Summary of Bond’s Naval History

1765 Born 23 January 23. Christened 15 February 1765 in St. Stephen’s by Saltash, Cornwall. Bond’s father was John Bond, RN Surgeon and his mother was Catherine née Pearse [Pearce].

1772 Joined the Royal Navy on July 1, as ‘Servant’ to Captain Keith Stewart, on HMS Monmouth.  He was not quite eight years old.

1774 on HMS Torbay as Surgeon’s Assistant.

1774 July 4. Aged 9 became Corporal on the Torbay then served on Southampton, Blenheim and Crescent.

1779 July 1. Midshipman, aged fourteen, served on Crescent, (where he was blown up off Gibraltar in a prize, the Pilote, which had been taken by the Crescent). Then served on Dunkirk, Rattlesnake, Artois, Tartan, Crescent again and Minerva.

1782 May 14. Passed as Lieutenant, aged 17 (though considered to be 21 by the Board).

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 by Sun or Star, and find the variation of the Compass, and is qualified to do the Duty of an Able Seaman and Midshipman.

The endorsement on his Lieutenant Commission reads:

We have examined Mr. Fras. Godpn. Bond, who by certificate appears to be more than twenty-one years of age and find he has gone to sea more than seven years in the ships and qualities undermentioned.

1783 Aged 18, Second Lieutenant on HMS Bristol to East Indies engaging French fleet under Admiral Hughes; First Lieutenant of HMS Active when wrecked off Anticosta Island, St Lawrence Bay, Canada.

1790 HMS Inconstant, aged 25.

1791 Appointed First Lieutenant HMS Providence under his uncle, Captain William Bligh. Second Breadfruit Mission 1791-93.

1793 on HMS La Prompte (where he drew two sketches of ships on a draft letter requesting promotion to the Lord of Chetham in March 1794, while at Portsmouth). Followed by HMS Active and HMS Arrow.

1797 HMS La Pompée.

1798 Lieutenant on HMS Netley patrolling off the French Coast.

1799 On HMS Netley, moved to Northern Spain and Portugal (Lisbon Station).

1800 HMS Netley brought in 45 (or 47?) prizes, including nineteen armed privateers, and a ‘treasure ship’, La Reina Luisa, valued at £24,000.

1800 Promoted to Commander by Lord St. Vincent on 11 December; retired from Netley.

1801 Married in Oporto at a British Factory Chaplaincy.

1802 Appointed Post Captain (ADM/9/2/270)

1803 Appointed Commander of land-based ‘Sea Fencibles’ (coastal defences against French invasion). The 1805 reference here misspells Bond as ‘Boad’.

1837 Promoted to Rear Admiral at the General Promotion of 1837.

1839 Died 4, Colleton Crescent Exeter on October 26; buried on November 2 at Holy Trinity Church, South Street Exeter.

1977 (?) Remains removed to Higher Cemetery, Exeter.



Obituary F. G. Bond, Gentleman’s Magazine, part 1, 1840, p. 321.

Lieutenant John Marshall, Royal Naval Biography, London, 1825.

Navy List 1805, Officers, Sea Fencibles

SailingTexas – this site contains reproductions of Bond’s letters, sketches and commissions. Courtesy of Alison Pryce.