16 May 2017

The Day Wilfred Received his Prize Money

On discharge from the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserves Wilfred Tait was entitled to a War Service Gratuity, a Victory Medal, a British War Medal, a Class A Navy Service Badge (No.1622), and a share in the Prize Money.

Up to and including WWI, the crew of navy ships were awarded prize money for destroying or capturing enemy vessels during times of war. The Canadian scale of payout was the same as that approved by the British Navy. You can check out the Navy Prize Manual here.
The prize value per vessel was decided by a prize court. The money was put into a Prize Fund and paid out in three installments at the end of the war.

There would be a notice placed in the newspapers that the shares were being distributed and the ex-naval men would have to apply for it.

Request for share in prize money

The memo stating his service on the high seas, and therefore eligible for a share in the prize money fund...

Here is a closer look at what the Navy calculated as Wilfred's share, according to his rank of wireless telegraph operator...

5/30 of 12 = 2 shares for a value of £5

This is a copy of the accompanying letter he would have got with his cheque for the first payout in November 1920.

Wilfred received a cheque for the second payout in April 1923...

Amount was calculated to £7 10s

Receipt signed and returned to Dept of National Defense

This is the notice he saw in the Montreal Gazette for the third and final payout..

For the third and final payout Wilfred received a cheque for £1 in February 1924.

Wilfred Tait was born 2 July 1897 to John Thomson Tait and Martha Elizabeth Singleton, fairly new immigrants to Canada from Liverpool.
Wilfred is my great-uncle (brother of my paternal grandmother).

See the rest of the WWI Navy Service Record of Wilfred Tait

18 January 2017

The Day Thomas Took the Oath of Fealty

After the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 there was discovered another Jacobite conspiracy in the summer of 1722, called the Atterbury Plot. An act was quickly passed requiring every person to swear loyalty oaths to King George 1 by 25 December 1723. The oaths were taken locally at the Quarter Sessions and administered by the justices of the peace.

Thomas King of Loddiswell was informed that the oaths would be taken in Kingsbridge at The George Inn on 4 November 1723. Thomas had to make his way to Kingsbridge at his own expense. Although the 3.8 miles these days is not far, in the 1700s the roads would not have been great on the best of days. Others came from even farther away.

The George Inn, on property of George French

The Oath roll began with the text of the three oaths followed by the location and date of the Quarter Session, and the names of the justices of the peace.

...sworn at The George, Kingsbridge, 4 November 1723 before Courtenay Croker; William Ilbert, William Cholwich and John Fowell esqs 

There were about 250 people there to take the oaths that day. They probably would have been given the oath to look over then sign the roll. Where many of his friends and neighbours made their mark, Thomas was able to sign his name. Some refused to sign.

Not only was it obligatory to take the oaths, or face seizure of his lands, but Thomas had to pay a fee.

Thomas King born 1684
Loddiswell, Devon, England
Thomas is my 6th great grandfather.
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