Edward Shapcote was born approximately 1732, and was baptised on the 30th January
at the parish church of St Katherine By The Tower, London.
It is believed that his parents may have been John Shapcote and Rachel Sibbit. Edward
Shapcote went on to become a Seaman in the Royal Navy.
He had first joined “HMS Tweed”
as a Midshipman and Master’s Mate on the 28th May 1761.
By January 1781 Edward Shapcote
had served on some 11 different ships.
On the 18th March 1782 Edward Shapcote was
commissioned as a Lieutenant. By this time he was said to be more than 44 years of
age, and to have been at sea for more than 18 years. His last ship before this promotion
was aboard “HMS Buffalo”.
His naval record, which was studied by the Lords Commissioners
of the Admiralty, stated :
“He can splice, knot, reef a sail, work a ship in sailing,
shift his tides, keep a reckoning of a ship’s way by plain sailing and mercator;
observe the sun and stars, and find the variation of the compass, and is qualified
to do the duty of an Able Seaman and Midshipman”.
Edward Shapcott died on 12th May 1781 whilst serving on HMS Thetis, built in 1773
by Adams, Buckler´s Hard.
The ship was wrecked off St. Lucia.
He had made a will a few days before on 5th May 1780, and probate was granted 3 August
In the Name of God, Amen
I, Edward Shapcote Gunner of His Majesty’s Ship Thetis being in bodily health and
of sound and disposing mind and Memory and considering the perils and dangers of
the Seas and other uncertainties of this transitory life (Do for avoiding controversies
after my decease) make publish and declare this my last will and testament in manner
following (that is to say) first I commend my Soul to God that gave it and my Body
I commit to the Earth or Sea as it shall please God to order and as for and considering
all my Worldy Estate I Give bequeath and dispose thereof as followeth, that is to
say, unto my beloved Sister Sarah Shapcote wages sum and sums of Money, Lands, tenements,
goods, chattels and Estate whatsoever as shall be any Ways due owing or belonging
unto me at the time of my decease I do give devise and bequeath the same unto and
I do hereby nominate and appoint ffrancis Wilson of the Navy Office Executor of this
my last will and testament hereby revoking all former and other wills, testaments
and deeds of gifts by me at anytime heretofore made and I do ordain and ratify these
presents to stand and be for and as my only last will and testament In Witness whereof
to this my said will I have set my hand and seal the twenty fifth day of May in the
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty and in the twentieth year
of the Reign of His Majesty King George the Third over Great Britain &t. E Shapcote.
Signed sealed published and declared in the presence of Ho. Shapcote W. Woodruff.
This Will was proved at London the third day of August in the year of our Lord one
thousand seven hundred and Eighty two before the Worshipful William Hott Doctor of
Laws and Surrogate of the Right Worshipful Peter Calvert Doctor of Laws Master Keeper
or Commisary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath
of ffrancis Wilson Esquire the Sole Executor named in the said will to whom Administration
was granted of all and singular the goods, chattels and credits? of the deceased
having been first Sworn Duly to Administer.
HMS Tweed was a 32-gun sailing frigate of the fifth rate produced for the Royal Navy.
In 1763 Captain Cook surveyed the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, Newfoundland
aboard this vessel
HMS Buffalo was a storeship, launched in 1743 as the 70-gun third-rate HMS Captain.
She was reduced to 64-guns in 1760, and renamed Buffalo and used as a storeship from
1777 until broken up in 1783.
HMS Thetis was a 32-gun fifth rate launched in 1773 and wrecked off St Lucia in 1781.