his father Charles whom Robert was not to see again for perhaps twenty years. Given the post of captain's help to the commander, Robert was then eight years old. In the Hanoverian era, eight was not an unusual age to begin a naval career. Some recruits were only five years old. During the summer of 1771, the Canceaux, with a crew of 45, sailed for Boston, arriving on August 24. Shortly thereafter it took its regular position in the Piscataqua River, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and, part of the time at nearby Kittery, Maine, to resume its surveying function15. After a promotion to able seaman (supernumerary) at age nine, in April, 1772, Robert was temporarily discharged from service on the - Piscataqua River, probably in order to gain some schooling, perhaps under a local Anglican minister. (A staunch churchman, Mowat would have been reluctant to place his charge in the hands of New England "ranting Dissenters," as his clerical friends called the puritans.) The society for the Propagation of the Gospel had recently permitted the Rev. Samuel Cole, a missionary, to open one at Claremont, Cheshire County, New Hampshire16. Possibly Robert Percy attended it. At the time fatherless, Robert Percy, idolized Lieutenant Mowat, his guardian and patron in the royal service. Mowat was most likely responsible for his education and may have even paid for it himself, as many masters did, particularly since mother Margaret had few resources to dispense on her son. In the Georgian navy, ships of the line often carried schoolmasters for the fifty or so boys aboard17. A sloop like the Canceaux, however, was much too small for such a complement of children and teacher. Ironically, the future southern planter's introduction to America was aboard three vessels--the Canceaux, the Albany, and the La Sophie, which for the first thirteen years of his nautical career, plied the waters, off the coast of New England, not the shorelines of the South, capturing American smugglers, and later Continental sloops and doing convoy duty18.
In all likelihood, Robert Percy kept in touch with his former commander throughout his four years of schooling, from 1772 to December 1775, a period of unrest and then war with the mother country19. At the age of thirteen, Robert rejoined the Canceaux just before its sailing that winter for repair at the Royal Dockyards once again. The ship returned to America, April, 1776, arriving at Halifax on June 1, 1776. In May, 1777, at his surrogate father's initiative, Robert Percy was transferred to Mowat's new command, the Albany, and continued to serve with his patron throughout the entire Revolutionary period.
As a result of his absence at school, Robert Percy had not participated in the most controversial aspect of his guardian's maritime career--the burning of Falmouth, Maine, in October, 1775. That "atrocity," as the Patriots called it, had been a personal disaster for Mowat himself and a major political blunder which hastened the movement toward full independence.
Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves, commander of the undermanned and under supported North American Squadron, had been given an impossible assignment20. As a member of the parsimonious Lord North's cabinet, John Montagu, the Earl of Sandwich and First Lord of the Admiralty, summed up the wishful thinking of that administration in a letter to Graves, July, 1775: you are "to exert yourself to the utmost towards crushing the daring rebellion that [has] now extended itself almost over the whole continent of America." With a mere thirty ships assigned to the command, Horatio Nelson himself might have found such instructions daunting. An uninspired though reasonably competent officer, Graves was completely over his depth. . His forces were quite unable to stop the smuggling, the blowing up of the Boston lighthouse or the capture of naval ships and crewmen during the prior months of 1775. But as Sandwich's veiled threats implied, Graves had to do something if only to staunch the inordinate flow of letters from the Admiralty saddling him with new responsibilities -but with no more forces by which to accomplish them21.
So prodded, Graves decided to raze as many ports in New England as possible as a means of showing the weight of British power. Placing Mowat in charge , the admiral organized a flotilla to carry out the design22. The little fleet consisted of the Canceaux, with six eight-pounders, the Halifax, a six-gun schooner with a crew of 30, the Symmetry, a transport loaded with mortars, and the armed sloop Spitfire--just enough fire power to do some damage but not enough to overawe the rebellious Yankees23. Falmouth, Maine, a thriving port of two thousand inhabitants and a hotbed of insurgency, was near the top of Graves's list24. Sent to protect royal customs officials in the spring of 1775, Mowat had earlier flown the Union lack to protect the Loyalists and customs officials of the town. On a stroll through a grove of trees overlooking Falmouth harbor, Mowat and the Rev. John Wiswell, the local Anglican minister, were seized and held hostage by a band of drunken Patriots--"a Company of Banditti," Wiswell called them. Ensign William Hogg, master at arms of the Canceaux, threatened to cannonade the port, and the prisoners were released25. Wiswell fled with Mowat on the Canceaux. Left behind, his wife and daughter were forced to surrender all of the family's real estate, household furnishings, and provisions before leaving with other Loyalists in convoy guarded by a man-of-war. They rejoined Wiswell in Boston. Not long after their arrival, "greatly fatigued in Mind & Body, they sickened and died," Wiswell reported26. With his close friend Wiswell's losses in mind, Mowat's return in October involved some personal satisfaction in carrying out his instructions. Yet thoughts of revenge were incidental to the larger purpose of overawing the New England provinces27. He rejected the pleas of city fathers, declaring that Falmouth needed the "rod of correction." The people had too long defied "the legal prerogatives of the best of Sovereigns28.” The captain gave the residents only a few hours to flee with whatever they could carry off.
At 9:40 in the morning, October 16, 1775, Mowat had the red pendant raised on the main topgallant mast to signal the order to fire. After eight hours of continuous bombardment and marine forays with torches, Falmouth lost all its ships in the harbor, its public buildings, the Loyalists' Anglican church, and 130 houses, leaving only 100 of the "worst" dwellings still standing. The inhabitants faced a shelterless, jobless winter29.
Miraculously no one was killed on either side. Mowat had used up all his explosives and cannonballs and could not proceed, as originally planned, to obliterate other coastal settlements. But the damage done at Falmouth was sufficient to make the name of Mowat an anathema in New England. At his Massachusetts headquarters, General George Washington called it "an Outrage exceeding in Barbarity & Cruelty every hostile Act practiced among civilized Nations30”. In a French document, Mowat assumed the shape of a "miscreant," and in the American papers was called the "well known, brutal Henry Mowatt, who - cruelly plundered and burned Casco-Bay." For years after the Falmouth atrocity, Maine children were threatened that Captain Mowat" would come to punish them for disobedience”. Not until over a hundred years later were local historians able to recognize that the officer had acted under legitimate orders and not from sheer malice and revenge for the episode in April31. From a military perspective matters were equally unhappy for Graves and Mowat. The expedition had exhausted the munitions in Boston, strained the repair facilities, and in effect immobilized Graves's operations for the remainder of the year32.
As a result of the political repercussions, Lord Sandwich, who had ordered Graves to repress the rebellion without "delicacies," sacked his former client who never again held command33. Mowat, too, fell into disfavor. In January 1776, Mowat returned the Canceaux to Gallion's Reach on the Thames for refitting. its timbers and caulking shaken loose from the Falmouth bombardment. Having rejoined the ship in December, 1775, Robert Percy was aboard when the leaking Canceaux docked at Gallion's Reach, no doubt much to the delight of his mother Margaret, then living alone in the nearby village of Hammersmith34. Robert had not seen her for five years. But he did not find his father Charles in the crowd waiting on the wharf, as the crew dropped the mooring lines. Charles had already disappeared, probably even before Robert had enlisted on the Canceaux in 177035.
Mowat took the opportunity that the return afforded to speak with Sandwich and Lord Germain about his seniority and readiness for promotion to a major ship of the line36. They murmured the obligatory politenesses and promised him a better command-whenever a vacancy appeared. Meanwhile, he was ordered to take possession of the Albany in Boston. The new command was only a modest improvement. Though small, the Albany was somewhat wider and newer than the decrepit Canceaux which was anchored at Portsmouth. He had to return the vessel to American waters before taking up his new command. Mowatt and a party of Loyalists left London on April 4 and by the end of the month the Canceaux had cleared Yarmouth on its way back to America37.
Mowat loved the sea but not his stagnation in rank and command. The outbreak of full-scale war with the Americans offered him a chance to prove himself to his superiors38.
Indeed, Mowat was indispensable, as succeeding admirals pointed out to their superiors in London. Invariably they promised him improved commands. Yet nothing materialized. To be sure, he was assigned to two different ships to fill temporary vacancies and he made the most of his opportunity. As interim commander of the 28-gun Milford in 1777 he destroyed 12 American vessels, six of them burnt in Boston harbor itself, with Commodore John Manley, the local commander, unable to work up the nerve to confront him. A London paper hailed his cruise as "the most successful" of the fall season39. Patrolling the coast of the Carolinas, twice he confronted John Paul Jones. On the second occasion, Mowat drove Jones's ship, the Alfred, into Boston harbor and out of action. The following year, the Milford forced the brig Cabot ashore on the coast of Nova Scotia, where it was abandoned. Mowat spent two weeks expertly refloating the vessel, the first Continental ship captured in the war, and brought to Halifax for refitting.40" Yet his proved effectiveness on the Milford and Scarborough resulted in no permanent promotion , Instead, he was forced, as he later complained, "to return to the wretched Albany.41”
By and large Mowat's ship guarded Canadian waters from rebel fishermen, an assignment he found demeaning for one of his seniority and talents. When a former lieutenant (probably the very capable Alexander Fraser with claims to nobility) was promoted over him, Mowat was particularly vexed: he had been the Junior officer's master on the Canceaux. Sir George Collier and Lord Howe were responsible for what the senior lieutenant considered a gross violation of the seniority list. Besides, smaller ships offered fewer opportunities to capture valuable prizes at sea, a chief source for making a fortune in the naval service. Luckily, though, in one of his few exercises of sound judgment of men, Sir Henry Clinton, chief of the royal forces in America, picked him out to head the Penobscot expedition in early 1779. Vice Admiral James Gabbier, then acting commander in chief in Lord Howe's absence, acquiesced. Even so, despite Mowat's objections to Collier, his immediate superior at Halifax, no larger vessel was appropriated for his command. He would have to lead the operation from the Albany, despite the fact that landing in the heart of rebel territory would undoubtedly result in a swift and formidable counterattack.
Though his temper was probably short as the Albany prepared in 1779 for action, Mowat kept his misgivings about the Penobscot venture and the ship from crewmen like Robert Percy, whom he had brought from the Canceaux three years before. Nonetheless, unlike the Falmouth affair, undertaken ostensibly in peacetime, the Penobscot venture held out the promise of heroic action in the unambiguous setting of warfare. Mowat was determined to make the most of it; and he did. For once, fate smiled. By sheer chance, several frigates, including the 32-gun Blonde, were available to join the expedition from Halifax, Nova Scotia. They convoyed the Albany, the other two sloops, and the transports to Penobscot and scared off a small American fleet. Once the enemy hove out of sight, however, the larger ships sailed for New York and left Mowat to his own devices and the accuracy of his 10 six pounders and 6 four-pounders on the Albany. Collier had ordered the transports, which included the London, under master David Mowat, Henry's brother, and smaller ships to return to Halifax. Immediately upon arrival on June 26, 1779, General Francis McLean, army commander at Halifax, disembarked his several hundred troops from the transports. Soon the clink of picks and thuds of axes could be heard as the British began to erect a fort on the highest ridge majestically poised over Majabagaduce harbor, opposite the 20-house village of Castine42.
