New drawing started

Jul 22, 2014

I am at the point right now that building may stop happening for me. I do enjoy cad work though.
I have done and I guess I still am doing a lot of research on a ship that sailed on December 24th 1814, but was never used for what she was intended, WAR.
Her name was the HMS Psyche.
She was part of the " in frame " ships sent from England. There were 4 ships total, 2 Frigates and 2 brigs.
It was the Psyche that actually made it to Kingston to be built.
As I design her I want to give the history of her change that Mr. Strickland was asked to do by Commander Yeo.
As a hint she was originally design in England as a 38 gun ship but Commander Yeu ordered her to 58 guns. A very interesting history and development.
Ihope you have an interest in this, it is fascinating.
Dave f
Re: new drawong started

<t>Hi Dave ,I am interested in your research ,can you share more info about what you have??</t>
HI zoltan
I will try my best to guide you through what I did.
Since it is a british dhip and an "In Frame" there might be information on the NMM site. I checked and ordered the plans available for the Prompte/Psyche. I will need these for the making the plans. While there I discovered another document that the 4 ships were manufactured in the Chatham dockyard. They were the Prompte/ Psyche and the Goshawk/Colibri. Brigs/sloops. Construction began in January and finished by end of February. They were loaded onto ships as early as march and destined for Montreal by July. Along with the ships was men and supplies.
I got a lot of this information from a book and an article called " Indefatigable Zeal and Exertions". Also more in an Osprey book about Prefabricated Warships.
Since Psyche was on Kingston It only stood to reason if the Psyche could be a wreak. The internet gave 2 clues. Dive Kingston actually describes diving on Psyche citing dimensions. But another was an article that alomg with Jonathon Moore a team dove on the wreck and did a very detailed survey and determined it was the Charlotte. Article was "Wreck Baker" by DANIEL ROBERT WALKER. This led me to Jonathon Moore and Parks Canada. Government of Canada. Also part of that would be Ontario Government.
So I knew that ships had made it to Montreal but did they get to Kingston on lake Ontario?
Stay tuned for the next installment.
Logic dictates that there is only 2 ways supplies got to Kinfston, over land or up the St. Lawrence. To haul that much weight over land seems daunting so I looked on the river method. Back then it was ships called Batteaux's. So again I typed in that along with Psyche and it took a while but an article called "Batteaux in British service during war of 1812" A William Forbes was contracted in June 1814 to Transport frames and equipment from Montreal to Kingston. I then contacted Ontario Archives for information on this contract.
So I now looked at it was in Kingston who built it. There was many different stories about who was incharge at Kingston. It wass rumored that William Moody bell was master shipwright or Thomas Strickland. In a search of Commander Yeo it was stated that he ordered his Master shipwright to make changes to Psyche from 38 to 56 guns. I found while searching the Ontario archives site an overview article MG 24, F 3 about Bell. Also Dave Stevens also informed me ( filling in the blanks) that Bell was petitioning the Admiralty to be the Master Shipwright but that in his own letters shows that he left for England before the St. Lawrence was completed.
So my next step was finding out about Strickland and any other shipwright who may have worked on the Psyche.
Research at the Archives Canada site proved little information on Thomas Strickland. A paper by him to the Admiralty on the state of condition of the ships in ordinary was some what useful. But a cite or annotation of another paper showed by another path. I requested all papers to do with The Mossington Papers. Thomas Mossington was a shipwright in Kingston but also quartermaster. he was present at construction of the St. lawrence but also all other ships constructed. Je included a wealth of information on the materials, labour and pays of everyone at Kingston.
At wars end Dec 24th 1814 the builders war was over. So what happened to the Psyche if there was no wreak found? After Yeo left a Commander Owen was put in charge. Kingston was standing down. Less people less activity but ships were in ordinary against the treaty but just in case an outbreak of hostiles erupted between the two countries. I researched the Archives but again little wass found on Hall.
Hall was replaced by a Robert Barrie and again the Archives had the Barrie papers which I requested.
It seems that the Psyche was in ordinary while St. Lawrence and others were sold off. The Admiraltyfavored four ships and these were eventually hauled out and put in stocks for future possible use. When Commander Barrie eventually retired and Kingston shut down this is the last information that I could find about the Psyche's fate.
Speculation wouldbe without the dockyard for jobs the wood of the ships was probably used for fire wood or possible furniture.
OK so that is a very minimal overview ofmy research into the Psyche. Obviously there is a lot more to it and I will tell the story or theory that I came up with, expanding on the research. I will then look at the plans but not a detailed step by step what I did.The plans show a very interesting design by Strickland and figuring out what he did was challenging.
So now I will give you my theory of how the Psyche axtually came to be on Lake Ontario.

The naval battle of 1813 on Lake Erie of all places is or was the catalyst that began the HMS Psyche's life. This battle wiped out the British presence on the Lakes against a far inferior force at the time. The American navy was in it's very early stages and should not have been able to succeed as they did. With Amherstburg about to fall key people were evacuated to Kingston. One such person was Master Shipwright William Moodie Bell. Bell had designed and built all of the ships on Lake Erie and these ships should have been sufficient to deter the American navy.
Whether it was the designs or bad commanding of those ships was something I wasn't going to get into.
However another outcome because of this occurred in England. After having just defeated the French Great Britain felt it absolutely necessary to make a bigger presence on the Lakes. The Admiralty decided to send more supplies and men to Canada along with four"in Frame" ships as well. They were the Prompte/ Psyche two frigates and the Goshawk/ Colibri two brigs/ sloops.

