A SAILOR'S LIFE
Her Highness tile Rani of Sarawak
A SAILOR'S LIFE
ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET
THE HON. SIR HENRY KEPPEL
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
NEW YORK : THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
sill rig/its reurvtd
Dido : Second Expedition
Dido . ... i
England .... -3
Shore Time Study Steam ... 3 8
Shore Time "-5
The Meander . .... 65
viii A Sailor's Life
Meeander Cruising . . . . . 92
Meander Cruising in the Sulu Sea . . . .106
Meander Hong Kong . . . . . . 1 1 5
In Eastern Seas . . . . . . . .124
Mteander . . . . . . . . .144
En route to Sydney . . . . . . .151
Sydney to Hobart Town . . . . . 153
Meander . , . . . . . . .190
At Home 201
Shore Time . . . . ...... 205
St. Jean d' Acre . . . . . . 208
Sf. Jean cT Acre Cruising . . .' . . . .215
The Baltic Fleet ... ..... 223
The Bombardment of Bomarsund ..... 233
St. Jean d' Acre . . . . . . . '; . 238
The Crimea . . . ... . . . 245
St. Jean d' Acre . . . . . . . .261
A Sailor's Life
Second Expedition to Kertch ..... 270
Naval Brigade . . . . . . . .276
Trenches Before Sevastopol . . . . .288
The Redan 297
After Fall of Sevastopol ...... 304
Arrival from Crimea Thence in Colossus Shore Time . 312
The Raleigh . . . . . . . . .325
The Raleigh . . . . . . . . 330
Cape to China ........ 333
Meander leaving Plymouth .
"The Bishop" . . '. -.. ; -\
Meander hove to ...
Comber in Danger
New Harbour, Singapore
All Sail set
Meander passing astern of Hastings
Map Eastern Archipelago .
Kina-Balu, N. Borneo .
Mteander, Hong Kong. Manned
Yards on Departure of Sir
A Spanish Galleon
Mteander on Shore
Mteander off Port Essington
An Australian Grave .
M<eander at Sydney . . .
Sir Oswald Brierly
Meander at Hobart Town .
The Sham Fig%t . ...
Meander between Sydney Heads .
The Rattlesnake ....
Rescue by Convicts. Norfolk Island
A Coral Island . ...
Photographed by Her
Highness the Rani
of Sarawak Frontispiece
Sir Oswald Brierly 66
From a photograph 7 I
Sir Oswald Brierly 74
Sir Oswald Brierly
A Sailor's Life
Meander in a Gale
Point Venus, Tahiti
Tahiti Harbour .
Lieutenant George Bowyear
Inland Scenery, Tahiti
A Coral Atoll .
Meander at Valparaiso
Sharks at Mazatlan
The Cemetery at Guyamas .
In the Straits 'of Magellan .
The St. Jean a? Acre .
The Commander-in-Chief .
The Gondola Yacht off Tolbeacon
Circular Fort Bomarsund .
The Battle of the Alma
Map Strait of Gibraltar
Map The Bosporus .
St. "Jean a* Acre off Balaclava
"All the Way Up." The Col of
" How the Guards looked "
Omar Pasha's Arab
Map of Crimea ....
"Jack, to Newly Arrived Sub-
In Rear of the Lancaster Battery .
Plan of Sevastopol
Inside the Naval Brigade Battery.
" Redan " Windham .
A Videttc of Cossacks
Sir Oswald Brierly
Sir Oswald Brierly
Sir Oswald Brierly
" Illustrated London
Co I. Hon. SirW. Colville,
From "Punch," 1855
Col. Hon. Sir W. Colville,
Col.Hon. Sir IV. Colville,
THIS being the morning fixed for the departure 1844.
of our small expedition against the Sekarrans, the Sarawak,
Phlegethon weighed at eight and proceeded down the ug ' 5 '
river to await the collection of force.
