Journey home


Early on Sunday the 10th of April, having received the Mail and dispatches over night we up anchor and made sail for England. As we passed the Fort of Santa Cruz we were boarded by the usual officer, in order to ascertain if our passengers has passports – out of 17 only one had regular passports. The rest were impossible, in consequence of the confusion in the public office, to obtain and it was apprehended that the want of them would detain then in Brazil. To make up; if possible, for the want of a regular passport, our Commander gave in a list of the passengers to Arthur Ashton Esq., his Majesty’s Charge d’Affairs – and this Gentleman appended to this a certificate that they were all British subjects, and had been unable to satisfy the usual forms – following the state of public affairs – advising the Captain, if any objection was made to this certificate, and they should refuse to allow our passengers to pass then to appeal to the British Admiral on board the Warspite. Very fortunately for us all no opposition was made, and we were allowed to wend our way to Inglaterra – our dear native land. Just as we had got clear of the Harbour – we saw and spoke H.M. Packet Lyra[8] for whose arrival in some measure we had been detained. Some Miles astern of her, we thought that a vessel in sight was the Calypso [9] bound for Rio and Buenos Ayres. We had fine weather all night, but the wind was foul in the morning but favourable at night.

Monday 11th April – cloudy wet day – fine even.g Moderate and favourable breeze, but strong current against us. Cape Frio in sight all day.

Tuesday 12th April – fine weather – Moderate and favourable breezes.

Wednesday 13th – beautiful w.r – wind fair in the morning – foul in the afternoon.

Thursday 14th – foul wind – cloudy, rainy w.r

Friday 15th – light variable winds all day – fresh and favourable breezes at night – cloudy w.r

Saturday 16th – cloudy w.r – Moderate but unfavourable breezes.

Sunday 17th – fine weather – foul wind.

Monday 18th – fine w.r – wind foul all day, favourable at night.

Tuesday 19th – pleasant w.r – wind nearly favourable.

Wednesday 20th – variable w.r generally fine – favourable breeze.

Thursday 21st – fine w.r – fresh and favourable breeze.

Friday 22d – cloudy but fair w.r – Fresh and favourable breezes.

Saturday 23d – cloudy w.r – very fresh and favourable breezes.

Sunday 24th – cloudy w.r – fresh and favourable breezes.

Monday 25th – much rain during last night – cloudy but fair during the day – light variable breezes. But favourable. This morning saw the remarkable island of Fernando do Noranto, in shape like a cone, and at a great distance, resembling a vessel under full sail.

Tuesday 26th April – pleasant fair w.r – very light favourable winds. In the afternoon it came on a flood of rain, which continued all night.

Wednesday 27th – almost a calm – fine w.r

Thursday 28th – nearly a calm – very fine w.r

Friday 29th – very fine w.r – light breeze.

Saturday 30th – fine weather – nearly a calm. Crossed the line.

Sunday 1st May – fine w.r – occasional squalls NE winds.

Monday 2d – very variable w.r with abundance of rain – a calm with merely occasional puffs of wind.

Tuesday 3rd – squally w.r much rain all day – light breezes and calms alternating – fresh unfavourable breeze at night.

Wednesday 4th – cloudy w.r – fresh unfavourable breezes.

Thursday 5th – cloudy w.r – very strong but unfavourable breeze.

Friday 6th – cloudy but pleasant w.r – foul wind.

Saturday 7th – cloudy but pleasant w.r – wind foul.

Sunday 8th May – squally w.r – winds not so unfavourable but changeable.

Monday 9th – pleasant w.r – fresh breezes but unfavourable.

Tuesday 10th – cloudy w.r – fresh but unfavourable breezes.

Wednesday 11th – pleasant w.r – strong breezes more favourable.

Thursday 12th – variable winds and w.r

Friday 13th – fine w.r – variable winds.

Saturday 14th – fine w.r – Moderate but unfavourable breezes.

Sunday 15th – pleasant w.r – variable winds – more favourable.

Monday 16th – fine w.r – variable winds.

Tuesday 17th – fine w.r – light variable winds – more favourable.

Wednesday 18th – cloudy w.r – light variable breezes but favourable.

Thursday 19th – forenoon dull cloudy w.r – afternoon fine – very light variable winds but favourable.

Friday 20th – beautiful w.r – Nearly a calm in forenoon. At 1 sprung up a fresh and favourable breeze from NW.

Saturday 21st – light variable breezes – but unfavourable – pleasant w.r

Sunday 22d – beautiful w.r – Calm all day till about 3 P.M., when a light breeze sprung up from NNW. To day we picked up many planks which had probably been thrown overboard by some vessel; in distress. One of them bore the marks of fire.

[no entry for Monday 23rd]

Tuesday 24th – dull disagreeable w.r – fresh and nearly favourable wind.

Wednesday 25th – fine W.r Fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 26th –  Cloudy W.r Fresh and favourable breeze.

Friday 27th – dark gloomy w.r & strong unfavourable breeze in the forenoon. Afternoon blowing half a gale. Saw dimly the islands of Corvo and Flores.

