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 A matter of honour.... 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 9:02 am
Posts: 2747
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Post A matter of honour....

From The Times, October 26, 1785:

".... A foreign paper advises, that an English trading vessel, called The Queen of Naples, from that port to London, with a valuable cargo, was attacked on the morning of the 21st of September, off the coast of Valencia, in Spain, by two Algerine, or Tunisian xebecs, full of men; but the English running out fourteen concealed guns, ready charged, gave the Moors so warm a reception, that they hung out the white flag, and pretending to have mistaken them for Americans, endeavoured to apologize for so daring an insult to a friendly nation. The English Captain, with a generosity that did him honour, declined any further contest, though he could have sunk them in a few minutes, in consideration of their distressed state, and the loss of above forty of their crews, killed in a very short engagement. The English escaped unhurt, except a few splinters shivered from the main-mast by a chain shot ....."

...interesting..... in your opinion, should the English captain have been so "honourable"?

- Mil -
aka Mary ....

Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:57 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:21 am
Posts: 67
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

My guess is that the master of this merchant ship was a quick thinker, in that: a) he didn't see the point and an action that might have made any relationship with the Dey of Algiers (if that was his title) worse than it probably already was for trade in the Mediterranean; b) he actually didn't have that much ammunition left and it was a bluff that paid off; c) he was actually making a point, by letting them get away but leaving them with the thought that he could have sunk them if he had wanted to.

I like 'c' myself!

Incidentally I would have thought she was quite heavily armed for a merchant ship.


Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:20 pm

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:57 am
Posts: 114
Location: London England
Devenish and Mil!

This reminds me of the 'Parley-Vous' song in Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Ruddigore' where Dick Daultless explains how his little Revenue Sloop, sighting a French Frigate, decides to 'spare' the enemy and so 'ups with our helm and scuds afore he breeze and gives a compasionate cheer.'!

Boarding an Algerine still packed with men thirsty for loot must have been a risky business however many casulaties they had suffered.

Brian Vale

Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:45 am
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