Basil Lubbock.

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The huge compound and enclosure of the palace
was now completely surrounded — 1500 armed men were
said to be within, but the surprise was complete. It
was left to Mr. Edmonstonc, Commander Foulerton,
and Colonel Powell to tackle the wretched King himself.
They found him reduced to a state of semi -imbecility
by fright and past excesses. He was sitting on his bed
surrounded by some of his wives and attendants.
Mr. Edmonstone told him to get ready to go aboard the
steamer. At this there was a general howl from the
wives and the King began to cry and stutter out all sorts


of excuses and protestations, and seemed prepared for
any obstinacy.

But his behaviour was more than the sailor could
stand, and he told Mr. Edmonstone that he would soon
settle the matter, if he would allow him, by hoiating the
King of Oude aboard the Semiramis by a whip on the

But the Foreign Secretary, who had been used to
dealing with Indian princes with much etiquette and
ceremony, would not stand for this proposal, and a
carriage was sent for from Government House, though
Commander Foulerton was allowed to take the King's
rascally Minister, AH Nuckee Khan, and several other
Court dignitaries on board the Semiramis, to be landed
at the fort.

This was the first important part played by the
Punjaufs crew during the Indian Mutiny, and it was
by no means the last.

For the next few days panic still reigned at Calcutta.
Both civilians and soldiers slept with swords handy and
revolvers under their pillows.

Most of the mem-sahibs slept aboard the ships.
Commander Foulerton very often slept ashore, but one
night he happened to come aboard his ship and to his
surprise found a lady occupying his bed.

The first naval detachments for active service were
landed from the ships in June and July, 1857, and were
soon scattered over Bengal doing most yeoman service.
The chief detachment from the Punjaub was known as
Number 4. It was commanded by Lieut. T. E. Lewis,
the First Lieutenant of the Punjaub, with the following
officers under him, Acting-Master Connor, Midshipmen
W. Cuthell and A. Mayo, and Mr. Brown, the ship's
boatswain. It was composed of 85 picked seamen,


who had been trained to the highest efficiency by Lieut.
Lewis, an officer "remarkable for military attainments. "
The detachment was armed with two 12 -pounder
howitzers; and the men carried Enfield rifles.

The Punjaub's detachment was the first to distinguish
itself in the field . They saved Dacca from the mutineers
on 22nd November, 1857. It was a hot action in which
a few sailors had to face many times their own number
of Sepoys and their sympathisers. Space will not
admit of a full account of this gallant affair, but the
following is Lieut. Lewis's despatch: —

The Treasury, Executive Engineers and Commissariat Guards were
disarmed without resistance. We then inarched down to the Lall
Bagh : on entering the hnes the Sepoys were found drawn up by their
magazine, with two 9-pounders in the centre. Their hospital and
numerous buildings in the Lall Bagh, together with the barracks,
which are on top of a hill, and are built of brick and loopholed, were
also occupied by them in great force. Immediately we deployed into
line, they opened fire on us from front and left flank with canister and
musketry. We gave them one volley, and then charged with the
bayonet up the hill, and carried the whole of the barracks on the top of
it, breaking the doors with our musket butts and bayoneting the Sepoys
inside. As soon as this was done we charged down the hill, and, taking
them in flank, carried both their guns and all the buildings, driving
them into the jungle.

While we were thus employed with the small-arm men, the
two mountain train howitzers, advancing to within 750 yards, took up
a position to the right, bearing on the enemy's guns in rear of their
magazine, and unlimbering, kept up a steady and well-directed fire.
Everyone, both officers and men, behaved most gallantly, charging
repeatedly, in face of a most heavy fire, without the slightest hesitation
for a moment. I beg particularly to bring to notice the conduct of
Mr. Midshipman Mayo, who led the last charge on their guns most
gallantly, being nearly 20 yards in front of the men.

I regret to say our loss has been severe, but not more, I think, than
could have been expected from the strength of the position and the
obstinacy of the defence. Forty-one Sepoys were counted by Mr.
Boatswain Brown dead on the ground and 8 have been since brought in
desperately wounded. Three also were drowned or shot in attempting
to escape across the river. I enclose a Ust of IdUed »ud WQunded. Dx


t5cst being ill. Dr. Green, Civil Surgeon, accompanied the detach-
ment into action and was severely wounded. I was ably seconded by
Mr. Connor, my second in command. Lieutenant Dowell, Bengal
Artillery, volunteered and took command of one of our howitzers
which he fought most skilfully to the end of the action. We were also
accompanied by Messrs. Carnac, C. S. Macpherson and Bainbridge,
and Lieutenant Hitchins, Bengal Native Infantry, who rendered great
assistance with their rifles, and to whom my thanks are due.

