Archive for Alice Mason

The Master Gunner’s Account: A Merchant Cruise to Charles Towne Landing

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Dorian Lasseter, Master Gunner of the Crewe of the Archangel

14 November, 1673

As we have need for repairs to the Archangel, and no war to be engaged as Privateers currently, most of the crew are on furlough. Some of us are a restless lot, so have signed on for a cruise in the life of a merchant. Having brought the Archangel to a drydock in Virginia, we signed on to crewe a coastal trader bound for the southern port of Charles Towne in Carolina. We came to the Ketch-rigged Pink, by the name of Adventure on account of the former crew had some misgivings with the owner and quit the vessel. Once papers were signed, those of us went aboard and made her home for the voyage. We traveled down the coast to the port of Charles Towne, arriving later than expected due to the failing light giving us some navigation troubles. Never the less, we arrived safely and offloaded some of the cargo to be traded in the morning. As the weather turned colder than expected, we kept our berths aboard instead of stretching out on shore.

15 November

The light of day came slowly, but crept through the gratings to wake us. We roused ourselves and others to make a fire for breakfast on shore and to finish the unloading of the cargo and setting up of the trading camp. Soon after we started breakfast, some of the townsfolk came to our camp to greet us and look over our wares. Soon the Landgraves arrived to take their choice of goods, as did several of the red men of the local tribes, who brought furs, pelts and skins to trade for cloth, muskets, axes and beads.

Once trading commenced, others from the town came to bid with us as well. While here, we were privy to the town exercising their battery of cannon, several Sakers and Greater Demi-Culverings, being of 6 and 12 pound shot respectively. Those men who were of the militia are trained well enough to put up a good defense, but I do not think they would fare as well if they were to do such aboard a ship, but I digress.

Back at the trading camp, we were treated to the mid day meal by some of the local women who prepared several fine dishes with fresh chicken, beef and vegetables, corn bread and a fine cobbler for dessert. For the afternoon we again settled in for trading, and provisions for the return trip. As the Adventure has no galley, all victuals would need to be prepared on shore, or otherwise be eaten cold aboard.

We were able to procure dried split peas, oats, salted fish and beef. Others of the crewe continued working on some minor repairs of the Adventure, serving line and repairing a spritsail. We also had others making lace, sewing clothing and washing some laundry. All of our goods were sold by the evening, and we dined on beef stew and chicken and dumplings. We made merry and enjoyed some spirits with our meal, enjoying each others company. As the light faded and again the chill came, we retreated to the ship and continued being merry, telling stories and singing until we grew tired.

MitchbyJO16 November

Again the light of dawn woke us and we made our way back to shore to break our fast. Some had indulged a bit much and were feeling low, but managed to keep up with the rest as we loaded our provisions and goods for the next voyage. As the wind shifted you could smell rain coming. We made haste, yet were unable to beat it. Wet canvas had to be stowed away from the provisions and such, much to our chagrin. We set sail in the rain, bidding farewell to the port of Charles Towne, not knowing weather we would be back before the new year, or ever. It was odd sailing out of a port in the dark, but haste made it necessary, as we were to head to Barbados and New Amsterdam before returning to Virginia before Christmas.

20141115_065147

Copyright November 2014 C. Madden
Photos by J.Otte, S.W.Permenter

The Lost Letter: Beaufort Pirate Invasion, August ’14

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Alice Mason Sterling

Alice Mason Sterling

Dearest Sarah, my most beloved Stepdaughter,

I pray this Letter finds you and Sean in good health and that Sean’s Studies prosper. Father is most proud of him as am I. I write an Account of our most recent Journey to see your Father. Though the Times I spend with him are often infrequent and all too short, I treasure each and everyone of them. As I know ye love him and see little of him as well, I will impart several Pages, copied from my Journal, so that ye may see that he is well and continuing to help keep the Colonies protect’d.

Wednesday, August 6

Upon Sightings of Pirates in the coastal Waters, and credible Rumors of their Intent to attack the small Town of Beaufort, North Carolina, the Crewe of the Archangel made Plans to travel to Beaufort and assist the Townsfolk and local Militia in defending the Town.

Kitty and I arriv’d to-day, traveling under the Protection of Quartermaster Jack Roberts. Master Gunner Dorian Lasseter and his Indenture Josephine Legard arrived soon after. The Bosun’s Mate, Mitchell O’Sionnach, travel’d in their Company. We spent the several Hours raising Canvas and laying out the Camp, then took our evening Meal at an Establishment in Town.

