‘I am persuaded,’ writes Captain Monke, in his narrative, ’that this court will participate in my feelings, and would think me most forgetful, if I did not here publicly express my grateful sense I shall ever retain of the humane and liberal conduct of the Duchess of Roxburgh and Mr. Manners, who in their hospitable mansion at Broxmouth administered every sort of comfort and medical relief to the far greater part of the suffering officers and people of the Pallas, many of whose lives were thereby preserved to their country. In justice to my own feelings, I cannot close my narrative without declaring to this honourable court that no men under similar circumstances could behave better than did the crew of the Pallas. So far from being dismayed by their perilous situation, they manifested equal firmness and subordination; and, in fact, from the first moment of the ship striking the ground, to the time when necessity compelled every individual to consult his own safety, they obeyed all the orders with as much alacrity as cheerfulness, and (what is more) without either noise or confusion. Hence, sir, I consider myself justified in asserting that, notwithstanding the number victualled on board at the time was reduced to one hundred and sixty, if any human exertion could, in the first instance, have got the Pallas afloat, she would not have been irrecoverably lost to the service. I must also beg leave to add, that the officers set every example; and that from Mr. Walker, the first-lieutenant, I derived, throughout this trying scene, the most effectual support and assistance.’
The Nymph, which we have mentioned as being in company with the Pallas, got on shore the same night, on a rock called the Devil’s Ark, near Skethard, misled by some irregularity in the lights on the Bell Rock and Isle of May.
The crew of the Nymph were all saved, but the fine frigate was lost.
Among the many services in which the fleets of Great Britain were engaged during the last war, none was more rife with perils and hardships than that on which the Baltic Fleet was employed. During the long winter nights the crews were continually exposed to intense cold, and the ships were often enveloped in such impenetrable fogs, that sometimes even the pilots were deceived as to their true position, and those lamentable consequences ensued of which the loss of the Minotaur was an example, (see page 154), her officers conceiving they were on the coast of England, when they were actually stranded on the opposite shore.
We will briefly mention two instances, which may give the reader some idea of the severity of the climate in the Northern Seas.