Wreck of the "London"by Gerard Moultrie
The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy
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Wreck Of The "London", Second Edition — Revised by Gerard Moultrie. Published in London in 1866. The following waas added to the original title page, "The Publisher will be glad to receive any additional information from those who had friends or relatives on board."
The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text to make it readable. This did not involve changing the substance of the text. Some books, due to age and other factors may contain imperfections. Since there are many books such as this one that are important and beneficial to literary interests, we have made it digitally available and have brought it back into print for the preservation of printed works of the past.
...The opening of the year 1866 will long be memorable for that dismal series of disasters at sea, which it ushered in with a frequency and fatality that were truly appalling. The New Year was scarcely fourteen days old when, from every part of the coast, from north to south, from east to west, the telegraph flashed the melancholy tidings of ruin and havoc among the shipping. We heard of ships being dismantled by the storm, and to put back to port; of others being beaten to pieces, while their crews, escaping by the lifeboats, performed such acts of heroism that the seaman's name was covered with fresh renown. Since the year 1859 never had such tempests raged, and such deeds of gallantry been performed.
...But disaster seemed indeed to crown disaster, when it was rumored that the London —one of Messrs. Wigram's finest vessels, laden with a valuable cargo, and having, it was first said, more than 300 souls on board—had foundered in the Bay of Biscay, and that not a soul had escaped. At first, many positively refused to credit the intelligence that the noble vessel, which had only a few days left our shores, had succumbed to the fury of the gale, and gone down a wreck. It seemed impossible. Relatives and friends were loath to receive the terrible truth that they had taken a last farewell of many, the grasp of whose hand they still felt warm within their own, and whose last words of love and friendship were still ringing in their ears. All were slow to admit that there was no hope, and there was a general clinging to the expectation that there had been some mistake. The London might, perhaps, have been injured by the tempest, and compelled to put back to port; but that she could have foundered, or even if this calamity had occurred, that her crew and passengers had been unable to effect their escape—this indeed seemed almost beyond belief!
...As, day by day, the harrowing details became more accurate and complete, the regret became more and more poignant, and almost assumed a national character. Men soon thought little of the ship, magnificent though she was, or of the cargo, valuable as that was; both ship and cargo became insignificant in the presence of the vast sacrifice of human life by which the wreck of the London had been accompanied. And then came tales of heroism and self-denial, of a lofty courage and sweet resignation on the part of her passengers, officers, and crew, that made it harder still to realize that the men and women who had been capable of such noble behavior had been buried beneath the foaming waves, and that the world now was all the poorer and more desolate, for their absence from it.
...It has been thought that there is much belonging to the Wreck of the London which entitles it to a more convenient place of record than the newspaper, and that many, both in England and Australia, will be glad to possess a simple, connected narrative of the ship's doings, and especially of her passengers' behavior from the day they left our shores until the day of their foundering in the Bay of Biscay.
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