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HENRY-4 SHEPPARD (George Henry-3, Edward Louis-2, Sidney William-1, James Wm.0) b. (May 1818 at Bridgewater??), Somerset, England, son of James Shepheard-5 d. 5 August 1853 at age 35 m. Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Vigus and Mary Samuels 20 May 1843 at St Andrews, Plymouth, Devon, England.

Henry Sheppard: The Beginining

ADM 38 7474 Description Book HMS Ajax
No in Muster Book 426
Entry 4 Feb 1853
Name Henry Sheppard
Last rating in Muster Book Capt. A. Guard
D, DD, or R
Dsg When:  5 Aug 1853
Wither; Haslar Hospital also Conduct noted on Certificate:   Good
Description of person etc.: at the time of Entry in this Ship
Where born Usual Place of Residence
Parish Town County
Bridgewater Somerset Torpoint
Age: Stature
Years Months Feet Inches
34 9 5 5
Complexion Eyes Hair Marks on Person Wounds or Scars etc
Dark Hazel Dk Brown None ""
If had Smallpox
or been Vaccinated
Single or Married Trade brought up to If Out-Pensioner the No of his Ticket
Both Married Sea
Ship’s Names No Rating Entry Discharge Conduct
Druid 261 AB 20 July ’41 20 Apr ’43 Good
Fisgard 19 AB 17 May ’43 7 Oct ’47 Good
Meander 106 C.A.Gd. 6 Nov ’47 7 Aug ’51 Good
Excellent 576 C.A.Gd. 18 Sep ’51 19 Dec ’51 Good
Edinburgh 44 C.A.Gd. 20 Dec ’51 3 Feb ’53 Good

HMS DRUID (18 Feb ’41-20 Apr ’43)

Muster Book 1841

Druid Muster Book

Muster Book 2

No. 261 (joined on) 18 Feb 1841 Macao, Vol (home) Falston, Devon (age) 24 First Entry Hen. Shepherd AB (discharged) D ( certificates) Good (Slops) £2/7/0 (Tobacco) 12/- (Soap) 14/- (Monthly Allowance and Bills Drawn) £9/5/2

In the section concerning discharge details, the following information:


No 261 (joined on) 20 Feb 1841 Hen. Shepherd AB D (discharged on) 22 April 1842 Good Falston, near Plymouth, Devon 24 (height) 5' 6.5" (complexion) Dark (eyes) Hazel (hair) Black (Marks) Several letters on left arm (Status) Single (Trained as) Seaman First entry in the Service.

Kindly transcribed from ADM 38/7993 by Nigel Hughes

OPIUM WARS While a crew member of the HMS Druid Henry saw action in the Far East during the Opium Wars the Druid was in China in 1841 having seen action at Tycocktow in January 1841. Henry joined the ship in July.

On August 20th the fleet {Wellesley (flag), Blenheim, Druid, Blonde, Modeste, Pylades, Columbine, Cruiser, Algerine, Rattlesnake, Queen, Sesostris, Nemesis, and Phlegethon} and 21 transports, having on board about 2700 troops {including 18th, 49th, and 55th, and part of the 26th British regiments}, with field guns and rocket tubes, being ready for sea, headed for Arnoy. Pottinger accompanied the expedition, after having declined to open negotiations with the provincial governments, and completed the organisation of the administration of Hong Kong. On August 24th, Amoy and the neighbouring fortified island of Kolangsoo were reconnoitred; and, on the following day, the strong Chinese works were bombarded, the Wellesley and Blenheim being laid alongside the big shore batteries, the Druid, Blonde, and light craft dealing with Kolangsoo, and the steamers landing troops and destroying junks. It does not appear that even the broadsides of the two 74's made much impression on the batteries, which were admirably constructed; but, when the troops assaulted, there was but little resistance; and, on the 26th, Amoy itself was occupied, having been abandoned in the darkness. The chief loss on this occasion was due to the Sesostris having towed under water a boat full of troops. The Amoy batteries were dismantled, and about 500 guns destroyed; and the place was evacuated, a garrison, however, being left at Kolangsoo. On September 4th, the expedition proceeded for Chusan; but its progress was so impeded by fogs and baffling winds that great part of it did not make the rendezvous until towards the end of the month. As elsewhere, the Chinese had immensely strengthened their defences, and near Tinghae upwards of 200 guns were in battery; but the whole line of works was so laid out as to be capable of being easily turned. On October 1st, therefore, while the attention of the enemy was occupied by the ships, the troops were landed on the Chinese right; and, with some little loss, they presently carried some heights which dominated the whole position. The forts were then stormed, and Tinghae fell, not, unfortunately, before the Royal Marines and the 18th Regiment had had a number of men hit.

