[American War of Independence: Battle of the Delaware Capes, 1782.] Autograph Letter Signed by Mrs Joanna Mitchell, regarding prize money due to her as widow of a Royal Navy officer on HMS Diomede, who took part in the capture of the South Carolina.

American War of Independence: Battle of the Delaware Capes, 1782 - the capture of the South Carolina by HMS Diomede, HMS Quebec and HMS Astrea [Joanna Mitchell; Royal Navy prize money]
Mrs Joanna Mitchell
Publication details: 
'Tearles Lane Plymouth August 24th 1803'.
SKU: 25401

An interesting item in the social history of the Royal Navy, indicating the financial anxieties many naval widows were under. The Battle of the Delaware Capes (or 3rd Battle of Delaware Bay) took place on 20 and 21 December 1782, between the Royal Navy frigates HMS Diomede, Quebec and Astraea and the South Carolina Navy's 40-gun frigate South Carolina, the brigs Hope and Constance, and the schooner Seagrove. The British won, with the Seagrove the only ship that got away. 2pp, foolscap 8vo. Twenty-eight lines of text on recto, signed ‘Joanna Mitchell’, and endorsed by Mrs Mitchell on reverse ‘I shall draw on you this time for 9£ .. 5s’. The recipient is not named. On laid paper watermarked with crown and shield. Begins: ‘Sir / You recolect, [sic] my having mentioned to you, when last I drew for my pension, some prize money due to my late Husband for taking the South Caroline while on Board the Diomeade [sic] with Capt Frederick, the war before last, and that after much enquiring I had found out who where [sic] the Agents, Messrs. Marsh & Co Creed Norfolk Street, and I told you I had wrote them, their answre [sic] says, they do not remember the circumstances I mentioned, but as so long a period has since elapsed, the prize money, whatever it may be, to which my late Husband was entiteld, must some years since have been paid into Greenwich Hospital, and is not recoverable, being favord with Mrs Fredericks address I wrote to her, on the Subject, she tells me, money in Greenwich Hospital, if rightly claimed is recoverable, I myself know two instances of widows money being recovered from there, but very lately’. She is told he ‘can know for certain whether it is there or not, by having the Books searched’, and asks him to recover the money for her’. ‘Admiral Frederick Widow’ lives in Nottingham Place, ‘and will I am sure be ready to give you any information in her power’. She urges him to make his enquiry without delay, and asks him to send her ‘in a Frank, as postage is so expensive’ ‘a cupple of printed forms’. She was not successful in getting her children ‘on the Compassionate list’, but has since ‘got addmission [sic] for one of them into Christ-Hospital’, and intends to send him up in the course of ten days. She ends: ‘I trust your application for the money above mentiond may be attended with success.’ See Image