Among those who accompanied us was the Pan-
geran Budrudeen, the intelligent brother of the
Rajah already noticed. This was an unusual event
in the Royal Family, and the departure from the
Rajah's wharf was imposing. The barge of state
was decked with banners and canopies. All the
chiefs attended, with the Arab priest Mudlana at
their head, and the barge pushed off amid the firing
of cannon and a general shout to invoke the blessing
Having seen the last boat off, Brooke and I took
our departure in the gig, when another salute was
fired from the wharf. Three hours brought us to
the steamer. Here we heard that a small boat from
the pirate country had, under pretence of trading,
been spying into our force, but decamped on our
appearance. We now got fairly away, the smaller
boats keeping near the shoals in-shore, while the
steamer was obliged to make an offing some miles
from the coast. From the masthead we distinctly
VOL. II B
2 A Sailor's Life CHAP.
1844. made out the small boat that had left the mouth of
the river before, pulling and sailing in the direction
of Batang Lupar, up which the Sekarran country
lies ; and it being desirable that they should not get
information of our approach, at dusk, being well
in advance, our auxiliary force following, we de-
spatched Brooke's sampan and one of Dido's cutters
Aug. 6. With the flood-tide arrived the well-appointed
little fleet, and with it the cutter and sampan with
two out of the three men belonging to the boat of
which they had been in chase, the third having been
speared by Seboo on showing a strong inclination to
run amuck in his own boat. From these men we
learned that Seriff Sahib was fully prepared for de-
fence his harem had been removed and that he
would fight to the last.
We anchored in the afternoon at the mouth of
the Linga, and sent a messenger to caution the chief,
SerifF Jaffer, against giving any countenance to either
SerifF. The Batang Lupar, thus far, is a magnificent
river, from three to four miles wide, and in most
parts from 5 to 7 fathoms deep.
Aug. 7. Weighed at daylight. Shortly after eleven, with
a tide sweeping us up, we came in sight of the forti-
fications of Patusen. There were five forts. Getting
suddenly into 6 feet of water, we anchored. We
were well within musket range, but not so formid-
able a berth as we might have taken up had we been
aware of the increasing depth of water nearer the
shore ; but we approached so rapidly there was no
time to ascertain.
The Dido and Phlegethori s boats were not long
in forming alongside. They consisted of the follow-
xxxn Up the Batang Lupar River 3
Pinnace : Lieutenant C. F. Wade ; R. Beith, 1844.
assistant-surgeon ; 1 3 seamen ; 5 marines.
Jolly Bachelor : Lieutenant E. W. Tumour ; Mr.
C. Johnson, midshipman ; 2 1 seamen ; 7 marines.
First cutter : Mr. E. H. H. D'Aeth, mate ; 8
seamen ; 8 marines.
Second cutter : Mr. Robert Jenkins, acting-mate ;
8 seamen ; 2 marines.
Second gig : Mr. R. C. Allen, Master ; 6 seamen.
Phlegethon s first cutter : Mr. S. Caverley, first
officer ; 1 5 men.
Second cutter : Mr. Simpson, second officer ; Mr.
A. Barton, midshipman ; 1 5 seamen.
Third cutter : Mr. H. Comber, acting-mate of
Dido ; 12 seamen.
Fourth cutter : Mr. G. S. Darby, fourth officer ;
In all, 13 officers ; 108 seamen ; 16 marines.
We had no steam, and to direct a fleet of boats
how to attack a succession of half a dozen forts was
beyond me. They were off, and they were there !
From the Phlegethon we had no difficulty in setting
fire to the thatched roofs of the forts. Reinforce-
ments came across the extensive shelter of Patusen
Harbour. These we might easily have sunk with
Phlegethon s guns, but there was excitement for them
on landing ! They never once checked in their ad-
vance, but the moment they touched the shore the
crews rushed up, entering the forts at the embrasures,
while the pirates fled at the rear. In this sharp and
short affair we had but one man killed, poor John
Ellis, a fine young man, and captain of the maintop
in the Dido. He was cut in two by a round-shot
while in the act of ramming home a cartridge in the
bow-gun of the Jolly Bachelor, of which Lieutenant
4 A Sailor's Life CHAP.
1844. Edward Turnour was in command. This, and two
Borneo, others badly wounded, were the only casualties on
Au S ust " our side.
Our native allies were not long in following our
men on shore. The killed and wounded on the part
of the pirates must have been considerable. Our
native followers got many heads. There were no
less than sixty -four brass guns of different sizes,
besides many iron, found in and about the forts.
The town was extensive, and after being well looted
made a glorious blaze. Our Sarawak followers, both
Malays and Dyaks, behaved with gallantry, and with
our lads dashed in under the fire of the forts. In
fact, like their country, anything might be made of
them under a good Government.
