Friday, June 28, 2019

Captain Cannon: Family Matters and the Good Intent

George Cannon arrived back in Liverpool from his voyage on the Eliza on September 2, 1793, after almost 3 ½ years at sea.[1] When George left Liverpool he was 23 years of age and when he returned he was 27.

Brother, John, on the King Pepple

            George’s younger brother, John, who also attended the Peel Mathematical School, went aboard his first slaving ship about the same time. Like George, his mathematical training had allowed him to advance in rank and he was 5th (likely a second mate) out of a crew of 37 on the ship King Pepple.[2] The ship left Liverpool on May 1, 1790, Thomas Briscoe as captain, headed for Bonny for slaves. The King Pepple went first to Dominica and then to Montego Bay, Jamaica, where it delivered 444 slaves on December 29, 1790.[3] John Cannon was discharged at Montego Bay on December 31, 1790 and the King Pepple returned to Liverpool, arriving on March 20, 1791. Five crew died on the voyage.[4]

Loan by George to his Parents

Four months after returning from his voyage on the Eliza, George made a loan to his parents, Hugh and Eleanor Cannon. A transcription of the note follows:

Know all men by these presents that I Hugh Cannon sen[io]r of Peeltown by and with the consent of my wife Ellinor Cannon al[ia]s Addy of Peeltown Doth hereby acknowledge our selves to be jointly Indebted unto our son George Cannon of said Town in the just and full sum of Twenty Pounds good and Lawful currency of this Isle Which said sum we promise to pay unto him the said George Cannon his Heirs or assigns with the Interest of one shilling out of the pound yearly and Every year During what soever time it will Remain in my hand unpaid To Which payment well and Truly to be made I bind me and my Heirs Ex[ecu]t[o]rs admi[nis]tr[ator]s and assigns And for the further and Better security of the just payment of the afore said consideration money with the Interest of aforesaid Interest we Do hereby passover in Pledge and security thereof all our concerns of Houses Backside and Garden and also the basement on the south side of the street together with all ways water courses Easements and Liberties to the same Belonging or in any wise appertaining in the Nature of a Bill of mortgage to all intents and purposes and as are prescribed and Directed in the act of settlement in such and the Likneses of mortgage and to hold the same untill the said sum of Twenty Pounds Interest cost and charges be justly paid and satisfied and to these End we Bind us and our Heirs Extrs admtrs and assigns in and under the penalty of Twenty Pounds ___ to be Levyd and paid according to Law In Witness whereof we have here unto subscribed our names this the 21st Janry 1794                                                                      Hugh Canan
                                                                                                Elenor Canan   her
                                                                                                                        mark  x
Witnesses Present
    William Quirk
    Thomas Cowin

___ April 1794
Thomas Cowin and Hugh Walker two of the Subscribing Witnesses made _____ written Bond and Security was properly signed and Executed in their presence by Hugh Cannon & Eleanor Cannon & that the Consideration money therein mentioned was fully paid and Satisfyed.
                                                                                                Before me
                                                                                                Geo. Savage

At a Court Baron or Abby Court holden at the Court house near Ballasalley the 30th day of May 1794

The beforewritten Bond & Security being acknowledged before the High Bailiff and now openly published in Court and no Objection offered ag[ains]t. them, The same are therefore allowed of and ordered to be Recorded for the Benefit of all persons concerned.
                                                John ________  Charles ________

Marriage to Leonora Callister

Five months after returning home, and 13 days after making the loan to his parents, on February 3, 1794, George married Leonora Callister in Kirk Patrick, Isle of Man. Leonora was 19, eight years younger than George, and must have realized that she was marrying a man she would rarely see.[5] The Parish Register of Patrick for 1793 [the first entry is 1793 and the next two entries are 1794] is as follows: 

“George Cannon and Leonora Callister both of the Parish of K.K. German were married in this church by Special Licence this third Day February One thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-four. By me. Ev. Christian. Vicar. This marriage was Solemnized between us
In the presence of                                George Cannon and
   Hugh Walker                                   Leonora Cannon, late
   John Radcliffe                                 Callister   my x [unintelligible, but similar on other entries]”
John Radcliffe is a witness on two other marriages on the same page of the register, one on December 14, 1793, and the other on January 18, 1794. Therefore, it appears he may be a court employee. The groom in the other two entries has an “x” and George Cannon’s does not appear to be an “x”, which likely means that he could sign his name, unlike the others. 