The China Medal was presented to the officers and men of the Druid.

Medal Roll

Piracy, too, was a source of much trouble, especially in the vicinity of Amoy, where, on one occasion, a boat of the Druid, Captain Henry Smith, C.B., lost several men by the sudden blowing up of a large junk at the moment of boarding.

1842 Homeward Bound

The homeward voyage begins in Singapore, sailing to Trincomalee eleven Malays are rescued from a wrecked boat. At Great Basses a seaman is lost overboard as well as six scabbards and belts while a contigent of Royal marines were at exercise. The ship proceeded via Cape Comorin to Bombay and New Year’s Day 1843 found them off Cape Recif.

The Druid sailed from Simon’s Bay Dockyard on Feb. 8 in company with the HERALD to visit St. Helena and Ascension and reached Cape Verde Islands in March. While off tile Azores she met a storm of Force 10 from the North West. The second cutter was stove in during the tempest. At this period the vessel was making about 200 miles a day.

April 6 1843, dead reckoning puts Lizard about 110 miles to the west. On the 7th Prawle was raised. The last pages of the ships log:

“AM 4:15 up foresail, Set main try sail. Sounded in 43 fathoms. Set the Foresail.
4:40 Set M. top gallant Sail. Passed a Brig standing to the N. W.. Course to East. 7:10 in main try sails.
7:50 shortened sail and hove to. Sounded in 38 fathoms & fitted Sail. Altered course to EIS.
9:10 Observed the Land on the larb beam. Shortened sail and Hove. Sounded in 33 fathoms.
9:20 Land about the Praul Point NE about 4 miles Made sail.
9:30 2nd and 3rd reefs of the foretop sails 2nd of Main & Mizzen. Set foretop gallant Sail & top mast studds... “
At midday there is the usual shooting the sun and latitude dead reckoning and longitude by chronometer and by ad reckoning. Water measurement was taken at 19 tons remaining.

The log continues:
“12:45 Out reefs of Topsail - Set Starboard Lower and Top Gallant Sh sails, Crossed Fore and Main Royal Yards and set the Sails up Mizen Top Gallant Mast and Yard and set the Sail Hoisted head sails to dry Set Drwen.
2:50 Observed Portland bearing N. E. 4 or 5 miles
3 Bill of Portland N.N.E.
5:10 Observed Durlestone Head N.N. E.- E. about 5 miles. Sounded in 22 fathoms - mud.
4:50 Shortened sail to close reefed Fore and Mizen and Treble reefed Main Topsails. Fore top mast Staysail and Main Trysail and Hove to.
5:10 St. Albans Head N,N. W. 6 miles
5:30 .? do 8. Sounded in 24 fathoms Sand and shell.
11:00 Sounded with deep sea head in 29 fathoms Coarse Sand.

On the 8th the Druid passed through the Needles Passage and saluted Commander in Chief Portsmouth with 17 guns as she anchored at Spithead.
The next day she was on passage for Plymouth where she arrived on April 10th. Another 17 gun salute was fired. The crew was paid off April 22.

Henry married Elizabeth Vigers, daughter of Thomas Vigers of Plymouth May 20 1843.

HMS Fisgard (17 May ’43 - 7 Oct ’47): The Pacific

Seaman's Will, Henry Sheppard dated 13 Jul 1843.

15 Apr 1844 Daughter Mary Jane baptised 15 Apr 1844, buried 28 Apr 1844

The Shipping Gazette and Sydney general trade list; 1844

9 Nov 1844 The Vestal has brought intelligence that, upon the receipt of the late transactions at Tahiti, the Admiral of the South American station immediately despatched H.M.S. Fisgard 42 guns, HMS Modeste, 18 guns, and H. M. second class steamer Cormorant, the purpose of protecting the Tahitians from the French aggressions, until further advices had been received from the Home Government.

