Category Archives: Exploration

James ‘Rajah’ Brooke – 1856 – Chinese Insurrection

James Brooke became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in 1841 after inheriting £30,000 and investing it in the schooner ‘The Royalist’ and sailing for Borneo. 

We are publishing a blog series that covers his adventures – taken from one of the books in our library called Rajah Brooke by Sir Spenser St John published in 1899.

Catch-up with earlier posts in the James Rajah Brooke series here.

James ‘Rajah’ Brooke – 1856 – Chinese Insurrection

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When Mr Fox and I made a long tour, in July [1856], among the Chinese settlements of the interior, we became convinced that opium smuggling was being carried on to a great extent, as however numerous might be the newcomers, the revenue from that source had a tendency to decrease.

At last it was discovered that opium was sent from Singapore to the Natuna Islands, and from thence it was smuggled into Sarawak and the Dutch possessions of Sambas and Pontianak. It was proved that the Kungsi had been engaged in this contraband trade, and it was fined £150, a very trifling amount, considering the thousands it had gained by defrauding the revenue, and measures were immediately taken to suppress the traffic. This, and the punishment of three of its members for a gross assault on another Chinaman, were the only grounds of complaint which could be alleged against the Sarawak Government.

But these trivial cases were not the real cause of the Chinese insurrection in Sarawak. Before that date all the Celestials in the East had been greatly excited by the announcement that the English had retired from before Canton, and that the Viceroy of the province had offered a reward of £25 for every Englishman slain. The news had been greatly exaggerated. It was said we had been utterly defeated by the Chinese forces, and now was the time, the Gold Company thought, to expel the English from Sarawak and assume the government themselves. The secret societies were everywhere in great excitement, and the Tien-Ti-Hue sent emissaries over from Singapore and Malacca to incite the gold workers to rebellion, and used the subtle, but unfortunately cogent argument, that not only were the English crushed at Canton, but that the British Government was so discontented with the Rajah that it would not interfere, if the Kungsi only destroyed him and his officers, and did not meddle with private English interests or obstruct trade. Here we see another disastrous effect of the Commission.

It was also currently reported that the Sultan of Sambas and his Malay nobles offered every encouragement to the enterprise; and the Chinese listened much to their advice, as these noblemen can speak to the Celestials in their own language, and are themselves greatly imbued with Chinese ideas. To explain this curious state of things, it may be mentioned that the children of these nobles are always nursed by girls chosen from among the healthiest of the daughters of the Chinese gold workers. Further, about that time there was a very active intercourse carried on between the Malay nobles of Sambas and Pangeran Makota, the Rajah’s old enemy and the Sultan of Brunei’s favourite minister, and the latter was constantly closeted with an emissary of the Tien-Ti-Hue of Singapore, to whom I am about to refer.

To show that this was not a mere conjecture I may state that on the 14th of February [1857], four days before the insurrection in Sarawak, a Chinese named Achang, who had arrived at Brunei from Singapore a few days previously, and had a year before been expelled from Sarawak for joining a secret society, came to my house to try and induce my four Chinese servants to enter the Hue, adding as a sufficient reason that the Gold Company of Sarawak would by that time have killed all the white men in that country.

Excerpt from Rajah Brooke, published in 1899 by Sir Spenser St John

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Further Reading and External Links

James Rajah Brooke on Wikipedia

The Royalist Schooner

James ‘Rajah’ Brooke – 1856 – Secret Societies

James Brooke became the first White Rajah of Sarawak in 1841 after inheriting £30,000 and investing it in the schooner ‘The Royalist’ and sailing for Borneo. 

We are publishing a blog series that covers his adventures – taken from one of the books in our library called Rajah Brooke by Sir Spenser St John published in 1899.

Catch-up with earlier posts in the James Rajah Brooke series here.

