Nelson & His World

William Nunn Jewell
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Author:  Pip Byrne [ Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  William Nunn Jewell

Hello - so glad I found your Web using the WWW so familiar to us now and would have been considered sheer 'witchcraft' in Nelson's World!

I am researching William Nunn Jewell, Midshipman, Bellerophon 1805 who was wounded at Trafalgar. Pay book number SB686.
So far I have been able to gather a birth date of 1786 (?) - however, not able to find a birth certificate in UK.
Joined Royal Navy 1796 at the Jamaica Station (just 10?) on board the Grampus under Capt Robert Philpot, Parker and Thicknesse.
Definately a Midshipman at the Battle of Traflagar and wounded in the battle - (confirmed).
Sailed on the Bedford accompanying the Portugal Royal Family to Brazil in 1807.
Officially made a Lieutenant in November 6, 1812.
Married Sarah Ann Weavers at Saint Dunstan, Stepney, London on April 9, 1840 (query date?).
Died at Romford, Essex, 1847.

I am unable to say how many 'great, great's' William was - however, realted through my Father's Mother's line. She was Amy Eveline Jewell.

My questions? - MANY!! As I am absolutely fascinated by William and his life. There has been many 'whispers' in our family of people of colour and slave trading??? Was William Nunn Jewell the son of an English Slave Trader resident in Jamaica? Was he the 'half cast son' of an affair/marriage with a Jamaican woman? What wound did he receive at the Battle of Trafalgar - wood splinter, shot, burns???
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for a wonderful web site - Cheers, Pip Byrne - Australia.

Author:  SEvans [ Thu Sep 03, 2009 2:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Pip Byrne,
Welcome aboard Nelson & his World, here is some information that maybe of use.

William Nunn Jewell, Born December 1796, he was made a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy in 1812.
Marriage Details:- William Nunn Jewell-Sarah Weavers, April,May,June1840, District Stepney, County of London, Middlesex. Volume 2 Page 403

William Nunn Jewell, Death Details, October,November,December 1847.
District Romford, Essex, Volume 12 Page 141

Ordering hs Marriage Certificate should lead you to a date and location of birth and his father.

United Kingdom, Birth,Marriage and Death Certificates were not issued until 1837 onwards.

Does a Mary Jewell appear anywhere in your records ? as I have found her name from Jamaica in 1791 in Slave Records.

Hope that is some help




Author:  tycho [ Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Welcome to the forum, Pip.

Genealogy isn't something I can help with, I'm afraid, but thanks for posting the details of your ancestor. Very interesting reading.

Author:  Tony [ Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Pip,

According to Mackenzie’s ‘Trafalgar Roll’, William Jewell was born in Brompton, Kent:
Lieut. W.N. Jewell was born in Brompton, Kent, and entered the service in 1796. Mid. in the Bellerophon at Trafalgar, 1805 — wounded. Served in the Bedford, which conveyed the Royal Family of Portugal to the Brazils in 1807. Lieut., 1812. Died in Great Warley, Essex, in 1847.

According to the Ayshford Trafalgar Roll, he was baptised 28 Dec 1786, Gillingham, Kent, son of Thomas & Mary. This information is from his Lieutenant’s passing certificate in 1806 (ADM 107/35 Page or item 355). I suggest you obtain a copy of this using the National Archives ‘Digital Express’ copying service as it should provide more details of his early years’ service. However, you cannot necessarily rely on the baptism details as false baptism certificates were often presented in order to obtain promotion before the proper age (as was the case with my ancestor).

But although William Jewell passed for lieutenant in 1806, he didn't actually get a commission until 1812.

The purser of the Bellerophon at Trafalgar was Thomas Jewell, which may perhaps be rather more than a coincidence! Thomas Jewell first became a purser in the Royal Navy in 1788, and died in 1821.

Interestingly, John Nunn Jewell (maybe a brother?) became a purser in the navy on 25 January 1804, which in my mind increases the possibility that Thomas Jewell was their father.

