Extracts from the LOG of HM Armed Lugger Speculator kept 1805-6 by Lieut Edward Hall alias Storm, Commander.


Edward HALL alias STORM (1777-1860) was son of Edward STORM (1747-1784) master mariner, and grandson of Isaac STORM and Mary nee HALL his wife, of Robin Hood's Bay. Edward Storm senior took his mother's name of Hall when he ran away to sea. He was master of a transport vessel in the American war of Independence. At New York he transferred to the Royal Navy as Master and was for a time navigator of Admiral Rodney's flagship in the West Indies. His last appointment was that of Master Intendant of Antigua.
(EDITOR's NOTE: On first mention surnames are in capitals for ease of study.)


Edward junior went straight into the Royal Navy. He was a Midshipman in the incident reported in the following log book extract, when HMS Juno nearly sailed into a trap at Toulon. There was a French plan to capture HMS Juno whose captain did not know the British Fleet had gone. A Midshipman spotted the Frenchmen were disguised- the cockades in their hats were wrong.

Extract from log of HMS Juno
"Variable weather with showers of rain. Employed tacking, occasionally turning in towards the harbour of Toulon. At 10pm bore up and stood into the harbour. Passed the Grand Tour point. Hauled up for the town; the wind baffling obliged us to bear up under a man-o-war brig's stern which lay there at anchor, by which means the ship grounded on a mud bank forward. Clewed up the sails and furled them. Hoisted out the six oared cutter and launch to lay out warps. Found the ship to back off into 4 fathoms of water. Let go the best bower (anchor). Found the ship to take the ground aft. Came on board from the shore a boat with 12 Frenchmen on board, and found Lord Hood with the fleet to have evacuated Toulon. Confined the French below. Loosed the topsails and sheeted them home and hoisted them, cut the cable and made sail. Found the ship to gather way off the bank on which the man-o-war brig began to fire, and was succeeded by all the batteries on both sides as we stood out of the harbour. Returned the fire on the batteries of Cape Sepet which with great difficulty we weathered; half past 12 the firing ceased the Cape NNE 2 miles"


In 1805 Bonaparte had an army at Boulogne and an invasion of England was a possibility. Speculator was with the fleet keeping watch in the channel when Edward junior joined her at Ramsgate on 15th October, the month of Trafalgar.

Tuesday October 15 1805
AM Moderate with rain at 8. Joined as Commander Lieut. Edward HALL and superseded Lt R YOUNG. Mustered the vessel's company twenty five in number. PM. Ditto weather at 8. Strong gales and squally with rain at times.

Wednesday October 16 1805
AM. Fresh gales with rain. Absented themselves without leave - John GREYLAND, Wm LARGE, John LARGE, Valentine EPPS, Thos EPPS, George CLEMENTS, Edward SUTTON, John FAX, John BAKER, John HAWLING, Henry WALL, Joseph WALL, John WALLMAN, and Thomas ROBONS, in all fourteen men. Sernt their descriptions to the Officers of Impress and reported them to the Commander in Chief. PM Light breezes with rain.

Thursday October 17 1805
Moderate with rain. Arrived several Transports. Employed getting ready for sea. PM Strong gales and squally. Transports embarking troops from off the pier.

Friday October 18 1805
....Got everything ready for warping out of harbour.

Saturday October 19 1805
... Received the powder from the magazine. Warped out of Ramsgate harbour and made sail for the Downs at 11. Came into 6 fathoms of water. Sandown Castle NW by N 1 1/2 miles.

Sunday October 20 1805
...Received orders from Vice Admiral HOLLOWAY to put ourselves under Commodore Sir Sidney SMITH....Received beer and water.

Monday October 21 1805
...Mustered the crew eleven in number and one sick on shore. ....

(EDITOR's NOTE: Trafalger Day! The day when a Whitby man, Robert MOORSOM (1760-1835) captained the Revenge in action at Trafalgar. Robert was the son of Richard MOORSOM (1729-1809), Whitby magistrate and builder of Airy Hill, and grandson of Richard Moorsom born Fylingdales 1693. Robert's 13 year old son Constantine Richard MOORSOM (1792-1861) was also on the ship's musterbook, but did not serve. At Nelson's funeral Robert carried the Grand Banner. He later became an Admiral and received a knighthood.).

Tuesday October 22 1805
...Eleven of those who absented themselves on the 16th returned aboard viz John Greyland, John Large, Vallentine Epps, Thomas Epps, George Clements, Edward Sutton, John Fox, John Baker, John Howling, John Warman and Thomas Robons. Entered two men John MIPSTEAD (Able) and Henry JAFFERY

Wednesday October 23 1805
...employed occasionally. Answered our signal for a Lieutenant on board the Antelope..

Thursday October 24th 1805
..Absented himself without leave Thomas WASMAN Able Seaman...'At 4 came into Walmer Road per order of Sir Sydney Smith in 5 fathoms. Walmer Castle WSW 1 1/2 miles....Entered one man Thomas SCUNES Ordinary Seaman

Sunday October 27 1805
...Answered our signal for a Lieutenant aboard the Antelope. At 11 weighed and made sail westward with despatches from Sir Sydney Smith for His Majesty's Ship Valorous.

Monday October 28 1805
Strong gales with rain. Lying to... Spoke the Spanish ship Elizabeth Maria from St Lucia bound to North Bergen. ..Spoke to HM Brig Calypso and Flint cutter at 11. Carried away the foremast. Cleared the wreck and bore away for Seaford Road. At 12 came to Seaford Cliff ESE. Arrived HMS Valorous and delivered the despatches. Arrived the Monkey gun vessel and Flint cutter.

Tuesday November 5 1805
Light airs and hazy. At 10 answered the General Signal for weekly account on board the Antilope. PM Light airs and breezy at 1 Saluted being the Anniversary of the Gun Powder Plot.....

Monday November 11 1805 10 received five quarters of beef for the Immortality..

Tuesday November 12 1805
Spoke His Majesty's Ship Immortality and delivered depatches and the beef... Answered one signal to examine a strange sail SW. Boarded a Bark from Liverpool to Bremen with salt. Also a Bremen Dogger from Bordeaux to Bremen

Wednesday November 20 1805 10 weighted and made for Boulogne.... joined ompany with HMS Antelope and Squadron. Fresh breezes Boulogne SE by S 4 miles Lying too off and on watching the enemy's advanced squadron of the flotilla

Thursday November 21 1805
....Exercised Great Guns
Answered the signal to prepare for battle
Answered the signal for all Lieutenants
Lying too Bombs throwing skills at the enemy's advance squadron

To be continued.