The gallant middy Arthur Mayo was awarded the
Victoria Cross, and Lieut. Lewis and his detachment
were praised in every direction from Lord Canning

From Dacca the detachment was sent up to Sylhet in
Assam, Acting-Master Connor being left behind at
Dacca with a small party, chiefly of time-expired men,
the original force under Lieut. Lewis being made up to
100 men by reinforcements. The detachment remained
at Sylhet from 2nd October, 1857, to January, 1859,
when Lieut. Lewis and his men were sent to Dibrooghur
and in November, 1859, an expedition was sent out
against the Abor hillmen.

This was very hard service in a fever and jungle
country, the hillmen defending themselves from stock-
ades, which had to be taken at the point of the bayonet.

After five hours of continuous fighting, during which
the force was opposed by flights of poisoned arrows,
the final village was captured. During the assault on
the last stockage, the eighth, Lieut. Davies was severely
w^ounded in left breast and arm, and Mayo in the hand
by poisoned arrows. An arrow also lodged in the cap
pocket of Lieut. Lewis but failed to penetrate the leather.
" Luckily the cap pouch was one of the Punjaub 's Bombay
one's, " writes Lieut. Lewis, "the leather of which is
like a board. "

Four seamen were killed and 21 wounded by the


poisoned arrows, but Lieut. Lewis saved many lives by
sucking the wounds. (The poison was made from a
vegetable gum obtained from cutting into the bark of a
certain tree, and this was mixed with tobacco into a
paste . Its effect was most dead ly . )

Besides using these poisoned arrows, the Abors
defended themselves by planting "punjies" or small
poisoned stakes on the jungle paths; and they also
rolled down stones and rocks, the hills being extremely

Again the Punjaub's detachment received the thanks
of the Governor-General in Council. It was their last
fight. Worn out by fever, hard service and wounds,
the original members had nearly all to be invalided.
Lewis and Mayo, both in shattered health, were com-
pelled to leave India; and Lewis, who never received
any reward for his gallant services, died shortly after-
wards in England.

Whilst the pick of his officers and men were fighting
ashore Commander Foulerton was busy at sea racing
here and there with troops.

The Punjaub was back in Bombay on 21st September,
1857, left for Kurrachee on 8th October, returned to
Bombay on the 18th and left for Vingorla on 11th
November, after which she was kept continually on the
move trooping.

During June of 1860 we find her taking the Muscat -
Zanzibar Commission to Muscat and the Kooria-Mooria
Group. Off Ras-ul-Had the Punjaub fell in with the
Omanee Squadron of seven ships of war full of armed
men; these were bound on a punitive expedition
undertaken by the Wali of Muscat against his brother,
the Wali of Zanzibar. This expedition was turned back
to Muscat by the Political Agent, Major Russell (after-


wards Sir E. L. Russell, K. C.S.I.) who was on board
the Punjaub.

In 1862 it was decided to convert the Punjaub and
Assaye into screw steamers, and they were ordered to
England, the Punjaub sailing on the 8th February and
the Assaye on the 31st March.

By this date the old Indian Navy had become merged
into the Royal Navy; and on the arrival of the two
famous frigates in the Thames they were sold.

Laying the Indo-European Cable in the
Persian Gulf.

Old John Willis, with his wonderful eye for a
ship, bought both frigates and converted them into
sailing ships. He sold the Assaye soon after he had
bought her at a large profit; but he held on to the
Punjaub, which he rechristcned The Tiveed, in honour
of the beautiful river on which he was born. He also
gave her a fine new figurehead, representing Tam o'
Shanter, the hero of his favourite poem.

In the autumn of 1863 the two ea;-men-of-war once
more returned to their old haunts. Together with the
Cospatrick they were taken up by the Government and
sent out to Bombay with the Persian Gulf Telegraph
cable on board, and between January and May, 1864,
were employed in laying the sections between Cape
Mussendom and Bush ire, and between Bushire and Fao
on the Shatt-ul-Arab.

Captain Stuart of " The Tweed."

