The Swan Circle

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An extraordinary tale of survival at sea

18th Century Digressions, Military & Naval 1 Comment »

Sailors praying after the Battle of the Nile

Glasgow, December 25. Copy of a letter from the Mate of an East-India ship to his wife in Cartsdyke, near Greenock.

My Dear,

   "This is to acquaint you that I am yet living; and I do think there is not on earth a more remarkable instance of the great mercy and goodness of God, than has been shewn in my preservation. I arrived in India the 15th of August, 1753 [?], and agreed to go Mate along with Capt.Hugh Kennedy, an old Comrade of mine in Virginia. I will be particular in my first voyage, and I hope you will chuse what follows to be put in the News-Papers, that all concerned may have a true and impartial account of the fate of their friends and relations.

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A letter from aboard HMS Torbay 1760

18th Century Digressions, Military & Naval No Comments »

 Battle of Quiberon Bay

 On 20 November 1759 at the Battle of Quiberon Bay (Seven Years War), HMS Torbay succeeded in downing the French ship Thésée; the ship's Captain Augustus Keppel rescued the few survivors from the foundered vessel. He then ordered his purser to issue clothes and bedding to the men who were the most needy. In March 1760 he asked that his action might not prevent the passing of his accounts and the Admiralty, after searching through the office books to find precedent, deemed it proper to pay Torbay’s purser having found instances of relieving prisoners during the previous war.
 A year later, an officer from HMS Torbay wrote a letter to the press informing them of the steps taken to ensure the health of each member of the crew:


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