My Husband and Stepson, Captain John Sterling and Joshua Merriweather Sterling, made port late this Evening. We are quarter’d near the Gaol and Pillory, which will make Captain Sterling’s Work all the easier once the invading Rabble are conquer’d and the Pirates brought to Justice. And surely they will be.

Thursday, August 7

The Captain and the Ship’s Officers spent the morning in Meetings with the local Authorities, making Plans for the defense of the Town. Later a pouring Rain drove us to the shelter of the the awning near the Quartermaster’s tent , where a rare hour of leisure allow’d for pleasant Conversation. All in all we were grateful for the Rain as it provid’d relief from the Heat and plaguing Mosquitoes.

Once the Downpour abat’d Josephine, O’Sionnach, Kitty and I ventur’d to a nearby burying Grounds. Though somber, I found it a quiet and lovely Place, with great twisting Oaks providing a green Canopy overhead.
20140807_155826 I could not help but wonder how many more Markers would be add’d in the coming Days if the Pirates did indeed attack.

Much to my relief, my Maid Charlotte Cole arriv’d late in the Afternoon, along with the Captain’s Steward Fionnan Murtaugh. Dr. Jerome Geiger arriv’d several hours later and our Company is now complete.


Friday, August 8

This Morning dawn’d warm and humid as the ones that preced’d it. The final setup and preparations within the Camp were seen to, with further Tents add’d for our Supplies and storage. At the Entrance to Camp the wither’d remains of a dead Pirate swing from a Noose. A gruesome sight, but hopefully one that will serve as warning to those who would follow the same Path.

With the Laundress’ inexplicable absence, Kitty and I took up the task of doing the crew’s Wash while Charlotte carri’d on with lace-making.

Charlotte Cole

The Smoke from Josephine’s Brazier waft’d pleasantly through the Camp as she prepar’d her Herbs and apothecary supplies, should they be need’d. Across the camp Dr. Geiger organiz’d his surgical Instruments and arrang’d them in a rather ghastly Display. O’Sionnach tend’d to the maintenance of Block and Tackle and the Master Gunner ensur’d that the crewe’s arms were ready to use at a moment’s notice. Fionn look’d after the Captain and continu’d work on the Archangel’s Flag, the Captain’s personal Ensign, while the Quartermaster oversaw the running of the Camp and our Supplies and my Husband continu’d with the battle Plans.

In the afternoon the Crew made a display of arms alongside the local Militia. The firing of the great Guns and the small Arms alike bolster’d the confidence of the Townspeople, who were understandably apprehensive at the threat of Invasion. Many of the Townsfolk visit’d our Camp after the Demonstration, taking interest in our tasks and our methods of operation within the Camp.

This evening a display of talent was provid’d from amongst the Town and all present, with our own Mistress McDonough paying a visit and treating us all to a Song from her Homeland.

I will admit that this Account is not as coherent as it might be, given that the punch Bowl was pass’d not once but twice this evening as the Crewe sat together around the Table after dinner. T’is a fine thing to share such a fine Drink in such fine Company. Josephine provid’d a Dessert that we took turns cooking at the ends of sticks over the Brazier, something Kitty enjoy’d immensely. Now t’is late, and I shall retire with my Husband and pray for success and safety on the morrow.

Saturday, August 9

This morning we all feast’d upon a fine Breakfast serv’d by the Townsfolk, save for Quartermaster Roberts who remain’d behind to oversee the final preparations of a gallows that was built in case.

Well he did, for the threat of invasion by Pirates became a reality mere hours later. The gallows were mov’d to a public Square and their assembly complet’d before Crowds of curious onlookers shortly before the call to arms was given.
A solitary Pirate arriv’d in a small dingy, making bold Threats against the Town, and was driven off by a single Shot from one of the smaller Guns. Had that been all, the Town would have had an easy Day of it, but the persistent Pirates soon arriv’d in large numbers and the Battle began in earnest. The pirate ships fired upon the Town’s Defenders and were given Cannon Fire in return.
Running the guns

The Battle continu’d on Land as the Pirates took to disembark, but after a vigorous Defense by the Archangels, the Townsfolk, and the Militia, the Pirates were defeated.

