§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will consider the possibility of giving the prize-money due to William Bell, master gunner of H.M.S. "Northumberland," who was killed in action in the year 1798, to his descendant, Henry Edward Matthews, of Sea View, Isle of Wight, who is prepared to prove his 958 lineal descent, seeing that the prize was a Spanish galleon and the money was given as an endowment to Greenwich Hospital.
(Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) All prize-money over forty years in distribution is forfeited absolutely under Order in Council of the 5th December, 1865, made pursuant to the Naval Agency and Distribution Act, 1864. The prize rolls for so remote a period as 1798 have therefore long since been destroyed, and there is now no record as to whether any prize-money was due in the case of this officer, or, if due, whether it was paid.