Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Lieutenant Clerke to Mr. Banks* (Banks Papers)

Lieutenant Clerke to Mr. Banks* (Banks Papers).

Resolution, in Sea Reach, 13 May, 1772.


The interest you must necessarily have in matters I now trouble you with flatter myself will render any kind of apology unnecessary, so will proceed without further preface. We weigh'd anchor at Gravesend this morning, about 10 o'clock, with a fine breeze from the eastward; the wind from that quarter laid us under the necessity of working down the reaches, which work, I'm sorry to tell you, we found the Resolution very unequal to; for whilst several light colliers were working down with their whole topsails, staysails, &c.—one small brig, in particular, with her topgallant sails—these light vessels, so upright that a marble would hardly rowl from windward to leeward, the Resolution, I give you my honour, under her rieft topsails, jibb, and maintopmast staysail, heel'd within three streaks of her gunports. She is so very bad that the pilot declares he will not run the risk of his character so far as to take charge of her farther than the Nore without a fair wind; that he cannot, with safety to himself, attempt working her to the Downs. Hope you know me too well to impute my giving this intelligence to any ridiculous apprehensions. for myself. By God, I'll go to sea in a grog-tub, if required, or in the Resolution, as soon as you please; but must say I think her by far the most unsafe ship I ever saw or heard of. However, if you think proper to embark to the South Pole in a ship which a pilot (who I think by no means a timorous man) will not undertake to carry down the river, all I can say is that you shall be most chearfully attended, so long as we can keep her above water.

Yours, &c.,

Chas. Clerke.

page 92

* The original of this letter, and also those of the letters from Clerke to Banks given on pp. 95, 98, 135, 136, and 137, post, were amongst the collection of papers purchased by the Government of New South Wales from Lord Brabourne.