Come and ask, answer or inform.
Liverpool, 16th September, 1779.
Captain James Haslam,
SiR, You being appointed commander of our ship Enterprise, and being compleatly fitted for a cruise of six months, are by the first oppertunity to sail from hence and make the best of your way to sea by the North or South Channel, as the wind may offer most favourable, but we prefer the former if to be effected without any extraordinary Risque, as being a path less liable to meet with any of the enemy's Cruizers, and having a chance to meet with American vessels bound to Sweden, etc. In this case don't keep too near the coast of Ireland, and be sure to gain the longitude of 20 West from London before you go to the southward of the latitude of 53, but shoud you go through the South Channel, a true W.S.W. course, 180 or 200 leagues from Tusker, would be the most likely to lead you clear and obtain the longitude of 20, as aforesaid, by the time you would get into latitude of 48; in either case, when the westing is gain'd you are to cross the latitudes under an easy sail to the Island of St. Mary's, then to cruise about five degrees to the westward of it, now and then stretching half a degree to the southward, as vessels may run in that path to see it and yet avoid coming too near for fear of being captured. If in the course of three weeks you meet with no success, you are to proceed to the westward of the longitude of Corvo, and stand across north and south from half a degree to the northward of Corvo to half a degree to the southward of St. Mary's. The whole of your cruize in these stations we remit to three months from the time of your being the length of St. Mary's, unless some extraordinary intelligence may be had, in which case it is left to your discretion, hoping that you will at all times weigh every circumstance maturely for and against, aided by the sentiments of such of your officers as may be depended upon.
Shoud you be so fortunate as to take any prize or prizes in those stations of the value of ,10,000 or upwards, you are to see them safe into some good port in Ireland, running down in the latitude 52, gaining that paralell in longitude of 15 west from London at least, then taking the North or South Channel as wind and weather may offer; but if not of that value, dispatch them with a trusty officer, taking care not to put too many of the enemy in proportion to your own men on board, giving the directions for his proceeding as aforesaid, with caution not to trust many of his own people aloft at a time on any account whatever, as many prizes have been retaken by the prisoners for want of such Precaution.
Shoud you meet with no success, you are then to proceed to the latitude of Ushant, coming no farther to the eastward than 16 west from London, and cruize between that station and Corvo, and shoud you have no success in a reasonable time, finish your cruize between the latitude 37 and 48^, taking care as you increase your latitude to make easting in proportion, and on the contrary as you make southing, to increase your westing, either to the eastward or westward of the Western Islands, likewise as may be thought most eligible; and should you take any prize or prizes of the aforesaid value, you are to act accordingly, and take or send them for the North or South Channel as circumstances may offer, and shoud you loose company with any prize or prizes when conducting them, you are then to regain your station with all convenient speed, and let them take their chance, and for fear such an accident may happen, be sure to give such orders to the prize-master, and put people and necessarys on board as may best insure safety.
You are strictly order'd not to meddle with any neutral vessel whatever unless you are certain by her papers or other indisputable information (freely given without bribery, promised gratuities, or Force) that she has taken in her loading in North America, therefore you are not to pay any regard to the Giddy solicitations of your Crew, so as to be misled by them, but act upon your own Reason, and for that purpose we desire you will read your printed Instructions from the Admiralty, given with your Commissions, with the utmost attention, and you cannot err.
In case of your taking a prize, let every Paper, Letter, etc., be immediately secured and sent home with her, all Money and Valuables that can be easily removed to be taken on board your ship, and on you or your prize arrival at any port in Ireland, let an express be sent immediately with a Letter to Mr. Fras. Ingram to the first post Town, by a carefull hand, and repeated a post or two after for fear of Miscarriage, and the greatest care taken not to break Bulk, as the lower class of people in Ireland make use of every scheme to mislead and defraud.
We order that upon any capture being made that your Lieutenant, with two trusty officers, do, as soon as possible, examine the Trunks, Chests, etc., of the officers, passengers, and crew, and that they take from them all Letters, Invoices, Papers, etc., and other valuables, delivering them to you, with a particular account of the same, signed by them in order to obviate any jealousy or misunderstandings. You will likewise examine the prisoners separately with great attention touching the destination of any ship or ships they may have been in company with, or of the destination of any vessel within their knowledge, and likewise gain all the information as to the Destination of Fleets, etc., and if anything of consequence as to national matters be obtained, communicate it to the first King's ship you meet, taking care at all times to compare the different Informations, so that you may not be deceived, to do which you may be assured every artifice will be used.
We particularly recommend that the prisoners be not plundered of their Cloths and Bedding, but that they may be used with all tenderness and Humanity consistent with your own safety, which must be strictly attended to; and as true Courage and Humanity are held to be inseparable, we hope your crew will not be wanting in doing that Honour to their Country, the contrary of which is disgracefull to a civilized nation.
You will take particular care that your crew be treated humanely, that every one be made to do their duty with Good Temper; as Harmony, a good look-out, and steady attention to the main point are all absolutely necessary to be attended to, the success of the Cruise greatly Depending upon it.
Herewith you have sundry letters of credit, and shoud you have occasion to draw upon London, you must draw upon Messrs. Jos. Denison & Co.
In case of your Death, which God forbid, your first Lieutenant is to succeed you in the command, and so in succession, and to follow these orders. Wishing you a successfull cruise,
Your assured Friends,
F. Ingram & Co.