In his five voyages to Jamaica, George had been gone more than 5 ½ years. However, they lived in a seafaring culture and their situation must not have been too uncommon.

First Mate on the Good Intent

Four months after his marriage to Leonora, George was back out to sea on the Good Intent as first mate to Captain John Brine. The muster roll is as follows:

Muster Roll
29 July 1795
Ship Good Intent        John Brine       from Africa & Grenada

Brine               Master             9th July 1794   12 July 1795   discharged            12m  3d
Cannon            1st Mate                                                                              
-                       Surgeon                                                                              
                        2nd Mate                                24 Nov 1794   drowned            4m  15d
-                       2nd Mate                                12 July                                    12m  3d
                        3rd Mate                                 14 Nov 1794                           4m    5d
-                       2nd 3rd Mate                           12 July                                    12m  3d
                        Boatswain                             11 April                                    9m  2d
                        Carpinter                               12 July                                    12m  3d
                        Gunner                                              17 Nov                                    4m  8d
                        Cooper                                    1 Feb                                     6m 23d
                        Cook                                     23 Jan                                      6m 14d
                        Steward                                   9 Nov                                    4m -
                        Seaman                                 19 April                                   9m 10d
                                                                      1 Feb                                     6m 29d
                                                                    20 Oct                                     3m 20d
                                                                    12 July                                    12m  3d
                                                                    3 April                                    9m 21d
                                                                    23 Jan                                      6m 14d
                        Landman                                                                               12m  3d
                                                                    1 Feb                                      6m 23d
                                                                    1 Feb                                      6m 23d
                        Boy                                         4 May                                    9m 25d
                        Cook               17 Mar 1795   12 July                                    3m 25d
                        Seaman                                                                                 3m 25d
                        2nd Mate          11 May            12 July                                    2m  1d                                    Seaman                                                                                 2m  1d
                                                                                                                  2m  1d
                                                                                                                  2m  1d
                                                                    21 May                                          10d
                        Boy                                       18 May                                            7d
                                                                    12 July                                    2m  1d

The Good Intent was 135 tons, was built in Dublin in 1783, and was owned by George Case, John B. Aspinall, James Aspinall, John Gregson and James Gregson. Captain Hugh Crow noted getting command of his first ship, the Will, owned by “Mr. W. Aspinall, one of the most generous merchants in Liverpool…The instructions I received were most liberal, and… as master of a ship, I could not but be highly gratified by the friendly and confidential language in which they were conveyed.”[6] Crow noted returning home from this voyage “under convoy” and “on our arrival…my owner and his brothers paid me the compliment of coming out to meet me. To add to my satisfaction Mr. Aspinall appointed a fine ship, the Lord Stanley, to sail with me on the next voyage. To Mr. Kirby, my mate, was given the command of that vessel, and she was placed in every respect entirely under my orders.”[7] 
The Good Intent left Liverpool July 9, 1794 with 23 crew, including the captain (or master), one first mate, a surgeon, two second mates, two third mates, a boatswain, a carpenter, a gunner, a cooper, a cook, a steward, 6 seamen, 3 landmen and a boy.


Sailed to Angola and picked up 229 slaves.
            Seaman died on 10/20/94
            Steward died on 11/9/74
            Third mate – can’t read what happened, but not discharged, on 11/14/94
            Gunner died 11/17/94
Second mate drowned 11/24/74
            Appears four died in Angola and something happened to a fifth.

            Birth of George Cannon – 1st child

On December 3, 1794, while George was at sea, somewhere between Angola and Grenada, Leonora gave birth to their first child and named him George. The parish register of Kirk German records that “George Son of George Cannon & Leonora Callister” was baptized on December 5, 1794.