Meantime, news of an impending invasion up the coast caused instant alarm in Boston. Without waiting for reactions from the Continental authorities, the Massachusetts General Court ordered the massing of troops, ships, and supplies to repel the British. Dudley Saltonstall, a State of Connecticut flag captain, and General Solomon Lovell of Weymouth, Massachusetts, were assigned to head the sea and land contingents. They numbered over 2500 troops and three state cruisers, four smaller vessels, and 22 transports, a fleet later augmented with more armed ships. A month later the expeditionary force set sail, arriving in Penobscot Bay, on July 25, 177943.
Fortunately, Mowat had disobeyed Collier's explicit instructions to return to Halifax with his supporting sloops, the Nautilus, with 16 guns, and the North, 18 guns, and the four transports, a detention in which General McLean heartily concurred. With his precise knowledge of Majabagaduce harbor, Mowat placed his vessels in such a way that communications with the fort were kept open, yet the ships were best situated to defend themselves and help protect the still incomplete fortifications. As a result, the British were enabled to withstand for the next three weeks daily bombardment from eighteen American ships44. Even the fort escaped much damage, and work for its completion, with a number of Mowat's sailors assisting, continued uninterrupted throughout the cannonading. Gradually the abatis around the fort grew stronger, and with the addition of sturdy parapets of wood, Fort George. as it was dubbed, gained a deceptively formidable appearance45. Since the quarter bill always posted in the ship has not survived from the Albany, what station in action Robert Percy had in the battle is not known. Boys of his age--he was then sixteen--were oft attached to gun crews to carry the powder from the magazines46.
Whatever his post may have been, for the youthful sailor it was certainly an exciting though fearful compensation for having missed the burning of Falmouth. Under the able leadership of Mowat and McLean, English morale was very high, despite the perils of facing so large an American force47.
Meantime, Commodore Saltonstall, ill-tempered, stubborn, and obtuse; and General Lovell, an officer with little military experience beyond the muster-ground, quarreled about the order of attack: should the ships first overcome the Albany or should the troops assault the fort on the eminence from the land side? In contrast to the practical harmony between Henry Mowat and Francis McLean, a veteran of nineteen battles, neither of the American officers had ever before engaged in amphibious operations. Misunderstandings abounded48. Having witnessed the confusion and "want of courage" of his inexperienced troops on one occasion, Lovell considered his force too small and ineffective to mount the steep incline and seize Fort George as long as Mowat's flotilla remained anchored so close by49.
There was no excuse, however, for Saltonstall's timidity. (He was later court-martialed.) To be sure, his twelve privateer captains were reluctant to place their ships in jeopardy, being accustomed to hit and run tactics, not frontal assault. The delay exasperated volunteer sailors and militiamen. Many began "to desert from the ships every night," reported a Continental naval officer50. Colonel John Brewer, a Penobscot native who knew first-hand the true weakness of the British defenses, urged an immediate assault, first by sea, then by land. The operation, he estimated, would be over in half an hour. "You seem to be d--d knowing about this matter. I am not going to risk my shipping in that d---d hole" was Saltonstall's retort. When the commander of the frigate Hampden boldly agreed with Brewer, Saltonstall threatened to degrade his vessel to "a bread ship.51" At one point, a brief land attack up the height" was almost successful in reaching the British fortification. Saltonstall, however, refused to send reinforcements and held them futilely in reserve. The troops retreated--even as McLean, to save his men's lives, held his pennant halliards in his grasp in order personally to strike the colors52.
Meantime, upon hearing the news of the Massachusetts expedition, Sir George Collier, then at New York, quickly prepared a large relief force, leaving the city practically undefended by sea53. It consisted of six ships with 190 guns, whereas the Americans had 316. British firepower, accuracy, and professional experience, however, were much greater than the enemies. Almost as soon as the British were sighted, discipline in the American fleet fell apart. At once Collier attacked the American line of ships so fiercely that each vessel took sail up the Penobscot River indiscriminately54. Pursued by Collier's squadron and Mowat's three sloops, at last free to maneuver, Saltonstall ordered the destruction of his ships to prevent their capture. In all, the Americans blew up fourteen ships and twenty-eight others fell into British hands55. Although the militiamen retired in reasonable order under Generals Lovell and Peleg Wadsworth, the seamen fled into the woods, each man for himself. Israel Trask, one of the volunteer sailors, recalled years later a meandering three-hundred-mile trek "in bare feet," before reaching home in Massachusetts some months later56.
The Penobscot siege was the most serious naval loss the Revolutionaries suffered. Although the British triumph did not reverse the outcome of the war itself, it did dampen further military aggressions by the New England states and permanently secured the Canadian trade lanes. The state of Massachusetts had expended six million dollars on the venture and lost practically all of it57. Naturally, enthusiasm for an invasion of Canada shriveled. Mowat and his flotilla had done more than their part to save the eastern provinces— Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland— and the Loyalists. Among the latter was Mowat's brother David of Kittery, then Castine, Maine, who had fled there58.
Henry Mowat's role in the victory, however, gained him no advantage. Collier refused the commander permission to convey his report of the victory to London, claiming that no ships could be spared. After ordering the Albany up the Penobscot to appropriate cannons and supplies from the American wrecks, Collier surreptitiously dispatched another ship, bearing his own account. Mowat later complained, "The Services of the three Sloops of War during the Siege were totally omitted & their Captains not even named.59” Nor was Sir Henry Clinton generous. Partial to a fellow army officer, he elaborated on Francis McLean's role; the general said nothing of Mowat's exploits in his narrative of the victory60. Admiral Arbuthnot and his successor Thomas Graves (Samuel Graves's nephew) failed to promote him to a better command.
Instead, Mowat and his ward Robert Percy, raised first to midshipman a few months before the Penobscot siege and then master's mate in 1781, remained aboard the "wretched" Albany61. [In the fall, 1781, Digby had superseded the disgraced Thomas Graves as commander in chief of the North American Squadron. Graves had lost the sea campaign of September and October to French Admiral DeGrasse; General Cornwallis was then forced to surrender at Yorktown.]
In July, 1782, a survey board declared the Ship unfit for further service. Without a friend in high places, without official notice for his nearly 27 years of active service, Mowat asked Admiral Robert Digby for permission to return to England. In conversation with Digby, Mowat argued to the effect that "his feelings as a Man, his spirit & honor as an officer & his duty to the Service, injured & Degraded, in his Rank" compelled him to consider resignation from the service62.
Though personally unacquainted with Mowat, the admiral assured him of better things to come--as his predecessors often had. As an expedient he gave him command of the La Sophie, a 28 gun, captured French merchant ship. Like the Albany, it had to be sold, a decision reached in 178463. Undoubtedly, though no official letter of censure appeared in his record, the Falmouth incident blunted Mowat's promotion. The circumstance was probably less a matter of deliberation than of vague bureaucratic uneasiness about the abused commander. After all, as Revolutionary War historian William Willcox has declared, the royal navy suffered less from "adversity," a charitable reading, than from unadorned “stupidity64.” Robert Percy's naval career was to run a similar course--outstanding performance but little recognition. He joined Mowat on the La Sophie, their last assignment together. The sea war continued after the surrender at Yorktown on October 19, most especially in the Caribbean. In those waters, in 1782, Sir George Rodney saved the British West Indies in his stunning defeat of the French off the Isles des Saintes. Mowat and Percy participated in some of the later engagements of the war, but they earned no commendations.
By 1783, Robert had become a handsome and accomplished young man. His promotion to lieutenant was granted just six months before the peace settlement was signed at Paris on September 23. That event prompted a vast demobilization of the royal forces. Parting professional but not personal company from Mowat in April, 1763, the newly commissioned officer took his papers aboard the Delaware, a captured American ship of 28 guns. but only as the vessel was being sailed to a civilian purchaser65. When that brief assignment ended, Robert, like so many others, including Mowat— still on the La Sophie until September, 1783- was placed on half pay. That designation was a form of unemployment benefit, but one which required immediate return to the colors at the pleasure of the Admiralty. When not located at Halifax, awaiting new orders, Robert Percy settled at Castine, Maine, only 55 miles away by sea. The place had remained in British hands until January, 1784. The Massachusetts legislature urged Washington to muster an expedition to wipe out the "viperine nest," but the general refused. At the peace table in Paris, fearing the dismemberment of Maine, Adams also urged the recapture of Penobscot. He argued that " our people will not feel like freemen. . .until this is done66. But the residents continued more friendly toward their occupiers than others had in New England. According to the Rev. Jacob Bailey, "people at 60 to 70 miles distance from the Fort daily flock in to take the oath of allegiance." The report from Penobscot, which Bailey had repeated, may have been exaggerated. Yet, even the patriotic Maine Historian, Joseph Williamson, declared that from their arrival in Majabagaduce harbor to the evacuation, Mowat, McLean, and his successor Colonel George Campbell commander of Fort George, were "loved and respected by friend and foe" for the kindness and high pay for construction work offered to their American neighbors. Engaged in the lumber and shipping business there, Robert Percy found it a congenial spot, and it kept him in touch with the Mowat brothers and other Loyalists. Some 600 of them had gathered there after Saltonstall's humiliation. When the Union Jack was hauled down from the pole at Fort George, however, most of the English civilians left with the troops for Passamaquoddy and Canadian soil67. A few stayed on, among them John Lee, a "man of Honest principles," Henry Mowat maintained. He was a Tory merchant and shipper at Castine, the village nearby. John Lee and his family served for over twenty years thereafter as Robert's friends. They kept his mail for him when he was away, particularly after his return to active duty in 179368.
The relationship between the pair, Mowat and Percy, did not end with their separation when the La Sophie was taken out of commission and Percy joined the Delaware. For the length of their common service--some thirteen crucial years in Robert's development-Mowat had served as master of an apprentice. The role was a customary position of authority in British culture and economy. The master-apprentice connection could turn from formality to genuine affection, although more often than not the opposite has been its reputation. In eighteenth-century Britain, boys as young or younger than supernumerary Robert Percy, even ones belonging to substantial families, were often dispatched to learn a career. That practice would later develop in Victorian times into the boarding-school tradition. In the royal navy, some boys were actually formal apprentices, with papers so drawn, but most were not. Playing about the deck and rigging, youngsters on board were as visible--and vexatious--as the usual resident goats and cows, constituting about six to ten per cent of the crew. Their duties bore no relation to their social position. All boys worked with regular seamen and looked forward to jobs aloft, the most agile among them handling the lighter sails on the topgallant masts. Officers' servants of gentle birth, as Percy was, were expected to advance through the ratings, learning navigation and seamanship under the master's direction or, on larger vessels, the school keeper. In due course, they rose to master 's mate, then to midshipman in the late teens or early twenties69. In the language of the day a midshipman like Robert Percy was one who could "splice. knot, reef a sail, &c.70 Those who failed to pass--and many did-remained forever midshipman.