Old John Willis was so pleased with his new
purchase, The Tweed, that he took his favourite captain,
W. Stuart, from the Lammermuir and placed him in
command of the splendid old frigate.


The Tweed and Captain Stuart, her commander, at
once began to make that name for themselves which
has caused them to be the subject of veneration
wherever old seamen congregate.

I have given a short account of Captain Stuart in my
China Clippers, but I may perhaps be permitted to
supplement this by a few more details.

Stuart came of Viking stock, the name Stuart being
originally Skigvard — just as the name Shewan, of a
fellow townsman and sea captain whom he succeeded in
the Lammermuir , was originally Sigvan or Shigvan.
Both captains were certainly Vikings in looks as well
as in certain characteristics of temperament.

Stuart's father was a prosperous leather merchant
in Peterhead . The boy was sent to sea at an early age
as an apprentice in the clipper barque Lochnagar,
trading to Launceston. Having served his time, he
became mate and then master of the clipper schooner
Vivid, running between Peterhead and London. Then he
obtained command of a small barque in the Cape trade,
and after two voyages was promoted to a larger ship.

He entered Willis' employ as successor to Captain
Andrew Shewan in the command of the Lammermuir.
Captain Stuart commanded The Tweed from 1863 to
1877, during which time he never lost a man or a spar,
and made quite a fortune for John Willis.

Some Sailing Records of "The Tweed.'*

On her first passage under Willis' house-flag,
The Tweed went out to Bombay with the Indo-European
cable on board in 77 days.

On her return to Bombay from the Persian Gulf, she
was completely refitted as a first-class passenger ship, for
which with a poop 66 feet long she was very suitable.


Frojn a Painting. [To face Page 230.


After her refit she went to Vingorla, and, taking the
Seaforth Highlanders on board, brought them home
round the Cape in 78 days.

Ventilation was not understood on the early steamers
as it is now, and as a consequence the passage home
from India via Red Sea and Suez Canal was proving
very fatal to troops worn out by a long term of service in
India. Thus it came about that The Tzveed was
taken up year after year during the sixties by the
Government in order to bring home invalid troops
round the Cape; and in this service she acquitted
herself with distinction by the quickness of her passages
and the comfort of her accommodation.

On her outward passages during these years she
either went to Sydney or Calcutta, and often made an
intermediate passage up the China Coast. Being very
fast in light winds, some of these passages to China
were astonishing. On one occasion she beat the mail
steamer between Hongkong and Singapore, and Mr.
Joseph Conrad tells us that naval officers used to board
her in order to examine her charts, take measurements
of her sail plan and the placing of her masts. Later on
during the Indian famine of the seventies she made
some very smart runs between Rangoon and Madras
with rice for starving Indians.

I give the abstract log of her first passage to Melbourne
in the Appendix. She made the return passage,
Melbourne to London, 3rd February to 27th April,
1874, in 83 days. In June, 1874, like many another
first-class ship, she was taken up to carry emigrants
to the booming colony of New Zealand. She left
the Thames in the middle of the month, and on
the 17th of June took her departure from St. Catherine's


8th July. — Crossed the line, 21 days out.

On 19th July in 34° S„ 28° 46' W., with a strong north breeze,
she ran 324 miles in the 24 hours; and on the 24th in 36° 52' S., 12°
49' W.. she made a run of 304 miles.

29th July. — Crossed the Greenwich meridian in 38° S.

6th August. — In a strong to fresh N.E. gale, she ran 320 miles in
40°41'S., 33° 26' E.

15th August in a fresh north gale, she ran 316 miles in 44° 45' S.,
90° 20' E., and on 18th August made 302 miles before a fresh westerly
gale in 44° 50' S., 97° E.

3rd September. — The Tweed arrived at Otago, 78 days out.

From New Zealand she went across to Sydney, and
leaving Port Jackson on 11th January, 1875, made the
Lizard 86 days out.

In June, 1875, The Tweed was loaded very deep with
general cargo and passengers for Sydney, her draft
being 21 feet. As she had eight fine stallions on her
main deck, Captain Stuart dared not drive as he would
have liked. She left the docks on 12th June, and took
her departure from the land on the 21st.

She crossed the line in 28° W., on 13th July, only
22 days from the land, and crossed the Cape meridian
on 12th August. Twice she had to be hove to Avhilst
running her easting down ; on the first occasion on
18th August, and the second time in a violent N.N.E.
gale on 4th September, when the starboard lifeboat
was washed away.

