Archive for Joshua Merriweather

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.

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

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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!

Congratulations to the Crewe of the Archangel

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by creweofthearchangel

This year at Jamestown Settlement’s Military Through the Ages, the Crewe won, in the pre-modern category: honorary mention for Best Cooking, First Place for Best Clothing and First Place for Best Camp. But the best was the compliments from the judges who came to tell us that our documentation set the new standard. Well done Archangels.

Laundress Mae Harrington Laundress Mae Harrington
Mlle Josephine Legard Mlle. Josephine Legard
Armourer & Blacksmith Adam Cyphers Armourer & Blacksmith Adam Cyphers
Dr. Jerome GeigerShip’s Surgeon, Dr. Jerome Geiger
Master-at-Arms Heartless Master-at-Arms Heartless
Cook & Able Seaman David M. AtlasCook & Able Seaman David M. Atlas
Master Gunner Dorian LasseterMaster Gunner Dorian Lasseter
Midshipman Joshua MerriweatherMidshipman Joshua Merriweather
Lady's Maid Charlotte Cole & Alice Mason Sterling
Lacemakers: Blue Hood: Lady’s Maid Charlotte Cole. Cocked Hat: Captain’s Wife Alice Mason Sterling
Cook's Mate John KnyffCook’s Mate John Knyff
Quartermaster Jack RobertsQuartermaster Jack Roberts
Bosun's Mate Mitch O'SionnachBosun’s Mate Mitchell O’Sionnach
Sean with ship biscuitMidshipman Sean Merriweather
L'il SnotLearning the Lace trade, Alice Mason’s daughter KittyFionn MurtaughCaptain’s Steward Fionn Murtaugh
Bosun Israel CrossBosun Israel Cross
PrincessCaptain Sterling, Master Gunner Lasseter and Princess


Crewe Photo
Military Through the Ages 2014

Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania 20-21 September

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Josephine’s Journal
The Account of an Indentured Servant’s Adventures with the Crewe of the Archangel

September 20

September is a pleasant month in the Carolina colony. The weather, which all throughout the summer is nearly unbearable, becomes much more temperate. The crops, which had grown green and tall all summer, are now golden and ready for harvest; the farmers can be seen working in the fields daily. However, for pirate hunters, any time of year can become tumultuous if pirates decide to invade the coast of the colonies. Thus was the case for the Crewe of the Archangel this September.

It was at the start of this month that Dorian and I received word from Captain John Sterling that our assistance was needed in the Pennsylvania colony. Rumor was spreading of a pirate gathering, and all available hands were to meet at Marcus Hook to repel the pirate force. After packing the carriage and making sure that all was in order, Dorian and I left this afternoon. We travelled by way of the coast of Virginia in order to join with Captain Sterling’s son, Sean Merriweather, who was in the area for schooling, and together the three of us travelled to Pennsylvania. The trip was, thankfully, uneventful for us, and we crossed the Chesapeake Bay at sunset; what a beautiful site!

We arrived here at Marcus Hook on the heels of Captain Sterling, Monsieur Murtaugh, and Monsieur Merriweather the Younger. We quickly greeted one another before setting about to work on the encampment. The Vigilant Crew had set up its encampment throughout the day, and was there to meet us and aid us in the set-up of our encampment. After several hours of unloading and set-up, the carriages are unpacked, the tents are standing, the beds are arranged, and the crewe members have bid one another a restful night of sleep. Tomorrow, we have dealings with the pirates.

September 21

We awoke today in the early morning hours,
delcohistorysept2013 198with the intention of preparing ourselves for the day’s activities. I was to remain in the camp, along with Doctor Geiger,Dr. Geiger and prepare my herbal remedies in the chance that injuries should occur. Madam Kate Stephens was also with us in camp, helping to curb our appetites and to inform any curious local residents as to the situation at hand. I situated myself alongside the Doctor toward the back of the encampment, where we would have room to work if the situation called for such action. We had lit the brazier, in order to heat several of my herbal concoctions, but it also provided the opportunity to heat the food that had been obtained for lunch: a meat pie called a pasty which was filled with chicken, peas, and other vegetables and was surrounded by something similar to a small pie crust folded in half. Never had I tried such a creation, but it was delicious and filling!

