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Bridlington Royal National Lifeboat Institute Minutes - 1865

Mike Wilson, Local Author and Historian

The minutes of the Bridlington Royal National Life-boat Institute

14th October, 1865: At a meeting of the Local Committee held the fourteenth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, at the home of J. W. Watson, Hon. Sec., the following charges were preferred against John Wallis, Coxswain of the Bridlington Life-Boat.

First, that on the occasion of a shore-boat being swamped in attempting to proceed to a brig in distress on the afternoon on the tenth inst, the said coxswain neglected to put to sea with the life-boat. In reply to the charge Wallis said he could not raise a crew, all the men in the place having flocked to the life-boat house and taken the old life-boat with which twelve of them proceeded to the distressed brig. The charge was not pressed by the committee.

Charge second: The second charge against the aforementioned John Wallis was laid by R. Porritt Esq., a member of the Local Committee, accusing Wallis of having used intemperate and profane language towards the said Mr Porritt on the ninth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five. Wallis did not deny the charge, but on being required by the Committee to make an apology to Mr Porritt he refused to do so, and the same time, resigned his post of Coxswain to the Life-Boat.

It was then resolved that the seamen of the town should be allowed to choose a Coxswain and assistant for themselves, and in the evening of the same day a meeting was held in the Sailors Club-Room for that purpose, when James Stephenson was elected Coxswain by a large majority and William Miles was unanimously elected for assistant coxswain.

These proceedings were duly confirmed by the Local Committee which assembled the following Monday, October 16th, at the house of E. Harding Esq., Chairman.

J.T.W., Hon. Sec.

N.B. Capt. Roberston, R.N., Assistant Inspector, who had been specially sent down from London to enquire into the complaints against Wallis, was present during the whole of the above proceedings.

J.T.W., Hon. Sec.