After our men had dined, and had a short rest
during the heat of the day, we landed our force in
two divisions to attack a town situated about two
miles up, on the left bank of a small river called the
Grahan, the entrance to which had been guarded by
the forts, and immediately after their capture the tide
had fallen too low for our boats to get up. Facing
the stream, too, was a long stockade, so that we de-
termined on attacking the place in the rear, which,
had the pirates waited to receive them, would have
caused an interesting skirmish. Brooke was away
independently in the gig. They, however, de-
camped, leaving everything behind them.
In this town we found SerifF Sahib's residence,
and among other things his curious and extensive
wardrobe. It was ridiculous to see our Dyaks
dressed out in all the finery and plunder of this
noted pirate, whose very name a few days ago would
have made them tremble.
Aug. 6, 7. We likewise found a magazine in the rear of
xxxn Fall of Patusen Fort 5
Sahib's house, containing about 2 tons of gunpowder, 1844.
which I ordered to be thrown into the river.
It was evident we attacked Patusen at the right
moment : the preparations for its defence were
nearly completed, and a delay of a week would have
resulted in considerable loss of life. It was the key
to this extensive river, the resort of the worst of
pirates, and each chief had contributed his share of
guns and ammunition towards its defence.
We returned to our boats and evening meal
rather fatigued, but much pleased with our work,
after ascending near seventy miles from the mouth
of the river. The habitations of 5000 pirates had
been burnt to the ground, five strong forts destroyed,
together with several hundred boats, upwards of
sixty brass guns captured, and about a fourth of that
number of iron ones spiked and thrown into the
river, besides vast quantities of other arms and
ammunition, and the powerful Sahib, the great
pirate patron for the last twenty years, ruined past
recovery, and driven to hide his diminished head in
The 8th and 9th were spent in burning and de- Aug. 8, 9.
stroying the remains of the staggering town and a
variety of smaller boats.
As soon as the tide had risen sufficiently to take Aug. 10.
us over the shoals, we weighed in the steamer for the
country of the Sekarran Dyaks, having sent the boats
on before with the first of the flood.
About fifteen miles above Patusen is the branch
of the river called the Undop. Up this river I sent
Lieutenant Turnour, with Mr. Comber, in the 'Jolly
Bachelor and a division of our native boats, while we
proceeded to where the river again branches off" to
the right and left, as on the tongue of land so formed
6 A Sailor's Life CHAP.
1844. we understood we should find a strong fort ; besides,
Dido. jj- was the highest point to which we could attempt
to take the steamer. We found the place deserted
and houses empty.
We now divided the force into three divisions
the one already mentioned, under Lieutenant
Tumour, up the Undop ; another, under Mr. D'Aeth,
up the Lupar ; while Lieutenant Wade, accompanied
by Brooke, ascended the Sekarran. I had not cal-
culated on the disturbed and excited state in
which I found the country : two wounded men
having been sent back from the Undop branch,
brought accounts of pirates, chiefly Malays, collected
in great numbers both before and in the rear of our
An attempt had been made to cut off the bearer
of this information, Nakodah Bahar, who had had a
harrow escape, and had no idea of being the bearer
of an answer unless attended by a European force.
I had some difficulty in mustering another crew from
the steamer, and left my friend Captain Scott with
only the idlers, rather critically situated. I deemed
it advisable to re-collect our whole force, and before
proceeding to the punishment of the Sekarrans to
destroy the power and influence of Seriff Muller,
whose town was situated about twenty miles up, said
to contain a population of 1500 Malays, without
reckoning the Dyak tribes.
Having despatched boats with directions to Lieu-
tenant Wade and Mr. D'Aeth to join us in the
Undop, a tributary of the Batang Lupar, proceeded
to the scene of action ; leaving the Phlegethon to
maintain as strict a blockade of the Sekarran and
Lupar branches as, with her reduced force, she was
xxxn We punish the Sekarran Pirates 7
On my joining Lieutenant Tumour, I found him 184.4.
just returned from a very spirited attack which he August,
had made, assisted by Mr. Comber, on a stockade
situated on the summit of a steep hill, Mr. Allen, the
Master, being still absent on a similar service on the
opposite side of the river.