Captain Sterling, Monsieur Lasseter, and the remaining sailors all moved back and forth between the battlefield and the encampment throughout the day, attempting to nourish themselves when not forced to partake in the battle. Nearly every hour, cannon fire could be heard from the waterfront, and my anticipation grew with each resounding rumble. It was impossible to know from the encampment if we were in fact maintaining an upper hand over the scoundrels or if they were inflicting damage upon our crewe. However, as the afternoon grew into evening, it became apparent that the crewe had gained the upper hand with very little damage done to our sailors. Once again, the Crewe of the Archangel had driven back the pirate force and maintained the safety of the coastal town of Marcus Hook.

As the men returned from the field of battle, a look of exhaustion and hunger stretched across their faces, the wind picked up and the sky behind them began to turn a dark gray. Fionn quickly started dinner for the crewe, a soup of chicken and vegetables, as we began to prepare our encampment for foul weather. Large rain drops began to fall just as dinner was served; we all made our way under canvas to partake in a hot meal and conversation. I had grown tired rather early in the evening and went into our tent to lie down. To the sound of conversation and laughter among friends, I have found myself drifting off to sleep even as I write this.

September 22

This morning, rising early, I began to organize our belongings back into the sea chest. Our journey home is expected to take near 7 hours, longer should we need to stop along the way, so an early start was the plan. By noon, the encampment looked barren, as though we had never set foot on the site. The carriages being loaded and there being no other work for Dorian or I to do, we bid farewell to our crewe family and to the remaining members of the Vigilant Crewe, and we made our way back home to the Carolina colony. Arriving home after dark, we unloaded the carriage and crawled into bed, exhausted from a successful weekend and wondering where our next adventure will take us.

Copyright October 2013/J. Otte

Special thanks to K.Strayer & Delco History for the 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.
63690_201141206721909_2115225926_n

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.
1170736_10201020510614047_860802453_na
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.

Military Through the Ages, Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, Virginia

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

josephine

Josephine’s Journal
The Account of an Indentured Servant’s Adventures with the Crewe of the Archangel

Friday, 28, April 1719
I stood on the deck as the Archangel moor’d just off of the western shore of Ile de Ré around midday. As the crewe load’d the boats, which would ferry the burial party and our necessary goods ashore, I could not help but admire the beauty of the island. Somewhere in my mind, I recall’d being a little girl and overhearing my father talk about the religious siege that took place long ago on the island. It was hard to believe that such a beautiful spot held such a violent past. My thoughts were broken by the Master Gunner’s voice calling me to his side. It was time to go disembark.
Those of us going ashore climb’d into the boats and made our way to the beach, along with several injured and two dead crewe members, one of whom was Lieutenant Hazzard. Images of the most recent battle in the Mediterranean flash’d through my mind and I shuddered as I tried to remove it from my head. The cloudy weather add’d to the somber mood as we work’d to set up camp and build a fire before darkness fell. The dead men were laid out under a canopy within our camp, the Lieutenant in his burial clothes and the seaman in his hammock. The Archangel, having suffer’d minor damages during an attempt on a merchant ship during our latest conflict, the War of Quadruple Alliance in the Mediterranean, made way for La Rochelle on the mainland for quick repairs. Although we hope it to be a short stay, the officers intend to remain until the wounded, the captain being one of such, recuperate. We had removed several great guns from the ship when we left, bringing them on shore with us as a means of protection. Having set up camp and eaten a light dinner, we have retired to our tents for the night. Tomorrow begins the burial process.

