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 Captain Basil Hall 
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Post Captain Basil Hall


Although there is a thread to Hall in the non-fiction section, (read here). I thought perhaps there should be a dedicated thread to him here. Basil Hall most of us will have read about, either directly from Hall himself, or through the pen of the naval fiction writers.


The Times, March 29, 1826:

" ... FIFE AND MID LOTHIAN FERRIES - On the 25th ult. the Guildry of Dundee voted the freedom of the Incorporation to Captain Basil Hall of the Royal Navy. The Dean of Guild was requested to transmit to Captain Hall a ticket of admission, and 'to express the estimation in which the Guildry hold his disinterested* services in regard to the improvement of the ferries of the Tay and Forth.' ...."


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* The passage in The Times continues at length, but what an interesting use of the word "disinterested", which the Concise Oxford Dictionary have a note after its definition of "unconcern" and "impartiality" as "disputed usage". Without detracting from the content of the TDA entry itself, I'd be interested in the use of that word "distinteresed" in this case. If necessary, I'll move (with Susan's help ;) ), replies/comments to Scuttle-Butt.

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Sat May 16, 2009 12:27 pm
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Thanks for starting the thread, Mil. :D

Interesting choice of word.

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Sat May 16, 2009 6:10 pm
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A rather older meaning, that I remember from my schooldays, is: "without monetary/personal/vested interest"

The on-line OED gives one meaning as: "Unbiased by personal interest; free from self-seeking. (Of persons, or their dispositions, actions, etc.)"

My copy of Chambers gives, among other meanings: "not deriving personal advantage, impartial, unselfish, generous (revived from obsolescence)"

Martin


Tue May 19, 2009 3:10 pm
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It is interesting to note how the definitions of some words and terms have changed. I understand that a nervous person, in the 1800s, was one who was considered strong in temperament, and to do something handsomely meant to do it slowly and with great care. I'm sure there are others.

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Wed May 20, 2009 8:30 am
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Badger wrote:
It is interesting to note how the definitions of some words and terms have changed. I understand that a nervous person, in the 1800s, was one who was considered strong in temperament, and to do something handsomely meant to do it slowly and with great care. I'm sure there are others.




... I was fooled by that word "handsomely" when I first started reading AoS seriously, and with the help of Blake & Lawrence found it was opposite to what I originally thought. :lol:


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Wed May 20, 2009 9:23 am
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Post Re: Captain Basil Hall
The latest issue of "The Review" (Quarterly Journal of the Naval Historical Collectors & Research Association) has an article about Rockall, that insignificant spike of rock in the Atlantic Ocean, about 360 Km west of the Outer Hebrides. The article includes this paragraph:

"Although the isolated rock was known to seafarers for hundreds of years, the first landing was made on Sunday, 8 September 1811 by a small landing party led by Basil Hall of the frigate HMS ENDYMION. The ship was taking depth soundings around the island when it drifted away in one of the Atlantic hazes that often sweeps unexpectedly into the area. The expedition tried unsuccessfully to find their ship, but soon gave up and returned to Rockall. The haze developed into a thick fog and a lookout scrambled to the summit of Rockall and the frigate was spotted, but by the time the boat had reached that position the ship had again disappeared. Finally, just before sunset, ENDYMION was spotted again, and the expedition made it back aboard. The crew reported that they had been searching for the party for several hours, firing a cannon every ten minutes."

The caption to an old print, reproduced in this article, states that the only definable geographical feature on this miniscule island, a tiny flattish area near the pinnacle, is named Hall's Ledge, in his honour.

The landing party was fortunate in being able to get back aboard the frigate before sunset. One would not wish to spend a September night on Hall's Ledge, about 17.4 metres (less than 60 feet) above mean sea level. In bad weather the Atlantic waves often break right over the rock.

Martin


Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:13 pm
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Post Re: Captain Basil Hall
I was curious, so I googled...
Here's an interesting article with some photos. The video is fun. Makes you wonder what kind of conditions Hall's party landed in, without engines to help them maneuver!

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:25 am
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Post Re: Captain Basil Hall
Ha! It seems someone has finally written a book about my favorite officer, Basil Hall.

That Curious Fellow: Captain Basil Hall, RN by James McCarthy

Must. Have.

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Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:44 am
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Post Re: Captain Basil Hall
susan wrote:
Ha! It seems someone has finally written a book about my favorite officer, Basil Hall.

That Curious Fellow: Captain Basil Hall, RN by James McCarthy

Must. Have.



...looks good. I have put in a "new stock suggestion" to Cambs Libraries.

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Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:48 pm
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Post Re: Captain Basil Hall
This seems to be the author:

http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/members-pa ... -mccarthy/

Does not seem to have any background in naval history but we can only wait and read. :(


Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:25 am
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Post Re: Captain Basil Hall
IONIA wrote:
This seems to be the author:

http://www.geopoetics.org.uk/members-pa ... -mccarthy/

Does not seem to have any background in naval history but we can only wait and read. :(

Thanks for digging that info up. I haven't had the chance to order a copy yet. It will be interesting to see how he approaches Hall's life. Given the author's background, maybe it will focus more on the expeditions and travels.

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Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:41 am
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