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 James Grant 
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Post James Grant
In Desolation Island, POB places James Grant in a rather negative light. Does anyone know if this is a true portrayal? If so, what/whose account did he base it on?

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susan


Sun Dec 25, 2005 6:12 pm
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I was looking at Anthony Brown's Ill-Starred Captains and found this bit:

"...Grant surveyed the western side of Wilson's Promontory and Western Point before gales forced him back to Sydney. There he resigned, admitting to King that he lacked experience in nautical surveying, and sought leave to return to England."

Don, does the account you read mention anything about this?

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susan


Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:15 pm
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susan wrote:
"...Grant surveyed the western side of Wilson's Promontory and Western Point before gales forced him back to Sydney. There he resigned, admitting to King that he lacked experience in nautical surveying, and sought leave to return to England."

Don, does the account you read mention anything about this?

RE: "The Narrative of a Voyage of Discovery, performed in His Majesty's Vessel The Lady Nelson, of sixty tons burthen, with sliding keels, in the years 1800, 1801, and 1802, to New South Wales..." by James Grant

Susan, In Grant’s book I could not find any admission of inferior surveying skills. Grant states that he returned to England because his mission was basically done, with weather hampering him. I reproduce two separate passages below.

The first indicates that King was "well pleased" with Grant’s actions.

"I had not, from the time of my departure, a sick man among my ship's company, one man only excepted, whose skull had been fractured. He found himself somewhat ill, from the fatigue and constant wet weather we experienced during the voyage, but recovered soon after we came in, without any assistance from medicine. The unfavourableness of the weather prevented me from completing the whole of my instructions; but I had the satisfaction whilst in Botany Bay to learn, by a letter from Governor King, that he was well pleased with what I had done."

The second passage is at the very end of the voyage section of the book. After reading your comment, I find the very last sentence a possible hint that others (more skilled?) might had contributed more to the voyage. Might he be admitting his inferior skills? He certainly states that he did his best in a difficult situation where others feared to go.

"Whilst I bad the command of the Lady Nelson she did not lose a single man, and she arrived at Port Jackson without the least damage in hull, masts, sails or rigging, which may in a great measure be attributed to her many excellent qualities. If I have in the least contributed to the service of my King and Country, I am well satisfied. I had difficulties and disadvantages to struggle with, which those only can conceive who have found themselves in similar situations. My little vessel sailed on her voyage with no creditable report of her fitness for the purpose ; and even her successful performance of it did not obtain her that praise which in my humble opinion she merits. To conclude, I must say, that I risked my life and character on the event of the voyage, and sailed from England with very little assistance, her inferior size and peculiar construction having deterred those who might have been of the most use from engaging to sail in her."

Comment: Young students who dislike history because it is all dates and facts would be surprised how many times history depends on the viewpoint. Not black and white but many, many shades of gray. I will now descend from my soapbox. :)

Don


Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:27 am
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Post Re:
timoneer wrote:
Not black and white but many, many shades of gray.
Don

Not 50, I hope :D

Sorry; I had been searching for 'gray' for an entirely different reason!

Martin


Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:10 pm
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