Adams Papers

To John Adams from John Lyddiard, 20 July 1785

From John Lyddiard

Powerfull of 74 Guns July 20th. [1785]

Honoured Sir

I hope you will Pardon my Boldness of Wrighting to you Itt is to Ask the Favour of you to Gett me my Discharge from a English Man of War, I am a Native of Boston in the Province of Messetucet Bay, New England, I Saild out of Boston in the Year of 1778 in a Brig of 16 Guns in the Continantal Servis Capt William Burk Commd and was Taken September 16th in the Same Year By Byron Fleet1 and was Sent on Bord the Experiment of 50 Guns, And I was forst to Stay in the English Servas against my will for the Said I was a Englishman and I thote I should Breake my hart, I Long to Gett my Discharge to Go to my Native Hoome I should have Gone Before had I Done Right When I was Paid of But I was a Strange to this Contery and I was Drawd in to Go whear I am now I have Got a Mother a Wife and Children in Boston and I Long to Gett to them, and I hearing that you was in London I made Bold to Apply to your Honour as Noing you Could Gett me my Discharg if your honour Pleased and I hope that you will for the Sake of my Famely, and I Shall be alway Bound to Pray for you

From your Humble and / Obeidiant Servant

John Lyddiard

PC if your honour Please to Wright to me you may Derect to me on Bord his Majesty Ship Powerfull of 74 Guns Amor[s?]e Plymouth2

RC (PRO:FO 4, State Papers, vol. 3, f. 343); addressed: “To / Samuel Adams Esqr / Ambaseter for the United / States of America / London”; endorsed: “John Leddiards / Letter”; docketed: “In Mr. Adams’s Memorial / Octr. 17. 1785.”

1Lyddiard sailed on the brigantine Resistance, Capt. William Burke. It was captured, however, on 26 Aug. 1778 by the British fleet commanded by Adm. Richard Howe, Earl Howe. In early Sept. 1778, Howe resigned his commands, which included that of the American station, and was replaced by Vice Adm. John Byron (vol. 7:99, 196, 280; Mass., Acts and Laws description begins Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [1780–1805], Boston, 1890– 1898; 13 vols. description ends , 1780–1781, p. 290).

2No reply to this letter has been found, but JA enclosed this letter with his 17 Oct. 1785 memorial to the Marquis of Carmarthen seeking the release of Richard Low and other Americans, below. For the result of JA’s efforts on behalf of Lyddiard and Low, see JA’s 21 Oct. letter to John Jay, note 2, below.

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