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Miscellanea from Calcutta

Discussion in 'Asia' started by A. Muse, Jul 8, 2021.

  1. A. Muse

    A. Muse LostCousins Member

    Whilst researching my Matthias ancestors in the Customs records at TNA I came across this distraction in one of the letters books that record goings on between the outposts and London. I presume the 'extract' was circulated to all stations to warn of possible problems. I have not followed up this lead to see what happened....maybe one day...

    Not sure what help the ship's surgeon would have been in the circumstances. I wonder if the ship made it home? Did any of your ancestors die in Calcutta at that time?

    'EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM CALCUTTA, DATED 22nd NOVEMBER 1819

    An afflicting circumstance has recently taken place. The captain of the 'Bengal' a Liverpool Trader, very lately gave a ball on board his ship, which was just about to sail for England. The party was very small and more than half were taken ill with a violent fever, immediately afterwards I buried the Captain and the Surgeon a very few days after it,- not less than ten of the party died within as many days, all young persons - only one Officer survives of those who left England in the ship, and he is recovering in the Hospital. All sorts of conjectures were made, but it turns out that there were 17,000 undressed Buffalo Horns in the hold, in a complete state of putrefaction.

    This vessel has sailed for England in this state without a Surgeon, I question whether it will ever arrive; it ought not to be admitted among other Shipping, if it does, the opening of the hold will be death to him who does it, and perhaps to many more.'
     
  2. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    The 'title' ship's surgeon is in fact the naval term for ship's doctor. I, like you, would be wanting to find out more, one day..............
     
  3. PhilGee

    PhilGee LostCousins Member

    Who, at the time of the article, was likely to be the ship's "Cooper". Other duties included maintaining the gun barrels and issuing powder from the magazine during battle.
     

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