She passed King's Island on 8th September, 79 days
out, but was becalmed off Montagu Island on the
following day and arrived at Sydney on 11th September,
82 days out.

On her homeward passage from Sydney she left on
10th December, 1875, and took her pilot off Dungeness
on 17th February, 1876, having made the magnificent
passage of 69 days.

In 1876 she was 87 days to Sydney, after being off


the Otway 80 days out, having only calms and faint airs
up the coast.

Her abstract log records the following; —

2nd May. — 1 p.m., Lizard N. 4 miles.

23rd May. — Crossed the line, 21 days out.

14th June. — Crossed Greenwich meridian. 43 days otjt.

7th July.— In 41" S., 78' E., with wind north and N.W. Distance
322 miles.

8th July.— In 41' 26' S., 85= 27' E., with wind north and N.W.
Distance 312 miles.

21st July. — Passed the Otway.

28th July. — Arrived Sydney, 87 days out.

From Sydney she went to Hongkong in 50 days, and
home from there.

In 1877 Captain Stuart handed over The Tweed to
Captain Byce in order to take command of the new
Clyde clipper Loch Etive.

Captain Byce loaded for Sydney and landed his
pilot off St. Catherine's at 4 p.m. on 8th January, 1878.

The line was crossed on 29th January, 21 days out,
and the meridian of Greenwich on 23rd February.

On 6th March in 44° 42' S., 64'' 24' E., The Ticeed
ran 325 miles in the 24 hours, the wind being strong at
N.N.E. ; and on the following day she made 300 miles.

On 31st March, at 7 a.m., the pilot was taken on
board and the ship reached her anchorage 81 days out.
Again she crossed to Hongkong, leaving Sydney 2nd
June, and arriving Hongkong, 15th July, 43 days out.

In 1880 Captain J. M. Whyte (late of the Black-
adder) took her out to Sydney.

12th May. — Left London.

15th May. — Passed the Lizard.

8th July.— Crossed the line in 27° W.. 24 days out.

24th June.— Crossed Greenwich meridian.

27th June.— Crossed Cape meridian in 42° S.

9th July. — Made a run of 362 miles.


21st July.— Passed South Cape, Tasmania. 67 days out, cveraging
240 miles a day from Equator to South Cape.
29th July. — Arrived Sydney, 75 days out

The Tweed left Sydney on 1st October, and arrived
in London on 28th December, 88 days out.

In 1881 she still remained in the Sydney trade, but
went across to Hongkong for her homeward cargo.
Leaving Hongkong on 29th October she arrived home
on 1st March, 123 days out; a very good passage for
post -racing days.

In the seventies and eighties The Tweed Avas loaded in
London by Bethell & Co., who also loaded the Thomas
Stephens. These two magnilicent ships, which drew
admiration from all nautical eyes wherever they went,
were great rivals.

Several times they raced each other out to Sydney,
and home again from India or Australia; and though
the Thomas Stephens was one of the fastest iron ships
afloat The Tweed generally had the best of it.

In 1885 Captain Moore left the Cutty Sark in order to
command old Willis' beloved flagship. Moore was one
of the old type, a safe, steady-going, experienced
shipmaster, but he was no sail carrier, and under him
The Tweed's days of records came to an end, and instead
of passages of 70 to 80 days the old ship took 90 to 100.

But she continued to earn big dividends for Willis.
On one occasion in Sydney she lay opposite the old
"Dead House" at Circular Quay for two months, when
she loaded somewhere about 30,000 bullock hides and
thousands of casks of tallow, blocked off with cased meat.
These went into the lower hold, whilst her 'tween decks,
which had so often accommodated troops, were screwed
tight with bale upon bale of wool.

The end came in July, 1888. This year she had left


Sydney for China and loaded a cargo for New York.
On 18th July when off Algoa Bay she was dismasted.
The ss. Venice got a rope aboard her and towed her
into Algoa Bay, but the old ship had received serious
injury and leaked so badly that she was not considered
worth repairing, and was eventually broken up. Who-
ever broke her up must have made a good thing of it,
for no finer teak-built ship had ever left the shipwrights'
hands. Her frames and timbers may still be seen
forming the roof of a church in Port Elizabeth.

The Sunderland -built Blackvvallers.