Some more snippets from the Ayshford Trafalgar Roll are that William was awarded the Naval General Service Medal with Trafalgar Clasp, and that the medal is held by Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth, he received £40 from Lloyds Patriotic Fund, and that he died 30 Sep 1847.

From your post, I guess you have all the info from O’Byrne, but the full entry is:
JEWELL. (Lieut., 1812. F-P., 14; H-P., 37.)
WILLIAM NUNN JEWELL entered the Navy, in Dec. 1796, on board the GRAMPUS, Capt. Robt. Philpot, on the Jamaica station, where he served with the same officer, and with Capts. Parker and John Thicknesse, in the PELICAN sloop, until July 1800. He re-embarked, in May, 1804, as Midshipman, on board the BRUIZER gun-brig, Lieut.-Commander Thos. Smithers, lying in the Downs; and on next joining the Bellerophon 74 Capts. John Loring, John Cooke, and Edw. Rotheram, sailed for the Mediterranean, and was wounded, under Capt.. Cooke, at the battle of Trafalgar 21 Oct 1805. On his removal, in Oct. 1807, to the BEDFORD 74, Capts. Jas. Walker and Adam Mackenzie, Mr. Jewell accompanied the Royal Family of Portugal to the Brazils. In the course of 1809, 10, and 11, being still on the South American station, he was there successively appointed Acting-Sub-Lieutenant of the NANCY gun-brig, Lieut.-Commander Edw. Killwick, Porcupine 24, Capt. Robt. Elliot, and Nancv again, Lieut.-Commander Killwick. After a continued servitude at the Brazils as Master’s Mate of the FOUDROYANT 80, flag-ship of Hon. Michael De Courcy, he was at length promoted to the full rank of Lieutenant by commission dated. 6 Nov. 1812. His Last appointment was, 6 Nov. 1813, to the CHATHAM 74, in which ship he served, on the Home station and among the Western Islands, under the flag of Rear-Admiral Matthew Henry Scott, until Aug. 1815.
In consideration of the wound he received at Trafalgar, the Lieutenant was presented with a pecuniary reward by the Patriotic Society. He married, 9 April, 1840, Miss Weavers. Agent - W. H. B. Barwis.

There was also a Thomas Nunn Jewell christened on 24 JUL 1831 at Budock, Cornwall. His father was also named Thomas Nunn Jewell - maybe another brother? Jewell seems to have been a common name in Cornwall.

Author:  SEvans [ Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

A number of Jewell's living in Essex in the 1841 Census, but no William, probably at sea?

Author:  Pip Byrne [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  William Nunn Jewell

Thank you, thank you, thank you All for your quick reply!

Firstly let me apologise for saying Birth Certificate, should have been Birth Record...obviously delirious at finding your forum!
Interesting that Stephen found a Mary Jewell in 1791 Slave Records and Tony found Baptism Record as son of Thomas and Mary? - I'll look further in to that.
Tony - I too found the record as born in Brompton, Kent - still can't trace a birth record there - could it have been his Father's Birthplace?? Also, your quote from the Ayshford Trafalgar Roll about the Naval General Service Medal - is it 'actually' Williams Medal held at the RNM?
Stephen - regarding the 1841 Census - I don't think William was at sea at this time?
Some general questions that maybe you can help me with please?
Is there any resource that would detail his wound at Trafalgar?, and how would i access that?
Would it be possible that a boy (born in England?) join the Royal Navy in Jamaica at only 10 years old (?) - how would he have been in Jamaica to join there?
Why would he have passed his Lieutenants Certificate in 1806 and not have got a commission until 1812 - was that normal for the times?
Although "off topic" for Nelson is there anywhere that I would find more about his service in Brazil with the Portugal Royal Family?
I have found a lot of .... Nunn Jewell's in Chatham, Kent around the right birth times but no William Nunn Jewell - they appear to be offspring of either Thomas or Richard - perhaps the Purser on the Bellerophon was an uncle??
I am coming to England next year (probably late March or April) - after the bushfire season anyway! (We are on a property between Bendigo and Echuca and warned that our area will be high risk this coming Summer).
I'll be in Somerset Anna as my Mother was English and grew up in Selworthy.
I'll also be doing some visiting/research as my Father (William's relative). He was career RAAF and in England collecting Sunderland Aircraft when war broke out, so served there - if you're interested you can google him - Air Commodore WH (Bull) Garing CBE, DFC, DSC (USA) - interestingly Stephen I have photos of him in Malta during the war!
Naturally, more research on my Trafalgar relative will be on the cards as well! - can any of you narrow the 'must visit' sites for me?
Thanks again for your wonderful replies to my post, I will chase all the records you have suggested. Cheers, Pip.

