Discharge papers from Nelson's Navy
We are fortunate to have the naval discharge papers of our ancestor Daniel Cole. Sadly only black and white photocopies survive, but I have coloured the following images to look reasonably realistic.
These papers are dated 1803 and show the form and style of discharge papers at that time. They also show the reason for the discharge. It was important for men to carry them when back home in order to avoid the press gang attempting to return them to the navy.
Two separate papers make up the set. The first gives the reason for the discharge, documents what the holder was supplied with upon discharge, describes him in some detail and is signed by someone in charge of caring for the sick. The second is a statement of service and is signed by the Captain of the ship on which he served. The two documents are signed by different individuals.
Below each of the papers is a transcription, courtesy of the Surrey History Centre.