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Letters and Papers of Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington, Volume I

Vol 77 (1937), D. Bonner-Smith

Samuel Barrington (1729-1800), a son of the first Viscount Barrington, entered the Royal Navy in 1740. He was posted in 1747 and eventually was promoted to Admiral in 1787.

Papers in the possession of Barrington’s collateral descendants form these two volumes and cover his naval career. They comprise order books (1747-71), a private letter book (1770-99), his journal and three bound documents relating to the Leeward Islands command (1778-79), some loose correspondence, and printed matter: the general sailing and fighting Instructions, two signal books, and instructions. None of Barrington’s public letter books survives.

This includes Barrington’s negotiations at Tetuan to release British subjects held by the Barbary corsairs, and his cruising off the coast of Guinea where some Royal Navy captains had been personally profiting from commercial dealings including the transportation of slaves.

Commanding the 60-gun Achilles, he served from 1757-59 off the coast of France, in 1760 under Captain the Hon John Byron destroying the fortifications of Louisbourg in North America, and in 1761 under Commodore Augustus Keppel in the operations against Belle-Île. From 1762 until the 1763 Treaty of Paris, he commanded the 74-gun Hero. From 1768, when he again took to sea, until 1778 when he received his flag, he saw service in the dispute with Spain over the Falkland Islands (1771) and in the Channel.

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About David Bonner-Smith

David Bonner-Smith was Admiralty Librarian, joining the library staff in March 1911. He was made deputy librarian on the death of W.G. Perrin in 1931, and appointed to the chief post in March 1932. He retired in May 1949 at the age of 60. It was said of him that he knew every one of the 100,000 books in the library, but was also familiar with all their contents. It is certain that he could direct students and enquirers to whatever reference they needed. He was editor of The Mariner’s Mirror from 1932 to 1939.

His publications include
• The Letters of Earl St. Vincent, 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1921, 1926).
• Letter and Papers of Admiral the Hon. Samuel Barrington 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 1937, 1941).
• Captain Boteler’s Recollections 1808 – 1830 (Navy Records Society, 1942).
• The Russian War, 1855, Baltic (Navy Records Society, 1944).
• The Second China War, 1856-1860 (Navy Records Society, 1954).

The Navy Records Society