The rise of shipbuilding on the Wear is forced
more and more upon our attention as we notice the
builders of the later Blackwall frigates.

Duncan Dunbar was one of the earliest patronisers
of the Sunderland shipyards. As far back as the early
forties we find Laing of Sunderland turning out nice
little 800-ton frigate-built ships for Dunbar— such ships
asihe Cressy, Hyderabad, Poictiers, Agincourt, Trafalgar,
Blenheim and Ramillies; whilst in 1853 he launched
the Dunbar of over 1300 tons, the largest ship ever built
on the Wear at that date.

The Greens started their connection with Sunderland
by ordering the Roxburgh Castle from Pile in 1852,
whilst Marshall built his celebrated Statesman in 1849.
These frigate-built ships, though the finest and largest,
were by no means the most numerous of the many ships
built on the Wear. A host of small wooden ships were
turned out annually, whilst it was not long before iron
ships were being built.

The chief of the early builders were Laing, Pile,
Marshall, Doxford, Haswell and Briggs.

Pile built all Green's ships except the Lady Melville,



which was built by Haswell. Besides building all
Duncan Dunbar's, Laing built the Merchantman for
Joseph Somes, and the well-known Parramatta for
Devitt & Moore.

In 1858 110 ships were built on the Wear, totalling
42,000 tons and averaging 380 tons each: in 1868 lo8
ships were built, totalling 70,300 tons and averaging
509 tons each, whilst in 1872 122 ships were built
totalling 181,825 tons and averaging 1080 tons. These
figures show the development of Sunderland shipbuilding
very clearly.

Pile's frigate-built ships were very much alike in
appearance, and the foUowmg table of their measure-
ments may perhaps be of interest: —


Name ot Ship






of Poop



of Ko'cle



Roxburgh Castle




22. J


Walmer Castle






Alnwick Castle








Windsor Castle








Dover Castle



















1 1








raisod q"

ter deck


The Lord Warden







With these it may be of advantage to compare Laing 's
eight finest ships.


Name of Ship






of Poop


Length 1

of Kof le
























La Hogue








Duncan Dunbar














Dunbar Castle . .













raised q" ter deck


From a Il'as/i Dnnvina.


[To face Pwje 236.


The illustrations will show the difference in the
appearance of these ships. All Pile's ships show a
great resemblance to each other and might almost be
sister ships; but Laing's ships were by no means alike
and at the same time could not be mistaken for any of

The Old "La Hogue."

The best known of all these ships was probably
the old La Hogue. She was specially built for the
Australian passenger trade, and for many years was a
favourite ship to Sydney. She had splendid accom-
modation, and with a poop 96 feet long, a big midship
house and a long topgallant foc's'le might almost be
said to have an extra deck.

Her passages to Sydney were extraordinarily regular,
averaging about 90 days outward and a few more days
coming home. In 1874 in the New Zealand boom, she
was diverted to Wellington and took out 443 emigrants.

Her best known commanders were Corvasso and
Wagstaff, both of whom were very experienced in the
colonial trade. La Hogue was also celebrated for her
immense figurehead. She ended her days as a coal
hulk at Madeira, and was broken up in 1897.

The "Agamemnon."

In the same year that Laing built the La Hogue,
Green built his largest ship in the Blackwall Yard.
This was the Agamemnon of 1431 tons register, 252,3
feet in length, 36.2 feet length and 23.2 feet depth. She
had a poop 85 feet long and a topgallant foc's'le of 50
feet. There were two "Aggie's," the smaller one of
973 tons being built at Sunderland and owned by
Potts Bros,


Green's Agamemnon ran to India until 1870, when
she was put into the Australian passenger trade: and
about ten years later she also became a coal hulk.

The Burning of the "Eastern Monarch."

The Eastern Monarch was a trooper. She
caught fire on her arrival at Spithead in 1859 with
troops on board. The ship was destroyed, but everyone
was saved except a few invalids, who could not
be got at.

♦' Alnwick Castle," " Clarence " and " Dover
It is difficult to say which was the fastest of
Green's Sunderland built ships; probably there was
very little difference between them.

The Alnwick Castle held the record from the Channel
to the Sandheads, which she twice did in 68 days.
During the early sixties, when she was commanded by
Robert Taylor, she usually left Calcutta with coolies

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Online LibraryBasil LubbockThe Blackwall frigates → online text (page 18 of 26)