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 Sir Edward Pellew/Lord Exmouth 
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timoneer wrote:
I received the book from the library yesterday. There are NO footnotes.

Oh, that's really annoying! :(

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Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:06 pm
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timoneer wrote:
I went looking for a biography of Pellew and tried to track down a copy of C. Northcote Parkinson's "Edward Pellew, Viscount Exmouth, Admiral of the Red" published in London in 1934.
[On-line version]Click HERE, then look for Parkinson's book on the left side of the page.

I thought this an interesting incident from the book above about young Pellew since it shows his energy and because the other principal is a young John Schank, who later takes his shipbuilding experience in North America and uses it to build the first vessels with "sliding keels" [see other thread under SHIPS]. The British navy in 1776 had purchased a partially built ship, disassembled it and carted it overland to reassemble on Lake Champlain.

It was Captain Douglas himself who brought the parts of the ship, which was to be called the "Inflexible." Before work began on her, he had taken charge of the dockyard at St. John's. Lieutenant Schank, however, the senior officer of the five lieutenants employed on this service, remained the controlling spirit among the carpenters. Equal to him in activity was Pellew, and probably, next to him, the most useful man there. Schank fully appreciated his assistant, and in after years used to relate anecdotes of Pellew's energy on this occasion. One of these concerned the stepping of the masts of the "Inflexible" immediately after launching her. There were two ways of stepping a ship's masts in those days. One, the navy way, was to put the ship alongside the sheer hulk in a big harbour. The other, the merchant service way, was to erect sheers on the vessel to be masted. In this case the latter method had to be adopted. On the day the Inflexible was launched, Pellew was on the top of the sheers trying to get in the mainmast, when the machinery, not being of the best, it gave way; and down fell the mainmast, Pellew, sheers and all into the Lake.
"Poor Pellew" exclaimed Schank " He is gone at last" ; not so, however. He speedily emerged and was the first man to mount the sheers again. "Sir " the dear old man used to conclude, "He was like a Squirrel." These are the words in which Schank, when an old man and blind, used to tell the story to Pellew's children.


Don


Last edited by timoneer on Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:55 am
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Post Edward Pellew and Philemon Pownoll
Edward Pellew and Philemon Pownoll

I thought it might be worth posting something about a singular person in Edward Pellew’s life who had a profound effect on his career. After serving under Philemon Pownoll, Pellew never served in a ship of the line until the age of forty-two, and never saw a general action until he was nearly sixty. C. Northcote Parkinson explains why in his biography "Edward Pellew, Viscount Exmouth, Admiral of the Red."

In March, 1780, Pellew was offered a position as first lieutenant in the frigate "Apollo" captained by Philemon Pownoll. Pellew had served earlier with Pownoll for a period of six months during the war in America and Pownoll had been extremely impressed by Pellew’s conduct. Several months later, in a battle with the French frigate "Stanislaus" Pownoll was killed and Pellew took command. Pellew did not take the French ship but forced it aground and it was lost to the French navy.

The short term effect was that Pellew was promoted to "Master and Commander" at age 23, but it was a small consolation for the loss of his "only" patron, Pownoll.

"Considering that he never rose above the rank of captain, Philemon Pownoll had made an extraordinary impression on his contemporaries. Years after his death - more than twenty years, in fact - St. Vincent promoted a young officer on the grounds that he was grandson to the gallant Pownoll whose fate, though glorious, deprived his Country of a most able "Partizan." Jervis and Pownoll had been shipmates under Boscawen, and the word "Partizan" is perhaps the relic of some jealousy between them. The term is not altogether complimentary and implies a bent for independent operations. Jervis used it of Nelson among others. But this very touch of jealousy shows how well he remembered his early rival.

In the same way, Pellew never forgot him. His eldest son was called after him and Pownoll has remained a name in the family ever since. And yet, in the ten years Pellew had been at sea, he had served with Pownoll for no more than nine months.

