Book Description

Single folded sheet (32 x 19.5cm). Printed text with blank sections completed in ink manuscript for the sailor Monmouth Allington “formerly of Beckles in Suffolk but now belonging to His Majesty’s Ship Rainbow” on 26th June 1756. Elaborate printed coat of arms and naval crest to the head. Signed by Allington with an ‘X’ to the foot, alongside the signatures of the witnesses, Sir Joseph Knight and Peter Thomas Crooke. Remnants of official red wax seal to the foot. The document with four horizontal fold lines, one with a 6cm split to the left-hand side, a small chip to the right-hand side, just touching the text, and a little creasing is otherwise in good order.
Dealer Notes
A will completed by the sailor Monmouth Allington prior to his service aboard the British ship HMS Rainbow in which he leaves all of his “Worldly Estate” to his sister Mary Allington, now Mary Don, once his body has been “commit[ted] to the Earth or Sea as it shall please God”.
HMS Rainbow was a 44-gun fifth rate launched in 1747. During the 1750s-70s, she served in the Mediterranean, North America, and the African coast. She is recorded as taking a French privateer in the North Sea on 23rd October 1756, four months after the present will was made, and later another French privateer, Le Victor, in 1760. From 1776, she was used as a troopship during the American Revolutionary War, taking several American and French ships, including the frigate Hancock in 1777. Later, equipped experimentally with carronades, she captured the French frigate Hébé off the coast of Brittany in 1782 during the Anglo-French War.
The witnesses to the present document are Rear-Admiral Sir Joseph Knight (c.1708-1775) - who served as Commander-in-Chief of the East Indies Station from 1752 to 1754, and later commanded the Rainbow, subsequently serving in the Seven Years War, participating in the capture of Gorée in 1758 and the siege of Havana in 1762 - and Lieutenant Peter Thomas Crooke, commander of the HMS Hawke, on which he drowned in 1760.
Author ALLINGTON, Monmouth; KNIGHT, Joseph; CROOKE, Peter Thomas:
Date 1756
Publisher [Original manuscript].

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