To consolidate their claim, the British established Fort Vancouver in 1825 and Fort Victoria in 1843, and sent the Royal Navy (RN) in 1846 to ward off American ambition in what is known as the Oregon Boundary Dispute. The squadron consisted of Her Majesty’s Ships HERALD, CORMORANT, FISGARD and PANDORA, and today, many Victoria streets and landmarks are named for these ships and her sailors. The dispute was settled in 1846 by the Treaty of Washington, giving the Americans much of the land that now makes up the State of Washington.

HMS Meander (6 Nov ’47-7 Aug ’51)

14 Oct 1848 son George Henry was born. At the time the family was living in a small house at 16 King St. Torpoint on the banks of the Hamonaze.

20 Dec 1848 East Indies

24 Sep 1849 Departed Singapore for Batavia. Captain the Hon Henry Keppel.


- The Meander is a frigate of 44 guns. She left Singapore on the 24th September for Batavia, touching at Anger, and arrived at the former place October 6th; from this she proceeded to Port Essington, passing to the eastward of Java, and through the Straits of Timor, having variable winds, but she reached her destination on the 13th November, and then embarked the detachment of marines and other persons who comprised the settlement, leaving behind merely a few inferior houses, and a small quantity of live stock ; whilst there, her surgeon, Dr. Clarke, died after a few days' illness. From this she sailed on the 1st December for Banda Islands, where she arrived on the 8th, and were very hospitably received by the Dutch authorities. Having watered, she steered for Pitt's Passage, and going to the northward of New Guinea, touched at Port Hunter, and afterwards at Carteret's Harbour, in New Ireland, from which she took her departure on the 12th January. After undergoing the requisite repairs, it is expected she will proceed to Auckland, and from thence to Valparaiso. The military station at Port Essington is now entirely abandoned.

20 Oct 1849 It is reported at Sydney that the Meander is to leave Hong Kong for Sydney, Auckland Isles, New Zealand, Sandwich and Navigator Islands, on her way to Valparaiso, calling at Port Essington, embarking officers and Royal Marines there, after destroying the works.

2 Oct 1849 Is reported to be at Anjer Roads, en route for Port Essington.

1 Dec 1849 Departed Port Essington. It is reported that the station is now entirely abandoned, apart from a few livestock.

8 Dec 1849 Arrived Banda Islands (Dutch). Touched at Port Hunter

7 Feb 1850 Arrived Sydney with passengers: Capt. Macarthur, RM, Capt. Lambrick, RM, Lt. GS Dunbar, RM, and 34 rank and file of marines, Mr Macarthur, Mr Vigors, 4 women and 1 child. 7 Feb 1850 A few hours after arriving in the port, having anchored in Farm Cove, a serious fire broke out onboard in the bread room.


On Thursday afternoon, a few hours after H.M.S. Meander had anchored in Farm Cove, a fire, which at one time was of a very alarming nature broke out on board. The smell of fire, accompanied by smoke, attracted attention to the bread-room, which in a vessel of this class, is in the aftermost hart of the hold. The fire bell was rung, and the ship's company were immediately at their stations in case of fire. The after magazine being close to the seat of fire was immediately drowned by the usual means. and the deck in the after gun room was scuttled, to allow the lire engine to play on it. The boats were placed in readiness to give assistance, by taking on board the powder &c., as might have been required, in which they were assisted by those of H.M.S. Rattlesnake. One of the boats of the latter, with her fire engine on board, rendered very effective service, by taking up her station under the Meander's stern, which enabled the hose to be led through the after gun-room ports, and the water was directed immediately upon the burning mass. A large quantity, of bread was lost, but no other damage of importance was ultimately sustained, in consequence of the prompt measures taken to subdue the fire. The cause of the conflagration has not been known, but it is supposed that the bread was in a damp state when shipped at Singapore, which caused ignition. Luckily, this did not occur at sea, as they would then have had to trust only to their own resources. There were two tons of gunpowder in the after magazine.

9 Mar 1850 It is reported that she will proceed to Hobart Town Tuesday next, returning to Sydney before sailing for South America.

