Edward Thache was listed in HMS Windsor’s pay book as joining that vessel April 12, 1706 on the southern coast of England near Spithead and Portsmouth. Windsor had crossed Spithead, a part of the Solent (body of water that separates Isle of Wight from the mainland ports of Portsmouth and Gosport) to Fort St. Helen’s on the east end of the the Isle of Wight. After some collaboration with my colleagues, it now appears that Thache had served on a vessel named Barbados Merchantman at the time of his enlistment. Quite possibly, Thache and others desired passage back to the West Indies and found that opportunity aboard HMS Windsor. Edward “Thatch,” Aaron Huggins, Samuel Gaine, Henry Nellson, and William Horn joined the crew April 12th as Windsor loaded food and water at St. Helen’s. James Mahum was listed as an “entry” on March 27th while the ship, according to the log, was at Spithead-Portsmouth and “appearing” aboard on April 13th at St. Helen's. Jonathan Osborne joined ten days earlier. These seven were paid as a group and may have previously served together. All of these "able seaman," except Thache, were discharged only months later – all in the West Indies - three at Jamaica. Thache, however, for whatever reason, stayed on until at least August 25, 1707, when he received “Prefermt.,” or “preferment” - aka promotion. It’s not indicated that he transferred to another ship, as that should have been indicated. It's possible that he remained aboard Windsor in his new position past June 30, 1708, the date the pay book ends.The lack of a pay record for this period, however, may yet indicate further service on another vessel.
Thache joined Windsor of his own free will as a skilled merchant and was not pressed or forced to join as often happened with common sailors, many of whom never had experience at sea. This is not surprising since N.A.M. Rodgers inferred that the Royal Navy did not often engage in this practice until the second half of the 18th century. He was specially noted as “Barbad. Merch. (n),” indicating that he had served on this vessel, probably Barbados Merchantman. It's likely, as an "able seaman," that he was probably trained in mathematics; he could navigate. As I have been finding, most mariners of this period were skilled men; many had education. Indeed, almost 90% of 138 former crew of Bartholomew Roberts could sign their names, as indicated on a "Round Robbin" petition for pardon to the governor of Jamaica, not a common skill for most colonials.
This is the closest appearance of a Barbados Merchantman vessel to the time of Thache's enlistment, but is still only a possibility. Barbados Merchantman or its variant, Barbados Merchant, were not uncommon names for a ship. Still, I will keep looking for more evidence!
article updated 10/30/18