For a boy of eight entering the Navy, as Robert Percy did, the life at sea would have only seemed unduly hard and miserable if he had grown up in comfortable surroundings. Most likely, the lad had not done so, despite the honorific surname he bore. Certainly he had not been so fortunate as Alexander Fraser. He was the lieutenant on the Canceaux and younger son of a nobleman, who had begun his career at a similar age and station and later was promoted over Mowat's claim to seniority.. If, as one may guess, Percy had known a life of genteel limitation, the circumstances would not have been quite so unbearable. The Royal Navy provided regular meals, the availability of a ship's surgeon, a hammock in which to sleep, and a little pocket money to jingle. To have a concerned and generous - spirited commander, as Mowat was reputed to be, made all the difference71.
Yet for all youngsters, rich or poor, shipboard existence was a toughening experience, particularly on such smaller, cramped, and always damp and leaky vessels as the Canceaux, Albany, and La Sophie. To jam 45 to 125 unwashed men below deck on ships eighty feet long, 38 to 45 feet wide, and decks about five feet high. was to invite disease, foul air, and substandard rations of water and food. Especially was this so since the ubiquitous rats were literally fierce enough to eat through the casks and even the hull. Sloops like the Albany were built or purchased in great numbers during the American Revolutionary era, but their shallow draughts and poor accommodations, all below deck, made them particularly inferior in comfort and naval prestige. Larger men-of-war, which Mowat and Percy longed to join, had much more space for the crew, many more conveniences, greater supplies and more hands to keep pests under a degree of control72.
After a very stiff examination on seamanship by a board of senior officers, the midshipman would advance to lieutenant. With friends and kinsmen in high places, choice assignments and promotions would follow, though ordinarily according to strict rules of seniority. Admiral Robert Digby convened the- board which passed on Robert Percy's promotion73. Unlike the royal army, in which commissions at various ranks could be purchased from the Crown, the navy's promotional policies were free of overt sale. Influence, however, played its habitual part.
Robert Percy had much to thank his commander for, especially as a lonely boy of eight entering upon a man's career. Mowat's interest in his little servant Robert probably stemmed in part from his single-minded devotion to service, which had precluded marriage and procreation during his prime years. According to gossip in Maine, in the preRevolutionary 1770's, Mowat had taken a fancy to the vivacious Mary Sparhawk. She was the wealthy granddaughter of Sir William Pepperell, victor at Fort Louisburg (1745) and the only colonial elevated to a baronetcy and full generalship in honor of his military actions. Since Mowat's arrival on board in 1764, the Canceaux routinely anchored in the Piscataqua River or at Kittery, neither of which sites were far from Mary Sparhawk's home74. But nothing came of their romance, if such it was. For most if not all of Robert's service on the Canceaux, his surrogate father had no children of his own. Matters changed somewhat when the pair transferred to the Albany.
Patron and client served together on the Albany from June 3, 1776 to October 25, 1782. Mowat had raised Robert Percy as a son until Mowat had one of his own by a marriage which has not yet been discovered. In 1782, he deposited John Alexander Mowat, then probably six or so years of age, in the educational hands of the Rev. Jacob Bailey, an Anglican minister formerly of Pownalborough (now Dresden, Maine) and Falmouth where he had been mobbed not long before Mowat's fiery assault in October, 1775. By 1780, Bailey, another later friend of Robert Percy, had been several times mobbed, stripped naked on claims that he was a courier to Quebec, became a near victim to "secret assassins," and forced to put up heavy bonds. At last he had fled to the Tory colony at Cornwallis, then to Annapolis, Nova Scotia. He longed to accept an invitation to found a Loyalist parish at Penobscot, but Mowat and other friends urged delay until matters were better settled75.
Mowat had not overlooked assiduous training of his charge Robert in the maritime profession. His protégé had even learned from the capable sea dog how to serve as a purser, seldom a position that a ship as small as the Albany would possess. It was a job of great responsibility open to few. The specialty offered as precarious an existence as that of a professional gambler. Pursers had to be bonded. Henry and David Mowat, the commander's brother, furnished young Robert with the necessary funds.
Pursers like Robert Percy were in charge of ships' food provisions, clothing, tobacco, spirits, and fresh water. They were held personally accountable for any missing supplies. In a process of "extraordinary complexity," writes a maritime historian, officers like Robert Percy had to keep a running record of the meals consumed by each member of the crew every day, work out the credits and debits with vendors, often having to use their own resources to meet payments, and check on the state of shipboard supplies. In effect, they combined the duties of an accountant with that of an inspector of galleys and stores. Dependent upon the honesty of those who prepared and parceled out the provisions, they frequently were impelled to bribe mess stewards and coopers with a handsome addition to their monthly pay. The coopers made and repaired the food and water casks, so subject to contamination and to the pranks of the ships' boys and sly thievery of officers, crewmen, and the ever busy vermin. Any unaccounted-for losses were the purser's nightmare, not that of the despoilers of one kind or another. If his ship were captured and looted, the purser had to stand the loss. If the ship sank with his books aboard, he was dismissed from service. Many pursers lost rather than gained income, their debts coming out of wages. Nor was a purser popular, at least in his official capacity. On disorderly ships, sailors often thought themselves cheated of fresh supplies through connivance of pursers and merchants. In southern waters, albatrosses, like the one which followed Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner," were supposed to hold the spirits of dead pursers76.
Yet the specialty into which young Percy entered had advantages, too. As a monopoly seller, he could make money through the sale of tobacco and sometimes "slops" as the sailor 's canvas apparel was called. With ready cash, the purser was the shipboard moneylender. When prizes were seized, he was in a position to become the agent in charge of bringing the ship to Admiralty court and handling the financial side of the matter. By 1784, Robert Percy had gained enough expertise at the business that he could function in the world of shipping, finance, and commerce on his own. Henry Mowat thought the nautical specialty advantageous to his young friend. He wrote Percy from London, "Sir Charles Douglas," commander in chief at Halifax, "means to continue the Galleys during his Command. I have been told at the Admiralty that it is left entirely with him to dispose of them as he sees occasion." If Percy's "books" of accounts were in order, as Mowat fearfully prayed they were, he should soon receive special favor in light of this policy. Whether Robert did, the record fails to show77.
Like his father Charles, Robert knew how to make money--and defy the natural shipboard unpopularity of the purser's role. Yet credit must be given to the education he had received at Mowat's hands. To fudge from the scanty documents remaining, the young, ambitious officer achieved financial success chiefly as a shipboard banker and prize-ship agent, particularly after the French Revolution returned Great Britain to war in the 1790's. In fact, he and Mowat, along with Mowat's brother David, were partners in money lending and negotiating prize ships throughout the 1780's and 1790's.78 Earlier in the war disguised as an Indian, David Mowat had fled from Patriot seizure. For a time he had settled in Castine. There he and Henry Mowat, with Robert Percy's participation, carried on their prize-ship transactions. They also built two ships, the 240-ton transport. the London, and the 170-ton brigantine, the Prince William. After the British withdrawal from Penobscot in 1784, David Mowat and Robert Percy had to leave the vessels, loaded with masts and lumber, in the hands of John Lee, Robert's friend in Castine, and Lee's brother Samuel79. David Mowat settled in St. John, New Brunswick In 1786, he married into the prominent Calef family, a Loyalist clan in exile. Nostalgic for American soil, Mowat belonged to the Penobscot Association, a society consisting of Loyalists formerly under the guns at Fort George80.
Seizure of merchant ships involved all sorts of legal documents, bills of lading, inventories, and other papers before
Admiralty court "condemned" the vessel, its furnishings, and cargo. Often hungry lawyers ate up heaping portions of the gain, but an agent like Robert Percy could make as much as 5 per cent the total assessed value81. With this money coming in, Percy and his partners could lend it to others. That, too, entailed risks. Their borrowers, Henry Mowat said, had to be brought to a proper "sense of honesty," as they had made no "remittances nor have they wrote" to explain themselves. "If I live they shall repent their behavior," Mowat fumed82.
In the same letter, the earliest of all Percy manuscripts, Mowat offered the young officer some sound financial and moral advice. In a previous letter, Percy had complained that someone named Turnbull in Castine, Maine, had failed to pay up a very large gambling debt. Mowat wrote him as an earnest "friend." In light of his career as a purser, he added pointedly "I may say your only one." The commander urged young Robert to forget the debt and remind himself that "had it been your lot to have lost that sum you would not have been able to have paid it any more
than the man that lost it." Besides, gambling in "your line" of work could lead to disaster. Mowat had recently seen Robert's mother who worried very much about his taking such a risk. Still worse, it could jeopardize Robert's cultivation of Admiral Digby who would show no "patience" with that sort of behavior, given Robert's "situation in life." With his almost naive faith in admirals until they proved false to him, Mowat preened that Digby had shown a "Spontaneous Condescension" toward himself--an attitude in that Hierarchical society then thought to be a sign of uncommon favor83. Digby, he gossiped to Percy, recently had remarried. Mowat suggested that the young officer ought "to remind him of your gratitude by some token-- I think a couple or three dozen of the very best martin skins fit for the lining of a Cloak would be well received and I can add well bestowed84. Such was the path to improvement in the Royal Navy. Even though advancement in rank had eluded Mowat himself, Digby had indeed shown the pair more favor, spontaneous or otherwise, than any other admiral ever had. At least he had given Mowat the gratification of seeing his client Robert receive a commission. A promotion in April, 1783, while the peace commissioners began their labors, was not so easily obtained. The Royal Navy had to prepare for shrinkage to peacetime size.
Settled in Penobscot, Robert Percy had apparently accumulated a respectable sum of money, at least enough, thought Mowat, to provide the young man's mother with a "good Farm." Mowat and the Rev. John Wiswell had broached that idea to her in London, though who would pay the passage remained unstated. Wiswell was the Anglican missionary who had been captured with the Scottish seafarer on their woodland walk at Falmouth in the spring of 1775 before the burning of the town that fall. Robert, however, had not answered Mowat's and Wiswell's previous letters in time to put her aboard a ship before the start of the winter season85. Disgusted with his own situation, Mowat thought of joining Percy in America, though he never did. How different would the family history have been, had Percy settled Margaret in New England or eastern Canada and never ventured to Louisiana.
Because Robert Percy was able to locate his father and because that event precipitated a series of significant events, the family's history was dramatically altered. In The Thanatos Syndrome, Walker Percy makes reference to the matter. Dr. Tom More, the hero, and his distant cousin Lucy visit the grave of their common ancestor, "a blackened granite block surmounted by an angel holding an urn." Such a stone does exist in the Episcopal church cemetery in St. Francisville, Louisiana. It was commissioned, however, by the indefatigable family genealogist John Hereford Percy, not by pious heirs at the close of the eighteenth century. Charles Percy lies somewhere else--in sod, ungraced with so elaborate a monument. Passing some remarks about the ancestor's "melancholy" and his marriage to "a beautiful American girl, half his age," Lucy says, "I'm from the English, the legitimate side; you from the American86. In this case, fiction conforms with fact. Yet the wealth--perhaps the survival--of the "illegitimate," Walker-Percy branch owes much to the collateral relation: Charles 's son and to the long forgotten naval gentleman who raised him to act in the magnanimous way he did.

