1635, John Bridgehampton alias Hickes seeks to have all master gunners wear a special badge of his own design

John Bridgehampton SP 16/282 f. 14 (1635)

To the right honourable the lords and others commissioners for the High Admiraltie of England.

The humble peticion of John Bridgehampton alias Hickes master gonner of his majesties shipp the Happy Entrance and the rest of the master gonners of his majesties Navye.

Humblie sheweth unto your good lordshipps that whereas in the time of the late Queene Elizabeth of famous memory. The master gonners of his majesties shippes and vesselles did weare the rose and crowne with the letteres E and R: and in the time of our late soveraigne King James of happy memory, did weare the rose and crowne with the letteres J and R with a peece of ordinance to each of the said tipes appendant

Now may it please your good lordshipps your supplyant Bridghampton, having herewith presented to your lordshipps a demonstracion or figure (of his owne invencion) in some thinges variable to the former, with which hee hath acquainted the rest of the master gonners of his majesties shipps.

They humbly pray your lordshipps tolleracion and especiall warrant enabling and authorising all maister gonners of his majesties shipps and vesselles at their owne charge to provide and weare the said badge or type (herewith presented to your lordshipps either as it is, or with such alteracion or addicion, as your honourable lordshipps shall think more requisit that your humble suppliantes may thereby be discerned from others.

And they (as in duty bound) shall daily pray etc.

Report by Miranda Simond

In his petition, John Bridgehampton, alias Hickes, a master gunner on the Happy Entrance, recalled how master gunners had worn badges of a rose and crown, in honour of Queen Elizabeth and then James I. Claiming to speak on behalf of all master gunners he presented a new design for a badge that master gunners could now wear in honour of Charles I.

John Bridgehampton alias Hickes was a British naval sailor (gunner) his first known service was January 1633 and his last known service January 1634.[1] There are various references to his service in the Calendar of State Papers.[2]

The Happy Entrance was ordered in April 1619 and acquired in November 1619. She nominally had 28 guns and was a third-rate middling ship of the English navy, built in Deptford by Andrew Burrell. In 1628 the captain was Edward Harvey.[3]  Happy Entrance was destroyed by fire in 1658.[4]

On the death of the Duke of Buckingham in 1628 his office of Lord High Admiral was put into commission by King Charles I, six Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty were appointed to execute the office jointly, and this petition was sent to them.[5]


[1] ‘John Hickes’, Three Decks – Warships in the Age of Sail, https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_crewman&id=32119.

[2] Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles I, on British History Online, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/search?query=%22john+hickes%22+and+gunner&title=%22charles%22.

[3] ‘British Third Rate middling ship Happy Entrance (1619)’, Three Decks – Warships in the Age of Sail, https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=4601.  

[4] ‘English ship Happy Entrance (1619)’, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_ship_Happy_Entrance_(1619)

[5] ‘Board of Admiralty’, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_of_Admiralty.


This report is part of a series on ‘Petitioners in the reign of Charles I and the Civil Wars’, created through a U3A Shared Learning Project on ‘Investigating the Lives of Seventeenth-Century Petitioners’.