Several Pirates were caught and put in the town Gaol, with two Irishmen going to a swift Trial and sentenc’d to be hang’d. As the Sky darkened and Rain began to fall in a light, steady Drizzle, the condemn’d were led forth and parad’d through the town Streets to the Square where the Gallows wait’d. The Procession was a somber one, with one Prisoner begging for his life and the other belligerent and violent, requiring Quartermaster Roberts to beat him frequently.
Captain Sterling overheard the younger prisoner’s pleas and allow’d him to argue for his Life, his Case being that a poor childhood and Poverty drove him to his crimes. He offer’d his skills as a Cobbler and was eventually grant’d a Pardon in hopes that he would better his future.

The second Prisoner, the vile O’Tierney, made no such pleas.
Instead he insult’d my husband in language that made my blood boil. God forgive me, I know vengeance is His alone, but there are times when I am glad to see justice done. With the noose already around his neck he assault’d Captain Sterling, taking my husband to the ground before Quartermaster Roberts could pull the prisoner away. As O’Tierney stood atop the block he request’d a final drink, which he then threw into the Captain’s face. The Pirate vow’d to see the Captain in hell, to which the Captain only laugh’d and remark’d, “I hardly think so,” and kicked the block from beneath the Pirate’s feet. He was hanged for his foul Murders of our innocent Sailors and other terrible Crimes.

With the Hanging concluded the Crowds gradually dispersed. The weary but victorious Crewe dismantled the Gallows and later sat together to partake of a fine Dinner in Camp. Another Bowl of punch and several Games of Whist lended to the celebratory mood.

Sunday, August 10

Parting from the Crewe is never easy, and many of us were already dreading the Farewells as we breakfasted together and began breaking up the Camp. The Rain held off until the very last, drenching many of us as the last Roll of canvas was placed onto the Carts. We took shelter in one of the Town’s Ordinaries and spent about half an hour discussing all that had taken place the previous Days. At last goodbyes were said and we broke company, taking solace in knowing that the Town remained safe and we would all soon assemble for another grand Adventure.

My Dear, I am happy to report that your Father sends his Love and will write to you and Sean, himself, as soon as he is able. I will end now, for I would see this Letter handed off to the Post before I and Kitty head for the Carriage back to Virginia.

We love you both and are eager to visit with you upon our return.

Your loving Mother,

Alice


Copyright August 2014 S. W. Permenter
Special thanks to the following photographers: S.W.Permenter, J.Otte, D.Tobin, C. Warner, M.Murillo

NOTE: Hangings are done by trained, experienced stunt people, followed by a safety demonstration. DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR OWN!

Transcription of Letter sent by Captain Sterling 18 February 1712

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by creweofthearchangel

Transcription:
Mistress Mason,
My cherish’d Friend, my most belov’d Heart, my dearest Alice,

Please excuse the Liberty I have taken in writing these few Lines, hoping this will find thee in good Health. I pray also that all is well indeed, with thy Sister Ella and my dear Soul Kitty. I trust in God, that all is truly well with thee, as, thanks be to God, I find myself, though anxious, am I, to see thee.

As I sit and pen this, t’s  a raw &  windy night and I wish that my dearest Heart where here beside me.
I am currently addressing the final Details before the Archangel must put back to Sea, to cruise once more that we may do our Duty in the continuing War.  I and my Officers have made Arrangements with Edward Hyde to entertain a recruiting Party at his Establishment upon the 14, 15, & 16 March.  With such in Mind, I would entreat thee that thou wouldst consider traveling down to Wapping so that I may spend the Week’s End in thy Company, for I would see thee again before I must take my Leave.  

I have miss’d thee my dearest Heart, my beloved Lady, and such dismay at thy Absence I cannot give a sad enough Name. I have been too long depriv’d of the Sight of thine Eyes in which I was wont to see so much Love, which made me feel so full of Joy, and Peace, which took the Place of all else to me and which, in a Word, were all that I desir’d and continue thus..Sweetheart, do not deny me the Pleasure of thy most loving Person. I beseech thee for the love ye bear me,  to give an answer to this, mine crude Letter that I may know how far I may depend on thy coming. Send Word and make haste, I beg thee, to get thee to the Hyde before I must make sail.

But if it does not please thee to answer me in writing, then, I pray God, to hold thee in mine arms within the week.  With my heart I kiss thy hand, since I cannot with my lips, renewing my vows that I love thee more than health, or any happiness here upon this earth.
I pray God that the hours may not be long whilst we are apart.