Author:  SEvans [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Pip Byrne,

This is probably your best place to start,

I carry out quite an amount of genealogy research and find these very helpful on occassions,

You will have to register and its free!!


Stephen :)

Author:  Tony [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:39 am ]
Post subject: 

Some good news - the christening details at Gillingham are correct. Here is the entry in the parish records for Gillingham St Mary Magdelene:


Click here for the full page in high resolution. (second entry on page 29 on the right.)

Author:  SEvans [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

I would imagine that William's second name Nunn must have been his mothers maiden name, and can't help given the location of his birth, that he must have joined the Navy in Chatham.


Author:  SEvans [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Have noted a Walter Jewell, Lieutenant 1776, maybe a family relative, a possible Uncle like Nelson's Maurice Suckling, and may have taken him to sea?

Cheers :)

Author:  Tony [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

SEvans wrote:
I would imagine that William's second name Nunn must have been his mothers maiden name

Spot on, Stephen - here is the marriage record of Thomas Jewell (of the parish of Cobham) to Mary Nunn on 14th October 1771 in Shorne, Kent:


Click here for the full page.

Author:  SEvans [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Tony,

It sort of clicked as having traced some of my own family in the latter half of the eighteenth century, they all seem to have adopted the wife's maiden as a second name, anyone interested in their Genealogy at this time and much later will find this a very handy way of finding a wife's maiden name.
By the way Tony is that Trafalgar Roll still available, I remember seeing it in Portsmouth in 2005 and never got round to purchasing a copy.
I have had a look at that Medway/City Ark site a couple of times, very interesting it is too.


Author:  Tony [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

Pip, we are on a roll here - William's mother Mary, daughter of Joshua and Margaret Nunn was baptised November 14th 1744, at Shorne, Kent
Click here for the register.

The Medway City Ark site is a fantastic resource - for those parishes included. If only there were more! I was fortunate that some of my ancestors' records are available there, so I have used it before.

William had two sisters who were christened at Gillingham: Mary, christened 17 Feb 1779, and Sarah born Oct 11 1787, christened June 16 1788. Ther may of course be other siblings. So it looks as though the family were fairly settled at that time, rather than in Jamaica.

Stephen, The Ayshford Trafalgar Roll is available here. And yes, Pip, it is specific that William's medal is at the Royal Naval Museum (I know they have several).

Now for more of William's story - He had an earlier marriage. He married Jemima Niblett at East Stonehouse, Devon (near Plymouth) around February 1821. (Source: Monthly magazine and British register, Volume 5, for February 1821)

They had a son, William Franklin Niblet Jewell, born 20 Dec 1821, and christened 05 Jul 1822 at Perranuthnoe, Cornwall (near Marazion and Penzance). (Source: IGI extracted parish record.)

Interestingly, there was a tin (and copper) mine adjacent to Perranuthnoe, named Wheal Jewell, so I suspect some part of the family was involved in mining. (There is another Wheal Jewell near Redruth.)

