Journey home

Thursday 23d Feb.ry – fine W.r Strong breezes – found we could not go to the South of Sable Islands, but the wind was favourable for going to the Northward of it.

Friday 24th – during the night fell in with large fields of ice, the tremendous shock of which against the sides of the ship, prevented me from sleeping. Thump – thump – thump – so loud & hard, as if instant destruction were to attend. Towards morning the ice floes became more & more infrequent, & during the day we were entirely free from their presence. Fresh and favourable breeze. Weather thick in the morning – afterwards cloudy but fair.

Saturday 25th – cloudy but fair weather – wind fresh in the morning, light in the afternoon, but favourable.

Sunday 26th Feb.y – dull cloudy w.r Fresh and favourable breeze.

Monday 27th – cloudy but fair w.r Moderate and fair breeze.

Tuesday 28th – cloudy but fair w.r – favourable breezes, variable in strength, sometimes calm.

Wednesday 29th – very cloudy w.r Fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 1st March – cloudy but fair w.r fresh and favourable breeze

Friday 2d – cloudy weather – with occasional showers of hail – fresh and favourable breeze.

Saturday 3d – very squally weather with frequent showers of hail. Very fresh and favourable breeze.

Sunday 4th – fine weather sometimes squally – fresh and favourable wind.

Monday 5th – very squally weather – fresh and favourable breeze.

Tuesday 6th – squally weather with much hail – fresh and favourable wind.

Wednesday 7th – squally weather – fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 8th – fine weather with hail – light and not very favourable breeze.

Friday 9th – light airs and calms all day – wind all round the compass – tantalising us most cruelly, now leading us to entertain favourable hopes, and then dashing them all at once to the ground. At night the breeze was more steady but light. Midnight saw S.t Agnes light. Most Beautiful weather.

Saturday 10th March – lovely weather. At 6 saw Land’s End – very light wind inclinable to calm. At 10 P.M. at last reached the Lizard, light breezes and calms.

Sunday 11th March – at 10 A.M. came into Falmouth Harbour, having been absent 18 weeks and one day. Here our two passengers left us – of whom I may say something by way of keeping them in the log book of my memory.

M.r Henry Baynham, Clerk of the Works, Royal Engineers Department, came on board of us at Bermuda, having been invalided home on account of Inflammation of the Liver. On our passage to Halifax he enjoyed tolerable health – that is to say he suffered nothing from his liver but complained only of unpleasant sensations in his chest. We had only been a week however in port, when he was seized with a most violent attack of acute Hepatitis which yielded to copious bleeding, blistering, & mercurial purges. During the whole passage, he was free from any acute attacks, complaining only of derangement of his nervous system. I think most of his suffering arose from this cause. I never saw a greater hypochondriac. Sometimes he fancied himself at the point of death – sometimes he alarmed himself about tubercles in the lungs – putrid sore throat – Cholera morbus, because he had cramps in his legs – and I know not what nonsense. I love not to have such patients, as not withstanding all I said, he still huffed himself in his fancies and bored me day after day with his lamentations and visionary ailments. Altho’ when his spirits were up, he was a very pleasant, well educated fellow, these glimpses of sunshine were but as mi-mites, whilst the gloom which oer’ clouded his soul would last for days. And what passionate little man he proved to be. A trifle would inflame him as much as a matter of importance – and oaths, & imprecations would occasionally burst forth, horrible enough to set your hair on end. I must do him however the justice to say, that he was deeply conscious of this weak point in his character – & that he has often told me that he has used every endeavour to conquer it – & that he had before succeeded pretty well, until ill health by weakening his body had affected his mind also, since which time he has been unable by argument or reason to control the evil passion of his nature. Taking all in all, I bore with him tolerable well & in consequence was rather a favourite with him.

M.r Baynham is the husband of the lady, who went home in the Winchester [6] Lord William Paget, and who was the cause, why Capt. Ayscough brought his Lord. P to a court martial for neglect of him on the passage home. You may remember that, when the Court Martial had assembled Commission.r Ayscough disgracefully withdrew his charge being unable to prove it.

As soon as M.r Baynham learned from his lady, how very ill she had been treated by Capt.n Ayscough – a monkey having been put into her cot, and several other annoyances offered her on his part, which repeated called for the interference of Lord Paget – he sent the Commissioner [packing ?], denominating his conduct to Baynham, as ‘cowardly, cruel, ungentlemanly and inhuman.’ Now according to the etiquette of society. C. Ays. ought to have called M.r Baynham – but no – he wrote immediately to the head of M.r Baynham’s department, requesting to know if they would allow a man of his rank to be so insulted by one of their Clerks – and demanding an investigation. At the same time he sent to Sir James Kemp a private letter claiming his acquaintance & begging him to take the Delinquent to task. Sir James sent both letters to M.r Baynham and required an explanation of his conduct. At the present time I know nothing of the result – but from all I have heard, I should be glad if C. Ays. were dismissed the service for his brutality to a most respectable lady, niece of Rear Admiral Brooking, whose delicate state of health required the greatest indulgence.

Our other passenger was a M.r Alex.r Fraser Jun.r He was a native of Inverness but had been 28 years in Mirimachi, where he has good property. He was an excellent specimen of a North Briton, sober, dour & sagacious – saying little but that little teemed with good sense & worldly prudence. His brogue was very strong and peculiar.

Read on … Account of Expenses