I conclude with my Love to thee & I remane thy ever loving

John
and waite impationt for thy return.

Copyright 2014 C.A.Salone

Thinking Back: Charlotte Cole, Maid to Alice Sterling and Family

Posted in Crewe Reflections... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by creweofthearchangel

Who are you?

My name is Charlotte (Lottie) Cole and I grew up in a large family in London, England.

What are your dealings with the Archangel?

I serve as lady’s maid to Mistress Sterling. I see to her needs and desires as befitting my position and those of caring for her’s and the captain’s children Kitty, Thomas and the twins Ella and Andrew. I came into her service during her masquerade as the Turkish Princess and she and the captain have been most kind to keep me on. I take great satisfaction in the work. I also fill the role of traveling companion when Mistress Sterling takes to the seas, which has been most exciting for me!

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?

Recently, Mistress Sterling has seen fit to take me on as her lace-making apprentice! I would have been fortunate enough to remain in her employ as lady’s maid for the rest of my days; I never imagined being granted the opportunity to learn such a skill. I have few personal belongings, and my lace-making pillow is prized amongst them. I suppose it represents freedom to me, as I hope always to earn my own way in the world.

NOTE:

“Provide for their [servants’] support and their maintenance; let them not want in their work. Be punctual likewise in their pay. When the work is done, the laborer is worthy of his hire; if he deserve better, encourage thy servant in well-doing; this will encourage him for the future to do well.”

“Behave thyself so in thy family, so that those below will love and fear you.”

“Be not too familiar with thy servants, neither let them be too privy to thy secrets….Keep a distance with discretion, that others may know their places, do thou know thine.”

“Be not imperious, yet keep thy staff in thy own hand. Let them rather see thy power than feel it. …. Choose those that will be careful without chiding; and delight to see them cheerful in their business and to do it with delight.”

“Rebuke in private, public rebuke hardens.”

“The greatest master minds his meanest servants.”
~Advice of a father, or, Counsel to a child (1664)

“In small households, generally lower middle class, or even lower class, with only one servant, that servant was generally female. Cheaper wages (as low as £2 for a general maidservant) is one contribution to this. If another servant was employed, it would often be a child, whose wages would be minimal or even nonexistent.

Slightly larger households might have more even numbers of female and male servants. Perhaps they would have a maid or two (who might cook, clean, and do other duties, as well), a boy to do general errands (who may or may not be paid), and a manservant for various other work. Only in households with at least three or four servants were there likely to be menservants employed.

A modest household might have three male servants and two female- one manservant to be coachman and farm manager, one to be footman and gardener, a boy, and two maids, one of whom would presumably do the cooking.”
~Servants: English Domestics in the Eighteenth Century</strong> by Bridget Hill

Copyright 2014 A. Cole

Thinking Back: Alice Mason, Lace-maker

Posted in Crewe Reflections... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Who are you?

Alice Sterling née Mason, Lacemaker. Formerly known as the Turkish Princess, Jülide, a guise I temporarily adopted out of necessity.

What are your dealings with the Archangel?

My Role on the Ship is strictly that of a Passenger. As the Captain’s Wife I occasionally travel with him and assist with the Ship’s Books. Most of my Time is spent on Land where I still make Lace for Family and Friends and tend to the Plantation and the Children in the Captain’s Absence.

What is your most memorable event concerning that relationship, and do you have any prized possessions connected to the event?

The Night I learned that the Captain was still alive, after I had been deceived for more than two Years into thinking that he had died when he was shot outside the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane in February of 1717. One of my most prized Possessions is a Letter. When first we met and the Captain began to court me, the first Time he had to sail, I found it awaiting me when I woke.

NOTE: When sailing kept husbands away from home for extended periods of time, it was quite commonplace for wives to transact much of the family’s business. “ As the excursions are often very long, wives in their [husbands’] absence are necessarily obliged to transact business, to settle accounts, wives in short, to rule and provide for their families.