Presumably he lost his wife Jemima and later married Sarah Weavers. Then tragedy struck again and he lost his son from the previous marriage:
H.M.Steam Vessel Shearwater,- Largs N.B., May 18. - A deplorable event occurred yesterday afternoon, whereby two enterprising young Officers, belonging to this vessel, were suddenly drowned. Mr. E Cayley, Midshipman, and Mr. W.N. Jewell, Master's Assistant were sailing in a boat between Largs and Cumbrays, when, in the act of jibing, the boat was upset, and sunk immediately in 25 fathoms. HM Revenue st. v. Vulcan, was in the offing, and proceeded immediately to the spot, as also the boats of the Shearwater; but although only a few minutes elapsed they were both gone, having been probably entangled in the boat's rigging. Their caps were picked up, and every effort will be made for the recovery of their bodies. This sad event has deprived the Service of two young gentlemen of great promise. They were deservedly esteemed and beloved by their Officers and messmates; and the anxiety as to their fate, evinced by the inhabitants of Largs, was a test of the respect they were held in on shore. Mr. Cayley was son of Mr. Cayley, M P. of North Riding; and Mr. Jewell, son of Lieut. W. N. Jewell, R.N.

Source: The Nautical magazine, 1844, Page 415

Pip Byrne wrote:
Is there any resource that would detail his wound at Trafalgar?, and how would i access that?

That may be difficult. Naval surgeons were not required to keep journals, although there are some that do exist. Captains (or in this case the surviving 1st Lieutenant) did not include details of the injuries in their returns, just sometimes whether slightly or severely wounded. In fact they only named officers (and petty officers) that were wounded. They simply gave the number of seamen wounded, without listing names. You could try the National Maritime Museum, the Wellcome Trust and the National Archives for a surgeon's journal, but I have never seen one quoted for the Bellerophon at Trafalgar.

Would it be possible that a boy (born in England?) join the Royal Navy in Jamaica at only 10 years old (?) - how would he have been in Jamaica to join there?

Yes, the regulations were that the minimum age was 13, or 11 for the sons of officers, but regulations were often ignored. He would have been younger than most, but it was not all that unusual. If (and it's a big IF) his father was Thomas Jewell, the purser, he might have had his wife and son with him on board, or specifically taken his son with him in the hope of finding a place for him.

I would suggest checking the muster books of his first ships (at the National Archives) to see whether Thomas Jewell (or indeed Walter Jewell) was also on board.

Why would he have passed his Lieutenants Certificate in 1806 and not have got a commission until 1812 - was that normal for the times?

Yes this was normal. Most promotions occurred early during the war as the fleet was mobilised and the number of ships increased. Later in the war, and especially after Trafalgar, it was a case of waiting for a vacancy - and having the influence (or interest, as it was called) to be the one chosen. After passing his exam, he was what is termed a 'passed midshipman', and would not gain the rank of Lieutenant until the Admiralty gave hime a commission as lieutenant of a specific ship.

Author:  SEvans [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Tony,
Interested to see that William Franklin Niblet Jewell was lost on a Revenue Vessel, one of my relatives a Josiah Dornford was also in the same theatre of work, but interestingly I recently discovered that the Coastguard did not come under Admiralty control until 1856, prior to this it came under what was called the Preventative Water Guard,under the control of the board of Customs.
It was not until after the Crimean war and due to the lack of Naval reserves that the Coast Guard was transfered to the Admiralty.
A completly different area of research as far as the National Archives are concerned. fascinating research as it takes one into the fascinating world of Smuggling.
Coastguard duty with the Royal Navy took many crews to different parts of Great Britain including Ireland, and here is a great site to have a look at for those interested in this subject.

Stephen :)

Author:  SEvans [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

This may be of some interest, I have found a Mary Jewell death at the age of 15 and her burial on the 21st November 1826 at St. James the Great, Great Sailing, Essex.

Stephen :)

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