The ships were to be “ planked, decked. Masted and sparred with locally provided materials at the Point Frederick slipways. Also the lines of the frigates were similar to conventional ocean-going British frigates of the period, with fuller hulls and less deadrise than the lakes frigates. Giving them more speed and better windward performance.
At the Chatham dockyard construction began in January of 1814 and finished by the end of February. When all the ships were disassembled they were loaded onto ships by March with arrivals scheduled for July. Among st the men who accompanied the ships were two Quartermen, Master Shipwright Thomas Strickland and Master Attendant Robert Moore.


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The Kingston Dockyard prior to Strickland taking over as Master Shipwright was a mess. Commander Yeo had two ships on the stocks, designations ship 1 and ship2, which as it turns out later were the Prince Regent and the Princess Charlotte. ( Brought to my attention that the original ships on stock was not the St. Lawrence by Didit Thanks)Because of Lord Prevost having ordered men and a head shipwright from Montreal to get the ships built and Commander Yeo having placed George Record in temporary charge without the two having discussed this, there was discord between the two groups. A Thomas Mossington was a shipwright at Kingston at the time wrote in his papers some of the problems. Because the Montreal group was paid more the george Record group decided to strike for the same pay as the Montreal group. Faced with not getting the ships built, it was quickly agreed upon. Thomas Mossington was several different people. He was a shipwright, a clerk of the cheque and also a clerk of the survey. It was noted just before Strickland showed up the pay increase of the workers. Also of note was the continual documentation he produced for each ship as it was being constructed, of what was needed to complete said ship.
Strickland's arrival ended the unrest and the business of shipbuilding began.
The Psyche unfortunately along with the other three ships remained in Montreal because there was no easy means of getting them to Kingston.The other main reason was there were already two ships in stocks but they were nearing completion. By September a private contractor was hired by the name of William Forbes, an American. He was placed under contract and would only be paid once the ship was delivered. With a fleet of 60 to 100 Batteaux's, the amount varied from two accounts. The Northern Mariner had an account of 100 ships trans versing the St. Lawrence and the contract which said 60 ships to be used. It was also reported by the Northern mariner that Forbes only lost one ship at the rapids. There isn't a date mentioned when the ships arrived in Kingston, but it was said that upon the completion of the St. Lawrence in September the stocks were cleaned and readied for the psyche. Her keel was laid on October 31st.
As a side note William Moodie Bell was not present in Kingston when the St. Lawrence was launched in September. According to his own letter dated 28th of January 1817 he was sent home ( England ) in September. His letters on this and other dates were arguing for his pension, I guess they had some doubts they needed clearing up.
I will not get into what Strickland did to the Psyche here. I am going to save it for later.
The Psyche was launched on Dec. 25th 1814, but the Treaty of Gent was signed as of Dec. 24th 1914. It actually took 2 months for Commander Yeo to be informed. I guess there was no CNN back then.
So what became of the Psyche. Yeo was recalled by the Admiralty and was replaced by a Commander owen. His job was to put the ships in Ordinary and keep them as ready as possible for any hostilities. When he arrived at the Dockyard the Psyche was still be outfitted for service.
In Thomas Mossington papers he has a list of what is needed to finish Psyche. This includes all planking, oak and fir and costs.
Commander Hall left Kingston for a ship of his own and by September 1816 Commissioner Hall took charge until his death in 1818.
During his tome Kingston Dockyard was still active. In the mean time the Rush-Bagot agreement went into effect and the Admiralty had Hall place all the ships in Ordinary. This left a very small contingent of personal to maintain the ships and the yard.

Upon Hall's death a captain Robert Barrie took over.
A kind of overhead picture of Frederick dockyard dated 1815 Depicts ships on Ordinary


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Captain Barrie took over as Acting Commissioner of the Kingston naval base. His orders were to " maintain the ships until they became un-serviceable but without attracting the attention of the United States." By 1819 all the ships had dry rot even though they were properly ventilated. A survey done by the Royal Navy later in the year showed rot in "most" of the ships. Barrie petitioned the Admiralty for more men to service the ships, but was denied. The Admiralty favored the gradual rebuilds of four ships that were not as deteriorated in condition. They were the Psyche, Niagara, Star and the Netley. They were subsequently hauled out of the water into the stocks.
By the 1820's the rest of the ships were half sunken and deemed unfit. On 1831 Lieutenant Mossington visited the Yard and noted the desolation and observed the St. lawrence. He remarked that " she will probably have to be broken up to be moved". In that same year the Admiralty decided that the ships not on stocks would be destroyed. Barrie on the other hand recommended the auctioning off of the ships. What the varying prices for each varied to what you read.
Barrie's last duties were the clearing of the yard of all the old ships hulls and stores. The Admiralty actually closed the yard in 1834. When he left, the four ships were still in the stocks plus ten gunboats. A John Marks a navy purser, who was left in charge ofthe facility held another auction. This time it included all the ships at the yard. These included " four old ships of war". The results of that auction are unknown. but I am still looking.
The yard was opened periodically through the years because of uprisings in the United States but no mentions of the Psyche. As I said before until further proof, she was either sold or broken up for the lumber.
That's it and the research continues.