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.

His Lordship was next appointed to the Horatio, a 38-gun frigate.  Whilst cruizing on the morning of the 7th December, 1813, off the Island of Zealand, he received a letter from a gentleman who had been in the British service, requesting his aid to drive the French from Zierick-Zee, the capital of Schowen.  He at once complied with this request, and directed a detachment of seamen and marines to storm the batteries as soon as the tide would answer for the boats to leave the ship, which could not be done until nine P.M.  In the meantime, a deputation arrived on board from the principal citizens, bearing a flag of truce from the French general, and requesting, that in order to save the effusion of blood, and to prevent the disorders which would in all probability arise, as the city was then in a state of insurrection, terms of capitulation should be granted, by which the French should be allowed to withdraw with their baggage to Bergen-op-Zoom.  To this, Lord George Stuart gave a peremptory refusal, and summoned the French to surrender unconditionally.  After a short delay, the signal of surrender was made, and thus, by the promptitude and decision displayed by the British officer, the French were compelled to evacuate the Island of Schowen without bloodshed, and the ancient magistrates of Zierick-Zee resumed their former functions.

Lord George Stuart subsequently commanded the Newcastle, and was employed in the last American war.  In 1815, he received the Order of the Companion of the Bath, and died as rear-admiral in 1841.


[8] Captain Hunter died in 1807.


The Athenienne, of 64 guns, commanded by Captain Robert Raynsford, with a crew of 470 men, sailed from Gibraltar on the 16th of October, 1806, and at noon on the 20th, the Island of Sardinia was seen in the distance.  The ship continued under a press of sail with a fair wind, and sped on her course towards Malta.  At eight o’clock of the evening of the 20th, the first watch had been stationed, and the officer on duty had reported the ship’s progress at nine knots an hour.  The labours of the day were over, and all, save the few whom duty or inclination kept on deck, had gone below.  Another hour passed away; the majority of the crew had retired to their berths to seek repose after the toils of the day, and to gain fresh strength for the morrow—­that morrow which many of them were destined never to behold.

One there was on board the Athenienne, to whose care the safety of the vessel and the lives of her crew had been entrusted, who appeared to have misgivings as to the course she was steering.  The captain was seated in his cabin, looking over the chart with one of his officers, when he exclaimed, ‘If the Esquerques do exist, we are now on them,’ Scarcely were the words out of his mouth when the ship struck.

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