1 Lords Commissioners, Admiralty, to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham, April 4, 1776, in William James Morgan, ed , Naval Documents of the American Revolution (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969), 4:1015-16, also see 8: 34, 842: George Jackson to Vice Admiral Shuldham, February 29, 1776, The Despatches of Molyneux Shuldham, Vice Admiral of the Blue and Commander-in-Chief of His Britannic Majesty's Ships in North America, January-July, 1776 (New York: Naval Historical Society, 1913), 105; Shuldham to Philip Stephens, June 2, 1776, 5:345; also ibid., May 16, 1776, 5:60. Shuldham identified the ship as the former Britannia, but it was erroneously reported in New England Chronicle, September 12, 1776 to be the former Rittenhouse from Philadelphia, ibid., 6:787. Both Albanys are registered in J. J. College, Ships of the Royal Navy (1969; Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press), 1987), 26. Alphabetically arranged, College's work is cited for other ships' size and firepower.
2George Athan Billias, ed., George Washington's Opponents: British Generals and Admirals in the American Revolution (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1969). xvi.
3William B. Willcox, "Arbuthnot, Gambier, and Graves: 'Old Women' of the Navy," in Billias, ed., Washington's Opponents, 263.
4Lord George Germain to Sir Henry Clinton, September 2, 1778, (received December 22, 1778), in William B. Willcox, ed., The American Rebellion: Sir Henry Clinton's Narrative of His Campaigns: 1775-1782. with an Appendix of Original Documents (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), 391.
5"Old Time Reminiscences: Letter from Elizabeth Oakes Smith," of Hollywood, N.C., newspaper clipping, n.d., Charles E. Banks, Mowat Scrapbook, Safe 1, Shelf 40, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
6See, for instance, "Declaration of William Gelly," May 10, 1777, in William James Morgan, The Naval Documents of the American Revolution (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980), 8: 943-44.
7See Joseph Williamson, "Captain Mowatt," Portland Advertiser, December 23, 1888, clipping, Charles E. Banks MSS, Safe 1, Shelf 40, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
8"Mowat's Complaint to Admiralty [n.d.]" typed copy, Joseph Williamson MSS, Safe 1, Shelf 40, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
9Molyneux Shuldham to Lord Sandwich, January 13, 1776, in Barnes and Owen, eds., Private Papers of Hn. Earl of Sandwich, 69: 106.
10"Mowat's Complaint to Admiralty." typed copy, Joseph Williamson mss, safe 1, shelf 40, Maine Historical Society, Portland; see also, James P. Baxter, "A Lost Manuscript," containing "Services of Henry Mowat, R.N." Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society 2d ser., 2 (Portland, Maine: Maine Historical Society, 1891), 345-75 [hereafter cited as "Services of Henry Mowat."] See also Lieutenant William Fielding to Basil Fielding, Sixth Earl of Denbigh, January 28, 1776, in Marion Balderston and David Syrett, eds., The Lost War: Letters from British Officers during the American Revolution (New York: Horizon Press, 1975), 64.
11R. P. Fereday, Orkney Feuds and the '45 (Stromness, Orkney: W. R. Randall, 1980), 48, 76.
12See Mouatt, John Alexander, Lieutenant, 11 February, 1815, in The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815 (3 vols.; n.p. n.d. [1954]) 2: 648, in the British Museum Library.
13"Captain Mowatt," Portland (Maine) Advertiser, December 22, 1853
14Ship's Log, H.M.S. Canceaux, August-November, 1770, Public Record Office, Kew. See frontispiece map, P. Colquhoun, A Treatise on the Commerce and Police of the River Thames (London Joseph Mawman, 1800).
15Canceaux, logbook, November 8, 1770-August 24, 1771, Admiralty 52/1637, Public Record Office, Kew (hereafter PRO, Kew).
16The Rev. Samuel Cole to the Rev. Daniel Burton, December 26, 1770, photostat, New Hampshire, 1640-1857, IV-G-1, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel MSS, Library of Congress.
17N. A. M. Rodger, The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1986), 68.
18"Transcript of Entries of Letters in Vice-Admiralty Court," March 21, 1777, in Morgan, ed., Naval Documents, 8:163.
19These facts are taken from Robert Percy's service record, located in the Admiralty Papers, PRO, Kew, copies of which were made for John Hereford Percy in 1927, John Hereford Percy MSS, in the possession of Dr. O.M. Thompson and William Wright (hereafter the Thompson/Wright Collection). I have been unable to find the originals. but the copies were made by a staff member in the PRO.
20Neil R. Stout, The Royal Navy in America, 1760-1775: A Study of Enforcement of British Colonial Policy in the Era of the American Revolution (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1973), 164.
21Captain W.M. James, The British Navy in Adversity: A Study of the War of American Independence (London: Longmans, Green, 1926), 30-31.
22Vice Admiral Samuel Graves to Lieutenant Henry Mowat, October 6, 1775, in William Bell Clark, ed., Naval Documents of the American Revolution Volume 2 (Washington, D.C.: U S. Government Printing Office, 1964), 324.
23Vice Admiral Samuel Graves to General Thomas Gage, June 30, 1775 [with enclosure], in William Bell Clark, ed., Naval Documents of the American Revolution (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964), I: 785-86.
24Rev. Thomas Smith's Journal, June 14, 1774, in William Willis, ed., Journals of the Reverend Thomas Smith and the Reverend Samuel Deane: Pastors of the First Church in Portland (Portland, Maine: J.S. Bailey, 1849), 225.
25Quotation, John Wiswell to [ the Rev. Richard Hind ], May 30, 1775, Massachusetts, Part I, Box IV-33-G, photostat, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel MSS, Library of Congress; Samuel Graves to General Thomas Gage, March 30, 1775, Clark and Morgan, eds., Naval Documents, 1:163; Graves to Philip Stephens, April 11, 1775, ibid., 1: 178; Enoch Freeman to Samuel Freeman, April 12, 1775, ibid., 179-80; Henry Mowat to Edward Parry, April 29, 1775, ibid., 244-45; Falmouth Customs Officers to Commissioners of the Custom, April 29, 1775, ibid., 245. Donald A. Yerxa, "The Burning of Falmouth, 1775: A Case Study in British Imperial Policy," Maine Historical Quarterly 14 (Winter 1975), 119-61, gives an excellent account of the engagement. See also his "Admiral Samuel Graves and the Falmouth Affair: A Case Study in British Imperial Pacification," M.A. thesis; University of Maine, Orono, 1974, 88. See also Charles E. Banks Scrapbook: on Thompson's War in Falmouth, 1775, Maine Historical Society, Portland. See also, Peter Force, ed., American Archives- (4th series; Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1837-1853), II, 554-55.
26John Wiswell [Wiswall] to Rev. Dr. Hind, August 11, 1775, B-22, No. 269, transcript, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel MSS, Library of Congress.
27"Letter from Falmouth, Mass. to a Gentleman of Watertown, Dated May 11, 1775," Clark and Morgan, eds., Naval Documents, 1: 307-09; Canceaux:, Ship's Log, April 2-May 18, 1775 Admiralty, 52/4136, PRO, Kew; William S. Bartlet, The Frontier Missionary: A Memoir of the Life of the Rev. Jacob Bailey, A.M., Missionary at Pownalborough Maine: Cornwallis and Annapolis, N.S. (Boston: Ide and Dutton, 1853), 108-10.
28Quoted in John E. Godfrey, "Captain Mowatt," unpublished paper, March, 1877, Collection 110, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
29Wiswell to Hind, December 1, 1775, Massachusetts, Part I, Box 33-G-1, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel MSS, Library of Congress; Donald A. Yerxa, "The Burning of Falmouth, 1775: A Case Study in British Imperial Policy," Maine Historical Quarterly 14 (Winter 1975), 119-61, gives an excellent account of the engagement. Yerxa, "Graves and Falmouth Affair," 126; "To the Honourable the Delegates of the American 'Congress, The Petition of the Town of Falmouth in the State of Massachusetts Bay," in Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder 1 (1884), 42-44; Robert Beatson, Naval and Military Memoirs of Great Britain from 1727 to 1783 (6 vols.; London: Longman, 1804), 4: 93-95, quotation, 95.
30George Washington to the President of Congress, October 24, 1775, in John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources: 1745-1799 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1931-44), 4: 40; see also Washington to John Hancock, October 24, 1775, in Clark and Morgan, eds., Naval Documents, 1: 1316-17.
