NAVAL GENERAL SERVICE 1793, CLASP, JAVA ‘JAMES HOWARD.’
James Howard is confirmed as an Able Seaman aboard the Sir Francis Drake at the capture of Java. The Greenwich Hospital roll records James Howard aged 60, from Stortford, Essex became a Out Pensioner with the Hospital on 19th October 1843 (Ticket no 5380). It also notes his last ship was HMS Belvedere and that he was wounded in the breast whilst serving aboard HMS Sir Francis Drake. No specific date is given for when he was wounded. However Howards service record survives and shows he served with this ship between 1806 and 1813, so a great deal of time and many actions to look in to. It also shows Howard had, with a couple of breaks, an exceptionally long service, serving from 1806 until 1842! He was rated Captain of the Hold, a Junior Petty Officer Rating, from 1826.
Sir Francis Drake – 27th Aug 1806 – 6th June 1813
Goliath – 7th June 1813 – 7th Oct 1814
Meander – 8th Oct 1814 2nd Jan 1816
Dryad – 4th Feb 1826 – 17th June 1829
Kent – 18th June 1829 – 1st Aug 1840
Dryad – 11th Aug 1830 – 13th Sept 1832
Spartiate – 11th Oct 1832 – 8th Sept 1835
Hastings – 28th Feb 1838 – 3rd March 1840
Rodney – 4th March 1840 – 27th April 1840
Victory – 29th Aug 1840 – 18th Sept 1841
Belvidere – 19th Sept 1841 – 18th Feb 1842
Of particular note are two ships Howard served on; The 38 gun Frigate HMS Sir Francis Drake which served in the East Indies between 1807 and 1813, seeing a great deal of action in both boats and on land, especially with Captain Harris in Command (from 1810). It would probably be worthwhile tracing Howard through the musters and medical reports of the above ship in an effort to pin down in what action he was wounded.
The other ship is the 36 gun frigate HMS Dryad. During Howard’s second service with this ship, it was under Command of Captain John Hayes, operating on anti Slaver service in West Africa. Hayes was also Commodore on that station, Dryad his flag and it was an incredibly successful commission for capturing slavers. During this period, Dryad had as its tenders; Black Joke and Fair Rosamond, two of the most famous anti Slavers of the era. Both of which were crewed by members of Dryad and both of which were themselves captured slavers put into service with the Royal Navy. Again a search of musters may be worthwhile.
Full details of both these ships actions would go into many pages, however the following links give a great start:
HMS Sir Francis Drake; http://www.ageofnelson.org/MichaelPhillips/info.php?ref=2041
HMS Dryad: http://www.pbenyon.plus.com/18-1900/D/01480.html
James Howard is not a unique name on the medal roll, another man of this name is shown on the roll for Syria. However since both clasps have always been relatively close in price (closer still 20 + years ago), the problem with clasps switching isn’t something that‘s likely to be seen with Navarino’s, Java’s, Algiers unless they have been reconstituted.
Condition GVF. Sold with Copy GH rolls, Service etc on CD. Ex Sotheby, March 1983; Dix Noonan Webb, December 2000. A fantastic medal to a sailor with a great service.