|Action at sea: French Revolutionary Wars by Louis Philippe Crepin|
In August 1803 James Caithness joined HMS Calcutta and a new chapter opened in his career. He was about to visit
and circumnavigate the world, an adventure beyond his wildest dreams. Australia
that James Caithness was one of the seven added to the complement.
|James Caithness listed on muster of HMS Calcutta 1803|
Further research should establish when he was discharged from HMS Mars and give a clue as to why he turned up at Simon’s Bay in August 1803.
Interestingly, HMS Mars, after refitting at the Hamoaze anchorage,
at the end of February 1803, was involved in the fruitless pursuit of some foreign
ships supposedly headed for the Cape of Good Hope
under the Dutch Admiral de Winter.
* The diary of the Reverend Robert Knopwood, 1803-1838 : first chaplain of Van Diemen's Land edited by Mary Nicholls
** By the Treaty of Amiens 1802 between
England and France, the Cape
Colony was returned to the Netherlands and came under the rule of the Batavian Republic
from February 1803 to 1806 when the 2nd British Occupation of the Cape commenced. It’s likely that the presence of Dutch
ships at Simon’s Bay came as a surprise to those on board HMS Calcutta.