St. Helena timeline: 1844

Sources are provided [within square brackets] at the end of each timeline entry, except for those sources which repeat. Recurring sources are (indicated by round parentheses), with the source citation abbreviated as shown in the following key:

  • BNA: The British Newspaper Archive, (accessed 2015-05-16, 2015-06-27ff, by subscription); transcribed by Alison Kilpatrick.
  • Colonial List 1867: The Colonial Office List for 1867, by Arthur N. Birch and William Robinson (London: Harrison, 1867).
  • Colonies 1845: Great Britain. The Reports made for the Year 1845 to the Secretary of State having the Department of the Colonies: in continuation of the Reports annually made by the Governors of the British Colonies, with a view to exhibit generally The Past and Present State of Her Majesty's Colonial Possessions, transmitted with the Blue Books for the Year 1845, Vol. IV (London: W. Clowes and Sons, July 1846).
  • Jackson: St. Helena: The Historic Island, by E.L. Jackson (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1905).
  • Lords 1849: Great Britain. House of Lords. Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords, appointed to consider the best Means which Great Britain can adopt for the Final Extinction of the African Slave Trade, Session 1849, ordered by the House of Commons to be Printed, 15 February 1850.
  • Mellis: St. Helena: A Physical, Historical, and Topographical Description of the Island, by John Charles Mellis (London: L. Reeve & Co., 1875).
  • Old Saints: The St. Helena Regiment, ‘The Old Saints, on the Saint Helena Island Info web site, (accessed 2015-05-16).
  • SHF: The St. Helena Foundation, Box 103, SE-37011, Backaryd, Sweden; online at, John Ekwall, webmaster (accessed 2015-05-16, 2015-07-05)
  • SHII: Saint Helena Island Info (accessed 2015-06-28ff).
  • Slave 1847: Great Britain. Accounts and Papers: Thirty-Seven Volumes. (34.) Slave Trade. Session 19 January – 23 July 1847. Vol. LXVII.
  • Trove: Trove Digitised Newspapers, National Library of Australia, online at, accessed 2015-07-02.

Please note: Some articles contain language and characterizations which may have been in common use at the time the articles or stories were written, but which are no longer acceptable. Such language and chartacterizations do not reflect the opinions of the compiler or web site owner.

1844: The Poor Society was established, with objects similar to that of the Mechanics' and Friendly Benefit Society (founded in 1838), but with fewer members. (Mellis, pg. 41)

1844: John G. Doveton was appointed Treasurer of St. Helena. (Colonial List 1867, pg. 211)

1844: Publication of the book, Recollections of the Emperor Napoleon: during the first three years of his captivity on the island of St. Helena: including the time of his residence at her father's house, "The Briars," by Lucia Elizabeth (Betsy) Abell née Balcombe (London: John Murray, 1844). Betsy Balcombe was "the younger daughter of William and Jane Balcombe and became a great favourite of Napoleon during his stay at the Briars."
Sources: WorldCat,, accessed 2015-07-01; and, Terrible Exile: The Last Days of Napoleon on St Helena, by Brian Unwin (New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd.), pg. xviii.

1844-01-03: Capture of schooner, unknown, 45 tons, with 248 slaves on board; vessel condemned by the Vice-Admiralty Court of St. Helena.
(Lords 1849, pg. 363)

1844-01-10: Death of Sir Hudson Lowe, K.C.B., G.C., from the effects of paralysis. Lowe was "the officer to whom was entrusted the custody of the Emperor Napoleon at St. Helena." (BNA: Morning Chronicle, 12 Jan. 1844)

1844-02-12: Capture of brigantine, unknown, 151 tons; seized by the Conway; vessel condemned by the Vice-Admiralty Court of St. Helena, 18 Mar. 1844; proceeds of sale paid to captors; — slaves captured. (Lords 1849, pg. 363; Slave 1847, pg. 82)

Newport, Saturday, Feb. 24.
  Army Movements. ... For St. Helena, The St. Helena Regiment, twenty-four rank and file.
(BNA: Hampshire Advertiser, 24 Feb. 1844)

From the London Gazette, March 15. War Office.
  St. Helena Regiment——Captain James Piggott, from the 26th Foot, to be Captain, vice Skinner, who exchanges.
(BNA: Morning Post, 16 Mar. 1844)

1844-03-18: A hawk was shot at St. Helena, by Captain Marechaux, St. Helena Regiment, having a piece of paper tied to its leg, on which was written "Broad Oak," from Calcutta, towards Liverpool, left 21st November, 1843, M'Coy, master, lat 17° South, long. 3° West, March 18th, 1844." The vessel did not touch at the island, and the bird must have flown about 300 miles to report her there."——Hurkaru paper, July 29.
(Trove: The Australian, 20 Nov. 1845)

1844-03-28: The Rajah, Captain Fergusson, from Port Phillip, with Sir John Franklin and other passengers on board, arrived at St. Helena on the 28th of March, all well. They had fine weather the whole time; out seventy-six days."
(Trove: Launceston Examiner, 24 July 1844)

1844-04-20: The brig Comet disappeared from St. Helena Roads during the night of 20th April, leaving her register on shore, and her accounts unsettled. What could have become of her?——Hurkaru paper, July 29. (Trove: The Australian, 20 Nov. 1845)

The Army.
... Major O'Dell has taken the command of the St. Helena regiment, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Simmonds having been placed under arrest by the governor, Colonel Trelawny, of the Royal Artillery, on various charges. (BNA: Freeman's Journal, 10 May 1844)

1844-06: Two frigates took on water at St Helena to transport to Ascension where there was a serious drought. (SHF)

