HMS David’s muster book 1790 (Adm 36/11085)

The vessel was called a “tender”. The book contains weekly muster tables (25 May – 30 Aug 1790) taken on board while ‘at sea’ or in Montrose,  Leith, Peterhead and Kirkwall Roads. She had a crew of 14 and initially carried a (press) “gang” of 4 under command of a Lt John Yetts; the sailing master was Joseph Wilson.

By the time recruiting began in Kirkwall Roads, Yetts’ “gang” numbered 10 supernumaries (“borne for wages and victuals”)  First Orcadians to be recruited were William and John Gaddie (entered on 28th  July under nos 116 and 117)  All men entered under nos 118 -140 were from Orkney; they included George Eglington (#132)  and Hugh Houston(#135)  Men entered under nos 141-143 were not from Orkney.

More Orcadians were recruited under nos 144-160 and 162 -188, including Richard Mackie, Robert Fea, James Scott, James Miller, Wm Cray and James Murray. Most men were entered as being recruited in Kirkwall Roads although several are annotated as having been “entered at Stromness by Lt Yetts”

Yetts and Wilson’s signatures under the last muster dd 31 Aug 1790

68 Orcadians were “pressed” during this period. They were taken south to The Nore, off Sheerness in September where 8 of them were subsequently assigned to the Pandora. The others were distributed to other warships being manned at The Nore.

Another Orcadian, called James Sibasteen,  was initially also assigned to the Pandora but was ‘discharged’ by Admiral Rodham’s order – probably because he was able to show he had “protected employment” status.  Sibasteen wasn’t the only Orcadian recruit to be ordered out. A John Corrigle was discharged from the David on 24th  August with the annotation “insane” against his name.

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