Joseph Price joined Resolution for Cook’s Second Voyage on 17 December, 1771, at Deptford, as a Midshipman. He was one of the 30 or so men who joined her from Scorpion; he had joined that ship on 10 October, 1771, as an able bodied seaman (AB). John Elliott, in his memoirs, described Price as “Unsteady & drinking” and 15 years old. During the Resolution voyage, Price kept both a log and a journal.1
Price joined the Royal Navy about 1767, when he was 15 years old. He served first in HMS Romney, s fourth rate ship that had been recommissioned in March 1767 by Captain John Corner. In May 1767 she sailed to North America.
About 1769, Price transferred to HMS Hussar, a sixth rate, probably in North American waters. She had a succession of captains: Captain Hyde Parker in 1769, Captain Thomas Bishop in 1770, and Captain Henry Bellew in 1771. After the Resolution voyage, Price received his lieutenant’s commission on 11 September, 1777, two years after passing the examination.
Price was made a superannuated commander on 19 June, 1811, and his name was still listed in 1826, but not thereafter, presumably as he had died . He appears to have not pursued an active naval career as he does not appear in the records.
According to the musters from both Resolution and Scorpion, Price was born about 1752 in Westminster, London. A Joseph Price was baptised at St. Sepulchre, London, on 16 March, 1752, the son of William and Susannah Price.
Lieutenant's certificate for Joseph Price
In pursuance, etc of the 1 September, 1775, we have examined Mr. Joseph Price who by certificate appears to be more than 23 years of age, & find he has gone to sea more than seven years in the Ships and qualities undermentioned (viz)
Journals dispensed with from the Resolution by order of 16 August, 1765. He produceth Certificates from Captains Corner and Cook of his diligence, etc. He can splice, knot, reef a sail, etc and is qualified to do the duty of an Able Seaman and Midshipman. Dated the 8 September, 1775.
John Campbell, Edwards.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 24, volume 46, number 3 (2023).
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