1805 Mourning Ring.

Contributed by Wendy Young

War, Loss, Pride.
This ring was left to me with a lot of other jewellery in 2005 when my mother died.
Inscribed inside the ring is the following: "William Briggs who died in defence of his King and Country 22nd July 1805". Research at The National Archives has been facinating; while searching I went through the muster books of thirteen other ships of the fleet in 1805 and was amazed by number of nationalities fighting in the navy amongst them American and German.
I discovered that Wiliam Briggs married Polina Pollard in March 1796 at the Parish of Stoke Damerel, Devon. They had two children, Emma Newman baptised 10/11/1803 and Robert Willie baptised 15/07/1805, both in the Parish of Portsea in the County of Southampton.
William was a Master Mariner on His Majesty's Ship Barfleur and was slain in action in the fleet commanded by Sir Robert Calder off Cape Finisterre. He only bought his warrant into the navy on 21/06/1805.
Polina (Paulina) received "One Years full pay" £109.10.00 and each of the chldren £36.10.00. The only other documentation I have found is the death certificate of a Paulina Briggs who died 03/01/1846 at Fareham and was a widow of a Master in the Royal Navy.

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