Perhaps Reynolds's portrait of Captain Pownoll goes some way to explain this lasting impression he made on those who sailed with him. The impression it made on Pellew was not only lasting but exclusive of any other. Pellew was himself a strong character and Pownoll was the last as well as the first man to have any influence over him.

This early death of the man whose follower he had become, had important results on Pellew's career. It left him very much alone in the Service. In the ordinary course of events Pownoll would have become an admiral and Pellew would have been his flag-captain. As things were, Pellew lost his patron at the very outset of his career; and, what is quite as important, he lost his idol when the latter was still a frigate-captain. This had the effect of keeping him away from the big fleets for the greater part of his life. As the follower of a dead man he was not wanted by admirals who did not know him. As the disciple of a frigate-captain he had no ambition to be anything but an' able "Partizan."

He had neither opportunity nor inclination for serving in the line of battle, and from Pownoll's death until the end of his career he was hardly ever in a fleet. He never was in a ship of the line until the age of forty-two, and never saw a general action until he was nearly sixty. Independence was the keynote of his career."


Note: Pownoll was also spelled Pownall and Pownal in same chapter

Don


Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:54 am
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Edward Pellew and his son Pownoll Pellew

Here is an excerpt from a most interesting letter that Edward Pellew wrote to his oldest son who had just turned 17 years old, been assigned to the West Indies, and been promoted captain.

Avoid as certain destruction both of Soul and Body all excesses of whatever Nature they may be, in the Climate you are going to you must use great Caution to avoid all the Night dews - and when you are exposed by Night never permit your breast to be uncovered or your neck exposed without something tied round it… take great care never to over-heat your blood by drinking or exercise - never go out shooting on any account or riding in the Sun and… At night always sleep in Calico… Always hear apiece of White paper inside your hat.

If you should take prizes I need scarcely recommend you to treat your Prisoners with kindness but be very careful to keep safe and proper Guards over there - An Officer who suffers his Prisoners to retake his Ship can never recover the Stain on his Character.

… Never become one of the Tavern parties on shore, they, always end in drunkenness and Dissipation.

In Your Expenses be as frugal as you can. You know the situation of your Father and how many calls he has for Money…

Take great care to examine all papers you put your name to and be satisfied of the truth of them and avoid any accident on this point, never sign a paper when bro't to you in a hurry - if it is one of account - but desire it to be left for our perusal…. as it is your Duty to be as honest and careful for the King as for yourself….

Never fail to keep the Ships reckoning yourself and observe both by Day and Night, it is a great Duty for you have in charge the Lives of hundreds...


The complete letter can be found in Chapter X starting on page 322 of Parkinson's book.

Don


Last edited by timoneer on Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:34 am
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timoneer wrote:
"Poor Pellew" exclaimed Schank " He is gone at last" ; not so, however. He speedily emerged and was the first man to mount the sheers again. "Sir " the dear old man used to conclude, "He was like a Squirrel." These are the words in which Schank, when an old man and blind, used to tell the story to Pellew's children.

Parkinson's biography contains excerpts from some of his letters that refer to John Schank being a close personal friend of Edward Pellew's family. One of the references is about him going to the city for an eye operation. In this and other places, Pellew calls him "old Schanky." Pellew even admits "I love the old boy" in one letter. Amazing how such early friendships brought about by chance naval assignments result in such life-long friendships. This pops up in a number of novels of the era.

While Parkinson's book has a few flaws (no Notes and an error prone Index), I have found this book to be one of the finest biographies I have ever read. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the period to read it. If sitting in front of a monitor to read the on-line version is not your style, try an Interlibrary Loan. Not only are the facts in Pellew's life fascinating, Parkinson's pithy and witty comments are a delight. In the later chapters, Parkinson's paints a wonderful portrait of the political forces that drove the naval actions in the East Indies.

CLICK HERE for a direct link to the on-line version.

Don


Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:31 am
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From the BBC website, a bit about the area where the Dutton was wrecked.

Dutton's Cannons Panorama

Ship Ahoy! (about the area)

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Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:14 pm
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Thanks for this, Susan......Brings back memories of being there last year....on an extremely windy day......


Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:23 pm
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susan wrote:
From the BBC website, a bit about the area where the Dutton was wrecked.

Dutton's Cannons Panorama



Here is some more about the Dutton East Indiaman incident in The Times of January 30, 1796, and the life-saving capabilities of Pellew:

".....PLYMOUTH, January 27 ....is this morning washed nearer the rocks...she is a complete wreck; her bottom is entirely out and she is parted in the middle.....it is not clearly ascertained what number of the sick were drowned, but it supposed 7 or 8 persons....one sailor fell overboard when the ship struck...another was killed by a hatchet when the main-mast was cutting away.

Among the foremost in great exertion yesterday was Sir EDWARD PELLEW, who was drawn on board by a rope, at the hazard of his life, where he continued his exertions in keeping order among the soldiers and sailors, and contriving ropes to get them from the wreck, until the ship was nearly cleared of them....he was then drawn from the ship to the rocks by the same means he got off. The Mayor has called a Meeting of the Corporation for Saturday next, to consider the presenting Sir Edward Pellew with his freedom, in testimony of his humane and spirited conduct at the unfortunate wreck....."

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Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:58 pm
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It hasn't been mentioned in this thread, or maybe I missed it, but there is a more contemporary biography of Pellew avaliable for viewing or download at Google Books. The Life of Amiral Viscount Exmouth by Edward Osler, 1835.

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Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Sir Edward Pellew/Lord Exmouth
Has anyone read Stephen Taylor's bio of Pellew yet?

Here's a review: Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain’s Greatest Frigate Captain by Stephen Taylor

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Sir Edward Pellew/Lord Exmouth
susan wrote:
Has anyone read Stephen Taylor's bio of Pellew yet?

Here's a review: Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain’s Greatest Frigate Captain by Stephen Taylor


No, and I wasn't even aware that it had been published. :oops:

Here is another review.

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Post Re: Sir Edward Pellew/Lord Exmouth
Quote:
Has anyone read Stephen Taylor's bio of Pellew yet?

I have been refraining from replying as I can only use one word to describe this book, viz.
Quote:
Pathetic!

I abandoned the book after about 80 pages so can not comment on the full contents but the author's appalling lack of understanding of the Royal Navy is clear. For example, Taylor writes concerning Pellew's service on HMS Blonde in 1776 (Chapter 2):
Quote:
[paragraph] Pownoll soon took note. Within weeks of entering the Blonde, Pellew was among a few able hands identified by the captain for advancement. He was briefly made up to midshipman, then reduced [my emphasis] to master's mate two months later, while another had was given a trial as a midshipman.[footnote 4] Pownoll, it seems, thought Pellew's exuberance required tempering. It is a mark of his wisdom that Pellew himself later recognized Pownoll had been right. [end paragraph]

Once one corrects the word reduced to the proper word promoted, the paragraph completely falls apart revealing an idealized fabrication by the author. That is only one example and I found myself cursing under my breath about once a page at the various assertions being made by the author which I could not believe.


Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:01 pm
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Post Re: Sir Edward Pellew/Lord Exmouth
Thanks for the info! This book is in the Fife Library system, so I have booked a copy. Then I might add my comments on it here.
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Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:01 am
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Post Re: Sir Edward Pellew/Lord Exmouth
Taylor acknowledges that his two principal sources were (1) Edward Osler's 1835 The Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth in which the Pellew family copy had been heavily annotated by Pellew's son George and (2) C. Northcote Parkinson's 1934 The Life of Edward Pellew, Viscount Exmouth. Although Taylor writes well I opine that it is mostly a 'creative interpretation' of the earlier works and adds very little new material such as detailed examination of ship's logs, muster books, and other readily available original documentation.

Osler's "New and Revised" 1841 edition can be downloaded from Google Books:
http://books.google.com/books?id=eS4DAAAAYAAJ

Parkinson's 1934 account is on the Pellew.com website:
http://www.pellew.com/Exmouth/Exmouth%2 ... ntents.htm

If one compares the three books, my frustration will become obvious.


Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:25 pm
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