For more on Alice Mason Sterling, please click here:
Link to: https://creweofthearchangel.wordpress.com/2…07/alice-mason/
Copyright September 2013/S.W.Permenter

Beaufort Pirate Invasion 8-10 August

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

To Mistress Murin McDonough
The Selkie’s Hyde
Hampton Roads
Virginia
11 August

My dearest Cousyn Murin,

Once again I hope that this Missive finds you well. The Merriweather Lads are in good Health. Captain has been under the Care of the Doctor but is feeling nearly himself now. I myself am at this writing in a weakened State as ill Spirits attack but, with God’s Grace and not the Doctors prescribed “Pine Tears” I will recover quickly.

Earlier in the Month the Captain received Word that there were Spanish Pirates in the Area of the North Carolina Colony harassing the Citizens of the Town of Beaufort. I know that ye are well aware of Captain Sterling’s opinion of Criminals who ride the Waves so it will come as no surprise that we have made haste to that Towne to lend Assistance in any way we might.

On Wednesday, the seventh of August, we approached the Shore Town of Beaufort with English Colors flying high. We anchored the Archangel then rowed to Shore. The Captain his Sons, Sean and Joshua Merriweather and I were first to Land. The locals appeared cautious as we approached but once Captain Sterling offered to help protect the Town against the invading Spanish we were greeted heartily and all manner of People from the Towne offered to help us.

We quickly brought Camp Gear and one Great Gun (always Gabriel is with us) ashore and set up the beginnings of a small Encampment near the Town’s Gaol with the Captains Tent and a smaller one for the Midshipmen. We also made use of what was left of an old Spritsail to create a Lean-to to Lodge Sailors at night and under which we might find additional Shade throughout the day. The Moisture in the air was great and our Clothes were soaked through by the effort put forth!

Amongst those in the first Shore Party was a newly recruited young Sailor Mitchell O’Sionnach. Happy am I that the wise Captain has found himself yet another skilled Irish Lad! Sterling made good use of him in assisting with the set-up of the Encampment and running Errands. I must say that the Lad O’Sionnach is a hard Worker eager to learn and help when he can and has already proven himself an asset to the Crewe. Grateful were we that the Locals offered to ease our Burden by offering a Hand in set-up for it made our Work go quickly.

Once settled we found an Establishment willing to serve us at a late Hour and had a meager Meal. Watches were set and we slept as peacefully as we could throughout the hot Night.

Thursday Morning came far too quickly in the hot Weather for my liking. Shortly thereafter Master Gunner Lasseter and his Indentured Servant Josephine Leguard were brought ashore and the Encampment grew by one Tent. The Officers met with the town’s folk as O’Sionnach, Josephine and I continued to set up the Encampment, filling the Cisterns with fresh Water, gathering Wood for Fire and tending to the needs of the Camp.

Captain asked that we also erect a small Wedge Tent for Master Blacksmith Cyphers. Master Cyphers, usually quite happy to string up his Hammock, had this past week, fallen when the Ship pitched unexpectantly and injured his Knee. The Doctor has prescribed that he stay off of it, a Prescription that Master Cyphers is quite unaccustomed to following. He has, however, suffered through the Horror of being waited on and may actually be allowing himself to enjoy the fact that the Crewe does indeed care for his well being and comfort.

Doctor Geiger and the Heathen Pilot Blackhorse brought Provision of Food to the Encampment. The Doctor is insistant that we eat a variety of fresh Foods, Fruits and Vegetables when available so he had the Heathen take him about the Area to see what might be found. Beaufort is a small and thinly inhabited Town. Outside the Towne there are still some native Peoples, having Blackhorse with him proved to be an asset in trading for the Crewe Nutritional needs. Tis a good change from Hardtack and Fish Stew. Doctor Geiger was also able to acquire a few Leaches in his search stating that they will not likely live long at Sea but he is glad to have them when he can. I watched him use one to help O’Sionnach with his ill Humors, rather interesting that was.doc and leeche tup

Once Camp was set the Captain ordered that one more small Tent be set up for the Ships paying Passenger Princess Jülide and her Child “Kitty” be brought to the Encampment feeling that she would be safer there. He also gave orders that the Laundress Mae Harrington be brought into Camp. I believe that he prefers her where we might keep watch over her given her questionable mental stability. Quite frankly, if I could, I would avoid her all together but my Work requires that I interact with her almost daily. I would rather reattach a Button on my own before I would ask her to do so. It is best to tread lightly with that one since the Accident.

The Encampment remained quiet all Evening with everyone going about their own activities. The Evening turned to night, watches were once again set and all were abed early.