James ‘Rajah’ Brooke – 1856 – Secret Societies

CHINESE colonists are the mainstay of every country in the Further East; but they carry with them an institution which may have its value in ill-governed countries, but which in our colonies is an unmitigated evil. I refer to their secret societies. A secret society is ostensibly instituted under the form of a benevolent association, but actually its members are banded together to obey no laws but their own, to carry out the behests of their leaders without question, and to afford protection to each other under all circumstances. If a member of the secret society commit a crime he is to be protected or hidden away; if he be taken by the police, the society is bound to secure him the ablest legal assistance, furnish as many false witnesses as may be required, and if he be convicted, pay his fine, or do all in its power to alleviate the discomforts of a prison. Therefore, flogging is the most deterrent form of punishment, as it cannot be shared. Should the society suspect any member of revealing its secrets, or from any cause desire to be rid of an obnoxious person, it condemns the individual to death, and sentence is carried out by its members, who, through fear of the last penalty, always obey their oath. On these occasions the mark of the society is put on the victim to show who has ordered the deed. In our colonies we have not been altogether successful in putting down these pernicious associations.

For many years the Chinese living in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, had attempted to form secret societies, but the Rajah’s vigorous hand had crushed every attempt, and it appeared as if success had attended his policy. This was the case so far as the Chinese of the capital were concerned; but in the interior, among the gold workers, the Kungsi performed the functions of a secret society, and its chiefs carried on extensive correspondence with their fellow-countrymen in Sambas and Pontianak, the neighbouring Dutch possessions, and with the Tien-Ti-Hue (Heaven and Earth Secret Society) in Singapore.

Excerpt from Rajah Brooke, published in 1899 by Sir Spenser St John

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Further Reading and External Links

James Rajah Brooke on Wikipedia

The Royalist Schooner

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – New Zealand

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Galatea.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – New Zealand

In New Zealand, we went up to the White Springs and we all bathed with the Maories. You stand in the water warm as milk, close beside springs of boiling water, and occasionally a jet of steam makes you jump. The person of one of the guests, a very portly gentleman, suggested a practical joke to the Maori boys and girls, who dived in and swam up to him under water, pinched him and swam away with yells of laughter. The old boy, determined to preserve harmony, endured the torment with an agonised pretence of enjoyment.

“Very playful, very playful” he kept miserably repeating.

“Oh, very playful indeed. Tanaqui (how do you do), Tanaqui.”

We had an excellent lunch, of pig, fowls, and yams, all boiled on the spot in the hot springs. I saw a live pig chased by some Maori children into a hot spring, and it was boiled in a moment.

In this region I rode over soil which was exactly like dust-shot; the whole ground apparently consisting of ore. We visited the White Terraces, where, if you wrote your name in pencil upon the cliffs, the silicate would preserve the legend as if it were raised or embroidered. Some of the signatures had been there for years. I have since heard that the place was destroyed by volcanic eruption.

We witnessed the weird and magnificent war dances of the Maoris. Never have I seen finer specimens of humanity than these men. When, after leaping simultaneously into the air, they all came to the ground together, the impact sounded like the report of a gun. A party of the Chiefs came to pay a ceremonial visit to the Duke. It struck me that they looked hungry, and I said so. They want cheering up, I said. I went to forage for them. I took a huge silver bowl, and filled it with chicken, whisky, lobster, beef, champagne, biscuits and everything else I could find, and presented it to them. You never saw warriors more delighted. They ate the whole, using their fingers, and were greatly cheered.

It was in New Zealand that I had an interesting conversation with a cannibal; or rather, an ex-cannibal. I asked him if he ever craved for human flesh, and he said no, not now; unless he happened to see a plump woman. In that case, he said he lusted for the flesh of the ball of the thumb, which (he gave me to understand) was the prime delicacy.

