Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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war of American Independence or the war of the Austrian Succession, when the fortunes of the navy were at a low ebb. ... In such times of disaster and disgrace the rough and ready work of the privateers appeared more brilliant, and had a very real national importance' {Studies in Naval His­tory, p. 201). Of two famous privateer captains, Fortunatus Wright and George Walker, the same author gives a full account, and the exploits of many others are recorded in The Liverpool Privateers, published by Mr. Gomer Williams in 1897. Their captures and their battles were some­times the subject of verse, and therefore a few ex­amples of ballads relating to them have been in­serted. In July 1745, Captain Talbot in the Prince Frederick, with Captain Morecock in the Duke, captured two Spanish ships with cargoes worth over 3,000,000 dollars. The share of each seaman amounted to ^850 (Laughton, p. 237 ; Beatson, Naval and Military Memoirs, i. 294 ; Boyse, An Historical Review of the Transactions of Europe, \\. 171). This capture is celebrated in England's Glory, or the French King Stripped(p. 194). At the beginning of the Seven Years' War the Terrible privateer, commanded by Captain Death, was taken by the French privateer Vengeance, of St. Malo, on December 27, 1756. The Terrible had twenty-six guns, the Vengeance thirty-four. The crew of the Vengeance numbered 350, while the Terrible, weakened by sending away some men in a prize, could muster only 116. Out of them the captain and fifty men were killed outright, and over forty wounded before the ship was taken (Entick, History of the Late War, 1765, ii. 110). So desperate a fight, at a moment when the popular indignation against Byng for not fighting it out with La Galissoniere was at its height, naturally roused enthusiasm, and