HM Brig
Prince Edward

Armed Brig

Prince Edward



1780 July 18

1782 Sep 30










PRINCE EDWARD Brig-Sloop 14.  Purchased 1780. Captured 1782 by her American Prisoners. (Colledge)

American privateer Wilkes, fitted out at Gloucester, taken 11.6.1780 by Fairy, Sloop, 14 x 4-pounders, 55 men, purchased 18.7.1780 in Newfoundland; commissioned ?1780 under Lieut. John Stiles (although Stiles is said to have become Lieut. in 9.1781!), in ?7.1781 under Lieut Richard Simmons; taken 5.9.1782 by 29 American prisoners in Spear Harbour, Labrador. (Winfield)

[1780] June 11.

[Taken] “By the Fairy Sloop.  Brig Wilks, (Privateer) belonging to Gloucester, 140 Tons, 14 Guns, 65 Men.” (RAdm Edward’s Prize List, The London Gazette, Number 12123, 30 Sep-03 Oct 1780.)

1780 Aug 13

“[The Fairy] also took (after a Chace of Forty-one Hours[)], and brought in here the 12th of June, an American Privateer Brig call the Wilkes, of 14 Carriage Guns, and 75 Men.” (RAdm Edward-Stephens, The London Gazette, Number 12123, 30 Sep-03 Oct 1780.)

1780 Oct 07:

Armed Brig Prince Edward, purchased by Adm Edwards at Newfoundland for £1010.  AO 7 Oct 1780 to be registered accordingly. (LN1780)

1782 Sep 05:

“At anchor in Spear harbour, Labrador, the Lieutenant proceeded ashore on business, leaving the Gunner and Bo’sun in charge of the Brig.  The vessel was short handed, having sent away a number of men in prizes, and had on board twenty-nine American seamen held as prisoners.  At about five-thirty in the evening, the Bo’sun went into the boat to check the external state of the ship and was surprised to see an American prisoner pointing a musket at him when he attempted to return on board.  The prisoners, helped by a number of the sloop’s crew, had rushed up on deck to take command of the vessel.  John Holmes, the captured Lieutenant of a privateer, had started the action; allowed on deck for exercise, he had waited for the Bo’sun to get into the boat and then seized a poleaxe.  Somewhat surprisingly, they allowed Lieutenant Simmonds back on board to take his papers and destroy the private signals.  The following morning, he and the loyal members of the crew, were put ashore and the sloop sailed, about eighteen British members of the crew, led by the Gunner, joining the Americans.  Simmonds was reprimanded for leaving the sloop to conduct business which could have been performed by someone else and sending so many men away into prizes.” (Hepper)

1782 Sep 30

Court-martial  “Lt Rd Simmonds, the officers & Company of the Prince Edward, Armed Brig, for the loss of her.” (ADM 1/5320)

S A L E M,  September 26. [1782]

“Yesterday arrived at Beverly a brig of 16 guns late in the service of his Britannic Majesty.  The crew of the Hope (a small privateer lately captured by her) being prisoners on board her, to the number of 21, rose upon the brig’s people, in number 62, while laying in a small harbour on the Labrador shore, overcame them, and took the command of the vessel, with which they have had the good fortune to arrive safe in port. (Salem Gazette, 26 Sep 1782)

S A L E M,  October  3. [1782]

“The British king’s brig, called the Prince Edward, pierced for 16 guns, and mounted with 14 double fortified four pounders, which was carried into Beverly last week, we have since learnt, was surprised in a small harbour called Chateau.  Capt. Simmonds, who commanded her, having agreed to go ashore on a shooting party, insisted that Capt. Woodbury (late Commander of the Hope privateer, and then prisoner on board the brig) should accompany him.  Capt. Woodbury endeavoured to excuse himself, but, to prevent suspicion, was finally obliged to go.  The plan previously concerted by the crew of the Hope, 21 in number (then prisoners on board, as mentioned in our last) was put in execution and compleated before Capt. Simmonds and his company reached the shore.  Scarcely any opposition was made, although the number of the enemy amounted to 61 or 62.  The Captain discovered the affair while in his boat, and immediately acknowledged himself prisoner to Capt. Woodbury.  They returned on board ; when all who did not choose to join the Americans were set at liberty, and permitted to carry with them the whole of their private effects.

“The above brig was formerly a privateer belonging to Cape-Ann, and was then called the Wilkes :—The  watchk-word of the Americans, when they rose to take possession of her, was Liberty :—The number of men on board her, including those of the enemy who voluntarily joined the captors, was exactly forty-five.  Those who remember and formerly relished, the popular cry of Wilkes and Liberty, and No. 45, may be pleased to hear, that these once venerated names, and this celebrated number, are not, even at this day altogether inauspicious to the glorious cause of Freedom.” (Salem Gazette, 03 Oct 1782)

At   B E V E R L Y,

TO-MORROW the 11th instant, will be Sold


The compleat, fast-sailing, new-constructed,

well-found Brigantine

Prince   Edward,

(Formerly a privateer belonging to Glocester, called

the Wilkes,) buthern 160  tons (more or less)

Pierced for 16 guns, now mounts 14 double-fortified


Seven Pair four-pound Cannon,

a quantity of Powder, Shot, Swivels, Blunderbusses, small Arms, a quantity of Bread, a number of barrels of Beef and Pork, a number of Sails, new & old, one ne Cable, and many other articles, too many to enumerate.        N. B. the sale to begin at 10 o’clock

Beverley, Oct. 10, 1782.

(Salem Gazette, 10 Oct 1782; an earlier, similar advertisement dated 27 Sep 1782 was in the Salem Gazette of 03 Oct 1782 giving the auction date as Tuesday, 08 Oct 1782)


01 Nov 1780 Newfoundland (“Commission”), [1781,] 01 Feb 1782 (Simmons for “Commission”), 01 Dec 1782 Newfoundland (Simmons)

Captain’s Log



Muster Books




1780 July 18

-1781 July 19


1780 July

-1781 May







Master’s Log



Pay Books




1780 Aug 02

-1781 Nov 14


1780 July 18

-1782 Sep 30


Officer’s Name

Date of Rank



Stiles, John

[1781 Sep 12]


Simmonds, Richard

1781 July 18


Revised 6 August 2014 ©