Some of the half-caste women were of great beauty. Their savage blood endowed them with something of the untamed, implacable aspect of their ancestry. I heard of one such woman, who, outwardly attuned to every tenet of white civilisation, and received everywhere in white society. A native rebellion breaking out, she rejoined her tribe and slew a missionary with her meri –  the native chiefs badge of office. She cut off the top of the missionary’s skull, and used it thereafter as a drinking-vessel. Poor lady, she was (I heard) eventually captured and was executed.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Galatea on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Hunting

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Galatea.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Hunting

When the Galatea was in New Zealand, Sir George Grey, who owned an island called the Kanwah, gave me permission to shoot there. He had stocked it for years with every sort of wild bird and beast. Indigenous to the island were wild boar and wild cattle, which were supposed to have been turned down there by the buccaneers. I landed early one morning to stalk the wild cattle, with my servant a pulpy, bulbous sort of rotten fellow who hated walking. He carried my second rifle. We climbed to the top of a hill with the wind against us, to get a spy round. When I came near the top, I perceived the unmistakable smell of cattle; and, on reaching the top, there, within thirty yards of me, were a great black bull and two cows.

The bull saw me. He shook his head savagely, bellowed, pawed the ground, put his head about, and charged straight for me. I was standing in a thick sort of tea scrub which was level with my shoulders, so that I could see only the beasts back as he charged. I thought it was of no use to fire at his back; and, remembering that the scrub was thin, having only stems underneath, I dropped on my knee, hoping to see his head. Fortunately, I was able to see it plainly. I fired, and he dropped within about five yards of me. I said to my man:

“Well, that was lucky; he might have got us.”

As there was no reply, I turned round, and saw my trusty second gun half-way down the hill, running like a hare. I was so angry that I felt inclined to give him my second barrel. On returning on board I dispensed with his services, and engaged a good old trusty Marine to look after me.

I killed six of these wild cattle altogether, and a landing party bringing them off to the ship, there was beef enough for the whole ship’s company.

There was a number of sheep on the island, under the care of a shepherd named Raynes, who was a sort of keeper in Sir George’s service. He said to me,

“You have not killed a boar yet. Come with me to-morrow, and I will take you where we can find one.”

 I said, “All right, I will come at four o’clock to-morrow and bring my rifle.”

 “No,” said he, “don’t bring a rifle, bring a knife. I always kill them with a knife”

 I thought he was chaffing, but I said, “All right I will bring a knife, but I shall bring my rifle as well”

In the morning he met me at the landing-stage with three dogs, one a small collie, and two heavy dogs like halfbred mastiffs, held in a leash. We walked about three miles to a thick swampy place, with rushes and tussocks. He chased the collie into the bush, and in about twenty minutes we heard the collie barking furiously. Raynes told me to follow him close, and not on any account to get in front of him. The heavy dogs fairly pulled him through the bush. We soon came up to the collie, and found him with an immense boar in a small open space.

Raynes slipped the heavy dogs, who went straight for the boar, and seized him, one by the ear and the other by the throat.  The boar cut both the dogs, one badly. When they had a firm hold, Raynes ran in from behind, seized one of the boar’s hind legs, and passing it in front of the other hind leg, gave a violent pull, and the boar fell on its side. Raynes immediately killed it with his knife, by stabbing it behind the shoulder. I never saw a quicker or a more skilful performance.

I suggested to Raynes that I should like to try it

“Well,” he said, “we will try and find a light sow to-morrow. A boar would cut you if you were not quick.”

On the following day, we got a sow, but I made an awful mess of it, and if it had not been for the heavy dogs, she would have cut me badly; as it was, she bowled me over in the mud before I killed her.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Galatea on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Riding Tandem

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Galatea.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Riding Tandem

We returned to Australia on our homeward voyage, but for the sake of convenience I may here deal with the two visits as one.  At Sydney, I purchased a pair of horses. They were reputed to be runaways, and I bought them for £9 a pair, and I drove them tandem with ring snaffle bits. They never ran away with me – except once. When they came into my possession, I found that their mouths were sore, and I did what I could to cure them. Many a drive I had, and all went well. Then one day we all drove to a picnic. The Duke, who was very fond of coaching, drove a coach. I drove my tandem, taking with me the commander, Adeane.  On the way home, the road was down a steep hill. We were beginning to descend, when one of the Duke’s mounted orderlies mixed himself up with the traces between the leader and the wheeler. The leader, taking fright, bolted, and the sudden tightening of the traces jerked the orderly head over heels into the bush. Away we went down the hill as hard as the horses could gallop. The next thing I saw was a train of carts laden with mineral waters coming up the hill and blocking the whole road. The only way to avoid disaster was to steer between a telegraph pole and the wall. It was a near thing, but we did it. I gave the reins of one horse to the commander and held on to the reins of the other.