Saturday 28th – Gale still continuing. This morning saw a brig far ahead of us – in the course of the day passed, and left her behind in a long way, when all at once she made sail and bore down to us. In the evening she came up with us – passed close under our lee bows, without hailing us or saying a word. She then kept hovering about, and then came within hail. We` hailed her but owing to the indistinctness of the answer, we could learn nothing certain. We thought that she was called the Chichester out from Rio 54 days and bound for Liverpool. [10] Now we ourselves knew that no vessel had sailed from Rio for 54 days and that it must have been Rio Grande. When our questions had been answered, and all information respecting ourselves been given she ought to have sped off, but instead of that, she still kept near us – now here, now there. As we were near the Western Islands, all this seemed suspicious. Our Commander, who had gone to bed, got up when told of her conduct, and came on deck. She was then very near us – he hailed her. And distinctly said that if she did not keep off, he would fire into her. To show that this was no vain or empty threat, he ordered the Master to get a 9 lb Shot ready; and at the word of command, to fire over her. Still in case of any misunderstanding, on her part, the Captain bore away right from him, and plainly indicated his wish be rid of her company – and after some time, resumed our proper course. In spite of all this, the brig still came close to us, and so near that any mistake of the men at the helm would have been attended with distinctly fatal consequences. Upon this the Commander amazed at his presumption ordered the gun to be fired, and soon the ball whizzed past her stem. The good effect of this was presently seen, for he kept away, and lagged farther off us. This incident was the subject of much conversation and enlivened us all.

Very disagreeable w.r all day.

Sunday 29th May – still blowing very fresh. In the course of the day it became more moderate. Dull gloomy w.r Saw Fayal, S.t George;s, Pico, Graciosa, and Terceira; but none of them so distinctly as to enable me to say any thing about them.

Monday 30th May – fine weather. Moderate and favourable breeze.

Tuesday 31st – dull cloudy w.r – Moderate and favourable breeze.

Wednesday 1st June – fine weather all day, rainy at night. Fresh and favourable breeze.

Thursday 2d – pleasant w.r – Moderate & favourable breezes.

Friday 3d – pleasant w.r – Fresh and favourable breezes.

Saturday 4th – beautiful weather – Fresh & favourable breeze in the forenoon, very light in the afternoon.

Sunday 5th – beautiful w.r – light variable winds.

Monday 6th – fine weather – Moderate but unfavourable breeze.

Tuesday 7th – beautiful weather, light winds, which would have been favourable, had we not been to the Northward of Scilly.

Wednesday 8th – most beautiful w.r light winds all morning – fresh & favourable breeze in the afternoon. At 3.30 P.M. made Scilly. At 1 A.M. Saw the Lizard, and

Thursday 9th – at 8 A.M. came to anchor in Falmouth Harbour, after a voyage of 29 weeks, Minus one day. In the afternoon the Volage with the Emperor came in sight. [11]

Almost immediately after our Commander, the cabin passengers went on shore. These were three in number, viz. M.r John McKibben from Buenos Ayres to England – M.r & Dodgson from Rio. As a matter of politeness I shall introduce the lady first. She was a very pleasant agreeable & when her face was lighted up with animation, a very handsome woman. Her age was only 23 & she had been five years married but had no children.

Her husband the Reverend W.m Jacob Thomas Dodgson was a tall genteel young man, a native of Demerara, and an Oxford Man to boot. If we may believe all we heard they (M.r D & wife) have mingled in the most genteel, nay fashionable society. M.r D is very clever in the Classics and is moreover a poet, although such is the true modesty of merit, he never once alluded to this gift & we learnt it only from his wife. About 18 months ago he had left England to act as Clergyman at the Gongo Soco Mines – but having been unable to live on good terms with the chief Commissioner there Colonel Skerrett, he had resigned his situation & was now on his way back to Liverpool, of which place his wife is a native. In our society he showed himself a very pleasant fellow – was no enemy to a cheerful glass of wine – & was not particularly strict in his conduct on Sundays & holidays. He was not worse certainly than the great mass of Ministers, altho’ it is much to be feared that true religion will decline most lamentably, unless its teachers enter upon their task with more energy & a greater strictness of doctrine & life.

M.r John McKibben was an Irishman a native of Belfast – a stout, unaffected young man. He had been 7 years as a merchant in Buenos Ayres, in the house of Dickson & C.o He was very pleasant company – had read a great deal, or as I may say, too much reading has injured his mind in reference to religion. He professed Deistical principles and I may remark that his case is by no means singular but that many young men, who go to reside abroad, are soon corrupted, and merely retain a little religion for fashion sake. M.r McKibben was a complete merch.t professed to look only to his own interest – & declared that all the fine feelings of charity & benevolence were nonsense, & the mere inventions of a crack brained fellow. In politics he was a rank reformer, & to often expressed his hopes, that the title of King would be obliterated from the dictionary of men and a government established on a republican basis.
Besides these passengers we had a Captain Hambly, his wife & 3 children, together with 12 miners. I gave up my Cabin to Capt.n H & his family. They were so frightened at Rio, that they were in haste to come away with us, & would not wait for several large packages, of clothes which was coming down from the Mines to them. Capt.n H & wife were very pleasant people & their manners such as you would naturally expect from their situation. The oldest of the children a boy of 8 or 9 years named David – the second a girl of 4 years, named Dee  – & the third was called Mary Ann, a child of 8 months old.

The 12 Miners, whom we brought home, were quiet steady men, very different from those whom we had taken out. They were satisfied with their provisions & accommodations, whereas the others had been continually grumbling & never satisfied. The most of them belonged to the Gongo Soco, and had been there for upwards of three years, and they were now returning to their homes with a little money, which they had saved.


Read on … Ship’s Company