Exchequer Depositions in Hedley & Fairlasse v Jarratt (1702)
Many ships faced problems at sea. However, ships masters might be tempted to make stories up and gain financially. This legal case involves the ships owners Nicholas Hedley & Thomas Fairlasse who took out a complaint against William Jarratt dated 15th April 1702 during the reign of Anne1. It concerns a dispute over the the income from, and shares in the sale money of, the ship Thomas & Mary of Scarbrough.
The following people testified.
Abraham Watson, Scarbrough, Malster, 50 years or thereabouts. who said "Allan Jarratt was master of Thomas and Mary of Scarbrough (son of the above Wm Jarratt)".
James Roddy of Scarbrough, Marriner, aged forty years and upwards. who said "......about six yeares ago the said deponent was mate to the said Allan Jarratt in the said ship and the first voyadge the said ship made after this deponent was mate was from Scarbrough to Sunderland where the complt Headley loaded the said ship wth coals which they carryed to Boston in Lincolnshire..... ...... and in their return for Scarbrough again they were forced to run the said ship or vessell aground to sink her to prevent her taking by a French privateer then nigh but the said French privateer tooke the said Allan Jarratt the master on board of him and kept him until he payd a Ransome for the said ship to prevent the privateer burning her. But what him the said Allan Jarratt the mr so payd for the Ransome this deponent remembers not ....."
He adds "returned to Scarbrough, loaded malt for Sunderland, which they delivered - then loaded with coals which were delivered to Kingston upon Hull - loaded at Kingston upon Hull for Lieth in Scotland but overtaken by a violent storm and driven upon the coasts of Norway and were forced to throw some of their loading overboard to save the rest of the cargoe and vessell And by reason of French privateers were forc't to continue the said vessell in Mandell harbour in Norway about thirteen weeks....."
He continues "corn was spoiled due to delay and effect of sea water - master forced to sell the best anchor and cable in order to get provisions for the ship's company - when they got away, they came to Hartlepool where the deponent left the ship and Wm Jarratt had to sell the ship to Peter Covell
William Dove, Danby Dale, Mariner, 40 years and upwards said "fore mastman on voyage where the ship taken by privateers - taken by privateers near Staiths - ransom was £150 and Allan Jarratt was taken to Dunkirk until it was paid"
Thomas Russell, Scarbrough, Master & mariner, 50 years or thereabouts. He said "the above was the second time that the ship had encountered privateers - previous occasion had cost a ransom of £224.
There were further deponents, and one deponent stated that he believed that "..Allan Jarratt has for some time been in the East Indies.."