31Boston Independent Chronicle, February 13, 1777, in Morgan, ed., Naval Documents, 7: 1187; "Services of Henry Mowat," 356; Joseph Williamson, History of Maine, II, 435; John E. Godfrey, "Captain Mowatt," unpublished paper, March, 1877, Collection 110, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
32See John A. Tilley, The British Navy and the American Revolution (Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1987), 59.
33Lord Sandwich to Samuel Graves, July 30, 1775, in G. R. Barnes and J.H. Owen, eds., The Private Papers of John Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty. 1771-1782 (London: Navy Records Society, 1932-38), 69: 67.
34Entry for December 6, 1775, Robert Percy, Service Record, John Hereford Percy MSS, Dr. O.M. Thompson and William Wright private collection, Baton Rouge, hereafter called the Thompson/Wright Collection
35See an enclosure, "Declaration of P. M. Morgan made at the request of Robert Dow relative to Charles Percy," July 21, 1804, in Robert Dow, New Orleans, to Robert Percy, July 27, 1804 [ typed transcription; original was held by a "Thomas Percy," a kinsman of John Hereford Percy], Thompson/Wright Collection
36"Services of Henry Mowat," 358.
37Diary of Thomas Moffat, April 4, 23, 25, 28, June 1, 1776, 8-D, Item 106 Peter Force Collection, Library of Congress. See also Canceaux, Master's Logbook, Adm 52/1637, and for June 2, 1776. ibid., Adm 52/1638, PRO, Kew.
38"Services of Henry Mowat," 357.
39London Packet, or New Lloyd's Evening Post, February 28, 1777, in Morgan, ed., Naval Documents, 7: 621-22.
40Samuel Eliot Morison, John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1959); Gardner W. Allen, A Naval History of the American Revolution (2 vols; Williamstown, Mass.: Cornerhouse Publications, 1970 [1913]), 1:190-91.
41"Services of Henry Mowat," 357; Sir George Collier to Henry Mowat, January 24, 1777, in Morgan, ed., Naval al Documents: 7: 1031; Journal of H.M.S. Milford, Captain Andrew Barkley, January 27, 1777, in ibid., 7: 1041.
42Joseph Williamson, History of the City of Belfast in the State of Maine, From its First Settlement in 1770 to 1875 (Portland: Loring, Short, and Harmon, 1877), 169; "Service of Henry Mowat," 359.
43Jack Coggins, Ships and Seamen of the American Revolution (Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1969), 163-64.
44Entry for July 29, 1779, in "Journal of the Attack of the Rebels," in Nova Scotia Gazette, Halifax, September 14, 1779, in Collections of the Maine Historical Society, 7 (Bath: Maine Historical Society, 1876), 124.
45"Service of Henry Mowat," 364-65.
46N. A. M. Rodger, The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1986), 54.
47See "Sergeant Lawrence's Journal: Remarks on the Siege of Majabiguaduce from July 24th to August 14th, 1779," in George Augustus Wheeler, History of Castine, Penobscot, and Brooksville, Maine (Bangor, Maine: Burr & Robinson, 1875), 314-22.
48Allen, Naval History of the American Revolution, II: 435..
49Entry for August 11, 1779, in "Operations in Maine in 1779: Journal Found on Board the Hunter, Continental Ship, of Eighteen Guns," Historical Magazine (February 1864), 54.
50Entry for August 9, 1779, in "Operations in Maine," 53.
51Williamson, History of Belfast, 176.
52Ibid., 177; also, David Perham, in Bangor, Maine, Whig and Courier, August 13. 1846, reprinted in Wheeler, History of Castine, 332. Brigadier General Francis McLean to Lord George Germain, August 26, 1779, in William B. Willcox, ed., The American Rebellion: Sir Henry Clinton's Narrative of Campaigns, 1775-1782, with an Appendix of Original Documents (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), 419-20.
53William B. Willcox, ed., The American Rebellion: Sir Henry Clinton's Narrative of His Campaigns, 1775-1782. with an Appendix of Original Documents (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), 135.
54George Augustus Wheeler, History of Castine. Penobscot, and Brooksville, Maine (Bangor, Maine: Burr & Robinson, 1875), 45.
55William M. Fowler, Jr., Rebels under Sail: The American Navy during the Revolution (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 117.
56Williamson, History of Belfast, 180; Trask quoted in John C. Dann, ed., The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 197?), 412
57Williamson, History of Belfast, 181.
58Coggins, Ships and Seamen Of the American Revolution, 167-68; “Service of Henry Mowat,” 364-65.
59"Services of Henry Mowat," 366.
60William B. Willcox, ed., The American Rebellion: Sir Henry Clinton's Narrative of His Campaigns, 1775-1782. with an Appendix of Original Documents (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), 135-36.
61Sir George Collier to Lieutenant Michael Hyndman, November 6, 1777, Morgan, ed., Naval Documents, 7: 55-56.
62"Robert Digby," DNB, 5: 972. Mowat's service record, copy from PRO, Mowat Scrapbook, Charles E. Banks MSS, Maine Historical Society. Portland. Quotation from "Service of Henry Mowat," 369.
63College, Ships of the Royal Navy, 322.
64Willcox, "Arbuthnot, Gambier, and Graves," 260.
65College, Ships of the Royal Navy, 103-04; Robert Percy's service record may be found in John Hereford Percy MSS, Thompson Collection, Baton Rouge.
66John Adams quoted in Joseph Williamson, "The British Occupation of Penobscot during the Revolution," Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, 2d ser. I (Portland, Me.: Maine Historical Society, 1890), 397; see also 398-99.
67Bailey to Morice, May 3 or 4, 1782, B-25, No. 259, transcript, SPG Papers, Library of Congress; Joseph Williamson, "The British Occupation of Penobscot during the Revolution," Historical Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, 2d ser., 1 (Portland: Maine Historical Society, 1890), 392, 395-400.
68Edward Powell, London, to Robert Percy, c/o John Lee of Penobscot, April 10, 1793, John Hereford Percy MSS, Duncan Longcope and Mrs. M.L. Johansen Collection, Lee, Massachusetts [hereafter Longcope/Johansen Collection]. Lee and his family are listed as residents of Castine as late as November 1796, but their origins were unknown. See Wheeler, History of Castine, 346.
69Rodger, Wooden World, 27-28.
70Newspaper clipping, n.d, Charles E. Banks, Mowat Scrapbook, Safe 1, Shelf 40, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
71Williamson, "British Occupation of Penobscot," 391.
72Rodger, Wooden World, 60, 69-70; E.H.H. Archibald, The Wooden Fighting Ship in the Royal Navy AD 897-1860 (London Blandford Press, 1968), 51.
73Henry Mowat to Robert Percy, London, October 20, 1784, Longcope/Johansen Collection
74Boston Evening Transcript, n.d., clipping, Mowat Scrapbook, Charles E. Banks MSS, Maine Historical Society, Portland.
75Jacob Bailey to the Rev. William Morice, Secretary of the Society for Propagating the Gospel, &c., Annapolis, July 22, 26, September 25 [quotation] 1779, November 9, 1781, transcripts, B-25, Nos. 226, 228, 240, 248, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel MSS, Library of Congress and ibid., October 14, 1782, in Bartlet, Frontier Missionary, 191-92.
76Rodger, Wooden World, 87-98.
77Henry Mowat to Robert Percy, London, October 20 1784, Longcope/Johansen Collection.
78See for instance, E. Powell, "Memoranda," to Robert Percy, n.d., 1799; William Cowan to Lt. Robert Percy, Commander of the L. Nelson on the Downes, 22 July 1799, Longcope/Johansen Collection.
79See Petition to Lord Lydney, August 10, 1787, Thompson/Wright Collection
80"Dr. John Calef: Some Interesting Facts Concerning One of the Essex Loyalists," newspaper clipping, Mowat Scrapbook, Charles E. Banks MSS, Maine Historical Society, Portland. See Gregg & Cornfield to Mr Wilby, atty, Soho Square, December 9, 1798, Robert Percy MSS, Longcope/Johansen Collection; Sharon Dubeau to the author, December 23, 1989; Sharon Dubeau New Brunswick Loyalists: A Bicentennial Tribute (Agincourt, Ont.:Generation Press, 1983), 100.
81Dudley Pope, Life in Nelson's Navy (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1981), 231-41.
82Mowat to Percy, October 20, 1784, Longcope/Johansen Collection.
83"Henry Mowat's Service," 368.
84Mowat to Robert Percy, October 20, 1784, Longcope/Johansen Collection.
85Ibid.
86Walker Percy, The Thanatos Syndrome (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987), 136.


