Home > Samuel Bodall (1751-1817)

2 December, 1770


Samuel Bodall joined HMS Resolution for Cook’s Second Voyage on 19 February, 1772, as quartermaster.  He became an AB on 10 July, and then quartermaster again from 30 July, the same year.  His surname appears variously spelled as Bodall, Bodell and Bordall.


After the voyage, a narrative was published without permission.  During the investigations to find out who had written the work,1 Cook wrote a letter to Philip Stephens, Admiralty Secretary, in which he referred to Bodall as his coxswain.

to day Marra Called upon me and confirmed what is therein set forth, and further added that Bordel, my Coxswain and Reardon the Boatswain mate, each kept a Journal which they had offered to the Booksellers but they were so badly written that no one could read them.2 


Bodall’s career progressed.  A series of warrants show him becoming successively carpenter, boatswain, and gunner.3  He became a superannuated gunner of fifth rates on 14 January, 1796. 


Samuel Bodall was born in Topsham, Devon, about 1751. He married Elizabeth Drew on 30 October, 1775, at St. Bartholomew the Less, London, and they had four children, all baptised at St. Paul’s, Deptford.


The youngest child, Samuel Bodall, attended Greenwich Hospital School.  He was born 10 April 1791.4 


Samuel Bodall, senior, died on 19 September, 1817.5


John Robson



  1. Later identified as being by John Marra. 
  2. The National Archives (TNA).  ADM 1/1610.  18 September, 1775. 
  3. TNA.  ADM 6/22/30, 1779. ADM 6/22/41, 1779.  ADM /22/202, 1780, and 6/23/376, 1787. 
  4. ADM 73/174/5.
  5. ADM 6/355/84 ff. 421-425, 1817. 

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 25, volume 38, number 2 (2015).

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