Apr 1850 Whilst at Hobart carried out landing exercises with the local military. (Hobart Town Courier)

20 Apr 1850 Departed Hobart Town with Governor of NSW and suite.

26 Apr 1850 Arrived Sydney from Hobart Town.

3 May 1850 Sails for Valparaiso, via Norfolk Island and New Zealand.

16 May 1850 Several invalids sent to the Rattlesnake to return home to the UK.

25 May 1850 Departs Wellington for Auckland.

20 Jul 1850 It is reported that she will proceed from Auckland to Tongataboo and the South Sea Islands.

April 1851 The 1851 Census shows Elizabeth and son George living at 16 King Street Torpoint

20 Jul 1851 Arrived Portsmouth, with 900,000 dollars freight.

The following account of the frigate Meander appeared in The Times newspaper (London), 29 July 1851.

"Portsmouth July 28
The Meander, 44, Captain the Hon. Henry Keppel, arrived at Spithead this morning from the Pacific and Rio, bringing $860,000 on merchants account, which Messers Casher of this port have the conveyance of to the Bank of England. She discharged her freight into the steam tender Sprightly, Mr Allen, Master, which brought it into harbour. The Meander sails this evening or at daylight tomorrow for Chatham to be paid off. She sailed from Spithead early in January 1848 for China; she took out from England Rajah Brooke and his suite and a complete staff of officials for the new settlement of Labuan. She sailed from China on 28th May 1849, thence to Singapore and Batavia, where she stayed ten days; thence for New Ireland (Guinea) and thence to Sydney, New South Wales where she stayed six weeks in company with the Rattlesnake surveying ship. The Meander sailed from Sydney 1st May 1850 and proceeded to Tahiti where she remained eight days. All was tranquil there between Queen Pomare and the French Protectorate.The Meander left Tahiti in the begining of August for Valparaiso where she arrived on 2nd September and remained under the command of Rear Admiral Hornby until 25th, when she sailed for Coquimbo and thence to Callao, where she remained three or four days, nd them made for Mazatlan to cllect freight, which se was engaged in a couple of months, leaving her boats there whils she went to Guaymas, where she remained a month at the expiration of which she returned, picked up her boats nd left for St. Blas, whence she sailed on 1st March for Valparaiso and remained there ten days, sailing 3rd May for Rio, through the straits of Magellan. She arrived at Rio 8 June and sailed 12 June for England...the Meander has lost three of her officers since she has been abroad - the Hon.G Egerton, who was accidentally shot; her surgeon, Dr. Clarke, and Mr Searle. She also lost a number of her crew from fever which was caught at Labuan".
(copyright; The Times)

Contributed by D. J. Hepper

13 Sep 1851 It is reported in NSW that when the ship was in North American waters Midshipman Egerton's gun, whilst ashore with a shooting party in California, burst killing him on the spot.

HMS Excellent (18 Sep ’51-19 Dec ’51)

A gunnery training ship at Portsmouth; in 1851 it would have been housed in the old Boyne

HMS Edinburgh (20 Dec ’51-3 Feb ’53)

7 Nov 1852 Daughter Sarah Jane baptised 7 Nov 1852.

HMS Ajax (4 Feb '53- 5 Aug '53)

In 1853 the Ajax was the guardship/local depot at Cork, Ireland, under the command of Captain Michael Quin.

HMS Impregnable
HMS Impregnable

Haslar Hospital

ADM 103/332    1853 Hospital Muster – Haslar Hospital
  No 426
5 July – 16 August

Entered from HMS Ajax     Discharged to HMS Ajax
Captain of Afterguard
Ailment Phthsis    (Tuberculosis)
Allotments   (date and Amount)   Edinburgh
Reported to Admiralty 6 August
[Note:] Ron Clark – Henry was transferred to Edingburgh for passage to Portsmouth on Ajax. Edinburgh was a boys training ship. Scarlitina was common board at the time. A large number of boys were in Haslar Hospital.

At the time of his death at the Royal Naval hospital in Plymouth. Henry was serving on board on HMS Impregnable the guardship and local depot at Devonport.
Royal Naval Hospital,  Stonehouse Plymouth

ADM 29/59
Henry Sheppard No 58
No Town
See DD Search   S   of 12 Nov 1853
G 2 June/57

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