Letter from REDMOND BARRY to JAMES BARRY, written 30 June 1777, at Sheerness

Source: MS James Barry Papers and Letters, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.

Cover: For Mr
James Barry Portrait painter
In Suffolk Street1
or Edgewhare Edgware
London. Bishop mark: 2 July.

Redmond Barry (1754-1825), brother of James Barry; for details of his life see Appendix F,'Redmond Barry'. [go] He is registered in 1777 among the crew of the Hound from where this letter is written. His crew number was 147: his name is entered in the records of 'Amount of Tobacco, Issued by Mr Angel Triggs Purser' as 'Redmd Barry', born in Cork, but in another list (under the same number) as 'Richd Barry'; his age is given as 21 at the time of boarding the ship. He was discharged in August 1777 and paid £7.7s.3d. on 13 September 1777 (PRO ADM 34/395).

This letter, from the 'Hound', gives no year; it tells of recent naval engagements in the West Indies, which suggests he was there during the American War of Independence which corroborates the evidence of the ship's records that the letter was probably written in about 1777.

Redmond's poor spelling, punctuation and grammar indicate he was but semi-literate; he wrote again to Barry in March 1781 from the 'Cumberland' at Sheerness on the Medway in Kent.

Both of Barry's younger brothers had joined the navy, Redmond served in the West Indies and Patrick on ships travelling to the East Indies.

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Sheerness June th30th

Dear Brother I make Bold to Write you Thes these Few Lines Hopeing the Hoping they may Find you in Good Health. As I am Verry very Ill now Lying On Bord Board of Hismajesties His Majesty's Sloop Hound2 Commanded by Capt James Roberson 3Just Come home From the West Indias Dear Brother I was a Verry Undutifull Very Undutiful Son to a Verry Very Good Father4 but Now I See my Folly and Wish I Was at my Liberty to Do Any Thing I Could 5being very willing to work and am told by those that knows you that you are a famous man in art which makes both Respected and admired on account of which you may Easily work my discharge with a great man and altho although I am a bricklayer by trade I shall work Industriously at my profeassion profession not behave as my Brother did6 please to forgive me this for in his Majesties Majesty's Sloop hound 1ston march the 2d we took the briggthe brigg 7Chance Capn Captain Johnson8 worth 30000 on 3d hoisted American Colours9 we took the Schooner Isabel Capn Captain Smith10 and on the 5th we took a Sloop Largly ladden of Largely laden off monte Christi point11 her name was the adventure Capn Captain Morgan12 But dr dear Brother god did suffer us long to Enjoy this valueable prise valuable prize for on the 6 at 2 Am. She was wrecked on the unfriendly Island of Tartugas13 And we by gods God's great mercy Escaped. We Sailed Immediately for Jamaica and next morning Saw Capa Maio the East End of Cuba this as well as Hispaniola to which […] [gap in transcription (illegible), word: 1] tartugas belongs the brig had in her 50 french offiers going to america14 she was all saved Except a brigadier genral general his lady child our men and Some that […] [gap in transcription (illegible), word: 1] themselves - in My Next dear Brothr Brother I shall Inform you of more I would Be glad to answer this by Return of post as I dont know the minute I may be called away. Pray dr Br dear Brother have compassion on your yr your unknown but Loving Brother.

Redmond Barry

P.S. Brother I dont like the life nor the […] [gap in transcription (illegible), word: 1] on bord board a man of War and pray get me off you can Direct to me on board his Majesties Majesty's Ship I found at Sherness Sheerness with all Expedition