On This Day in Trinity House History – 25 June


Trinity House workers try to avoid being press-ganged

Trinity House Board Minute:

“The Whitaker Beacon being ready to be carried down, and a small yacht of which Mr. Jones is Master being hired for that purpose, A request to the Officers impressing seamen was granted under the seal of the Corporation not to impress him or eight men employed in carrying it down and placing it, on their going down and on their return to London.”

The above once again shows the trouble that Trinity House had in keeping its workers away from the Royal Navy impressment officers who scoured the coast looking for able bodies to join their ships (whether they wanted to join or not). The most famous instance of this was at the Eddystone Lighthouse in the construction of the famous Smeaton tower circa 1759, when press ganging had become a problem, so to ensure that the men would be exempt from Naval Service, Trinity House arranged with the Admiralty at Plymouth to have a medal struck for each labourer to prove that they were working on the lighthouse.

1780 press gang caricature

1780 press gang caricature

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