            Middle Passage

Sailed to Grenada with 18 in crew.
[Appears that 2 slaves and no crew died on the middle passage]
            Seaman discharge on 1/23/95
            Cook ----? On 1/23/95 [Stop on island before Grenada?]


The Good Intent arrived in Grenada on February 5, 1795 with 227 slaves, including 3 boys, 5 girls, 133 men and 86 women.[8] A House of Commons report indicates that the Good Intent, if it is the same voyage, was the only British ship to deliver slaves to Grenada in 1796 and that 57 of the 225 slaves were exported elsewhere.[9] On May 11, 1795 the Good Intent left Grenada, after more than three months in port. Eight members of the crew, out of 23, died on the voyage. We do not know when or where they died, or the cause of death. However, they lost at most, two slaves to death during the middle passage.

2 added 17 March 1795 (cook and seaman)
7 added 11 May 1795 (2nd mate, 4 seaman and 2 boys)
Arrived in Grenada on February 5, 1795 with 227 slaves.
            Cooper, seaman and 2 landsman discharged on 2/1/95
            Added a cook and seaman on 3/17/95
            Seaman died on 4/3/95
            Boatswain died on 4/11/95 in Grenada
            Seaman died on 4/19/95
            Boy died on May 4, 1795
            Added a second mate, four seamen and two boys on 5/11/95
            [4 discharged in Grenada, 4 died in Grenada and 9 added in Grenada, so sailed for
Liverpool with 17 crew]
Left Grenada on May 11, 1795 (after more than three months in port).
Boy died on 5/18/95


The Good Intent arrived in Liverpool on July 12, 1795 with 16 crew members, more than a year from the time it left.[10] Shortly thereafter, Captain George got to see his son, by then seven months old.

[1] Behrendt Letter (PRO, BT 98/54, No. 159, Liverpool muster roll 1794; Family History Library, Film 870307); House of Lords Records Office, MP, HL, undated (1794), no. 96, 1800.07.28; Royal Gazette (Kingston) September 15 to 22, 1792 and May 4 to 11, 1793; Cornwall Chronicle (Montego Bay), May 18, 1793; Lloyd’s List, July 2, 1793 [I still need this one – this likely shows the Eliza in New York].
[2] The King Pepple was built in Liverpool in 1785, was 342 tons and was owned by William Boats, Thomas Seaman and James Percival.
[3] Lloyd’s List, dated February 1, 1791, states that “K. Pepple, Brisoe” arrived in Dominica from Africa. Lloyd’s List, dated February 18, 1791, states that the “King Pepple, Briscoe” arrived in Jamaica from Africa.
[4] Behrendt Letter (PRO, BT 98/51, No. 127, Liverpool muster roll 1791; Family History Library, Film 870304); Lloyd’s Register 1791, Lloyd’s List February 1, 1791 and February 18, 1791; Cornwall Chronicle (Montego Bay), January 1, 1791, January 29, 1791 and February 5, 1791; Colonial Office 137/91, 60; House of Lords Records Office, MP, HL, 94.03.22; Parliamentary Papers 1792 (768), XXXV, (766-7), XXXV; Treasury 64/286, 21; and craig, 80.
[5] Leonora was born on November 12, 1775 in Kirk German.
[6] Crow Memoirs, p. 66.
[7] Crow Memoirs, p. 73.
[8] Lloyd’s List, dated April 3, 1795, indicates the Good Intent, with Captain Brine, arrived in Grenada from Africa and “sells there”. A report to the House of Commons indicates the Good Intent arrived in Grenada on February 5, 1796 with 225 slaves. It was not known where in Africa the slaves were obtained from. (House of Commons 1802, p. 25)
[9] House of Commons 1802, p. 50. [Could this be a voyage a year later?]
[10] Slave Trade CD; Behrendt Letter (PRO, BT 98/55, 29 July 1795, Liverpool muster roll 1795; Family History Library, Film 870308; Lloyd’s Register of Shipping 1795; Treasury 70/1574 and 64/286, 39; Parliamentary Papers 1795-6 (849), XLII, 1801-2 (88), IV, no. 2; Lloyd’s List, dated July 14, 1795, indicates the Good Intent arrived in Liverpool from Grenada.

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