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 Services of pilots.... 
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Post Services of pilots....
.....interesting to read in The Times of July 17 1793 and referring to news from Portsmouth of two days earlier that Lord Howe sailed with 24 vessels and that he had " ....on board 60 pilots, thoroughly acquainted with the French coast, which were procured by Sir Andrew Douglas at Jersey....."

It is the first time I've read of pilots being procured before sailing. I've read of pilots off the China coast surging round vessels offering their services and the captain then making his choice as was the case with Lord Anson* and also mentioned by John Nicol.**

What was the usual practice? Was there one?

* Lord Anson - A Voyage round the World
** The Life and Adventures of John Nicol, Mariner


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Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:45 am
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Some links to pages about British pilot cutters:

Pilot Cutters
History of the Scillonian Pilot Cutters
Pilot Cutter History

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susan


Sat Nov 24, 2007 8:48 pm
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From The Times, November 7, 1794:

" .... The Trinity House at Hull have received an order from the Navy Office, to have a number of people in readiness to join the flag ship in the Downs, who are qualified to act in the Navy as Pilots for the North Sea ...."






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Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:58 pm
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Post Services of Pilots
Mil,

I believe it was quite common practice to have pilots in readiness, i.e. at the commencment of a propose action against the enemy, and in some numbers, since it was not certain that sufficient could be procured at the time they were needed.

It was probably likely that the situation was quite different from that in time of peace, where as you say the pilot would seek out employment off his own coast. Apart from anything else, he might have been easily snapped up by the enemy!

However, pilots could be a mixed blessing as at Copenhagen in 1801, the fleet having taken them from Great Yarmouth. When it came to the crunch, the pilots showed their true instincts, and as Nelson remarked, were more intent on protecting their silly heads than paying attention to their duties! Three of the ships went aground and I believe Nelson had to take over the duties of piloting himself.

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Kester


Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:18 pm
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I understand that Trinity House pilots were exempt from the press (understandably). However, if, when piloting a British warship, they happened to ground, this protection ended, and the pilot could be pressed. Sounds like a remarkably good intensive...

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Sat Dec 13, 2008 8:46 am
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The Times, July 22, 1807:

" ... The Lords of the Admiralty have requested that the Wardens and Brethren of the Trinity House, in Hull, to appoint twenty-four experienced pilots, for the fleet destined for the North Seas and Baltic. Eight are already sent off. ..."


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