Books Should Be Free
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Loss of the Kent, East Indiaman, in the Bay of Biscay Narrated in a Letter to a Friend   By: (1787-1881)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: ESCAPING FROM THE BURNING SHIP.]

THE LOSS OF THE KENT EAST INDIAMAN IN THE BAY OF BISCAY.

NARRATED IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND

BY

GENERAL SIR DUNCAN MACGREGOR, K.C.B.

NEW EDITION, WITH ADDITIONS.

THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY, 56, PATERNOSTER ROW; 65, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD; AND 164, PICCADILLY.

AUTHOR'S NOTE.

The older I grow, and I am now in my 94th year, I am the more convinced of the special interposition of Divine Providence in the winter recorded, in the following Tract.

The Author

THE LOSS OF THE KENT EAST INDIAMAN.

MY DEAR E ,

You are aware that the Kent , Captain Henry Cobb, a fine new ship of 1,350 tons, bound to Bengal and China, left the Downs on the 19th of February, with 20 officers, 344 soldiers, 43 women, and 66 children, belonging to the 31st regiment; with 20 private passengers, and a crew (including officers) of 148 men in all, 641 persons on board.

The bustle attendant on a departure for India is calculated to subdue the force of those deeply painful sensations to which few men can refuse to yield, in the immediate prospect of a long and distant separation from the land of their fondest and earliest recollections. With my gallant shipmates, indeed, whose elasticity of spirits is remarkably characteristic of the professions to which they belonged, hope appeared greatly to predominate over sadness. Surrounded as they were by every circumstance that could render their voyage propitious, and in the ample enjoyment of every necessary that could contribute either to their health or their comfort, their hearts seemed to beat high with contentment and gratitude towards that country which they zealously served, and whose interests they were cheerfully going forth to defend.

With a fine fresh breeze from the north east, the stately Kent , in bearing down the Channel, speedily passed many a well known spot on the coast dear to our remembrance; and on the evening of the 23rd we took our last view of happy England, and entered the wide Atlantic, without the expectation of again seeing land until we reached the shores of India.

With slight interruptions of bad weather, we continued to make way until the night of Monday, the 28th, when we were suddenly arrested in lat. 47° 30´, long. 10°, by a violent gale from the south west, which gradually increased during the whole of the following morning.

To those who have never "gone down to the sea in ships, and seen the wonders of the Lord in the great deep," or even to such as have never been exposed in a westerly gale to the tremendous swell in the Bay of Biscay, I am sensible that the most sober description of the magnificent spectacle of "watery hills in full succession flowing" would appear sufficiently exaggerated. But it is impossible, I think, for the inexperienced mariner, however unreflecting he may try to be, to view the effects of the increasing storm, as he feels his solitary vessel reeling to and fro under his feet, without involuntarily raising his thoughts, with a secret confession of helplessness and veneration that he may never before have experienced, towards that Being whose power, under ordinary circumstances, we may have disregarded, and whose incessant goodness we are prone to requite with ingratitude.

The activity of the officers and seamen of the Kent appeared to keep ample pace with that of the gale. Our larger sails were speedily taken in or closely reefed; and about ten o'clock on the morning of the 1st of March, after having struck our top gallant yards, we were lying to, under a triple reefed maintop sail only, with the deadlights in, and with the whole watch of soldiers attached to the life lines, that were run along the deck for this purpose.

The rolling of the ship, which was vastly increased by a dead weight of some hundred tons of shots and shell that formed a part of its lading, became so great about half past eleven or twelve o'clock, that our main chains were thrown by every lurch considerably under water; and the best cleated articles of furniture in the cabins and the cuddy were dashed about with so much noise and violence as to excite the liveliest apprehensions of individual danger... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books