On Friday, the ninth Day of August we were up and about our work early as usual. The Officers met with the local Constabulary to discuss how we might help against the Invasions by the Spaniards. Many of the Towns Inhabitants came to visit our Encampment and found interest in Camp Activities so we shared what Knowledge of Weapons and Tactics, and Navigation. The doctor was able to impart some Wisdom to those who showed interest in his Skills. The Children found the Heathen’s Tales highly fascinating. The Laundress also made a few extra Pence washing Laundry for a few of the Sailors in Port. Josephine was able to find some of the Ingredients for her Apothecary Stores and even had some of the Children in the Towne assist in the making of some Concoction.

The Afternoon brought an Attack by Spanish Pirates who were defeated before coming ashore. The Archangel sent Word from the Ship with Custis Makemie and Shaughnessy Barnidge to the Captain and the two Men then remained with us on shore, gladly lending a Hand as needed. Aye, two more Irishmen, the Captain attracts good Folk! The Towne was in celebration after turning away the Spanish once again. The Princess was asked to Dance. I know that the Captain was not pleased by this. Her dance, shameful by some standards. Please say nothing to the Captain for I would not disgrace him by admitting that such beauty and grace is indeed pleasing to watch.

Later that evening much of the town, still in Celebration, gathered for a Meal and some Entertainment. Many of the Ships in Port offered up someone to sing or play. I was asked by the Captain to sing “Over the Hills and Faraway” as part of the entertainment. I was not in my best Voice due to a soreness in my throat but I believe that I managed well enough. Would that you were there for your Voice has always been more pleasing than mine dear Cousyn.

Saturday followed Friday, as it is want to do, and I found myself having to defend the Captains Breakfast from little miss Kitty who came in with wooden Sword drawn. I was forced to draw the largest wooden Spoon I could find do fight her off! The Lass brightens even the darkest Day. She is a sweet one with a Smile that lights up the Camp, fair of Face like her Mother. Not once on the Voyage have I seen or heard her complain or misbehave.

The Day once again grew hot quickly. The Lass, Kitty, was able to keep cool in the Laundress’s wash Tub, would that I too would fit! The Crewe’s Work on shore was nearly done and the Captain’s Things set in order when the Call went up from the town that Spanish were once more making way to attack. The Master Gunner called for me to man the great Guns that had been brought ashore along with Blackhorse, Joseph, and the Doctor, who ran the Powder so that he could be on the Field and available if any injuries needed tending. One small Vessel with only three or four rowdy Spaniards came forward and were easily thwarted with a few shots across her Bow and a few local Women throwing rotten Fruit at them. We scoffed at the Attack but did not lay off the watch for a larger Ship had been reported earlier. Sure as the Sun will rise, the larger Ship sailed into our range and the true Battle began. Great Guns ringing on both sides. A few of the Pirates manage to make it to Shore. The Casualties on both sides were few but the Doctor’s Services were indeed needed. With our aid the local Militia and towns folk were able not only to save the Town but also captured two of the Pirates to bring into town for a Trial.

I myself was charged with keeping the prisoners in line. We made good use of the Gaol and the towns folk were able to come “pay their respects” to the pirates who awaited trial. I tell you there was no love there and the Gaoler was able to make a few shillings for himself.

With the governor out of town it fell to Captain Sterling to officiate at the trial. The first Lad, one Thomas Smyth, brought before the good Captain claimed to have been pressed into service claimed to be an apprentice to a “felter”. The boy swore to sign on to the Archangel at least until he was able to earn passage back to his homeland so the Captain released him into the custody of the Master at Arms. As to the second prisoner I am sad to report the man, Lochlainn Tiarnach, also from our beloved Ireland was defiant through it all. He, being Irish, I had hoped to would find some remorse in him but there was none. He had no defense just defiance. The crowd began to call for him to be hanged . The Captain passed sentence, death. Tierney’s last drink, which Captain Sterling granted him, was used not to quench his thirst but to spew on the Captain! He looked at me as if I were the traitor not he. I can not say that this surprises me given the history between the English and the Irish but attacking innocent Townsfolk, no matter who he serves, makes him a criminal. Finally the Captain could stand it no longer and the crate that held him above the crowds for all to see was kicked from beneath him. The life choked out of him slowly. Dearest Cousyn, I will never become accustomed to watching someone hanged. Never.

