Richard Irwin1 sailed in Resolution during Cook’s Third Voyage, joining the ship on 27 February, 1776, as an able seaman (AB).
Irwin was baptised on 25 July, 1755, at St. Paul’s, Deptford, the oldest son of John and Jane Irwin. He had an older sister, Jane, and twin younger brothers, William and John.
On 24 January, 1772, Irwin began an apprenticeship with Richard Coates, a shipwright at Deptford Dockyard. During the Resolution voyage he was variously carpenter’s crew or carpenter’s mate. He warranted no mention in any journal kept during the voyage, just the muster roll.
After the deaths of James Cook and Charles Clerke, John Gore became captain of Resolution. In 1780, upon return to England, Gore nominated Irwin for promotion in a petition to the Earl of Sandwich.2 Shortly afterwards Irwin received a warrant making him a carpenter.3
By 1782, Irwin was employed as a shipwright at Deptford.
He married Jane Woodfield on 13 October, 1782, at St. Nicholas, Deptford. She was a sister of Philip Woodfield, who had also been on the Third Voyage, though in Discovery. Richard and Jane Irwin had at least three sons and a daughter. They lived in Giffen Street, according to the baptism records of their children.
- His surname appears in Resolution’s muster as Irwin, but is spelt Irvin in most of the other records I have found about him.
- The Sandwich papers in the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
- ADM 6/22/210 1780.
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 11, volume 39, number 2 (2016).