Archive for Joshua Sterling

Kitty’s Adventures: The Treasure Coast Pirate Fest, January 3rd-February 1st ’15

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by creweofthearchangel

By Kitty Sterling, daughter of Captain John Sterling and Alice Mason Sterling. 

January 29

We arrived in the dark. The night was cool and very windy, but I was not afraid because the Crewe were all there and I
knew they would all look after me. Mother and my step-father Captain Sterling were there of course, along with Joshua Merriweather, Fionntan Murtaugh, the Quartermaster Jack Roberts, and the Archangel’s blacksmith Adam Cyphers. Mother made me a cozy bed to rest and keep warm in while the adults set up the camp. When I grew tired of lying still I helped by fetching stakes and lines. The night insects sang loudly and the stars were big and bright.

January 30

I woke up just as the sun was coming up. I soon woke up Mother and talked her into taking a walk along the beach. The rising sun made the water all kinds of colors. We met some of the townspeople on our way back to camp. Breakfast was cooked in a big skillet over the fire, potatoes and onions and sausage and eggs. We all ate lots because we knew it would be a busy day. For the rest of the morning I was allowed to collect shells while the crewe readied the camp for the day and talked with the frequent visitors that stopped by.

Mr. Cyphers allowed me to play with his blacksmith hammer. I had a grand time carrying it about and stirring through the sand for rocks and small shells to test the hammer out on. Mother fussed all morning, sure I would smash my toes, but I did not smash a one! Or anyone else’s either.

Many of the landsmen who visited camp were interested in our navigation equipment. Several of the crew took turns explaining what each of the instruments did. This evening the crew joined together with the local militia for a firing demonstration. The great guns sounded out over the waters, a warning to any pirates who might be close by. 


January 31

This morning we had another fine breakfast, after which I helped by rinsing the clean dishes and stacking them to dry. When the morning work was done I explored the camp and gathered some more shells for my growing collection. One of them was nearly as big as my face!

There is a celebration in town today, and we all enjoyed the opportunity to make merry and spend time together, all while keeping a watchful eye out for pirates, of course. We celebrated Father’s birthday. Mother made some sugar-cakes and we all kicked a ball to and fro, with some of the townsfolk joining in from time to time. When I grew tired I rested in one of the hammocks. Joshua was in the other and we made a game of trying to turn one another out of them.

In the evening there was another firing demonstration. Too soon it was time to break down camp and return home. Once again I assisted by piling the stakes in their proper places and wrapping up the lines once they were removed from the tents.

Saying goodbye to the crewe is never easy, but I know it will not be long before we have more grand adventures!

 

 

Copyright May 25, 2015 S. W. Permenter

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

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!

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.

The Merriweather Lads

Posted in Crewe Member Bios with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2012 by creweofthearchangel

Joshua and Sean Merriweather, Captain’s Servants or, more commonly known later as, Midshipmen. Born sometime during the late 17th century in Bristol, England.

Misters Joshua Merriweather (the Younger) and Sean Merriweather (the Elder) serve as midshipmen on board the Archangel. Their father, Thomas Merriweather, worked as a sailing master for William Sterling’s trading company. Thomas was on board the Hart when a violent tempest sent her crashing onto the shores of Algiers.
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