The Evening allowed some Time to relax and the Captain and his Boys, along with Kitty played nine pin. The Locals once again, fed us as they celebrated the Engagement of two of their own. The Feast gave those who call the Archangel home another chance to socialize. The Captain even extended his Table and invited all to join in the Meal.

The Weatherglass rose so all was made ready for the impending Storm. As is often the case, these Instruments of prognostication are not always easily read and what was to be a Storm was but a short period of Rainfall that barely dampened the Canvas and did not dampen the Spirits of the Crewe and Guests at all. Thus the Celebration continued until Midnight

Sunday brought new Orders from Captain Sterling. The Towne now in the Hands of its Citizens and the Spanish defeated, the Encampment was packed and loaded once again onto the Archangel. We bad farewell to the Town of Beaufort and weighed Anchor at about two Hours past noon.

It is my hope that the Captain will be making for Hampton soon and then to his Plantation, Migdal-El, not far from there in Virginia. If that be the case then I am sure he will take Time to visit ye at the Hyde while in Hampton. I then shall ask leave of him to visit with ye, for it has been far too long since I have taken the Time to enjoy yer Company.

Your humble Servant & devot’d Cousyn,
James Fionntan Murtaugh

Copyright September 2013/M. Fleckenstein
Special Thanks to Diane Shultz & Jason Goldsmith for the use of their photographs

Beaufort Pirate Invasion 8-10 August

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Excerpts from the Journals of Alice Mason and Mae Harrington
Alice Mason and Mae Harrington

Alice Mason
Thursday

After a long but uneventful journey, we are docked in the town of Beaufort. Credible reports of invading ships from Spain led the captain to make this detour. The townspeople welcomed the arrival of reinforcements against the Spanish pirates and have been most accommodating. Other ships already wait in the harbor, lines and sails prepared for the invasion, whenever it comes.

Being civilians, the laundress Mae Harrington, Kitty, and I were some of the last to disembark the Archangel and arrive in camp. Already present were Mr. Dorian Lasseter the Master Gunner, Josephine Legard his indentured, Matthew Black Horse the heathen pilot, Mr. Adam Cyphers the blacksmith, Sean Merriweather and Joshua Merriweather, Dr. Gerome Geiger, Mr. Mitchell O’Sionnach, Fionntan Murtaugh the captain’s steward, and of course, Captain John Sterling himself.
pennant new
The night is humid and heavy, the heat of the day lingering long after the sun has set. Kitty and I, together with the unsettling laundress, have been given temporary quarters in an unused portion of the goal until our tent can be readied on the morrow. T’is time we got some rest, but I will be sleeping with one eye open…

Mae Harrington
Friday

My eyes open to sunlight filtering through the bars of the gaol windows. Mistress Mason and the child have begun to stir, and I hear the sounds of the camp awakening outside. I arise and dress quickly. Hurrying down the stairs and out of the gaol, I encounter the steward. Fionn directs me to where our cargo was unloaded the previous night, and I sort through crates until I locate my belongings, as well as those of Mistress Mason and Kitty. With the assistance of a few members of the crewe, our tent is quickly erected and our belongings stowed away.

Now the day’s work begins in earnest.
487968_201140483388648_1991909703_nCaptain Sterling, Mister Lasseter and the men-at-arms are engaged in checking and rechecking the state of their weapons and discussing plans of action. The steward is preparing breakfast and tidying the Captain’s tent.

Mlle. Legard is at work with her herbs, laying in stock any medicines that may be needed after the battle. Likewise the good doctor is taking stock of his implements and preparing for an influx of the wounded.

Mistress Mason settles herself on a cushion beneath the shade of a tree with a delicate bit of sewing as Kitty explores the encampment. 581751_10151796609088497_1698029913_nHaving suffered an injury to the knee prior to our departure, the Blacksmith reclines on a rug and keeps us company as we go about our duties. I enlist the help of the heathen guide and one of the midshipmen to fill the large washtubs and call for dirty laundry.