Then I was aware, in that furious rush, of a melancholy voice, speaking close beside me. It was the voice of the commander, speaking, unknown to himself, the thoughts of his heart, reckoning the chances of mishap and how long they would take to repair. It said:

“An arm, an arm, an arm – a month. A leg, a leg, a leg – six weeks. A neck, a neck, a neck – O! my God!”

And so on, over and over, saying the same words. Thus did Jerry Adeane, the commander, think aloud according to his habit. He continued his refrain until we pulled up on the next rise.

“Thank God, that’s over,” said Jerry Adeane.

Before leaving Australia, I sold my pair of horses for more than I gave for them.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Galatea on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford -1868 – Perth

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Galatea.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Perth

At Perth I visited the convict settlement; and there I found a relative or connection of the Beresford family, who had been so unfortunate as to be transported for forgery. He appeared to be a most respectable old gentleman, and (with the permission of the governor) I presented him with a small cheque. Alas! incredible as it may seem, the sight of my signature awoke the ruling passion; and my gentleman promptly forged a bill of exchange for £50, and (as I found when I came home) got it cashed.

It was in Perth, too, that I visited a prisoner, a fellow Irishman, who had been convicted of murder. He had been a soldier, and had slain his corporal and his sergeant. This man inspired me with some ideas with regard to criminals which later in life I tried to put into practice; and also aroused in me an interest in prisons and prison discipline which I have always retained. He was a gigantic person, of immense physical strength, with receding forehead and a huge projecting jaw. He was considered to be dangerous; five or six warders accompanied me into his cell; and they spoke to him as though he were a dog. I looked at the man’s eyes; and I was convinced then, as I am convinced now, that his intellect was impaired. Criminal psychology then hardly existed; and although it is now recognised as a science, it must be said that existing penal conditions are still in many respects awaiting reform. Subsequent experience has proved to me that I was right in believing that many crimes of violence are due to a lesion of the brain, and cannot therefore be treated as moral offences. I heard some time subsequently that the Irishman had been shot for the attempted murder of a warder. Perth and New South Wales were the only places in the British Dominions in which there was a death penalty for attempted murder.

I may here mention that in after years I was appointed, together with the (late) Duke of Fife, as civil inspector of prisons; an office which I held for a year or two. I was able to institute a reform in the system then in force of mulcting prisoners of good conduct marks. These were deducted in advance, before the man had earned them, if he gave trouble. A prisoner sentenced to a long term; who usually gives trouble during his first two years; found, when he began to run straight, that good marks he earned had been deducted in advance. I was able to change the system, so that no marks should be deducted before they were earned.

It was after I had been placed in command of the police at Alexandria, in [1882], that I was offered the post of chief commissioner of police in the Metropolis; and I was honoured by a gracious message from a very distinguished personage, expressing a hope that I would accept the appointment; but, as I wished to remain in the Navy, I declined it.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Galatea on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Christmas Day

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Galatea.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – Christmas Day

We left Plymouth early in November, [1868], and once more I was afloat in a crack sailing ship, smart and well found in every detail, and once more I entered into the charm of the life in which above all I delighted. We touched at Madeira, where I grieve to say some of the junior officers captured a goat and some other matters during a night on shore; touched at St Vincent; and arrived at Cape Town on Christmas Day.

At Cape Town, my set of tandem harness came again into requisition. From the Cape we proceeded to Perth. The fact that an attempt upon his life had been made in Australia, was one of the reasons why the Duke chose to pay the Colony another visit.

