Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849.
they were placed—­their fears, perhaps, made them forgetful alike of their duty to their king, their country, and themselves; but it is cheering to know that such cases are rare in the British Navy, and we are happy in having very few such to record:  they are alluded to only in the hope that our seamen may learn from them to value that strict discipline and order, which, in a moment of danger, is their greatest safeguard.

Lieutenant, now Rear Admiral, Harvey subsequently served in the Amethyst, Amaranthe, and Intrepid.  His promotion to the rank of commander took place in 1808, when he was appointed to the Cephalus, in the Mediterranean, and there he captured four of the enemy’s privateers, and several merchant vessels.  His post commission bears date April 18, 1811, and he was employed off Corfu till the month of December following.  His last ship was the Implacable, which he paid off in 1814.  He obtained his flag as rear-admiral in December, 1847.  This officer now holds the appointment of Admiral Superintendent of Malta Dockyard.


In the year 1804, the Government sent out the Hindostan, of 1100 tons, laden with supplies for Lord Nelson, then commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet.  This ship was commanded by Captain Le Gros, with 259 persons on board, including passengers, women, and children.

She arrived at Gibraltar in the month of March, and sailed again from thence in company with the Phoebe frigate, to join Lord Nelson off Toulon, but she was separated from her consort during a heavy gale of wind, in the Gulf of Lyons.

On the 2nd of April, at about seven o’clock in the morning, the ship being then thirteen leagues to the south-east of Cape St. Sebastian, a thick smoke was observed to issue from the fore and main hatchways.

Lieutenant Tailour, who was on the quarter-deck, heard the cry of “fire,” and saw the people rushing up the hatchway in the midst of volumes of smoke, coming from the orlop deck.  He instantly called for the drummer and the mate of the watch, and desired the former to beat to quarters, and the latter to inform Captain Le Gros of what had occurred, whilst he himself would go below, and endeavour to ascertain the cause and the place of the fire.

Lieutenant Tailour then went down into the orlop gratings, and penetrated some distance into each tier; the smoke was very thick in both, particularly forward.  He next went to the sail room, where there was no appearance of either fire or smoke.  He was then joined by Lieutenant Banks and several other officers, and they proceeded together to the hold.  Here the smoke was very dense, and it affected the throat like that from hot tar.  The officers were satisfied, upon inquiry, that there had not been either light or tar in the hold.  They then tried to re-enter the tiers, but were driven back by the suffocating smoke.  The absence of heat, however, convinced them that the fire was not in that part of the ship.  A cry was heard that the fire was down forward,—­but we will use Lieutenant Tailour’s own words to describe the scene.  He says,—­

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Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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