Bartlet Frontier Missionary 274.

Letter of Henry Mowat

Halifax the 11th August 1782

Rev’d Sir,

I have for some time been in expectation of receiving your answer to my letter by Mr Lovett on the subject of my child; but having been given to understand by him and other friends of yours that I may assure myself of your receiving my boy. I have at last determined to send him, and I have made choice of his going by water, as I cannot accompany him myself by land- a satisfaction I wished much to have enjoyed, and what I have had in view for a long while, but being now within a few days of leaving this for York on my way for England, will prevent me the pleasure of seeing you and that of delivering up my dear child into your care, which I now do, with all the endearing and tender feelings of a Father; earnestly requesting you to receive him in that light. His Aunt accompanies him in the desire of seeing him safe with you, and I shall leave directions with Mr Thompson (one of his Guardians) to pay you the charge of his yearly Board and Education: every other necessity will be sent to him by Miss Peak and other friends, whom you will be pleased to correspond with in my absence. I have sent a Black servant of my own in order to assist you in the care of him. This man has been mine for the last 8 years and I hope he will behave so as to become useful to you, as well as the child and I have laid my Commands on him to obey you the same as myself, and not to do anything or move from your house without your leave. Whatever Quarter my professional Duty may call me will not prevent my corresponding with you, and I beg you will write often, and put your letters under cover to Alexander Thompson Esq. At Halifax, and he will forward them to James Sykes, Esq. Crutched Friars, London where they will be taken care of. The indulgence of a very tender mother and other friends over the boy I am fearful may occasion you and Mrs Bailey more trouble before he forgets it than I wish he should, but I hope in time, his natural disposition will appear, and so far as may be comprehended from his infant years I am in hope he will not give more than what may be expected. The wind coming favourable this morning hurries me in hopes of the vessels getting away. My respectful compliments wait on Mrs Bailey, I present the same to you and am, Rev’d Dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant.
H. Mowat

Rev. Mr. Bailey, Annapolis.


Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, 2nd series, II, 357-58.
Taken from "Naval Documents of the American Revolution" Volume 4, pages 1015-16.

4 April 1776
Lords Commissioners, Admiralty, to Vice Admiral Molyneux Shuldham.
Whereas Lieut. Mouat [Henry Mowat], who commands his Majts Armed Vessel the Canceaux and by whom you will receive this, hath represented to us that there is at Boston a Merchant Ship called the Britannia which has been surveyed by your order, in dimensions as far as he can recollect, something larger than His Majts Sloop the Falcon & judged capable of carrying sixteen six Pounder with Swivels; and Whereas we think fit that the said Ship shall be purchased for His Majts Service & be registered as a Sloop on the List of the Royal Navy by the name of the Albany; established with a Complement of 125 men, including such Commission, Warrant & Petty Officers as are allowed to Sloops bearing that number of Men; supplied with the number & nature of Guns above mentioned, and Armed, Stored & Victualled in every respect proper for a Sloop of that Class; You are hereby required and directed, so soon after the receipt hereof as possible, to purchase the said Ship upon the most advantageous terms you can for His Majesty, and to call her by the name of the Albany accordingly; directing the Naval Officer at Boston to pay for the purchase of her.
You are then to give Commissions to the above mentioned Lieut Mowat1 to command her & to some proper person to be her Lieutenant, and also to appoint such Persons to be her Warrant Officers, as shall be fitly qualified for their respective employments; and to cause her to be manned, armed, stored & victualled in the manner abovementioned.
And whereas we shall order her Guns to be sent out in the Canceaux or some other Ship that will shortly sail to Boston, but intend that the Carriages for them shall be provided in America, You are to cause Carriages be immediately prepared for the use of the said Guns accordingly, in such way as you shall judge best for His Majts Service.
You are to appoint a Lieutenant to command the Canceaux in the room of Mr: Mowat & to turn over as many of her men into the Albany as you shall see fit, in order to serve as part of her Complement; And you are to employ the said Vessels in such manner as you shall find most conducive to His Majts: Service entrusted to your Care. Given &c 4th Apl 1776
Sandwich H: Penton H. Palliser
By Command of their Lordships Geo:Jackson DS
1 "On his [Henry Mowat] arrival [in England] he was received with the most gracious approbation of His Majesty, of the Admiralty Board & of the Secretary of State, & had the Step of Master & Commander Conferred on him, but it was to a Ship. then in Boston. Captain Mowat, finding the ship was in America & considering the time it would take him to join & to prepare her for sea, expressed to Lord Sandwich & to Lord George Germaine a wish of being appointed to one on the spot & his hopes that the long time he had Commanded the Canso [Canceaux] & the services performed in her entitled him to the Promotion of a Post Ship. Lord Sandwich was pleased to observe he had every desire to give him a frigate, but none were ready for commissioning; & if there were, it would require Months to Man her, urging at the same time the desire of Admiral Shuldham & of General Howe for his Speedy return & adding that there was no doubt on his arrival in America he would he appointed to the first vacant Post ship on the station, And the same encouragement was equally given by the Secretary of State. On this foundation he readily Sett out for America."