Upon a part of our voyage to Australia we were accompanied by my old ship, the Clio, and so admirably handled was she, that she sometimes beat the Galatea in sailing. In every place to which we went in Australia and New Zealand, we received the most unbounded hospitality, of which I shall always retain the most pleasant recollections. We were asked everywhere; livery stables were put at the disposal of the officers; we went to shooting parties, and to every kind of festivity.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Galatea on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – HMS Galatea

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Galatea.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1868 – HMS Galatea

AFTER a brief spell in the royal yacht, I was promoted out of her to lieutenant, and was appointed to the Galatea, Captain [H.R.H.] Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T.

H.M.S. Galatea had four months previously returned from the long cruise of seventeen months, 24th January, [1867], to 26th June, [1868], during which the Duke visited South Africa and Australasia.  While he was in Australia, an attempt had been made to assassinate his Royal Highness, who had a very narrow escape. The pistol was fired at the range of a few feet, and the bullet, entering the Duke’s back, struck a rib and ran round the bone, inflicting a superficial wound. A full account of the voyage is contained in The Cruise of H.M.S. Galatea, by the Rev. John Milner and Oswald W. Brierley (London, [1869]; W.H. Allen).

The Galatea frigate was built at Woolwich and launched in [1859]. She was of 3227 tons burthen, 800 h.p.; she was pierced for 26 guns; maindeck, 18 guns, 10-inch, 86 cwt., and 4 guns, 10-inch, 6 1/2 tons; on the quarterdeck, 2 guns, rifled, 64-pounders; in the forecastle, 2 guns, rifled, 64-pounders. The 6 1/2 ton guns threw a shot of 115 lb., and a large double-shell weighing 156 lb. She stowed 700 tons of coal and 72 tons of water. Previously the Galatea, commanded by Captain Rochfort Maguire, had been employed from [1862] to [1866] in the Baltic, and on the Mediterranean and West Indian stations. She took part in the suppression of the insurrection at Jamaica, and, after the loss of H.M.S. Bulldog, destroyed the batteries on Cape Haitien. Her sister ship was the Ariadne, and Admiral Penrose Fitzgerald, who served in the Ariadne, in [1861], writes:

 “It would not be too much to say that she and her sister ship, the Galatea, were the two finest wooden frigates ever built in this or any other country” (Memories of the Sea).

Personally, I am inclined to consider, that fine sailor as the Galatea was, the Sutlej was finer still.

The Duke of Edinburgh was an admirable seaman. He had a great natural ability for handling a fleet, and he would have made a first-class fighting admiral. The Duke’s urbanity and kindness won the affection of all who knew him. I am indebted to him for many acts of kindness, and I was quite devoted to him.

The voyage of the Galatea lasted for two years and a half.  We visited Cape Town, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Sandwich Islands, Japan, China, India, and the Falkland Islands. It is not my purpose to describe that long cruise in detail; but rather to record those incidents which emerge from the capricious haze of memory. In many respects, the second long voyage of the Galatea was a repetition of her first voyage, so elaborately chronicled by the Rev. John Milner and Mr. Brierley. In every part of the Queen’s dominions visited by her son, the Duke was invariably received with the greatest loyalty and enthusiasm. It should be understood throughout that, when his ship was not in company, or was in company with a ship commanded by an officer junior to his Royal Highness, he was received as the Queen’s son; but when a senior officer was present, the Duke ranked in the order of his seniority in the Service.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Galatea on Wikipedia

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1867 – The Research

 Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Research.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1867 – The Research

In [1867] I was appointed to the Research, which was stationed at Holyhead, and in which I served for a few months. There was a good deal of alarm felt with regard to the Fenians, who were active at the time, and the Research was ordered to look out for them. With my messmates, Caesar Hawkins, Lascelles, and Forbes, I hunted a good deal from Holyhead with Mr. Panton’s hounds. I also hunted with the Ward Union in Ireland. I used to cross from Holyhead at night, hunt during the day, and return that night.