The gallant old chief Patingi Ali was likewise
absent in pursuit of the enemy that had been driven
from the stockades, with whom he had had a hand-to-
hand fight, the whole of which, being on the rising
ground, was witnessed by our boats' crews, who could
not resist hailing his return from his gallant achieve-
ment with three hearty cheers.
We had now to unite in cutting our way through
a barrier across the river similar to that described
in the attack on the Sarebas, which having passed .
we brought up for the night close to a still more
serious obstacle in a number of huge trees felled,
the branches of which, meeting midway in the river,
formed apparently an insurmountable obstacle. But
" patience and perseverance " overcame all obstacles.
By night only three of the trees remained to be
cleared away. On the right bank, about 50 yards
in advance of the barrier, stood a farm building,
which we considered it prudent to occupy for
Having collected fifty volunteers (Brooke and
Wade had then not rejoined), I took Brooke's school-
fellow Steward, Williamson, and with me Comber, a
corporal and four marines, my gig's crew, and, of
course, my trusty John Eager, the sound of whose
bugle meant mischief. The remainder composed of a
medley of picked Malays and Dyaks.
The house being 100 yards in advance of our
party, and 80 from the river, it was difficult of
8 A Sailor's Life
1844. approach, especially at night. The ground swampy,
August. w\th logs of trees, over which I stumbled, and was up
to my arms in mud and water. Nevertheless, there
was no noise. It was a roomy building. In one
corner I found an enclosure, forming a square of about
8 feet ; of this I took possession, and while in the place
it was pitch dark I quietly divested me of my wet
"Tiga" (three) was the watchword, in case of a
stranger finding his way in. I was contemplating
whether my duck trousers were sufficiently dry for
me to get into, when every one was disturbed by
a most diabolical war -yell. In a moment every
man was on his legs swords, spears, and krisses
dimly glittered over our heads. It is impossible
to describe the excitement and confusion of the
succeeding ten minutes ; one and all believed we
had been surrounded by the enemy and cut off from
our main party.
I had already thrust the muzzle of my pistol close
to the heads of several natives, whom in the con-
fusion I had mistaken for Sekarrans ; and as each
in his turn called out " Tiga ! " I withdrew my
weapon to apply it to somebody else, until at last
we found we were all " Tigas." I had prevented
Eager more than once from sounding the alarm,
which from the first he had not ceased to press for
permission to do.
The Dyak yell had, however, succeeded in throw-
ing the whole force afloat into a similar confusion,
who, not hearing the signal, concluded they, and not
we, were the party attacked. The real cause we
afterwards ascertained to have arisen from the alarm
of a Dyak, who dreamt, or imagined, he felt a spear
thrust upwards through the bamboo flooring of our
All " Tigas " 9
building, and immediately gave his diabolical yell. 1844.
The confusion was ten times as much as it would
have been had the enemy really been there. So
ended the adventures of the night in the wild jungle
DIDO : SECOND EXPEDITION
1844. AT daylight we were joined by Wade and Brooke,
Aug. ii. their division making a very acceptable increase to
our force, and by eight o'clock the last barrier was
cut through between us and Seriff Muller's devoted
With the exception of his own house, from which
some eight or nine Malays were endeavouring to re-
move his effects, the whole place was deserted. They
made no fight, and an hour afterwards the town had
been plundered and burnt.
The only lives lost were a few unfortunates, who
happened to come within range of our musketry
in their exertions to save some of their master's
A handsome large boat belonging to Seriff Muller
was the only thing saved, and this I presented to
After a short delay in catching our usual supply of
goats and poultry, with which the place abounded, we
proceeded up the river in chase of the chief and his
people, our progress much impeded by the immense
trees felled across the river.
We ascertained that the pirates had retreated to a
Dyak village, situated on the summit of a hill, some
CHAP, xxxni The Undop River 1 1
twenty-five miles higher up the Undop, five or six 1844.
miles only of which we had succeeded in ascending,
as a most dreary and rainy night closed in, during
which we were joined by D'Aeth and his division
from the Lupar River.
The following morning, at daybreak, we again
commenced our toilsome work. We should have
succeeded better with lighter boats, and I should
have despaired of the heavier boats getting up had
they not been assisted by an opportune and sudden
rise of the tide, to the extent of 12 or 14 feet, though
with this we had to contend against a considerably
increased strength of current.
It was on this day that my ever active and zealous
First Lieutenant, Charles Wade, jealous of the ad-
vanced position of our light boats, obtained a place
in my gig.
