VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of Informational Site Network Informational
Home - World War Stories - American Heros - Hero Stories - War Stories - British Navy

War Stories

The Story Of The Third Dutch War

The Story Of Admiral The Honourable John Byng
BY JOHN CAMPBELL. The honourable John Byng was the fourt...

The Destruction Of The Algerine Navy
On the conclusion of the Dutch war it became necessary to r...

The Loss Of Hms Pembroke
BY MASTER CAMBRIDGE. The melancholy fate of the Namur, w...

The Story Of The Battle Of The Nile
BY ROBERT SOUTHEY. Early in the year 1798 Sir Horatio Ne...

The Story Of Admiral Blake
BY JOHN CAMPBELL. Robert Blake, who became the admiral o...

The Loss Of Hms Repulse
BY G. H. WALKER. The Repulse was one of the ships belong...

The Mutiny Of 1797

The Story Of Nelson's Boyhood
BY ROBERT SOUTHEY. Horatio Nelson, son of Edmund and Cat...

The Story Of Sir John Berry
BY JOHN CAMPBELL. As an illustration of the way in which...

The Story Of Sir John Hawkins

The Story Of The Spanish Armada
BY SIR EDWARD CREASY. On the afternoon of July 19th, A.D...

The Story Of The Cinque Ports

On Board The Agamemnon

Off Cape Finisterre
Towards the end of the year 1746 the French ministry came t...

The Battle Of Beachy Head
There was little to record to the honour of the navy in the...

The Mutiny Of The Bounty
The circumstances detailed in the following narrative are a...

The Story Of The Battle Of Trafalgar
BY ROBERT SOUTHEY. In 1803 the short-lived Peace of Amie...

The Story Of Lord Rodney
BY JOHN CAMPBELL. George Brydges Rodney was born at Walt...

Off Gibraltar
It is not to be supposed that our enemies quietly accepted ...

The Loss Of Hms Namur


On July 15th, 1747, Captain Boscawen was made rear admiral of the blue,
and placed at the head of a large military and naval expedition
dispatched to the East Indies. In 1749 soon after the peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle had put an end to hostilities.

The fleet was lying in the road of Fort St. David, when on the 12th of
April it began to blow most violently from the north-north-west. The
following day the fleet encountered a terrible storm in which the
flag-ship the Namur, seventy-four guns, foundered; the admiral,
captain, and several of the officers being fortunately on shore. The
Pembroke, of sixty guns, was also lost in this storm.

Mr. Alms, of the Namur, gives the following account of the loss of
that ship, in a letter to Mr. Ives:--

"We were at anchor in the Namur, in Fort St. David's road, Thursday,
April 13th, 1749. In the morning it blew fresh, wind north-east. At noon
we veered away to a half cable on the small bower. From one to four
o'clock we were employed in setting up the lower rigging. Hard gales and
squally, with a very great sea. At six o'clock the ship rode very well,
but half an hour afterwards had four feet of water in her hold. We
immediately cut the small bower cable, and stood to sea under our
courses. Our mate, who cut the cable, was up to his waist in water at
the bitts.

"At half-past seven we had six feet of water in the hold, when we hauled
up our courses and heaved overboard most of our upper-deck and all the
quarter-deck guns to the leeward. By three-quarters after eight the
water was up to our orlop gratings, and there was a great quantity
between decks so that the ship was water logged; when we cut away all
the masts, by which she righted. At the same time we manned the pumps
and baled, and soon perceived that we gained upon the ship, which put us
in great spirits. A little after nine we sounded, and found ourselves in
nine fathoms of water: the master called, 'Cut away the sheet-anchor!'
which was done immediately, and we veered away to a little better than a
cable; but, before the ship came head to the sea, she parted at the
chesstree. By this time it blew a hurricane. It is easier to conceive
than to describe what a dismal, melancholy scene now presented
itself--the shrieking cries, lamentations, ravings, despair, of above
five hundred poor wretches verging on the brink of eternity!

"I had, however, presence of mind to consider that the Almighty was at
the same time all-merciful, and experienced consolation in the
reflection that I had ever put my whole trust in Him. In a short prayer
I then implored His protection, and jumped overboard. The water, at that
time, was up to the gratings of the poop, from which I leaped. The first
thing I grappled was a capstan-bar, by means of which, in company with
seven more, I got to the davit; but, in less than an hour, I had the
melancholy experience of seeing them all washed away, and finding myself
upon it alone, and almost exhausted. I had now been above two hours in
the water, when, to my unspeakable joy, I saw a large raft with a great
many men driving towards me. When it came near I quitted the davit, and
with great difficulty swam to the raft, upon which I got, with the
assistance of one of our quarter-gunners. The raft proved to be the
Namur's booms. As soon as we were able we lashed the booms close
together, fastened a plank across them, and by these means made a good

"It was by this time one o'clock in the morning; soon afterwards the
seas became so mountainous that they turned our machine upside down, but
providentially, with the loss of only one man. About four, we struck
ground with the booms, and, in a very short time, all the survivors
reached the shore. After having returned thanks to God for His almost
miraculous goodness towards us, we took each other by the hand, for it
was not yet day, and still trusting to the Divine Providence for
protection, we walked forward in search of some place to shelter
ourselves from the inclemency of the weather; for the spot where we
landed offered nothing but sand. When we had walked about for a whole
hour, but to no manner of purpose, we returned to the place where we had
left our catamaran, and to our no small uneasiness found that it was
gone. Daylight appearing, we found ourselves on a sandy bank, a little
to the southward of Porto Novo, from which we were divided by a river
that we were under the necessity of fording, soon after which we arrived
at the Dutch settlement where we were received with much hospitality.
From our first landing till our arrival at Porto Novo we lost four of
our company, two at the place where we were driven ashore, and two in
crossing the river.

"After we had sufficiently refreshed ourselves at Porto Novo, the chief
there was so obliging as to accommodate me with clothes, a horse and a
guide to carry me to Fort St. David, where I arrived about noon the
following day, and immediately waited on the admiral, who received me
very kindly indeed; but so excessive was the concern of that great and
good man for the loss of so many poor souls, that he could not find
utterance for those questions he appeared desirous of asking me
concerning the particulars of our disaster.

"Till I reached Porto Novo, you beheld me shipwrecked and naked; I must
again repeat it, that the Dutch received, refreshed, and kindly conveyed
me to my truly honourable patron, through whose kindness and humanity I
am not only well clothed and comforted, but am also made lieutenant of
the Syren, from which ship I date this letter. I am, etc.,


"P.S.--There were only twenty-three of us saved on the wreck; twenty of
whom came ashore on the booms."

Next: The Loss Of Hms Pembroke

Previous: Off Cape Finisterre

Add to Informational Site Network

Viewed 1715

Untitled Document