Saturday, 29 April, 1719
We awoke early, as there was much work to be done, and found that the weather had deteriorated further. The clouds overhead open’d up around mid-morning, forcing several crewe members to maintain the fire and the rest of us to move as much of our chores under canvas as possible. I, myself, moved my basket under the canopy with the doctor and the dead, and began attending to my remedies. Josephine and Matt by the fire With the injured members of the crewe among us, I was only too happy to assist Dr. Geiger. I had brought along several simple herbal physicks for injuries, both internal and external, and spent the day prepping the herbs and administering them to the crewe members who were in need. Doctor Geiger was prepared to amputate if necessary, but thankfully the amputation needs were few. The Master Gunner, Dorian Lasseter, and the Master at Arms, Constable Heartless, maintained the guns and kept a close eye on the sea for any Spanish ships that may appear. The Bosun and the blacksmith were busy throughout the day making repairs that would be needed once we were back on board the Archangel,

Adam making nails

while Mister Merriweather the Younger attended to the food with the assistance of Mister Merriweather the Elder, our pilot Matty Black Horse, and ABS Atlas. Fionn and Sean at lunch Captain Sterling had received a wound to the head, when a powder chest on the quarterdeck accidently ignited during our last encounter, and was being given time to relax near the fire while the wound healed. The Capitaine’s Steward, Fionntan Murtaugh, managed to have Mon Capitaine kept comfortable, fed, and even had him seated a couple times throughout the day. This is no small task!
Although we were standing on French soil, I felt out of place. I missed my home, my brother, and my father, but having been away for so long I now wonder’d if I could even continue to call it home. I found that I had grown attach’d to the crewe of the Archangel, and I was looking forward to returning with them to England and resting up from our endeavors in the Mediterranean. I do not believe that I will ever grow accustom’d to battle, and to losing members of our crewe. How lucky these men are to receive a proper burial! (and how fortunate we are as well that they shall be well grounded)The Lieutenant being an officer, Mon Capitaine did all in his power to find land in which to bury the body. Burial at sea, where the fish and other sea creatures destroy your remains, makes it impossible for you to enter heaven upon your death. The crewe always makes every effort to find land when an officer dies. The seaman that we are burying was brought along as we were already burying one; we figured we should bury the other on land as well. Had it been just the seaman who passed, he would have been sent to the depths. It is all just too horrible to imagine. I hope their remains will rest easy, as both being Protestant, they have been turned away from our Catholic cemeteries on the main land.
The rain has picked up, and exhaustion is setting in. Tomorrow, we bury the dead, and soon, the wounded permitting, return to the Archangel.

J. Otte © 2013 All rights reserved

special thanks to Krystian Williams for her photographs

Ringing in the New Year

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

Josephine’s Journal
The Account of an Indentured Servant’s Adventures with the Crewe of the Archangel

January 1

snotties 1

It seems there was an incident this past afternoon just prior to the New Year celebration. The ship is moored in Hampton Roads area for a few months due to the winter weather. And though, close to home many of the crewe have remained on board. The Master Gunner prefers to stay on board to keep watch and maintain the guns, and being indentured to him, I remain as well. Should the weather become too much to endure, we always have the comfort of The Sealkie’s Hyde nearby; an ordinary owned by one of Capitaine Sterling’s friends. Yesterday, the weather was cool but dry so the Merriweather boys were sent ashore to retrieve the Capitaine’s mail bags from several coffee houses and the Hyde. After arriving at the Hyde, the boys helped themselves to food and punch…apparently too much punch.

As the afternoon wore into the evening, Capitaine Sterling seemed to grow concerned that some evil had befallen the Merriweather boys. I had brought hot tea and laudanum to the Capitaine several times and could not help but notice the worried look he wore upon his face. He called for the Master Gunner to accompany him ashore to search for the boys, starting with their destination at The Sealkie’s Hyde. When they arrived at the Hyde, Mistress McDonough greeted them and recalled the arrival of the midshipmen and the retrieval of the mail packet, but with the increased business in the afternoon she could not recall their leaving. A quick search of the premises revealed the two midshipmen in a corner of the establishment; face down in their food and punch. snotties 2

From what the Master Gunner related to me upon his return, Sean Merriweather had to be carried from the ordinary back to the ship whilst Joshua Merriweather was able to stagger his way back on foot with the assistance of Mon Capitaine. Needless to say, they were sequestered in the great cabin for some time, no doubt receiving a severe scolding for their actions. snotties 3

And thus, with the midshipmen safe on board, we had Gabriel announce the New Year with plenty of shot and powder and then retired to our own share of punch and sweetmeats.