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Bermuda, regularly updated as a Gazetteer, focusing on this internally self-governing British Overseas Territory 900 miles north of the Caribbean, 600 miles east of North Carolina, USA. To counter the method of Methodist preacher George Stephenson who technically was not committing an offence but by his own words preached to African Blacks and Captive Negroes, Parliament passed a law permitting only Church of England ministers to preach in Bermuda. But because he persisted, Stephenson was arrested when preaching a service at the home in St. In the latter position he was responsible for the disposition of prizes of war seized by privateers, a frequent occurrence as Great Britain was at the time at war with France, and many American shipowners lost vessels through his decisions. Consequently, his tenure in this position was widely reviled in the United States, and he was frequently insulted in the mainland press.
HMS Pickle, from a painting in the UK. Writing to his London headquarters, Simon Frazer, Royal Artillery, Commissioner for the UK military in St. Georges, noted the potential value of Bermuda if held by enemies of Britain or, if armed by the British, against the United States. Dockyard was built and Bermuda was fortified. First Bermuda-rigged sloop or schooner was built in Bermuda. She was the Laura, a Ballyhoo schooner, based on the Royal Navy’s «Lady Hammond» class, but designed for fast transport of perishable cargo and as a dispatch vessel. She was designed to be way over-canvassed, on a very low freeboard and with a huge mainsail on a 60 feet boom.
She was a fast and maneuverable boat, much envied by foreign sailors. Three years after she achieved her claim to fame at the Battle of Trafalgar, the Bermuda-built cedar schooner HMS Pickle struck a shoal when entering the Spanish port of Cadiz and was lost. Saintes, the Glorious First of June, Copenhagen and Trafalgar ended tragically in a shipboard accident before he could reap the rewards of his long service. Royal Sovereign to Admiral Collingwood and was given the fast new second rate HMS Dreadnought to command. Eleven days later Conn and his crew where thrown into battle as the Franco-Spanish fleet attempted to break out of Cadiz. Situated halfway down Collongwood’s division, Conn struggled to reach the action, only getting there around the time Nelson was mortally wounded in the northern division.
One of the first Naval actions of the 1812-14 War between the USA and UK, which involved Bermuda too as a British colony, was the capture of the Bermuda sloop, HMS Whiting, in a US port. Having sailed from Plymouth, she entered Hampton Roads on 8 July 1812 with dispatches for the American government, and lowered her anchor. Britain and the United States were now at war. Some regard this as the first naval capture of the war. However, Whiting was carrying official dispatches for the American government, which ordered her release. British Rear Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane formed the Corps of Colonial Marines. Although they were of African descent and many were formerly enslaved in America, these troops received the same training, uniforms, pay and pensions as their Royal Marine counterparts.