Thomas James, Act. Cdr.

This page about Acting Commander Lieutenant Thomas James is littered with words written in Greek characters – but which are used to spell or approximate English words. The English deciphering of these Greek is transcribed in italics within square brackets. From the tone of the passage it is clear that Surgeon Williamson would not have wanted anyone on board to read his less than flattering comments and observations – particularly not Lieut. James. I have not tried to translate the ‘Latin,’ which I think highly suspect, and possibly schoolboy dog-latin.

[Thomas James] or as [He] is more familiarly known [called Tom James went] out in the [room of] our own [Commander. He] is a native [of Truro,] & is a [Lieutenant] in his Maj.ys [service]. I did not much [admire Him] He could be [pleasant] when [he chose] & most disagreable when he pleased, which by the bye was very often. His education was apparently [defficient] & he possessed no qualities of natural acuteness & observation to make amends for the want of it. In general his [manner] was [surly] & [ungracious], hardly condescending to [converse] with either [Passengers] or [Officers]. Habuit insannum facminarum amoram, et sola conversati ei grata as eas spectabat denigue erat bestia butissirmae similor quam homium. He possessed no feeling but [for himself], and entirely resisted that celebrated saying “Nihil humarri a me a ilnum est.’ [He abused] all separately behind [their backs] – and never [to their faces]. Of the absent he was most unmeasured in [His abuse] & [revealed] many [affairs] which a man of honour would have concealed. In a word I would not [sail with Him as Commander], if he [were to pay double] & according to Homer odi et urceo.’ [1]

Read on … Ship’s Company