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  1. #1
    A fountain of knowledge pejay's Avatar
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    Smile pressganged fisherman

    not sure if this is the right forum,but it does indeed cover the napoleonic wars. i am looking for information on a john twizell, born 1787 in bedlington, northumberland and died in 1836 ,he was apparently pressganged, [don't know for how long] he eventually became a quartermaster before leaving the navy. and returning to life again as a fisherman. he apparently served on hms victory but i cannot find any details of him [ i have been on various websites pertaining to the battle of trafalgar but with no success] i know there were many other ships in the battle of trafalgar. but i haven't a clue as to if he could have been on one of them.i am told he had some sort of uniform, also a hat and a jack tar [i thought ordinary seamen - below decks so to speak didn't have uniforms.] - can anyone please help, i have no further information on him. i don't know much about the subject of pressganging other than it involved accepting the kings shilling - and of course glass bottomed tankards! i unfortunately have no dates. he married in 1815 in tynemouth, so i assume he was not in the navy at that time. i would be very grateful for any help
    Last edited by pejay; 10-08-2005 at 2:10 PM.

  2. #2
    AnnB
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    A very good site for background on 'Nelson's Navy' can be found at https://www.nelsonsnavy.co.uk/ It should answer some of your questions, especially with regard to the Press Gang. Sorry I can't help with John Twizell.
    Best wishes
    Ann

  3. #3
    A fountain of knowledge pejay's Avatar
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    Thumbs up pressganged fisherman

    hi there, - thank you ann what a great website, i shall certainly use it for a long time, i am now more informed about pressgangs, it must have been very worrying if you lived near the coast, and it was obviously more common than i thought, what a way to get sailors!!

  4. #4
    AnnB
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    Glad to be of help As regards press gangs, the one thing you have to remember is that it really didn't pay the Navy to have too many men on board their ships who were 'landlubbers'. It was much better for them to take fishermen, merchant sailors, and even smugglers, as they all knew what to do at sea and how to handle a ship (even if they didn't want to be on a Naval vessel) So, although others were taken by the press gangs, they were very often the ones who ended up running away or being drowned It was also assumed that anyone living near the coast found it second nature being at sea
    Best wishes
    Ann

  5. #5
    Geoffers
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    Ratings' services up to 1853 are searchable on TNA's online catalogue
    https://www.catalogue.nationalarchive...uk/default.asp
    have you tried this yet? Enter the surname (try variant spellings, e.g. TWIZEL, TWIZZEL, TUEZZEL, etc) in the first field and in the field for department or series code, simply enter ADM (If you get any hits, they should be in ADM29).

    If you are successful, you can apply for a copy online, using the full reference given

    If interested in the subject, two good books are:
    The Wooden World, an anatomy of the Georgian Navy - N.A.M.Rodger
    Fortuna Press ISBN 0 00 686152 0
    - and -
    Life in Nelson's Navy - Dudley Pope
    Chatham Publishing ISBN 1 86176 034 5


    Geoffers

  6. #6
    AnnB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffers
    If interested in the subject, two good books are:
    The Wooden World, an anatomy of the Georgian Navy - N.A.M.Rodger
    Fortuna Press ISBN 0 00 686152 0
    - and -
    Life in Nelson's Navy - Dudley Pope
    Chatham Publishing ISBN 1 86176 034 5


    Geoffers
    Couldn't agree more Geoffers, especially The Wooden World.

    Another very good book on the subject is:
    'Nelson's Navy' - Brian Lavery - Conway Press ISBN 0 85177 521 7

    Best wishes
    Ann

  7. #7
    A fountain of knowledge pejay's Avatar
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    Smile pressganged fisherman

    hi, - and thank you all for your help and advice, the books i will try to get from my local library, even if they don't have them in they will be able to order them, they sound like they will be very informative i have tried the website address for the national archives,it is amazing how many ways you can spell twizell, i became quite inventive! however to date i am not having any luck on that one, - back to the drawing board for me and think of further ways to spell it [twizell]

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pejay
    ...he apparently served on hms victory but i cannot find any details of him [ i have been on various websites pertaining to the battle of trafalgar but with no success] i know there were many other ships in the battle of trafalgar. but i haven't a clue as to if he could have been on one of them.
    There is a roll of those who took part in the Battle of Trafalgar and one place to search is on the National Archives site:
    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a...lgarancestors/
    I did a quick search but couldn't find the name Twizell (including a couple of variations).
    What may be a more complete roll, called the Ayshford Roll, is also available on CD ROM from the Royal Naval Museum in Portsmouth:
    https://www.royalnavalmuseum.org/Traf...ollseminar.htm

    As a matter of interest I have a gr*4 uncle (John Stoddart) who was pressed, but eventually was murdered by the press gang in Newcastle in 1804, so just missing Trafalgar.

  9. #9
    A fountain of knowledge pejay's Avatar
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    Smile pressganged fisherman

    hi there, and thanks for your reply, i am still looking for info on this guy, with no luck at the moment, apparently he had some sort of uniform, which i am told his family burnt on a beach. [i thought pressganged sailors didn't have uniforms though!] he also had a 'jack tar' which was kept for many years. i wondered could it all be 'pie in the sky' or down the years have wires got crossed about him? [i.e. - chinese whispers?]it seems he was definately pressganged at cresswell, northumberland, i have gone through various websites looking for him, i will have to remember the 'ayshford roll' on cd rom. and see how much it would cost to buy it. I have read some articles on pressed fishermen and the pressgang and how it appears to have been an accepted part of life at the time, how awful it must have been.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
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    I know it's not quite Napoleonic Wars, but last night on 'Tales from the green valley' (BBC2 7.30 for 6 more weeks) in which four people are living life c1600, they said that Elizabeth I decreed that fish should be eaten three days a week. This was in order to increase the number of fishermen, i.e. increase the number of men who had sailing knowledge and could be called up for the navy. Obviously no flies on our Liz!

    Pam Downes

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