The Army.
St Helena.
  Lieutenant-Colonel Simmonds has been released from arrest, and is on passage home to demand a Court of Inquiry.
(BNA: Caledonian Mercury, 3 June 1844)

1844-06-06: The Army.——St Helena Regiment——Lieut. D.D. Wemyss has returned home on leave. (BNA: Caledonian Mercury, 6 June 1844)

From the London Gazette.
Friday, June 14.
  War Office. St. Helena Regiment.——Capt. C.H. Marechaux, from 30th Foot, to be Captain, vice Hoey, who exchanges.
London Standard, 15 June 1844)

Saturday, June 22, 1844.
  Woolwich, June 21.
... The Nautilus transport having embarked a detachment of the Royal Artillery for St. Helena, proceeds tomorrow to Gravesend to embark a detachment of the St. Helena Regiment for that island.
(BNA: Hampshire Telegraph, 24 June 1844)

Cruising Against Slavers.
  To the Editor of the Times.
  Sir,——There can be no doubt that the Ministers by whom the slave trade shall be suppressed will deserve high praise, but in contending for this honour, let not rival Ministers forget those by whose energy and perseverance in a most painful and arduous service their measures and policy can alone be brought to a successful issue.
  Those 'who live at home at ease' have no conception of the sacrifices demanded from the squadrons employed on the coast of Africa, and of the difficulties and dangers of every description which surround the executions of the duties required of her Majesty's officers in that quarter. In the debate the other night, the great decrease of the number of slaves landed in Cuba between the years 1828 and 1842 was declared to be principally caused by General Valdez, the Captain-General of Cuba; but with the very best intentions, his power was paralyzed when he directed it against the slave trade, and to attribute more than a very small share of this result to his exertions is contrary to fact, and unjust to Her Majesty's squadron employed during that period on the West African coast under that excellent and indefatigable officer, Captain Tucker.
   During his command the system of closely watching the slave depots, for the purpose of preventing the shipment of negroes, was first adopted——a course of proceeding now about to be carried into effect by Government authority. As a proof of its efficacy, in the years 1839, 1840, and 1841, upwards of 130 sail of slave-ships were captured and condemned by the Courts of Mixed Commissions and the Admiralty Courts of Sierra Leone, St. Helena, and the Cape of Good Hope, and many more vessels were driven off the coast without being able to obtain cargoes.
  At the end of 1840 the destruction of a large establishment of slaves was effected, under a treaty with the native chiefs of Gallinas, and similar operations were repeated, in 1841, at Cabenda and Ambriz.——The legality of these proceedings is at present the subject of actions in the British courts; but whatever may be the result, the fact remains uncontrover-tible, that the vast decrease of slave trade in 1842 was directly owing to the efforts of her Majesty's squadron, under the new principle of cruising, accelerated by these measures against the slave depots on shore; and if it be true that now the trade is greatly increased, it may be confidently asserted that the cause must be, not in the conduct of General O'Donnell, but some departure from the system which experience proved to be so effectual under Captain Tucker.
  The conduct of General Valdez was most noble; but that his power was not adequate to fulfil his intentions the list of captures in 1839, 1840, and 1841 will prove, since at least one-half of the number were fitted out in Cuba; and had they not been prevented from completing their speculations, by the vigour and activity of the British squadron, General Valdez would have been as powerless to prevent them from landing slaves as he had been to stop their departure from his shores.
  I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
  An officer of Captain Tucker's Squadron.
  July 28.
(BNA: Wexford Conservative, 31 July 1844)

1844-10-07: Capture of brigantine, unknown, — tons; seized by the Albatross; vessel condemned by the Vice-Admiralty Court of St. Helena, 2 Jan. 1845; proceeds of sale paid to captors; — slaves captured. (Lords 1849, pg. 363; Slave 1847, pg. 82)

1844-10-24: From St. Helena a number of liberated Africans have been sent to the West Indies and landed, without a single death on the voyage.
  A plan, it seems, is also about to be established for the removal of Africans liberated at Rio de Janeiro, Loando, and Bona Vista, at which places the resident British functionaries are to be authorised to despatch such Africans to Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guiana, in rotation. At Rio a practice of the kind already exists.
(Trove: The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 Oct. 1844)

1844-11-02: Capture of brigantine, unknown, 110 tons; seized by the Albatross; vessel condemned by the Vice-Admiralty Court of St. Helena, 5 Dec. 1844; proceeds of sale paid to captors; — slaves captured. (Lords 1849, pg. 363; Slave 1847, pg. 82)

The Army.
St Helena Regiment.
  Lieut.-Colonel Simmonds, now in England, shortly embarks for his regiment, and to take command of St. Helena, in room of Colonel Trelawny, royal artillery. (BNA: Caledonian Mercury, 28 Nov. 1844)

1844-12: Decision made to erect a monument to the crew of the Brig Waterwitch, sunk in service liberating slaves. (SHF)

From the London Gazette, Dec. 31.
War Office.
  46th Foot——Lieutenant David Douglas Wemyss, from the St. Helena Regiment, to be Lieutenant, vice Lacy, promoted.
(BNA: Morning Post, 1 Jan. 1845)

1841–1844: In a despatch to Lord Stanley, dated 30th October, 1845, Governor Light communicated a general account of expenses incurred by the colony of St. Helena for the introduction of emigrants during the years 1841-1844. The amount incurred for the introduction of 1,274 emigrant labourers from St. Helena into British Guiana was £42,677 88s.
(Colonies 1845, pp. 180-1)

Previous: Link to timeline for the year 1843.
Next: Link to timeline for the year 1845.

This page was first published on the 7th July 2015; subsequently edited, 14th July 2015.

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