201Notice is hereby given to the Officers and company of His Majesty’s ship Milford, Henry Mowat, Esq. Commander, who were actually on board at the retaking of the ship John, that they will be paid their respective shares of the salvage of the said recapture, on board the said Milford at Plymouth, on 6th of May 1778; or, if the said ship is sailed, ten days after her arrival in the first port in Great Britain; and the shares remaining unpaid will be recalled at No 2 Castle-court, Budge-row, London, on the first wednesday in every month for three years to come.
Research notes for Captain Henry Mowat
CAPTAIN HENRY MOWAT'S ACCOUNT 193
(In the catalogue of a London bookseller, in 1843, appeared for sale a manuscript relating to the services of Capt. Henry Mowat in America. It was disposed of, to whom was unknown. The title was " A relation of the services in which Captain Henry Mowat was engaged in America, from 1759 to the end of the American War in 1783." Search was instituted by Maine historians for the manuscript. Judge Joseph Williamson, of Belfast, Maine, advertised abroad, in 1887, " I will pay five pounds for evidence of the existence of the manuscript." On November 20, 1890, it was received by Hon. James P. Baxter, of Portland, from Edinburgh, and was published in part, with its history, in the Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Series II, Vol. 2, page 345. The original manuscript of fifty-nine pages is now in the possession of that society. The following is the part relating to the occupancy of the Penobscot by the British during the Revolution; beginning with the middle of page 7 and ending near the bottom of page 21. Punctuation, spelling and capitalization are as in the original.)
THE Albany at last was called to New York in the beginning of 1779-orders had not long before arrived from Britain for taking post in Penobscot Bay and Capt. Mowat’s experience of the New England Coast being well known to Sir Henry Clinton on former occasions, he was proposed by his Excellency approved by Admiral Gambier as the fittest to command the naval part of the Force. The Admiral desiring to know the force necessary for the Service, was answered it should be Superior to any the Enemy at Boston could readily collect on such Emergency. It was accordingly settled it should be so, and that Captain Mowat should have a ship equal to the Importance of the object.
In the meantime the Store of Powder in the Garrison at Halifax being totally exhausted, Captain Mowat received on board the Albany and proceeded with an ample Supply, the orders and Every equipment for the Expedition, being intended to follow: but he had no sooner landed the Powder, than he was ordered by Sir George Collier to the Bay of Fundy, and Sir George repaired soon after to New York where he was left the Senior Officer on the American Station.
On this change taking place, Captain Mowat, from reasons otherwise foreign to this Narrative, Considered it Necessary to urge what he had formerly represented to Admiral Gambier, and he wrote to New York from the Bay of Fundy, that if the Albany were to be the leading Ship, it would by no means be safe to trust the Expedition with one of her class, unless a Sufficient force should cruize between it & the enemy, until the post should be established.
This representation appears to have had no effect, for the orders for the Albany alone soon after arrived at Halifax, and were delivered by Capt. Gaylor of the Romulus to General McLean until the Albany should arrive.
Thus, if the Albany had happened to lead the Expedition according to the order, the whole must have been intercepted as we shall shortly see, & carried to Boston for a mere Novice might have conceived at once She was not fit to conduct it safely. The Consequences, which must be estimated according to the view & State of affairs at that time in America, 'Would have been tremendous. It would have been equivalent to a Second Burgoynade before there were time for repairing, or forgetting, the first: an immense Encouragement for the Americans, who were tiring of, the length of the war, to exert their remaining resources, for the Opposition to exercise their clamor, and a proportional depression of the Spirits of the Loyalists. To the Southward we had but a slender footing in Georgia against such a disaster, the reinforcements not arrived as yet And the Army there inactive for Security. To the Northward Canada was not so strong as it had been rendered in the Succeeding Year, And Nova Scotia at least, lying contiguous to the territory of Penobscot, would have been overwhelmed, for by this detachment the Garrison of Halifax had been by the one-half reduced. This disposition of the Service must appear the more strange as we know Sir George Collier was by no means ignorant of the rebel force in the New England Ports.
But the dire Event was prevented by a mere accident & that the most fortunate in the World; for the Dispatch, forwarded by General McLean, did not reach the Bay of Fundy where Capt. Mowat was stationed, nor did he in Consequence get round to Halifax, until the latest moment having elapsed the General put the order into the hands of Captain Barclay of the Blonde Frigate, then Senior officer of the Navy there, who immediately put the North and Nautilus sloops of war under orders to proceed with himself And they were on the point of sailing when the Albany arrived. However this did not alter Captain Barclay’s judicious determination. They proceeded, had a long passage As might be expected at the Season, and at last arrived at Penobscot: The Rebel frigates, Boston & Providence, who were cruizing on the Coast of Nova Scotia westward of Halifax, finding the Convoy Superior to what they expected, did not think proper to attack it. In a few days after the troops were landed, the Blonde departed, leaving Captain Mowat under a copy of Sir George Collier's original orders, with directions for the North and Nautilus & all the transports to return to Halifax. Now soon the stores were landed for Captain Barclay had brought the Sloops of War there without Sir George Collier's orders, Captain Mowat finding the wretched Albany was to be left thus alone, to lie in an open harbour distant from every Aid, and in the Jaws of the most powerful of the rebellious Colonies, to co-operate with about 700 troops in a fort not yet begun to be erected, was convinced it would be for the good of His Majesty's Service to use the utmost Latitude, the order would admit of, to postpone the departure of the Ships, from the following view of the Situation of the Armament.
The Bay of the Penobscot is spacious and capable of containing all the Navy in the World. In a corner of it about fourteen leagues distant from the open Sea, near the Embrochure (sic) of Penobscot River is the Harbour of Magebigwaduce. This Harbour is formed on the one Side by the Mainland, and along the entire other side of it Stretches the Peninsula of Magebigwaduce. Cross -now Nautilus Island- (Nautilus or Cross Island, sometimes called Banks' Island, for its owner, is southeast of Castine in Penobscot Bay and was named for the sloop of war Nautilus) is at the entrance of the Harbour. The Peninsula of Magebigwaduce is a high Ridge of land at that time much encumbered with wood. To its summit, where the fort was ordered to be erected there is an ascent of more than a quarter of a mile from the nearest shore of the harbour.
The Provisions, Artillery and Engineer Stores and the equipage of the troops, being landed on the Beach, must be carried to the Ground of the fort chiefly by the labor of the men against the ascent, there being only a Couple of small teams to Assist in it. The ground & all the Avenues to it, was to be examined, cleared from wood, and at the same time guarded. Materials were to be collected & prepared, And the defences, as well as every, convenience of the fort, were to be reared. Let anyone conversant in Matters of this Nature, reflect what a work it was for 700 men, And he will also readily allow, that in the Course of it they could not possibly, whether from fatigue, or in point of Necessary Preparation be in Condition of repelling any powerful attack. That, as appears also from the rebel General Lovel's letter, everything depended on our
Men of War being able to prevent the Enemy from entering the Harbour, which was not liable to be commanded or protected by the Guns of the Fort. That the Harbour once forced, a Superior Number of the Enemy might land on the most convenient parts of the Peninsula, cut off the communication of our Troops with that considerable part of the Necessary Stores, which to the last while the fort was erecting, must unavoidably be left on the Beach, force them to retire within the unfinished Breastwork, where surrounded without cover, Comfort or defence, they could have no alternative but to yield Prisoners of War in a few days. or to risk an action against thrice their number on ground from its Nature more favorable to the Enemy's mode of fighting than for theirs, It is altogether Superfluous to comment any farther on the orders by which a harbour, of this Importance must be left to the sole protection of the Albany Sloop, carrying ten Six and Six four pounders.
The Blonde Frigate had not been many days departed, when Captain Mowat having taken Measures for procuring the best information from Boston, concluded that the Post would soon be attacked, and he proposed to General McLean to give his concurrence for detaining the North and Nautilus as well as the Transports,
Judging the General’s Consent to be eligible, because otherwise be would be liable to Account for acting contrary to the orders left with him,
The General equally confident in the Intelligence, gave his
Concurrence, and accordingly in the fifth week from the Arrival
of the Royal Armament at Penobscot, the Rebel fleet appeared in
the Bay, consisting of eighteen vessels of war as per the margin, besides Transports having on board all necessary Stores and between two and three thousand Land forces.
At that time a great portion of the stores had not as yet been carried up to the fort. Its Scite was lower by several feet, than a piece of ground at the distance of six hundred yards. The Parapet, fronting this higher ground was scarcely four feet high. All the other parts of the Parapet, parallel to the Harbour of Magebagwaduce and in the rear, were not three feet high. The two
Bastions to the harbour were quite open. The troops were encamped on the area, which might be about the Space of an Acre, there had been a Shade erected for the Provisions. The Powder was lodged in covered holes dug in the proposed Glacis: There was but a Single Gun mounted, & that a Six Pounder.

The Naval force in Magebagwaduce Harbour were the Albany, North & Nautilus, Sloops of War, Commanded by Captains Mowat, Selby and Farnham, and four Transports.

In this force and State of Preparation, one may easier Conceive than describe the anxiety & hopes of all concerned on the appearance of so formidable an Armament.
The enemy came up, and paraded before the entrance of the
harbour, in perfect confidence of entering it without difficulty, which would have been the case had the Albany been alone, and then everything would have been over at once; but there was such an excellent Disposition made of the Sloops of War & Transports in the entrance of the Harbour, as baffled every attempt of the Enemy to force it for three days-then they prepared to land their
troops on a Bluff of the Peninsula without the harbour, where the General could place pickets communicating with the Main body in the fort, to watch & to oppose, the debarkation.

These three or four days of Embarrassment on the part of the rebe1s gave our troops time to do something more to the Fort, to carry up the most necessary, Stores, to mount several guns, and in short to devote every Endeavor to the present Exigency. The Enemy, having failed in their attempts on the harbour, effected at last a landing on the bluff, and by superior numbers forced the Pickets into the Fort, took possession of the high ground, above mentioned, within six hundred yards thereof & immediately erected their Batteries and Lines.

In this Position both Parties continued firing at one another during the whole Siege. Our Troops, tho' extremely harassed, were daily getting into a better Situation with the Assistance of the Seamen, and the Requisites which the Men of War furnished, as well as their own Stores. Secure on the Flanks & in the rear while our Ships maintained the Harbour, they, had only to exert their chief attention & Efforts on the side fronting the Enemies Lines, which effectually deterred the latter from advancing in that direction.

They had erected Batteries on Nautilus Island, & in the rear of the harbour, all within point blanc shot shot of any position, in which the ships could be placed, but the proper choice of different stations on every emergency eluded their utmost efforts to enter it.

