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Page 68 - With Evelyn Smith, Wreck Cove

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1 (247 reads)

Shipwreck of Transport Ti/i/o Friends The following is composed from letters we received from Robin F. Evelyn, of the family of Ensign William Evelyn, and a narrative of the 1805 shipwreck in which William Evelyn died. Waterlooville Hampshire (U.K.) August 8th 1992. Dear Sir, On a recent stay in Saint John N.B. I read with pleasure your fascinating book Cape Breton Lives. Unfortunately it was not possible to make a visit to Cape Breton before returning to England, though I had an atavic reason for wishing to do so, for one of my kinsmen is buried in the cemet? ery of Louisberg. He was William Evelyn, who was born in 1788 and became an Ensign in the 41st Reg? iment. He was drowned in the wreck of the transport "Two Friends" off Cape Breton on the night of October 22nd 1805, about mid? night. The transport was on her voyage from Portsmouth to Quebec. Through his ex? ertions he contributed to the safety of all the soldiers except two, and all the passengers, including women and children, were saved. He was not quite seventeen at the time of his death.... Narrative of the Shipwreck of the Two Friends Transport The following very melancholy and circumstantial account of the loss of the Two Friends transport, on her voyage to Quebec, is given in a letter from an officer of the 100th regiment, to his father at Glasgow, dated. Ruins of Louisburgh, Cape Breton, November 1, 1805. "We embarked at Portsmouth the 10th of August, and sailed from Spithead on the 21st. On board the ship with me were the quarter-master and his family, with all the regimental stores and baggage. There were likewise a lieutenant, and thirty men as a guard, and about forty sick and lame under my care, the whole amounting to eighty people. "After beating down the Channel, we put into Falmouth on the 27th, and set sail on the 29th. Few fleets, I will venture to af? firm, ever experienced worse weather, or a more disagreeable voyage than we did: some ran foul of one another, and many lost their masts. In spite of all these misfortunes, we made the Banks on the 12th of October. "Our sea-stock, which cost us fifteen guineas a piece, was by this time quite exhausted; and for the remainder of the voyage we had nothing but salt pork and biscuit. The sick men being now sufficiently recovered, were sent aboard their respective ships, and about eighty men and women, with three officers, going to join the 41st and 49th regiments in Canada, were re? ceived to supply their places. "WhUe we were yet on the Banks, a heavy gale of wind from the N. W. drove us for eight successive days to the southward; but a fine breeze springing up on the 23rd, we once more pursued our right course. The ship was going eight knots an hour; the night was dark and hazy • and every one was going to bed with a heart exulting at the joyful prospect of soon arriving at our desti? nation, when all on a sudden the ship struck on a rock. It being high-water, and the vessel carrying a heavy press of sail, she luckily passed over the outer reef, and drove nearer the shore in two fathoms water, among a number of craggy rocks, and here she kept beating all the night with seven feet water in the hold. "For the preservation of the ship, the masts were cut away, and an anchor dropped to prevent us from driving out to sea. Lights were shown, and guns were fired; but having lost convoy for some days, we received no assistance. The wind increasing, with a dreadful sort of breaking over the vessel, our situation was now truly alarming, and every idea of our being saved seemed to van? ish in proportion as our fears increased. In such an awful crisis as this, some were offering up their prayers to the Almighty; others were in a state nearly bordering on distraction; whUe not a few, in order to dispel every idea of fear, betook themselves to liquor, and thereby added to the general confusion. "Situated thus, we waited with the greatest anxiety for the moming, and when it did appear, nothing but barren rocks pre? sented themselves to our view. As it became more light, an at? tempt was made to launch the jolly-boat; but it was hardly raised when a heavy sea sent it in pieces among the rocks. "About ten A.M. our hopes began to revive a little, by the ap? pearance of a man making towards the shore. From him we leamed that we were on the island of Cape Breton, about a mile and a half from the ruins of Louisburg. Having acquainted him with our distress, he went away, and in some hours aftei-wards, brought a very small boat to our assistance. As the boat could not contain above four persons, and the surf continued still very high, only one half of our people could be landed this day. "Night was now fast coming on, and every one sohcitous to get ashore. A young officer of 41st regiment and I, formed the res? olution of getting ashore by a rope that was attached to the ves- sel; he accordingly commenced his attempt, but losing his hold. ID THE IbROINrrO-DOMINION BANK Your Bank. Your Way Corner of Charlotte & Pitt Streets F. O. Box 117 Sydney, NS B1P6G9 567-3610 or 539-6637 '. J/. McQiCCivray J'uneradHoTne Ltd. y-la5Bj!' '-iMMEiaP 849-4505 16 Reserve SL-GLACE BAY FUNERAL DIRECTORS & EMBALMERS Established Since 1938 Complete Funeral Arrangements Including Pre-Arranged Funeral Services All Pre Paid Funeral Accounts Are Deposited "In Trust" in a Canadian Trust Company 862-6439 380 Smith SL • NEW WATERFORD
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