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Weekly Posts related to: communication

Week 26: Whose story?

Scene: Some play at Hop Scotch

We catch up with Stevenson on the Buffalo this week who is worried about the 50 children who seem to be allowed to ‘run wild’ onboard. Stevenson thinks that the children should be provided with some form of education during the voyage. Not everyone onboard agrees with Stevenson’s view but it is his perspective that we are [...]

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Week 19 – farewells and new beginnings

This week sees the unhappy passengers and crew of the Cygnet still anchored in Rio Harbour.  While Boyle Travers Finniss chafes under continuing delays, the crew mutinies, refusing all work.  Brazilian soldiers come to arrest four of the ringleaders, but the defiant crew insists on a mass arrest.  The captain seeks solace in drink. We finally [...]

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Week 15 – high drama on the John Pirie

Scene: sunday before a hard gale

  It is a week of high drama on board the John Pirie. First bad weather whips up heavy seas. The passengers all huddle on deck trying vainly to escape the leaks, only to be drenched by a sudden wave that washes right over them. This frightens the ship’s cat so much that he leaps overboard [...]

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Week 10 – fine weather and sea shanties

image of an emigrant's trunk with leather straps and brass fittings

With good sailing conditions at last, both the Duke of York and the John Pirie were making good progress, both heading south off the coast of Africa.  By 30 April the Duke of York sighted the Island of Brava, the southernmost island in the Cape Verde group, off the coast of present day Senegal, while the John Pirie passed [...]

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Week 06 – a ‘perfect Hurricane’

An oil painting by Washington Allston of ships in a storm at sea, 1804.

On 26 March the John Pirie seemed to be making progress, as it finally cleared the English Channel and struck out for the Atlantic Ocean. But just west of the Bay of Biscay the weather worsened dramatically into what one of our informants described as a ‘perfect Hurricane’.  All but overwhelmed by ‘a most tremendious Sea’, the little ship was literally [...]

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Week 03 – Waiting on the wind

One week after the storm the Duke of York was still at the Isle of Wight, held there by ‘adverse winds’. Captain Morgan made use of the time to repair the ship and replenish his stores, providing fresh meat for both passengers and crew while he had the chance, but his passengers fretted at the delay.  He [...]

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Week 03 – Communication

The_Post_Office_Microcosm_edited The Post Office as drawn by Augustus Pugin Senior and Thomas Rowlandson for Ackermann's Microcosm of London (1808-11).

This week we discover that another vessel, the John Pirie has also departed the shores of England. The John Pirie was in fact the first vessel to set sail, and this week we look at the first known diary entries that were written onboard this vessel. So far we know little about this voyage, and [...]

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