GaspeeVirtual Archives
The Petition of Lt. William Dudingston for Relief

Webmaster's note: The following document was purchased (at great expense may we add) as a scanned copy from the National Archives (UK). Item #ADM PC 1/15

Petition of Capt. Wm. Dudingston, late Commander of the Gaspee Schooner, setting forth the dangerous wounds he received on the said Schooner on the Coast of Rhode Island, and praying relief.
The 17th: Decr :1772
18th De__  Read and referred to the Admiralty


To the King's most excellent Majesty

The Petition of Captain William Dudingston late Commander of
Your Majesty's Schooner the Gaspee

Most humbly sheweth

        That your Majesty's Petitioner was ordered by Admiral Montague to cruise in your Majesty's Schooner the Gaspee on the Coasts of Your Majesty's Province of Rhode Island.
       That in the performance of his Duty on that Station he made several Seizures, and put almost an entire Stop to the illicit Trade of that Colony; which so exasperated the Inhabitants that at midnight between the 9th & 10th of June 1772, while your Majesty's Schooner the Gaspee lay aground on a Spit of Sand in Providence River several Miles from any Town, about Two hundred Men in seventeen armed long Boats attacked your Majesty's said Schooner, and after your Majesty's Petitioner was disabled from acting took & burnt Her.
        That your Majesty's Petitioner in doing his Duty in Defence of Your Majesty's said Schooner received two Musket Shot.  One Ball broke & shattered his left Arm and the other lodged in the lower part of his Body.
       That your Majesty's Petitioner suffered the most excruciating Pains from his Wounds for want of Proper assistance, and remained nine Weeks in a miserable Situation among the Author of his Misfortune, who daily threatened to take away his Life; until he was rescued at last by Capt. Linzee in Your Majesty's Sloop
Sloop Beaver with an armed force.
       That Your Majesty's Petitioner still labours under a painful, expensive and hitherto ineffectual Cure, having a Ball lodged in the lower part of his Body which cannot be extracted, and not having the Use of his left Arm; so that Pains & Lameness are probably entailed on him for Life.
       That what little Property Your Majesty's Petitioner had was with him in Your Majesty's said Schooner with Her was burnt & destroyed.
       That Your Majesty's Petitioner has been tried by a Court Martial for the loss of Your Majesty's said Schooner and honorably acquitted.

Your Majesty's Petitioner therefore most humbly prays that Your Majesty would be graciously pleased to take his Case into Your Royal Consideration and grant him such Support as in Your Majesty's Wisdom shall seem fit.  And Your Majesty's Petitioner as in Duty bound shall ever pray &c, &c, &c.

W. Dudingston
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Originally Posted to Gaspee Virtual Archives 12/2004    Last Revised 12/2009    DudingstonPetition.html