Archive for Murin McDonough

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!

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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

Letter to Mistress Murin McDonough from her cousin Fionntan Murtaugh

Posted in Event Journal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by creweofthearchangel

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To Mistress Murin McDonough
The Sealkie’s Hyde
Hampton Roads
Virginia
10 December 1720

My dearest Cousyn Murin,

We are nearly Home again. I am sorry that I must send this by Post but I was unable to stop to see you when we arriv’d, we have not the Time. Captain Sterling must first report to the Governor all that has happened and then we must immediately be off to Migdalel, as you know, the Capt.’s plantation. Therefore I will make what I can, known now so that I will have an easier Time of it later. After departing Hampton Roads we traveled swiftly to the Master Gunner’s Cottage where we met the Capt and the remainder of those still ashore. It was most kind of you to travel such a distance to bid us a safe Journey. T’is a shame we had such little Time together.

After we weighed Anchor, we headed south towards the farthest reaches of Spanish Florida with all due haste. We were delay’d by a Spanish Vessel not far from our Destination which came upon our Stern, requesting News, but their Intentions were not honourable, and a small Battle ensued after they fired without just Cause. Both Ships took Damage and neither could continue to fight that Day, so the Capt quick show’d the Spanish our Heels and we continu’d on our set Course. Sadley, we did suffer some Casualties, losing two Men. I can say without any Doubt in my Mind that Captain Sterling was not keen to give up that Ship so easily. He, insisting that since we are now at Peace with Spain, was most assur’d that they were naught but Pirates. Continue reading

Cayo Hueso

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

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

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November 23
Today, Monsieur Lasseter informed me that we would be leaving on the morrow for the southern-most point of Spanish Florida. He was vague in his information, as happens on occasion; saying only that Capitaine Sterling had received word from British authorities that he was to regain order in the area as well as conduct a trial for the Admiralty. It seems that the British troops stationed there are experiencing difficulty in maintaining their power amongst the pirates. I questioned the Master Gunner as to whether we would be fighting the Spanish pirates or the British troops. He answered not, leaving me only to speculate. I have gathered my herbs in preparation for travel, focusing on wound-healing as I am expecting the power transition to not go smoothly.

Submitting papers before weighing anchor

Quartermaster Roberts paying the ship’s chandler as we tie up any loose ends

November 24
The crewe gathered at our cottage in the Carolina colony this evening, Continue reading

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.

Alice Mason

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

Alice Mason, Lace Maker. Currently employed by Captain Sterling. Born sometime around the beginning of the 18th century in London, England.

Alice Mason came from a family of stoneworkers who were plagued by ill health and hard times. She was sent to a charity school in London as a child where she learned the trade of lace making. At the age of twelve she was apprenticed to the lace maker for a wealthy estate.
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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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