SICILY EXPEDITION 1718-1720
BYNG, George, first Viscount Torrington (1663–1733), naval officer. Warrant signed G.Byng to Capt. O’Brien, Commander of HMS Rippon, appointing Christopher Spickett Master Cook (“in the room of the former deceased”), 1 side folio of a bifolium sheet, Naples, 5th February 1718/9 (ie 1719), countersigned “By Command of the Admiral Will. Corbett”, and with a later endorsement “Warrt. Confirmed the 14th October 1720”, and on the reverse a note certifying that Spickett “does not appear by any Books in this Office to be a Pensioner of the Chest at Chatham. In Mr Clarke’s Absence, Rt.L. 16 Septr 1720”, plus a docket “Cook’s Warrant for the Rippon for a man onbd. the Superbe”.. Byng’s warrant provdes that Spickett be allowed “wages & victuals for himself and servant as is proper and usual for the Master Cook of the said ship”. Paper soiled and worn at folds.
On 14 March 1718 Byng was made admiral of the fleet, and was sent to the Mediterranean in command of a fleet to prevent a Spanish invasion of Italy or Sicily. In August he routed the Spanish fleet off Cape Passaro (south east tip of Sicily), during which engagement his brother-in-law, Captain Streynsham, Master of the Superbe (on which ship Sprickett was cook), captured Admiral Gaztañeta and his flagship, San Felipe el Reale.
HMS Rippon was a 64-gun third rate launched in 1712, and during the period of the British fleet’s Sicily expedition of 1718-1720 was commanded by Captain Christopher O’Brien (d.1743).