Captain Stephen Courtney, the second in command, was a gentleman of birth, fortune, and amiable character, who had contributed considerably to the expence of the voyage, and went in the expedition that he might see how it was conducted, and either be able to prevent miscarriages, or at least to make a faithful report of its incidents. Captain Thomas Dover, the third in command, was a proprietor also. He was bred a physician, and afterwards made a noise in the world by recommending the use of crude mercury. He was a man of rough temper, and could not easily agree with those about him, yet his morose disposition hindered him from making any party to support him in his ill humours. Captain Cooke, fourth in command, was second to Captain Courtney. The pilot in the larger ship was Captain William Dampier, who was now to proceed for the fourth time into the South Sea, where his name and exploits were well known and terrible to the Spaniards. The adventurers were also extremely careful in the choice of inferior officers, and even as far as possible in procuring the best private men that could be found.
In the next place, the proprietors established rules for the proper conduct of the voyage, which were digested in the following articles of instruction, and signed by a committee of proprietors at Bristol, on the 14th July, 1708.
“For the better government and regulating the affairs of the present voyage of the ships Duke and Duchess, we do hereby appoint and constitute Captain Woods Rogers, Captain Thomas Dover, Captain William Dampier, Mr Charlton Vanbrugh, Messrs Green, Fry, Charles Pope, Glendall, Bullet, and Wasse, all of these officers on board the Duke, to be the council on board that ship: We also appoint Captain Stephen Courtney, Captain Edward Cooke, Messrs William Stratton, Bathe, John Rogers, White, and the master, officers on board the Duchess, to be council on board that ship, in case of the ships being separated from each other. But, when in company, the whole officers of both ships above named, are conjunctly to come on board either ship at the summons of Captains Rogers, Dover, and Courtney, or any two of them, and to be the council referred to in our general orders, to determine all matters and things that may arise or be necessary for the general good daring the whole voyage. In case of the death, sickness, or desertion of any of the above officers in either ship, the rest who are of the council of that ship shall convene on board their own ship, and chose another fit person into that office and council.”
“We farther require and direct, that all attempts, attacks, and designs upon the enemy, either by sea or land, shall be first consulted and debated, either in the particular council if separated, or in the general council if together; and as the majority shall conclude how and when to act or do, it shall be indispensably and cheerfully put in execution, and without unnecessary delay. In case of any discontents, differences,