Among other memories of those old days, I remember that my brother and myself, being delayed at Limerick Junction, occupied the time in performing a work of charity upon the porter, whose hair was of an immoderate luxuriance. He was – so far as we could discover – neither poet nor musician, and was therefore without excuse. Nevertheless, he refused the proffered kindness. Perceiving that he was thus blinded to his own interest, we gently bound him hand and foot and lashed him to a railway truck. I possessed a knife, but we found it an unsuitable weapon: my brother searched the station and found a pair of snuffers, used for trimming the station lamps. With this rude but practicable instrument we shore the locks of the porter, and his hair blew all about the empty station like the wool of a sheep at shearing-time. When it was done we made him suitable compensation.

“Sure,” said the porter, “I’ll grow my hair again as quick as I can, that way you’ll be giving me another tip.”

We had an old Irish keeper at home, whose rule in life was to agree with everything that was said to him. Upon a day when it was blowing a full gale of wind, I said to myself that I would get to windward of him to-day anyhow.

“Well, Harney,” said I. “It is a fine calm day to-day.”

“You may say that, Lord Char-less, but what little wind there is, is terrible strong,” says Harney.

A lady once said to him, “How old are you, Harney?”

“Och, shure, it’s very ould and jaded I am, it’s not long I’ll be for this world,” said he.

“Oh,” said she, “but I’m old, too. How old do you think l am?”

“Sure, how would I know that? But whatever age ye are, ye don’t look it, Milady.”

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project

HMS Research

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1866 – Days of Sails

Lord Charles Beresford (1846-1919) was a British Admiral and Member of Parliament, he was a hero in battle and a champion of the Navy in Parliament.  Below is another installment in our series of his memoirs – taken from ‘The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford’ written by himself and published in 1914.

This excerpt covers his time onboard The Sublej.

Catch-up with earlier posts in this series here.

Memoirs of Lord Charles Beresford – 1866 – Days of Sails

We were bound for Portsmouth. And when we rounded the Isle of Wight, and came into view of Spithead, lo! the anchorage was filled with great ships all stationed in review order. They were assembled for a review to be held for the Sultan of Turkey. We took in the signal containing our instructions, and fired a salute; and then, standing in under all plain sail and starboard studdingsails, we sailed right through the Fleet, and all the men of the Fleet crowded rails and yards to look at us, and cheered us down the lines. For the days of sails were passing even then; we had come home from the ends of the world; and the splendid apparition of a full-rigged man-of-war standing into the anchorage moved every sailor’s heart; so that many officers and men have since told me that the Sutlej sailing into Spithead through the lines of the Fleet was the finest sight it was ever their fortune to behold.

In the Tribune and in the Sutlej it was my luck to serve under two of the strictest and best captains in the Service, Captain Lord Gillford and Captain Trevenen P. Coode. I may be forgiven for recalling that both these officers added a special commendation to my certificates; an exceedingly rare action on their part, and in the case of Captain Coode, I think the first instance on record.

Part of the test for passing for sub-lieutenant was bends and hitches. Captain Lord Gillford was highly pleased with a white line which I had spliced an eye in and grafted myself. Knowing that I was a good sailmaker, he once made me fetch palm and canvas and sew an exhibition seam in public.

From the Sutlej I passed into the H.M.S. Excellent, in order to prepare for the examinations in gunnery. In those days, the Excellent was a gunnery school ship of 2311 tons, moored in the upper part of Portsmouth Harbour. The Excellent gunnery school is now Whale Island.

While in the Excellent I had the misfortune, in dismounting a gun, to break a bone in my foot; and although the injury seemed to heal very quickly under the application of arnica, I have felt its effects ever since.

Excerpt from The Memoirs of Admiral Lord Charles Beresford written by himself and published in 1914.

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Further Reading and External Links

Lord Charles Beresford on Wikipedia

Lord Charles Beresford on The Dreadnought Project