That evening the Phlegethons first and second
cutters, the Dido's two cutters, and their gigs, were
fortunate enough to pass a barrier composed of trees
recently felled, from which we concluded ourselves to
be so near the enemy that, by pushing forward as
long as we could see, we might prevent further
impediments from being thrown in our way. This
we did, but at 9 P.M., arriving at a broad expanse of
the river, and being utterly unable to trace our course,
we anchored our advance force for the night.
The first landing-place we had no trouble in dis- Aug. 14.
covering, from the number of deserted boats collected
near it. Leaving these to be looted, we proceeded
in search of the second, which we understood was
situated more immediately under the village, and
which, having advanced without our guides, we had
much difficulty in finding. The circuit of the base
of the hill was above five miles.
12 A Sailor's Life
1844. During this warfare, Patingi AH, who, with his
usual zeal, had here come up, bringing a considerable
native force of both Malays and Dyaks, was particu-
larly on the alert ; while we in the gig attacked
Seriff Muller himself.
Patingi nearly succeeded in capturing that chief
in person. He had escaped from his prahu into a
fast-pulling sampan, in which he was chased by old
All, and afterwards only saved his life by throwing
himself into the water and swimming to the jungle ;
indeed, it was with no small pride that the gallant
old chief appropriated the boat to his own use.
In the prahu were captured two large brass guns,
two smaller ones, a variety of arms, ammunition, and
personal property, amongst which were also two pairs
of handsome Wedgewood jars.
While my crew were employed cooking, I crept
into the jungle and suddenly fancied I heard the
suppressed hum of many voices not far distant. I
returned to our cooking party and bade Wade take
up his double-barrel and come with me. I had not
penetrated many yards before I came in sight of a
mass of boats concealed in a snug little inlet, the
entrance to which had escaped our notice. These
boats were filled with piratical Dyaks and Malays,
and sentinels posted at various points on the
My first impulse was to conceal ourselves until the
arrival of our force, but -my rash though gallant
friend deemed otherwise, and, without noticing the
caution of my upheld hand, dashed in advance, dis-
charging his gun, calling upon our men to follow.
It is impossible to conceive the consternation and
confusion this our sudden sally occasioned among the
pirates. The confused noise and scrambling from
In full Pursuit of the Pirates 1 3
their boats I can only liken to that of a suddenly- 1844,
roused flock of wild-ducks.
Our attack from the point whence it came was
evidently unexpected ; and it is my opinion that they
calculated on our attacking the hill, if we did so at
all, from the nearest landing-place, without pulling
round the other five miles, as the whole attention of
their scouts appeared to be directed towards that
A short distance above them was a small encamp-
ment, probably erected for the convenience of their
chiefs, as in it we found writing materials, two or
three desks of English manufacture, on the brass
plate of one of which, I afterwards noticed, was
engraved the name of " Willson."
To return to the pirates : with our force, such as
it was nine in number we pursued our terrified
enemy, headed by Wade.
They foolishly themselves had not the courage to
rally in their judiciously selected and naturally pro-
tected encampment, but continued their retreat (firing
on us from the jungle) towards the Dyak village on
the summit of the hill. We collected our force,
reloaded our firearms ; and Wade, seeing from this
spot the arrival at the landing-place of the other
boats, again rushed on in pursuit.
Before arriving at the foot of the steep ascent on
the summit of which the Dyak village stood, we had
to cross a small open -space of about 60 yards,
exposed to the fire from the village as well as the
surrounding jungle. It was before crossing this
plain that I again cautioned Wade to await the
arrival of his men, of whom he was far in advance.
We suddenly came on to the snuggest and best-
sheltered boat harbour I ever saw. The land was
14 A Sailor's Life CHAP.
1844. high towards the river, with a narrow and well-
concealed entrance opening to the river, so high that
an impromptu bridge in the shape of a large tree
had been thrown across. It was along this that
Wade was proceeding in advance, calling " Come on,
my boys ! " And I am afraid I did not disguise my
gratification at seeing him disappear into the branches
of a large tree growing beneath.
O^ o o
By this time the cutter and other boats had landed
at our point and were coming up. I had scarcely got
across the tree-bridge, when I saw my friend scramb-
ling up the opposite side, himself unhurt, his gun not
Our men were now landing fast, and it was for