When Josiah Burchett, Secretary to the Admiralty, received Halley’s letter of June 23, he referred it to the Lords of the Admiralty and then communicated their Lordships’ opinion to Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Admiral of the Blue:
(Burchett to Shovell, dated 29 June 1699, National Archives ADM 2/26 p 34/extract)
Whereas Wee have recd. a Letter from Capt. halley Comandr. of his Ma:ties Vessell the Paramour Pink, complaining of Lieut. harrison, the officer which Acts as Mate and Lieutenant of the said Pink, a Copy whereof comes inclosed, Which Complaint Wee think fitting should be enquired into at a Court Martiall upon her arrivall in the Downes; You are therefore hereby reqd. and directed, to cause the same to be strictly enquired into and Tryed at a Court Martiall accordingly, for holding whereof You are Empowered by Our late Warrant to You.
So Halley will have his day in court – but will he have justice?