Thus both sides were employed, ashore & afloat, for 21 Days, in a variety of Manouvers, which are in part described in a Journal kept by an officer on shore & published by J, C. Esq.

In the Mean time Intelligence having reached New York, that Penobscot was attacked, Sir George Collier Sailed to its relief, with the Raisonable Ship of the Line, Blonde, Virginia, Carmilla, Galatea, &c. They were perceived off Penobscot Hay by the rebel lookout vessel in the Evening. In the course of the night they embarked their Troops, &c., and in the Morning early their fleet
was seen under Sail; but the wind failing them to get round the upper end of Long Island, they had no alternative but to run up Penobscot River. These Manouvres were a proof that the Strange Ships sailing up the bay were a relief and the three Sloops of War being employed from daylight in embarking the part of their Guns that were ashore on the Batteries, &c" &c., were able to join
in the center of the King's Ships: during the pursuit one of the rebel vessels struck, after a few shots, to the Blonde & Virginia:
Another ran ashore at the same time some distance below the mouth of the River, and was some time after taken possession of by the Raisonable, which brought up the rear: All the rest, with the advantage of good pilots & of a whole flood tide which happened in the night, got such a distance up the River, as afforded time for destroying them, And the crews made the best of their way to New England, thro' the woods, in the utmost distress.

Thus ended the attack on Penobscot. It was positively the severest blow received by the American Naval force during the War. The trade to Canada. which was intended, after the expected reduction of the Post of Penobscot, to be intercepted by this very armament, went safe that Season: The New England Provinces did not for the remaining period of the contest recover the loss of Ships, and the Expence of fitting out the Expedition: Every thought of attempting Canada, & Nova Scotia, was thenceforth laid aside, and the trade & Transports from the Banks of Newfoundland along the Coast at Nova Scotia, &c: enjoyed unusual Security.


After all was over, it was natural to be expected, that Sir George Collier would have been Supremely happy to have represented this important Service in its proper colors, and that Capt. Mowat would, according to the Custom of the Service, have been sent home 'with the Account: But in answer to the Claim, Sir
George expressed the utmost regret, that he could not spare a Ship from the Station: assured that if he intended to send an officer to England Capt. Mowat would certainly be the person; that he only meant to transmit the Despatches by New York, in which he pledged his word, as he held it to be no more than his duty, that the Services of the Sloops of War would be represented in the most honorable Manner to the Admiralty-
On the next day & before there was time to attend to writing the Official Account of the Siege, he put the Albany under orders to proceed up Penobscot River to the Rebel Wrecks, observing it would be some time before he would leave the Bay - This done he departed abruptly for New York, and had no sooner gone out to Sea, than the Greyhound’s Signal was made to part Company, And she proceeded directly to England with his Account.
Her destination had been kept a Secret from everyone, General McLean excepted, who in his publick Letter Acknowledges having been privately informed. This is the Manner, in which Captain Mowat was prevented Sending an Official Account of the Siege, And, Notwithstanding Sir George Collier having solemnly pledged himself as above, we See his account to the Admiralty confined to the Merit which we will readily allow him of sailing from New York to the relief with a Squadron Which the United Naval force of All America was incompetent to resist even in a Crescent & to a description of the Disposition & destruction of the Rebel Ships, which however could not be discerned by anyone from on board the Raisonable: The Service of the three Sloops of War during the Siege were totally omitted & their Captains not even named.
When Admiral Arbuthnot's arrival had put an end to Sir George Collier's Command, Captain Mowat hoped some Justice would have been done him for the Service performed at Penobscot, at least so far as the laying a fair representation of it before the Admiralty, but there was not the least notice taken of him, and he
was left at Magebigwaduce under a continuation of the distress of seeing also, that every Promotion, made by this Admiral, was without a single exception, of officers Junior to him: Among these an Officer, who had received his first Commission into the Albany when Captain Mowat was appointed to her, was made Post Captain: It is not from any individious (sic) Motive this Instance is given on Captain's Mowat's part: None can be more happy in the good fortune of an Officer, with whose great Merit he has had opportunities of being well Acquainted: but it is a Contrast to the glaring Injustice himself has Met with.

Henry Mowat was born in Scotland in 1734. He was the son of Capt. Patrick Mowat of H. M. S. Dolphin. After an experience of six years he was commissioned as lieutenant of the Baltimore in 1756. The certificate of his " passing" in the Admiralty records sets forth" He produceth records kept by himself in the Chesterfield and Ramus (Ramillies) (as midshipman) and certificates from Captains Ogle and Hobbs of the Dilligence, etc.; he can splice, knot, reef a sail, etc., and is qualified to do the duty of an able seaman and midshipman." In 1762, he was promoted to be a commander and served as such on the Canceau twelve years. It was during this time that he destroyed Falmouth Neck, now Portland. This event occurred October 18, 1775, and for it he was denounced by our forefathers and Washington wrote of his conduct, " I know not how sufficiently to detest it." Mowat was then forty-one years old. He had been captured at Falmouth Neck, the May before, and was released on his promise to return the next morning, which promise he did not keep. His next vessel, the sloop Albany was the flag-ship of the squadron at Penobscot. He served his King forty-four years, about thirty of which were on our coast. On board his ship, the Assistance, about five miles from Cape Henry, Va., April 14, 1798, he was stricken with apoplexy, died aged sixty-four years, and was buried in St.
John's churchyard, at Hampton, Va. He left a son, John Alexander, who
entered the navy in 1804.
NATHAN GOOLD.

Possible connection (son?)
Newbury Marriages- Mowatt, Henry and Mary Merrill of Newburyport, int.(intention) 11 Nov 1803; Also Moet, Henry and Lydia Merrill 22 Mar 1801

Life of Rev Jacob Bailey Fronteir Missionary page 160
1779 We had at breakfast an old lady and a very pretty, genteel
young Miss, about twelve, natural daughter to the famous
Captain Mowatt.

1782
In a few weeks after this removal, a son of Capt. Mowatt,
who had commanded one of the vessels of the British navy,
arrived at Annapolis, being sent to Mr. Bailey to be educated.
Page 274
The name of Capt. Henry Mowat is still disliked, if not detested, by many, on account of his commanding the expedition which, in Oct., 1775, reduced Falmouth, now Portland, to ashes. It may be well to say, in passing, that Mr. Bailey was on a visit at that place at the time it was burned, and that he has left a written account of the transaction, which throws a fuller light upon it than is contained in the published narratives, as it relates occurrences that were either unknown to, or suppressed by, those who have heretofore undertaken to describe it.

Although Capt. Mowat acted upon positive orders from Admiral Graves, in burning Falmouth, yet he has been condemned with as much warmth, as if he merely gratified his own private antipathies.

And the historian of Maine* publishes a letter written by this officer to the people of the place doomed to destruction, in which, by italicising words, he evidently wishes the reader to notice that ignorance was a characteristic of the writer as well as cruelty. All this may be as has been thus represented.
But as an act of simple justice to the memory of Capt. Mowat the following letter to Mr. Bailey, which accompanied the child of the former, is here inserted. The reader may be as- sured that it is copied exactly as it was written. Reminding him, that according to the usage of that time, many more words began with capital letters than at present, the letter is submitted to his perusal, that he may decide whether or not is it the production of a brutal or ignorant man.

"Halifax the 11th Aug. 1782.

Rev. Sir,

I have for some time been in expectation of receiving Your answer to my Letter by Mr. Lovett on the Subject of my Child; but having been given to understand by him and other friends of yours that I may assure myself of your receiving my Boy, I have at last determined to send him, and I have made choice of his going by water, as I cannot accompany him myself by land — a satisfaction I wished much to have enjoyed, and v^^hat I have had in view for a long while, but being now within a few days of leaving this for York in my way for England, will prevent me the pleasure of seeing you and that of delivering up my Dear Child into your care, which I now do, with all the endearing and tender feelings of a Father, earnestly requesting you to receive him in that light. His Aunt accompanies him in the desire of seeing him safe with you, and I shall leave directions with Mr. Thompson (one of his Guardians) to pay you the Charge of his Yearly Board and Education: every other necessary will be sent to him by Miss Peak and other friends, whom you will be pleased to correspond with in my absence. I have sent a Black Servant of my own in order to assist you in the care of him. This man has been mine for the last 8 years, and I hope he will behave so as to become useful to you as well as the child, and I have laid my Commands .on him to obey you the same as myself, and not to do anything or move from your House without your leave. Whatever Quarter my professional Duty may call me will not prevent my Corresponding with you, and I beg you will write often, and put your Letters under Cover to Alexr Thompson, Esq"", at Halifax, and he will forward them to James Sykes, Esq"". Crutched Friars, London, where they will be taken care of. The indulgence of a very tender Mother and other friends over the Boy I am fearful may occasion you and Mrs. Bailey more trouble before he forgets it than I wish he should, but I hope in time his natural disposi- tion will appear, and so far as may be comprehended from his infant years I am in hopes he will not give more than what may be expected. The wind coming favourable this morning hurries me in hopes of the Vessels getting away. My respect- ful Compliments wait on Mrs. Bailey, I present the same to you and am,

Rev'd Dear Sir,

Your most obedient Humble servant,

H. Mowat.

Rev. Mr. Bailey, Annapolis."

It should be stated that the chirography of the above letter is such that it would be creditable to any person.
Last Modified 7 Dec 2013Created 16 Nov 2017 using Reunion for Macintosh