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Bound for the East Indies

Halsewell-A Shipwreck that Gripped the Nation
Table of
The loss of East Indiaman HCS `Halsewell' on the coast of Dorset in southern England in January 1786, touched the very heart of the British nation. `Halsewell' was just one of many hundreds of vessels which had been in the service of the Honourable East India Company since its foundation in the year 1600. In the normal course of events, `Halsewell' would have been expected to serve out her working life, before passing unnoticed into the history books. However, this was not to be. Halsewell's loss was an event of such pathos as to inspire the greatest writer of the age Charles Dickens, to put pen to paper; the greatest painter of the age J. M. W. Turner, to apply brush to canvas, and the King and Queen to pay homage at the very place where the catastrophe occurred. Artefacts from the wreck continue to be recovered to this very day which, and for variety, interest, curiosity, and exoticism, rival those recovered from Spanish armada galleons wrecked off the west coast of Ireland two centuries previously. Such artefacts shed further light both on `Halsewell' herself, and on the extraordinary lives of those who sailed in her.
Preface; 1 The Honourable East India Company; 2 The Honourable Company Ship (HCS) Halsewell; 3 The Allure of the East; 4 Captain Richard Peirce, Commander of Halsewell; 5 Halsewell's First Voyage (1778-1781): An Unpleasant Encounter with Horatio Nelson; 6 Halsewell's Second Voyage (1782-1784): An Important Passenger; 7 Halsewell's Third Voyage (1786- ): Her Officers, Crew, and Passengers, 8 Halsewell's Third Voyage (1786- ); 9 The Voyage Begins; 10 Shipwreck; 11 A Glimmer of Hope; 12 Aftermath: Halsewell's Grim Legacy; 13 Analysis of the Disaster: Was Captain Peirce in Any Way to Blame?; 14 `Halsewell': From Whence Did the Ship Derive her Name?; 15 The 1960s: Renewed Interest in the Wreck: Intriguing Artefacts; 16 The Halsewell Disaster is Captured in Poetry; 17 A Re-enactment of the Drama: the King and Queen Pay their Respects: Charles Dickens Commemorates the Tragedy; 18 Halsewell is Immortalized by Artists; 19 Sequel; Epilogue; Appendices: 1 Peirce Family Tree; 2 Halsewell/Tynte Family Tree; 3 Greenland Dock and the Wells Family of Shipbuilders; 4 Uniforms; 5 Required Qualifications for Commanders and Officers (`Mates'); 6 Required Inventory of Equipment etc. Necessary for Commanders and Officers; 7 Required Inventory of Equipment etc. Necessary for a Midshipman; 8 Indulgences; 9 Wages; 10 List of Officers [and crew, excluding ordinary seamen-`foremastmen'] on board the Halsewell, at the time she sailed; 11 Soldiers of the 42nd Foot, transported by Halsewell on her 3rd voyage; 12 The Three Voyages of HCS Halsewell; 13 Halsewell's Logbook: an Explanation; 14 Ships' Stores; 15 List of Officers, Seamen, and Soldiers saved; 16 The History of Walnut Tree House.
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