As the day wears on, there is a constant stream of both militia and civilians through our camp. The reputation of the Archangel’s Captain and crewe has indeed preceded us. Gunners stop to admire our great guns and ask questions as to their operation and care, civilians walk past with wide-eyed children clinging to their hands, curiosity eventually prodding them to say a few words or ask questions. The doctor’s instruments, the heathen’s trappings, ship’s navigational equipment, the games played to pass long voyages at sea, even the mundane methods of laundry are of great interest to some. Kitty drew smiles and laughter when she decided that my tub of clean water was the ideal place to escape the heat and dust.
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The hours pass quickly. As the evening approaches, a call for entertainment is made throughout the encampments. The best talents are nominated to represent each crewe, and a stage is set up. The steward, Fionn, has a magnificent singing voice and is elected to represent the Archangel’s crewe. Singers, musicians, poets, actors…a diverse lot of entertainers join together and give us a most enjoyable evening.

Dinner1003508_201137613388935_651941966_n is a quiet affair. Tomorrow will most likely bring a battle, and rest is needed. We sit together in groups of twos and threes, talking quietly until the call for lanterns-out is given.

543412_10151805320263497_209061262_nMae Harrington
Saturday

Saturday morning broke hot and humid. All over the encampment preparations for battle continue. Breakfast is hurried, appetites are small. Mid-morning, the boom of a distant cannon echoes across the water, and a shout goes up. Spanish warships have been sighted far out in the bay and are advancing toward the town with great speed.1176244_10151805228993497_1000591672_n Mistress Mason, Kitty and I bid the Captain and gunners farewell as they gather their weapons and hasten to join the other defenders along the waterfront. Long hours pass with no news of how the battle fares. 1174745_10151805316268497_1901944436_nShouts, the boom of the great guns and staccato bursts of fire from the small arms provide a persistent background to our mornings’ work. At long last the noise subsided, and our crew returned bringing tidings of victory. The Spanish are defeated, those remaining alive have returned to their ships and fled, and the handful taken prisoner are swiftly confined in the gaol. 1000941_10151805322838497_1335752218_n

Alice Mason
Saturday

There is much celebrating after the battle, with music and dancing all along the waterfront. Due to my Turkish attire no doubt I was invited to participate in one of the dances for the amusement of the militia and townsfolk, and found that I enjoyed it a good deal, though I am certain the captain did not approve.
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The festive mood lingered even hours later, when the captured pirates were brought forth to be hanged. Captain Sterling as the proper authority heard the men plead for their lives. The first two were pardoned, 535869_618261141527606_1726804475_nhaving been pressed into service by the pirates. The third was not so fortunate. 1174982_618264384860615_1972795270_nAn Irishman by name of Laughlin Tierney, he was defiant from the start. When offered a final request he asked for a tankard of water, of which he only drank a small portion and then flung the greater part into Captain Sterling’s face. After that little time was wasted. 1186861_618267444860309_1640788118_nrobinAmid the raucous demands of the crowd, the crate that supported the man was kicked from beneath him and he danced about on the end of the line before finally hanging slack.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent about our duties. Numerous townsfolk still filtered through the camp, discussing the events of the day amongst themselves and with various crew officers. As the sun began to sink lower and the heat of the day began to ease, everyone gave themselves to more pleasurable amusements. The captain arranged a game of Skittles, or Nine-Pins, with the Merriweather boys and Kitty and it was difficult to tell whom enjoyed the game most. skittles game tupMost of the crew gathered to watch, and afterward we all sat down to another fine meal prepared by the townsfolk.

That is always the best part of any day, when the crew and passengers such as myself and Kitty sit together at the captain’s table, to fellowship and enjoy the harmony we find amongst ourselves. Even the captain and I have learned to put aside our differences for those couple of hours, and the conversation and laughter flows freely. 1150258_201741913328505_1748179776_n

As night came on the weather glass indicated incoming weather, so the camp was a flurry of activity as tents were secured, belongings covered, and all made ready for the storms. In the end there was only a little rain instead of the squall line that we feared, but for the duration of it the majority of the crew sheltered in another unused portion of the goal, to continue the fellowship begun at the dinner table until it was time to retire for bed.

Alice Mason
Sunday

Today we are to return to the Archangel and continue on our voyage. The day is as sweltering as the two previous. By mid-morning trunks are packed and tents lowered. When all the canvas is folded and stored away we say our final goodbyes to the townsfolk. The noon hour passes before we finally go on our way in the afternoon, leaving this small town that has found a place in all our hearts. 935937_10151796661063497_1558886659_n1170771_201295210039842_431509565_n734345_10151803396053497_1107213202_n

Copyright8/2013S.W.Permenter/J.Ashing
With special thanks to Diane Shultz for the use of her photographs.